How NOT to be a Brit Behaving Badly on a Tenerife Beach


by Bradley Chermside

Just like “The Code” from the film Pirates of the Caribbean, these are more guidelines than rules on how NOT to be a Brit behaving badly at the beach.

DO Leave Only Footprints
Cigarette butts are the world’s largest source of rubbish according to a 2019 study that concluded there are more than 4.5 trillion of them littering the environment. Discarded in the sand, they take between 8-12 years to biodegrade, leak carcinogens into the ocean and even more alarmingly, into our food chain.

DON'T Ignore Red Flags
Thinking of impressing people by hurdling the breakers in a Mankini? Think again! In the last three years, 192 people have tragically died on the Canary Islands’ 1500km of coastline.

DO Cover Up
Riding shotgun underneath the hot sun,” blaring out your car with your flip-flops on and shirt off might sound idyllic, but the Guardia Civil won’t agree. For the loud music, they can fine you €100, and for driving shirtless and shoeless, €80-€200, for not having “proper freedom of movement.” Best lace up and button up or you’ll have to cough up.

DON'T Feed the Seagulls
The RSPCA warns this makes them aggressive, results in more mess and encourages them to forage snacks like bread instead of their natural diet. Moreover, this unhealthy food can cause Slipped Wing disease, resulting in premature death. Don’t kill two birds with one stone by feeding them your leftover bread.

DO Double Check…
You’re on a nudist beach before adorning your birthday suit. On most Tenerife playas, the only wrinkled potatoes allowed on show are the papas arrugadas in the promenade restaurants.

DON'T Stare
Is that belly-button an innie or outie? Look at those toenails! Try not to stare, but if you can’t help yourself, put on some very dark shades.

DO Get a Room
While Vitamin D can turbo your libido, that’s no excuse for a PDA. Remember, summer-time on the beach is a family show. The kids are there for the sun and the breeze not to ask questions about the birds and the bees.

DON'T Take Valuables
Though the crime rate in Tenerife is below Spain’s national average, theft has been rising since 2017. Don’t bury your head in the sand to these facts - let your hair down but keep your guard up and an eye on your belongings.