A town popular with Brits is the latest in Spain to start handing out hefty fines to tourists who “reserve” prime beach spots using towels or sun shades and then leave.
Locals in Torrox are infuriated by tourists going to the beach at first light, plonking down umbrellas, chairs, and towels on the seashore, and going straight back to their hotels.
One told local media that the practice is so widespread, it is impossible for locals to “get up later than eight in the morning because otherwise, they won’t have a spot”.
Torrox is now the third town in Malaga province that will slap sand hoggers with fines from EUR 50 to EUR 300 for reserving prime beach space.
The local police say that if they find unattended belongings on the beach, they will wait for one hour and, if no one returns within that time, the items will be seized.
If the confiscated items are not claimed within the next 10 days – the police say – they will be destroyed. If they are claimed, the tourists must pay the fine to get them back.
Torrox municipality lists among its prohibitions “the reservation of physical space on the beaches, at any time of the day or night, by placing any type of object or items (chairs, umbrellas, tables, tents, etc.) on the sand without the physical presence of the owner”.
The other towns in Malaga province with similar bans in place are Velez and Algarrobo, while the authorities in Gandia, Torrevieja, Cullera, and Oropesa del Mar in Valencia province also dish out financial penalties to offenders.