Up To €3,000 Fine For Using Umbrellas To Reserve Spaces On Spanish Beaches

Image of beach umbrellas in Spain.

Image of beach umbrellas in Spain. Credit: Klingsup / Shutterstock.com

MORE and more beaches in Spain have started implementing fines for beachgoers who attempt to reserve a space by placing an umbrella or sun lounger.

It is especially common on the Mediterranean and Andalucian coasts according to a report by 20minutos this Thursday, July 27.

As a result, several municipalities in Malaga province have decided to fine anyone who carries out the practice, starting this summer.

In the towns of Torrox and Vélez-Málaga, fines can reach €300. In addition, each person whose sun lounger or umbrella is seized by the police in these areas will have to pay €50 to recover them.

Although the use of Spanish beaches is regulated by Coastal Law 22/88, each municipality can regulate and establish its own rules on this public space.  Whether a sunbather can reserve a space on the beach or not will depend on the existing regulations in each location.

The same applies to several Valencian municipalities

Malaga is not the only region of Spain to enforce this regulation at its beaches. In Valencia, this practice is also prohibited on the beaches of the capital, as well as in the municipalities of Gandía, Benidorm, and Cullera. Fines can range from €750 to €3,000.

Municipal sources in the popular Costa Blanca resort of Benidorm explained to 20minutos.es that sanctions for this type of practice are not very common, in fact, no fine has yet been issued for such incidents yet this year.

‘We appeal to responsibility, common sense and coexistence. The sanctions are applied only when the behaviour is repeated, we do not usually carry them out’, Benidorm City Council detailed.

Beachgoers are not violating any regulations said the police

In addition, they ensured that those who go to the beaches early in the day did not violate any regulations: ‘Most are people who stay, they cannot be removed. They usually place the umbrella and go for a walk, but they are not doing anything that is forbidden’.

Although policing these practices is clearly difficult, similar regulations extend to a large number of other locations in Spain.

In Alicante, it is prohibited in the towns of  Calpe, Altea, Torrevieja and Denia. In Castellón, the same applies in the municipalities of Oropesa del Mar and Peñíscola. Likewise, in the region of Murcia, it is forbidden to do so on the beaches of San Javier.

Several town halls in Andalucia applied this regulation

Andalucia is another community where several town halls have also put a stop to people placing umbrellas on the beach and then disappearing.

Apart from the aforementioned municipalities of Malaga, it is not allowed to do so in the town of Algarrobo, which already prohibited it since 2015, along with Nerja, which implemented this rule back in 2020.

In Cádiz, it is forbidden to do so on the coast of Tarifa, while in Granada it is also regulated by the Almuñecar, Torrenueva Costa, and Motril town halls. The same rule is in force on the beaches of Níjar and Adra in Almeria province.

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at editorial@euroweeklynews.com