This Spanish city will fine you €750 for peeing in the sea

Local authorities have described the act as ‘an infringement of hygiene and sanitary regulations’

Liv Kelly
Written by
Liv Kelly
Contributing Writer
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Photograph: Shutterstock

There are two kinds of people in the world: people who pee in the sea, and people who fib. We’ve all done it – it’s much easier than traipsing all the way up to the nearest public loo anyway, particularly when you’re already covered in sand. 

However, committing the act in one popular Spanish destination could soon incur an eye-watering fine. That’s because Marbella is cracking down on bathers relieving themselves on the shore to preserve the sea’s cleanliness. 

Across 25 different beaches in the Malaga municipality, you could soon be charged a whopping €750 (£634) if you’re caught going for a wazz in the water. While the fine has been approved by Marbella’s city council, it won’t become law until it passes public consultation.

Under the new rules, public urination has been dubbed ‘an infringement of hygiene and sanitary regulations’. It’s not clear how lifeguards will identify culprits of what the proposal describes as ‘physiological evacuation’ – but if you don’t want to risk a fine, you’re better off holding it in.

Previously, fines for similar acts were around €300 (£254), so this is a hefty increase. And it’s not the only fine beachgoers could be facing this summer – the Costa del Sol has also introduced restrictions around dogs entering the sea, playing with a ball in the water and setting up a parasol without permission. 

It’s just one part of the huge effort being made by Spain to limit the potential damage of high tourist numbers – it’s set to become the most visited country in the world, after all – and a similar fine is already in place in Vigo, Galicia. 

We’ll keep you posted with the latest updates on this story, but right now it looks like peeing in the sea will likely be no more in Marbs. If you’re a champion of coastal cleanliness, check out which popular summer destination has the most hygienic seawater

More on tourism restrictions in Spain

From tighter rules on appropriate clothing and increases in tourist taxes to new restrictions on holiday lets in Barcelona and Madrid, Spain is taking action on controlling overtourism. Keep an eye on our Travel news page for all the latest information. 

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