The town of Almuñécar on Spain’s southern Costa Tropical is warning its citizens to end the practice of waking up at the crack of dawn to lay claim to their own spot on the sand, only to abandon their umbrellas for hours before returning, according to Ideal.
This habit has been irritating tourists as well as locals, who are referred to as sexitanos.
So in order to avoid a ‘war of the umbrellas,’ the town council has decided to start shutting abandoned umbrellas, sealing them up with yellow bands that include information about the current ban in place on such practices.
The measure does not entail a fine or penalty, but the town hall hopes it can be used to inform people about proper beach etiquette.
The town also hopes to see whether people will actually behave differently after the use of the yellow markers. If not, officials may start removing umbrellas next week.
Police are patrolling between 10am and 10:30am, as well as between 3:30pm and 4pm.
If police decide to start removing the umbrellas, the owners will have to retrieve them and pay a fee of around €30.
“We have to end this. There are locals who pay their cleaners to put up their umbrellas early and there could be thousands of umbrellas placed through the summer illegally,” said Almuñécar beach councilman Luis Aragón to Ideal.
The sexitano officials are certainly not the first to try to end the war of umbrellas. A man visiting the El Cura beach of Torrevieja along the Costa Blanca earlier this year was fined €150 for having left his umbrella behind.
And last year the Costa del Sol town of Torrox outlawed the practice of ‘reserving’ a desirable spot on the sand by laying out unattended towels and beach umbrellas.