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Home > Mallorca Lifestyle > Sun, Sea, Sand and Sangria – It must be Summer!
WHITE-SANDY-BEACHES

Sun, Sea, Sand and Sangria – It must be Summer!

CALA-PI-SECRET-COVES

After a very, very hot end of May, and a scorching June, we have finally, technically, reached el verano /ell beh-RAH-noh/. Just as most residents and visitors do at this time of year, we hit the beaches, and wow are we spoilt for choice. Our 554km coastline boasts anything from tiny coves, long white sandy beaches, rocky alcoves and crystal clear waters in the most paradisiacal of settings.

The beach is a way of life here, anywhere that has such a strong beach culture is also going to have a strict code of conduct. Take a look at the Brits and tea – woe betide anyone adding the milk when the teabag’s still in – sacrilege, hand in your passport immediately!! Mallorca is very similar, and it definitely has its specific set of beach rules. If you want to fit in and ‘beach’ like a local, then you must follow Mallorca’s fairly strict code of beach etiquette.

Do’s

  • Take a picnic

You’ll find dozens of Spanish families rocking up to the beach equipped to the nines with tables and chairs, full three-course meal, and of course the drinks; reusable champagne flutes, copas de vino /COH-pas de VEE-no/, a selection of cervezas /ther-VAY-thass/.

Just families enjoying a lovely Sunday afternoon together with lunch and beach. Don’t forget to take any rubbish with you, bins can be located at beach exits, you can even recycle, so make sure you jugar tu papel /hu-GARR too pah-PEL/ or play your role in the recycling game. I love this little recycling play on words in Spanish with papel meaning both ‘role and paper’

copa de vino – glass of wine/wine glass

cerveza – beer

  • Sunbathe topless/naked

There is absolutely no problem with topless sunbathing here in the Mediterranean, you can even sunbathe and swim completely naked on any beach in Spain without fear of reproach. Generations of women have enjoyed this relatively simple freedom for decades and it doesn’t seem to be running out of steam. Please remember to wear a suitably high factor sun cream, though, and be aware of any illicit filming, it definitely happens.

There are also a fair few nudist beaches to choose from. El Mago, which could be translated as ‘The Magician’ but I like ‘The Wizard’, is probably the most famous nudist beach on the island. And isn’t its name just fantastic too?! Insert sleeve joke, here. Haha. Es Trenc is also popular with nudists as is Cala Varques and Cala Mesquida. These final three tend to have a mix of both clothed and unclothed bathers while El Mago is almost exclusively nudist so be prepared to drop-trow.

  • Collect any plastic you see

If you’ve gone for a swim or a cool down and see any floating debris in the water (and it’s safe to collect), pick it up. Around our coastal waters you can find a lot of rubbish and plastic. Whenever possible, take a bag and collect anything that shouldn’t really be there. Fortunately, every year I see more and more people doing their bit to keep the Mediterranean free of plastic. Remember we all need to jugar nuestro papel.

  • Be aware of chorizo

This might not be what you think. You’re probably picturing the delicious paprika-flavoured cured sausage, but as a verb, chorizar /chor-ree-THARR/ means to rob or to steal and chorizo /chor-REE-tho/, the noun can refer to a thief or to stealing in general.

There are two types of chorizos on the beaches of Mallorca; small-time, opportune thieves who will jump straight into your bags while you go for a dip in the sea, also known as seagulls /gabbi-OH-tahs/, and petty pickpockets. At your own peril do you leave your belongings unattended. These surprisingly brazen birds will be into your picnic before you know it, and the pickpockets won’t be far behind.

chorizar – to steal

chorizo thief/robbery

gaviota – seagull

Don’ts

  • Wear beachwear off the beach

If you are visiting our fair isle or fair city, please be aware that not everyone is on holiday and people are still working and carrying on with their daily lives. Basically, we don’t want to see your nipples, belly or bikini if you’re not on the beach!! Seriously, please dress appropriately when visiting the city, museums, bars and restaurants. Fines could be handed out for those breaching the rules, plus it’s just a bit of respect for the locals. As the Scots would say ‘Taps Oan’, this time.

  • Film people/Use drones to film people

This might seem like a given, but I have seen people filming others on mobile phones, I’ve seen drones flying overhead, and I’ve seen some blatant perving. Just don’t film people. It is a massive invasion of privacy in a place where you should be free to sunbathe in the manner you prefer, which as mentioned before, is in no way illegal.

  • Take your dog

Although some beaches do allow our canine friends, the majority do not. Also, allowing your perro /peh-rroh/ to urinate on the sand is pretty gross for those looking to cop a squat on the generally clean, dry sand. Definitely check beforehand, although it will be clearly signposted. The most famous dog beach is Es Carnatge, which is by Playa de Palma, but other main beaches tend to allow dogs in the low season from 1st November til 31st March.1

  • Use soap or shampoo in the showers

This might seem like a strange one, but it is absolutely not permitted to wash yourself with soap in the beachside showers in most communities in Spain. You could incur a hefty fine of up to 750€ as well as endangering delicate ecosystems.

  • Take an unnecessary risks

Life is a fragile thing, and so so precious. Please, no unnecessarily dangerous tricks, jumps, dives, and absolutely no ‘balconing’. For those unaware, this is a strange phenomenon which plagues the island every year, intoxicated revellers climb over balconies in high rise hotels and lose their footing. Unfortunately, this season we have already seen deaths from both balconing and cliff diving. Just. Be. Careful.

balcón /bal-CON/ – balcony

LIVING LA LANGUAGE LOCA wouldn’t be the same without some essential summer vocabulary/phrases  toalla /toh-WHY-ya/ towel

playa /ply-ya/ beach

sombrilla /som-BREE-ya/ parasol

tumbona /tum-BOH-na/ sun lounger

socorrista /soh-cor-REEST-a/ lifeguard

¡socorro! /soh-CORR-oh/ HELP!!

orilla /oh-REE-ya/ shore

olas /oh-lass/ waves

crema solar /CRAY-ma soh-LAR/

mar /marr/ sea

medusa /meh-DU-sa/ jellyfish

tiburón /tib-boo-RONN/ shark

dos cañas, por favor /dhos can-YAS, por fah-bor/ two beers, please

con hielo /con YELL-oh/ with ice

BEACH-SUNSET

Hopefully these words will come in handy. I joke about the sharks, no need to worry about dangerous sharks here. I had the pleasure of seeing a tintorera /tin-torr-AIR-rah/ or blue shark at the El Toro marine reserve a few years back. These slender fish can be found all around the Balearic Islands, especially around Cabrera. As long as you don’t pester them, they will do you no harm. The medusas on the other hand, presumably named after the snake-haired Gorgon and so fittingly named, are a nuisance and can really spoil a day at the beach. Be very careful because they are everywhere; purple, white, brown (very technical, I know), and Portuguese Man O’War. If you do get stung, apply saltwater and report to the nearest medical facility, if necessary. 112 is the emergency services number in Spain.

¡Buen verano a todos! And a happy summer to all!!

By Alex Stocker 

alexstocker45@gmail.com