Everyone enjoys heading to the beach during the summer and spending time with family and friends, relaxing, reading and sunbathing. But many of us are unaware that taking a nap on the sand on holiday can actually lead to hefty fines in several countries around the world. 

Many popular summer destinations have banned holidaymakers from sleeping or camping overnight on the beach. 

Anyone who is planning a beach holiday this summer will be excited to spend time relaxing and soaking up the sun. But it’s extremely important to know the laws when it comes to dozing off.

There are many countries around the world which impose bans on travellers wanting to sleep on the beach - some Spanish beaches ban anyone sleeping between the hours of midnight and 7am, else risk a fine of up to €1,200 (£1,027).


sleep on beach


And in Malta and Italy, travellers must obtain a valid permit from the local authorities in order to be allowed to sleep overnight on the beautiful beaches.

Even if you’re planning a staycation this year, wild camping is illegal in England and Wales and councils such as Bournemouth have imposed a fine of £1,000 for anyone caught sleeping on the beach overnight.

Tourists wanting to spend the night on the beautiful beaches of Croatia risk being handed a €300 (£256) fine. 

And wild camping in Portugal along the protected coastline and on the beachfront is also illegal, with fines ranging  from €120 - €600 (£102 - £513).


nap on beach


Here’s where it’s illegal to sleep on the beach:

• Spain

New beach rules in the Benidorm area of Spain now bans anyone from sleeping on the beach between the hours of midnight and 7am. Anyone caught doing so could receive a fine of €750 - €1,200 (£645 - £1,027).

• Bournemouth 

Across England and Wales wild camping is illegal, and Bournemouth council have made it explicitly illegal to sleep on the beach overnight. There is a 24-hour patrol and anyone caught could be subject to a fine of £1,000.

• Portugal

Sleeping overnight and wild camping is illegal along the protected areas of the Coastal Development Plan in Portugal. This includes in front of the beach, natural protected areas, and nature reserves and parks. Fines for doing so range from €120 - €600 (£102 - £513).

• Croatia

Some coastal towns across Croatia (including Dubrovnik and Split) do not allow tourists and members of the public to sleep in public spaces. In Split fines of up to €300 (£256) can be handed out on the spot for anyone caught falling asleep in public areas, such as along the seafront. 

• Australia

Although the rules on beach camping vary from state to state, Queensland has recently banned campervans and backpackers from pitching up between 10pm and 4am. Anyone caught doing so could receive a fine of up to $309 (£162). It is also reported that there are no authorised camping sites directly on the beaches. 

• Malta

Wild camping and sleeping on the beach is illegal along the coastline in Malta, unless visitors obtain a permit from the authorities. Anyone wanting to spontaneously sleep along the beach could risk breaking the law. 

• Italy 

It is illegal to camp in the wild and on beaches across Italy unless you have been given permission and have obtained a valid permit from local authorities. Although laws differ depending on each Italian region, visitors should avoid sleeping overnight on the beach. 



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