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Have a safe summer at the beach

Written by Christine

Summer‘s here and the time is right for heading to the beach. Barcelona boasts many kilometers of beautiful coastline, and if you’re up for an adventure you can head outside of the city to explore the Catalan seaside. Before you hit the sand though, here are a few tips to make sure that you have a happy, healthy, and safe beach season!

Protect yourself from the rays

Photo credit: twicepix via Visual Hunt / CC BY-SA

Photo credit: twicepix via Visual Hunt / CC BY-SA

Spain is a country that is lucky enough to be blessed with bountiful sunshine and beautiful weather, two key ingredients to a great day at the beach. However, the sun gets pretty strong in the peak hours of the afternoon so it’s best to avoid the beach from the hours of 2-5 PM if possible. If you are at the beach during this time, make sure you have an umbrella that you can sit under for shade periodically to give your skin a break from the sun.  You should also lather up with a sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher every two hours, or more if you have been swimming in the sea or sweating it off in an intense game of beach volleyball. If you’re going to be out in the sun for extended periods of time you might also want to consider wearing a hat and sunglasses for a bit more extra sun protection from the harmful UV rays. When in the sun, moderation is key!

Related article: Barcelona Beaches and Beach Lingo

Get enough water

Water makes up a big percentage of the human body so it’s important that you keep hydrated to maintain a healthy balance of water. Before you head off to the beach make sure that you pack plenty of water to sip on throughout the day, since you lose a lot of water through sweat and sun exposure. You should also pack some snacks that have a high percentage of water like watermelon, grapes, celery, and other fruits and vegetables. Try to stay away from soft drinks that high amounts of sugar and sodium, since they don’t really hydrate you the same way that water does. you should sip water throughout the day whether you feel thirsty or not to make sure that you’re not at risk for dehydration or heat stroke.

Become familiar with the flags

Photo credit: via Visual Hunt / CC BY

Photo credit: via Visual Hunt / CC BY

All swimmers should be acquainted with the flag system at Barcelona’s beaches to know the swimming conditions for the day. When you go to any of the beaches in Barcelona you will see a flag that represents the weather and water conditions and it’s important that all beach-goers pay close attention. A green flag means that conditions are good and that it’s safe to swim. If you see a yellow flag it means that you can swim but you should be cautious, perhaps there is a current or strong winds. A red flag means that no swimming is allowed at that time. All of the beaches are patrolled by Red Cross-certified lifeguards during the summer but it’s very important that you know the bathing conditions and that you don’t push your swimming abilities, especially on days with big waves or strong currents.

Don’t bring anything you’re not afraid to lose

If you’re going to the beach with family or friends you can have them watch your things if you want to go for a swim or take a stroll on the beach. However if you’re going solo or with a partner and you both want to go out together, you could ask someone nearby to keep an eye on your things. To be safe don’t bring anything expensive or valuable in case someone with sticky fingers happens to see your things laying on the beach. Bring only the bare essentials, such as a bit of money, a Metro card, and anything else absolutely necessary. If you leave your things unguarded, cover them with a towel or blanket and make sure they’re hidden as far out of sight as possible. Most of all, use common sense. With these tips you’re ready for fun in the sun!

About the author


Christine is a traveler, teacher, writer, and beach-lover, exploring Barcelona one tapa at a time!

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