Are you beaching it in Malta? Then make sure you know the laws that go with it!
Topless – I’m definitely a #freethenipple advocate, so I understand that this rule is super sexist. Men can run around showing their tits to everyone – be they rock-hard, flabby or flat – but a woman can’t even get a proper tan because, apparently, our chests are sinful. I hope this will change one day, and that we’ll be allowed to be equal citizens, but until then, it’s not legal for a woman to be topless on a Maltese beach.
Skinny Dipping – Being naked in public is a crime in most countries, including Malta – and that law extends to swimming naked, too. This applies to both men and women, I’m afraid. There is, however, a small inlet in Ġnejna Bay that is renowned for being a nudist beach, but it’s still illegal.
Leaving the beach – It’s actually very frowned upon for men to run shirtless in public when not at the beach, and it’s the same thing for women who walk around in jeans and a bikini top or a full bikini. This means you can’t get on a bus or walk down the Sliema front wearing your swimwear. Oh, and by frowned upon, I mean it’s illegal.
Barbeques – Remember that you need a permit to do a barbeque at some beaches, including Delimara, Kalanka, Baħar iċ-Ċagħaq, Xemxija and St Paul’s Bay. Different beaches have different rules and different tariffs, so it’s best to contact the local council responsible for that particular beach to enquire beforehand. Don’t just wing it – getting caught without a permit can lead to a hefty fine.
Harassment – Please leave beachgoers alone. Women in bikinis are not there for your entertainment, and men with abs don’t need you gawping at them. It may not be illegal to stare, but it’s not nice to do it anyway.
Littering – Obviously, you can’t dump your rubbish on the beach. You can’t leave hot coals on the beach. You can’t leave glass bottles or metal cans on the beach. If you get caught, you’ll be fined. But seriously, do you need a fine to remind you that you have to be stupid to litter a beach where children play? Not to mention the environmental harm, of course!
So, there you have it. Your guide to enjoying the beach responsibly.
Any other rules you can think of?
Let us know in the comments section below!