Be mindful of what you take and what you leave on the beaches

by Lorraine Williamson
on the beaches

The beach is a place for everyone to enjoy. Think about what you take, and what you leave. Moreover, the best thing is to “leave nothing but footprints”.

Spain has some of the best beaches, and also the highest amount of blue flag beaches in the world. Therefore, to continue this record, and enjoy the beaches to the max, there are some protocol that should be followed.


The main problem with beaches around the world is pollution. And unless, we all “do our bit” this will only get worse. Cigarette butts  take a decade to degrade. In addition, a large part of the harmful components of tobacco that are released in contact with water accumulate in the filter. A simple way to avoid this is to bring your own ashtray, or to remove the butts when you leave.

If you see cigarette pollution, Collaborate with the #SEPRONA and call 062

What to wear and how to behave on beaches

On the beach, almost anything goes, although some beaches might have certain rules regarding going topless. You will, however, also find plenty of nudist beaches. But, when you go from beach to bar, unless it is a chiringuito (beach bar), you will be expected to cover up. Shoes or flip flops must be worn, and men must wear a t-shirt. In many places it is not acceptable to walk around the streets in bikinis. You could even receive a fine in certain areas.

If you have a hire car, and are driving from the beach, you must wear a top.

Can you sleep on the beach?

Sleeping on the beach is forbidden and may be subject to a fine if you are caught.

You can enjoy the beach during the day just by lying on the sand, or on a towel, or you can even hire a sunbed, or something more luxurious. However, these will typically have an opening and closing time. Furthermore, you may have to consume food or drinks from their bar.

Where can you put your rubbish?

If you have rubbish or cigarette butts, please do not leave them lying around. Who do you think is going to clean that? There are plenty of bins around and on the beaches. If not, take it with you until you can find a place to dispose of it.

Beach toilets

In high season, you will see many huts along the beach where they have toilet facilities. However, please be aware that in lower season, most, if not all of these will be closed.

ASSSA - health insurance in Spain


Generally, beaches will have showers, or foot showers near to or at the exit point. However, you may find that certain areas have switched the water off due to problems with drought in Spain.

Some typical comments

“There’s nothing wrong with throwing plastic into the sea” “Recycling is nonsense” According to reports from the Guardia Civil, those attitudes and thoughts harm us all #Tencabeza #ProtegeTuEntorno


Beach cleans

There are many beach cleans advertised where people can join in and help to protect the environment. The most common items removed are plastic, cigarette butts, lollypop sticks, ear buds, and wet wipes. However, every now and then, some more unusual items can be found.

Many scuba diving companies also conduct cleans from the water.

Due to the collision of the oil tankers near Gibraltar, there was also a shoreline clean in the area where there has been some oil spillage.

Dogs on beaches

There are many “dog friendly” beaches in Spain. However, as a rule, in the high season, unless it is a designated dog beach, your 4-legged friends are not allowed. Some dogs find this bizarre considering the amount of pollution humans leave behind! Although the text is in Spanish, I think we can all understand.

BBQs on the beach

You cannot just go to the beach and set up a portable BBQ in Spain.

Each area will have allocated spaces where you can apply for permission to start a BBQ. This must be requested from the town hall in advance and must stipulate the number of guests anticipated.

However, if a beach BBQ isn’t your thing then you can also go to go to one of the local parks equipped with BBQs. Most are open from the middle of October until the beginning of June. They are not an available option in high season due to fire risks.

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