Spain is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Europe. With its warm Mediterranean climate, it’s a place where a lot of people like to travel to relax with family or soak up some sun in a more secluded villa, lazing in a pool.
But it’s important to be aware of Spain’s rules around the use of inflatables in a pool. If you were planning on taking a trip to Europe and spending time snoozing on a lilo, you may need to reconsider your plan.
The majority of hotels in Spain ban inflatables in their pools. While it’s not a fixed law, most hotels follow this rule to avoid safety concerns and to make sure other guests aren’t inconvenienced. If you’re in a private pool without other guests, you should be fine to use inflatables.
It’s not always the case though, so let’s take a look at the reasons why inflatables are mainly banned, and what your other options are.
Are lilos illegal in Spain?
There is no national law that says that lilos and other inflatables are illegal in Spain, although some regional laws and community statutes do outlaw them across a whole region. Most pools ban them regardless of whether they are formally illegal.
If you really want to use lilos or any other inflatable in a pool, it is best to do it in a private pool. Hire a villa with your own pool and you can do whatever you want in the pool, within reason.
As pool rules are not the same everywhere, you should always check the rules that your hotel has set up. Normally they’re advertised on a board near the pool, and often in both Spanish and English due to the high volume of tourists that go to Spain from the UK.
It’s the same with community pools as well. In most communities, the residents come up with rules for their pools, and normally they choose to ban inflatables to make sure that the pools are safe and that everyone can enjoy them equally.
Why are inflatables not allowed in pools in Spain?
There are two main reasons why inflatables are generally banned in Spanish pools – safety and the convenience of others. Inflatables aren’t always safe, especially in crowded pools with limited lifeguards, and they can frustrate other pool users too.
The safety issue is the biggest one though. Pools in Spain are usually busy, and lifeguards can’t always monitor the entire pool easily. Inflatables aren’t just a drowning hazard, but they can also hide someone who is in trouble – a child underneath a large lilo might never be able to signal for help.
Remove the inflatables, and at least the lifeguards on duty have a chance to keep an eye on everybody at all times.
Plus, inflatables just take up a lot of space – much more than just one person would take up on their own.
This can be frustrating in a shared pool, and guests in a hotel could even give bad reviews as a result. Therefore, hotels ensure that everyone has equal access to the pool by prohibiting inflatables.
It’s not just a rule that you can bend either. If you use an inflatable once you’ll be told to remove it, but consider that your final warning.
If you continue to use an inflatable, it’s common for the lifeguard to kick you out of the pool area with a 24-hour ban.
And if you come back the next day with an inflatable, that ban will quickly become a lifetime one. So don’t risk it!
How safe is it to use lilos at sea?
It’s not illegal to use lilos in the sea in Spain but it is a lot more dangerous. Some beaches will ban inflatable use depending on the weather conditions, specifically the wind. Always stay within sight of lifeguards and don’t take them too far out to sea.
You’re not going to annoy others in the sea if you start using inflatables – there is a lot more space than in a pool, after all. But the tides make it a lot more dangerous, especially as the sea quickly gets deeper than a pool would be.
You can use a lilo at sea but you must be extremely careful to not get caught in a rip tide, and to always follow the guidance of the lifeguards if they tell you to leave the sea.
Frequently Asked Questions
Most hotels don’t allow inflatables in pools because of the safety risks involved, and the nuisance that they cause to other pool users. Some hotels are bound by regional laws and could be fined if people were caught using inflatables in the pool.
There is no national law that prohibits inflatables in community pools, but there are some regional laws. Most community pools are instead managed by the local residents and they set the laws to ban inflatables in the pool.
There are some pools in Spain where you can use inflatables. Generally, private pools are fine, while some hotels may permit inflatable use where they have a large pool and plenty of lifeguards to keep everybody safe.
Spanish hotels are pretty tough on inflatables being used in their pool. A lot of people online have talked about their experiences of being told to leave the pool when they persisted in using them.
The best thing to do is leave the inflatables at home, enjoy the pool with a swim, and then grab a sun lounger by the side of the pool when you want to relax. Or stay in a villa with a private pool and you can use inflatables as much as you want.