Travellers often flock to beautiful sandy beaches to relax, soak up the sun, and take in the tranquil views of the water. But no matter which coastline you’re visiting, it’s essential to be aware of local regulations to ensure a smooth experience. Here are ten surprising beach rules, compiled by the International Drivers Association, from various parts of the world that might astonish you.
Maya Bay, Thailand
Renowned for its starring role in the movie “The Beach,” Maya Bay on Phi Phi Leh Island in Thailand has faced serious environmental challenges due to overtourism. The beach was closed for a period to allow the damaged ecosystem to recover. Although it’s been reopened, the authorities have established strict rules, including visitor caps, time restrictions, and no beach access directly from boats.
Hawaiian Beaches, USA
Ever thought of taking home a bit of the famous white, black, or green sand from Hawaii as a keepsake? Think again. The removal of sand, rocks, or any other natural material from the beach is against the law in this Pacific paradise.
Spain’s beach culture is famously relaxed, but don’t let that fool you. Barcelona banned public nudity and semi-nudity in 2011. Visitors should be aware that wandering the city in swimwear is also a no-no, or they risk facing a hefty fine.
Sardinia’s Pink Sand Beach, Italy
Budelli Island in Sardinia is home to the unique Spiaggia Rosa or “Pink Beach.” Due to past incidents of sand theft, the beach is now off-limits to tourists. Although you’re allowed to admire the natural wonder from a boat, setting foot on the beach is forbidden.
Cornwall, United Kingdom
Here’s a strange one: on certain beaches in Cornwall, such as St. Ives, you’re not allowed to build sandcastles. This rule is part of the area’s effort to combat beach erosion, which can be exacerbated by such activities.
Goa’s Bikini Beach, India
Baga and Calangute beaches in Goa, India, have a strict “no photo” rule. The rule was implemented to respect beach-goer’s privacy and to ensure that images aren’t misused, thus creating a safe and respectful environment for everyone.
Bondi Beach, Australia
Fancy a cold beer on Australia’s most famous beach? Unfortunately, Bondi Beach has a strict no-alcohol policy. So, remember to leave your beers and wine bottles at your accommodation before hitting the sands.
Various Japanese Beaches
In Japan, some beaches may require individuals with tattoos to cover them or may prohibit them altogether. This regulation stems from the country’s historical association of tattoos with criminal activity.
Various Florida Beaches, USA
On certain Florida beaches, digging holes deeper than two feet is not allowed. This rule is in place to prevent accidents involving collapsing holes that could trap people.