Spain’s Malaga declares war on unattended beach umbrellas

UMBRELLA summer beach war comes to Malaga, with several beaches in the province taking action to those beachgoers who keep hogging the sand.

Authorities around Spain have been fining people who use parasols to reserve spots on busy strands for years and each year more and more coastal municipalities in Malaga are joining in the ‘War of the Beach Umbrellas.’

The first Malaga municipality to take action against beach-hoggers was Algarrobo. Since 2015 the Algarrobo local council has applied a Municipal ordinance, Article 14 of the ‘Municipal ordinance for the use and enjoyment of the beaches of the municipality of Algarrobo’ which states: “It is forbidden to leave umbrellas, parasols, tents, shade sails and other equipment without the presence of its owner, in order to reserve the physical space of the beach”. And those sunseekers who disobey face stinging fines of up to €3000.

Although Algarrobo was the pioneer in implementing this measure in the province, it is not the only municipality in Malaga that complies with this rule with Torrox and Velez Malaga also handing out hefty fines for those uncivic sunbathers who have been caught reserving the prime four metre slots on the sand with towels and loungers then “disappearing for hours” – some even taking a siesta.

The local police of these Malaga beach towns which have declared war on unattended beach umbrellas coordinate and watch over compliance with this rule and proceed to collect beach items that reserve the space or take photos of the ‘abandoned’ parasol and return later to dish out the corresponding fine.

Leaving an umbrella in place is considered a minor offence, punishable by a fine of up to €300 euros, but higher fines are sometimes slapped out.


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