Spain to Fine Tourists Who Pee in the Sea

Crowded beach in Ibiza
Crowded beach in Ibiza

A famous wit once said, “I never drink water. Fish pee in it.”

Well, Spain is attempting to clean up the image of its beach resort destinations by cracking down on bad tourist behaviour - which apparently includes relieving yourself in the ocean.

How will they know, you ask? Good question. But it comes with an over-$1000 CAN fine if caught.  Posters around beaches publicizing the new law show a line across a figure of a man urinating off a dock into the water.

The resurgence of tourism to Spanish coastal and island destinations like the Costa del Sol, Ibiza, Malaga, and Mallorca, has seen a return of too many tourists behaving badly.

And the locals aren’t having it anymore.

Laws already went into effect in Majorca and Ibiza limiting guests at all-inclusive resorts to 6 drinks a day, which honestly seems like more than enough for anyone.

But other new laws also tackle more dangerous and ‘anti-social’ habits, with one report saying that “Spain's tourist industry is trying to shed its reputation as the party capital of Europe.”

Along with the ban on urinating in the ocean - as local officials say they’re installing more toilet facilities to accommodate tourist numbers - come other strict rules that are meant to dampen high spirits and outrageous shenanigans.

Some are easy to support - and frankly, should go without saying. Shame on any tourist who does these things anyway:

  • Using soap in the sea; or
  • Littering.

And we can also get behind forbidding selfish or dangerous behaviour like:

  • BBQ's on the beach;
  • Trying to reserve a beach spot with a towel; or even
  • Playing with balls or bats.

However, some new legal measures are clearly more about keeping it classy than keeping people or the planet safe, and an attempt to avoid being the Las Vegas of the Continent:

  • Cover up! Women wearing bikinis walking around on the streets will be fined, as will
  • Men without shirts once they leave the beach;
  • No sales of alcohol in shops between 9:30 pm and 8 am;
  • No pub crawls; and
  • No 2-4-1 drinks or ‘happy hours’ in some beach hotspots;
  • A crackdown on noise levels in tourist areas; and
  • The Costa del Sol, targeting particularly Brits and their ‘scandalous’ bachelor/ette parties, is banning ‘obscene’ costumes and props (read: giant phalluses waving around at bachelorette or 'hen' parties.)

Another sign that as travel resurges, destinations, especially those that have had overtourism challenges before the pandemic, are putting their foot down with a firm “We’re not going to take it anymore” message that travellers would be wise to hear in advance of their travels.

Lynn Elmhirst


With a background in broadcast news and travel lifestyles TV production, Lynn is just as comfortable behind or in front of the camera as she is slinging words into compelling stories at her laptop. Having been called a multi-media ‘content charmer’, Lynn’s other claim to fame is the ability to work 24/7, forgoing sleep until the job is done. Documented proof exists in a picture of Lynn at the closing celebrations of an intense week, standing, champagne in hand - sound asleep. That’s our kind of gal.

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