What the Foreign Office says Brits should know in Spain, Greece or Portugal

As the warmth of summer rolls in, many Brits are eagerly preparing for their getaway trips. However, it’s all too easy to fall foul of local laws and traditions in these popular holiday hubs.

Who would’ve thought that in certain Spanish regions, wearing only swimwear away from the beach could lead to a fine?

Whether it’s the local rules about alcohol or what mementoes you can legally bring back, it’s essential to familiarise yourself with the laws and customs of your destination.

Drawing upon guidance from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), the MEN has compiled essential legal considerations for popular travel spots.

In Spain, sauntering back to your hotel clad solely in swimwear could land you a considerable fine, as certain local councils may penalise those donning swimwear on the seafront promenade or nearby streets.

As the FCDO warns: “In some parts of Spain it’s against the law to be in the street wearing only a bikini or swimming shorts/trunks. Being bare-chested has also been banned in some areas.”

And, if you’re planning to party in the Balearic Islands, remember that alcohol sales and availability are restricted in specific regions of Majorca and Ibiza.

For those looking to holiday in Greece, a haven for partygoers, you’ll need vigilance about rowdy or indecent behaviour, especially under the influence of alcohol.

The FCDO advises: “The police will make arrests and the courts are likely to impose heavy fines or prison sentences on people who behave indecently.”

What’s more, the office warns that fancy dress costumes could be construed as offensive and could land a similar penalty.

Tourists are advised to keep a copy of their passport or ID indicating their British nationality handy at all times.

When it comes to France, there aren’t many quirky laws to beware of, except one which could see violators fined up to €150. Tourist or not, it’s illegal to conceal your face in public areas, which includes wearing balaclavas, full veils, or any other mask.

In Portugal, you must produce a form of ID if asked by the police or judicial authorities. A photocopy of your passport usually suffices.

There are also stringent regulations concerning gambling. It is legal only in government-licensed establishments and any gambling in unauthorised places may lead to arrests, charges, fines, or imprisonment for everyone involved.

Turkey also mandates that all individuals carry a form of photographic ID at all times.

Disparaging the Turkish nation, flag, or defacing national currency can result in imprisonment, even for comments made on social media.

And when shopping for souvenirs in local markets, be cautious as it’s illegal to export certain historical items. Always confirm the legal prerequisites before purchasing or returning home with an antique or historical item.

This article was crafted with the help of AI tools, which speed up Express.co.uk’s editorial research. A content editor reviewed this content before it was published. You can report any errors to [email protected].

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