This weekend has started the high season on the Costa del Sol, with thousands of tourists eager for sun and beach. Today we tell you about all the things you should never do on Malaga’s beaches and more information that you may find useful.
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Things you should never do on Malaga’s beaches
As always, when the heat is on, we like to take things a bit easier. So we’ve mixed the things that you must not do on Malaga’s beaches for real with some jokes for you to have fun reading and remember that…
Fines on Malaga beaches
The fines for disregarding any of the things prohibited on the beaches of Malaga depend on the degree of seriousness of the infraction and can involve a payment of between 300 € and up to 3000 €. Better save this money for the Beach Bar, right?
You can’t go naked on the beach
The truth is that Spanish law does not prohibit nudity on any beach. Nevertheless, some municipalities that have pulled their own ordinances out of the bag (as in the case of Cadiz), prohibiting the practice of nudism.
This contradicts the law at national level and despite the fact that both the European Court and the Ombudsman have insisted on several occasions that nudism is legal in Spain and that it can only be regulated by organic law.
Apart from the above, take a look at the eight wonderful nudist beaches in Malaga, to roam freely amongst kindret spirits!
Forget about listening to your favourite summer song at the seashore
Well, you can still listen to it with headphones, of course.
You must not use radios, CDs, or similar devices, musical instruments or any other device that emits noise that disturbs other users.
You may not bathe in marked areas
The beach is packed, there’s not a single free spot left… oh yes, there, in the pedal boat area, there are plenty of spots! Forget about it.
It is forbidden to bathe and stay in the areas designated by the Town Hall for the beaching of boats, pedal boats, jet skis, etc., which will be properly marked.
Park your camper van idyllically by the sea or unload your gear from the car conveniently on the sand
Sorry, unauthorised parking and circulation of vehicles on the beach is prohibited.
By the way, at Malagacar.com you can rent a campervan at Malaga airport.
Let’s camp on the beach tonight
Some may still remember those summers sleeping on the beach… long gone are the days.
Camping and sleeping on the beach is forbidden. The Guardia Civil makes frequent inspections and you will be immediately evicted and you may even be fined.
I love to go with my boat or my jet ski near the coast
Totally prohibited for the safety of bathers: In the exclusive bathing areas duly marked out, the use of sport and recreational boating and the use of any type of boat or floating devices, regardless of their propulsion, is prohibited.
I usually fish on the beach in winter, is it a problem to fish on the beach in summer?
Yes, sorry. Specifically, in the bathing areas and during the bathing season, fishing from the shore and underwater fishing is prohibited from 10 am to 9 pm, both inclusive, in order to avoid damage that hooks and lines can cause to other users.
Nothing better than walking with my dog at sunset on the beach
It won’t be possible. Neither at dawn, nor at dusk, nor at any other time. The access of domestic animals to the waters and bathing areas is prohibited, with the exception of that which is necessary for the development of activities duly authorised by the competent health authority.
Unless you go with your four-legged friend to one of the dog-friendly beaches in Malaga!
No peeing in the sea
Yes, that’s right. It’s a new ordinance that came out in the summer of 2022 and there were lot of sarcastic comments about it. After all, how will this be checked?
I take advantage of the shower on the beach to soap myself
No, if you want to use personal hygiene products, you will have to do it at home / Hotel.
You must not use the showers to play, clean kitchen utensils, wash or shower using soap, gel, shampoo or any detergent product.
I leave my rubbish on the beach, who cares?
You must not throw any kind of waste on the beach or in the sea water, such as paper, leftover food, cans, bottles, cigarette butts, etc., as well as to leave furniture, trolleys, pallets, boxes or packaging abandoned on the beach.
Unfortunately, and despite the fact that there are rubbish bins every few metres, there is still a great lack of environmental awareness and every day the beaches are littered with a large amount of rubbish and cigarette buds, which people have not been capable to take away with them. It is a pity.
Making a fire on the beach, how romantic!
Yes, very romantic, but it is no longer allowed. It is forbidden to light fires directly on the beach, sand, stones or rocks.
Also you cannot use of gas cylinders and/or flammable liquids. The only exception are the moragas of the Town Hall, which we explain in the section about Moragas (public griils on the beach).
Castles in the sand? Gone with the wind!
That’s at least true of Benidorm’s Levante beach which used to be famous for its giant sand structures. However, in 2016 the town council banned them completely in order to preserve the beach.
Here in Malaga, you can still make all the sandcastles you want.
Can I take sand home from Malaga?
Although it may seem excessive and even amusing, taking sand from beaches is illegal all over the world. In Sardinia, for example, tourists take so much sand that the beaches are seriously threatened. So there they risk fines for taking even a handful of sand.
Can I be charged to access the beach?
No, absolutely not: The Spanish Coastal Law states that all beaches are public and free of charge. No private beaches are allowed and no private tourist establishment or residential development can prevent access.
Wow, so many waves, I’m going into the water!
Go ahead, but check the flag on your beach first. You must not bathe with a red flag. Municipal by-laws provide for penalties ranging from €100 to €3,000 for bathing when the red flag is up.
The waves are dangerous and can be treacherous. Every year more than a dozen people die on Spanish beaches.
Take a look at our article on rip currents, it can save your life.
Forbidden to shade someone else with your umbrella
Perhaps some people miss those times of the microbial crisis when we had to keep a safety “perimeter” around our towel.
When the avalanches of people arrive, some do not understand “personal space” and it can happen that you have someone next to you less than a metre away, with all the discomfort that this can entail.
For the time being, nothing can be done about such insensitivity. At the moment, it is not one of the things forbidden on the beaches of Malaga.
No complaining about the heat
We have a tendency to complain about everything and for everything. In summer in Malaga it is no different. It is hot. Very hot. Day and night.
Chugging all day long “it´s so hot, it´s so hot” doesn’t really do anything to lessen the burden. But take a look at our article with refreshing ideas to beat the heat!
No splashing of elderly people
Did you think this is a joke? Well, it isn’t. At least not in the communal pool of one of our fellow employees.
I set up my umbrella first thing in the morning to reserve a spot and go for breakfast
Well, this practice has come to an end at least in some municipalities on the Costa del Sol, such as Torrox and Rincón de la Victoria.
There, the police rigorously collects the things you have left in the sand without you being present to use them.
Marquees, canopies and umbrellas on the beach – Municipality by Municipality
Several municipalities have banned the abusive use of large canopies or marquees, as well as the installation of umbrellas on the seafront to reserve space.
Nerja, Algarrobo, Rincón de la Victoria
Canopies, awnings, marquees and similar are prohibited on these beaches.
The beaches of Algarrobo allow a maximum of two umbrellas together per group of bathers (which may never exceed 15 people).
In Vélez-Málaga, to put up awnings or dismountable structures on the beaches you need prior municipal authorisation. Without authorisation you will be fined from 751 € to 1.500 €, as it is considered a very serious infraction.
You can use canopies and marquees on the beaches of Malaga city.
On the beaches of Torremolinos you can use canopies, but not large awnings.
In Benalmádena, canopies and awnings may not have side enclosures, in which case they are prohibited. The ordinance also specifies that they must never be installed next to the shore.
While canopies and awnings are forbidden on the beaches of Fuengirola, they are allowed in Mijas, as long as safety distances are guaranteed.
On the beaches of Marbella they are allowed, as long as they are awnings or canopies that are covered on a maximum of two sides and they are located in the upper part of the beach.
They must also be at least fifteen metres from the shore and never in front of sunbeds, according to the Marbella council.
And in Estepona, on the contrary, you cannot put up diaphanous and non-diaphanous marquee-type parasols at all.
Beaches in Malaga where smoking is prohibited
Every summer more and more beaches on the coast of Malaga join the “smoke-free beach” campaign. We list them below.
Beaches El Bombo, Calahonda-La Luna-Royal Beach and La Cala.
Beach Cenicero (yes, the beach is curiously called like that, it means “ashtray”)
Smoking is now banned on almost all of its beaches: Lagos, Mezquitilla, Caleta, Torre del Mar, Almayate, Valle Niza and Benajarafe.
Beaches El Faro, San Pedro de Alcántara, Playa de Venus, Playa Ferrara and Playa Morche
Playa La Rada
Did you know that…?
Did you know that cigarette butts are the world’s biggest source of litter? A cigarette butt is non-biodegradable and takes 8-12 years to decompose.
Cigarettes in the sand can cause fourth-hand pollution, which, after leaching into the soil and water, can enter the food chain and have toxic effects on animals and humans.
So, if you smoke on the beach, please don’t use the sand as a giant ashtray.
Beaches in Malaga where you can grill
Having a barbecue in the open air, by the sea with a group of friends or family is one of the typical Malaga pleasures.
Nowadays they no longer exist in all municipalities. These are boats on the sand where you can make a fire for barbecues. They are called Moragas.
For all of them it is necessary to request prior authorisation from the corresponding municipal beach delegation.
In Malaga city there are two beaches where you can make a barbecue, namely Peñon del Cuervo and the golf course. Application form.
In Velez-Malaga there are a total of 6 beaches where you can have barbecues. More information and application at this link.
In Fuengirola you can make Moragas on the Playa del Castillo beach. Application form.
Along the Marbella coastline there are more than 60 Moraga boats, of which four are accessible to people with reduced mobility. More information and application at this link.
In Estepona there are about eight Moraga boats. To request them you have to go to the Tourist Office. Contact:
Excmo. Ayuntamiento de Estepona, Plaza de las Flores s/n.
You also may find interesting
While we are on the subject of Malaga beaches, summer, prohibitions and fines, you can also check out these articles:
Apps Malaga Beaches
Some really useful apps during the long summer months in Malaga are all those that collect information about beaches, sea conditions, waves, jellyfish, and of course, a good beach bar nearby!
Discover them all here.
Typical Summer Fines
Every summer, when the heat is on in Malaga, we ask ourselves the same questions:
Can I drive in flip-flops? Shirtless? In a Bikini? Can I drink water while driving? Or enjoy a refreshing ice-cream at the wheel?
Find out what you shouldn’t do, if you rather spend your money in a Beach bar instead on a fine.
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