Battle for the best beach spots in Benidorm

by Lorraine Williamson
fight for position on beaches

BENIDORM – Placing and leaving beach umbrellas and chairs in the front row near the water has become a major issue in the popular tourist city of Benidorm during the summer months. Furthermore, many beachgoers have voiced their complaints, prompting the city council and police to take action. 

As early as 7.00 am, only a few early birds can be found on the beach, taking a dip, going for a walk, or exercising. But within minutes, the scene can change. Beachgoers arrive with their chairs, umbrellas, mats, and towels, make their way to the front row, as close to the water as possible, and leave their belongings there. They then disappear, ensuring themselves a prime spot when they return from breakfast or later in the day. 

Controversy, frustration, and problems arise 

This practice is a daily occurrence in Benidorm and has caused ongoing controversy, frustration, and conflicts between early risers and those who arrive later at the beach. Instead of finding a solution, this behaviour seems to be spreading further across the city’s main beaches. 

Reserving a spot is a topic of debate but not prohibited 

While it is not explicitly forbidden to choose a preferred spot on the beach, the act of “reserving” a spot early in the morning and leaving it unoccupied for hours is a subject of debate. It has become one of the most contentious issues among residents and tourists who visit Benidorm as their holiday destination. 

Rows of umbrellas and empty beach chairs 

If you observe the Levante beach early in the morning from the promenade, you will already see rows of umbrellas and empty beach chairs, strategically positioned close to the sea. This phenomenon is particularly noticeable in Rincón de Loix, Torrejó, and certain sections of Levante Beach. Recently, it has even extended to the western parts, such as near Elche Park. Furthermore, almost no corner of Benidorm’s beaches, and even neighbouring municipalities like Finestrat, is immune to this practice. 

Also read: Sick during your holiday in Benidorm? 

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Securing a front-row spot is a challenge 

Most beachgoers believe that arriving at the beach in Benidorm during the mid-morning or early afternoon in July or August makes it nearly impossible to secure a spot in the front row. However, what frustrates many is the inability to occupy those prime seats due to them already being occupied by belongings that won’t be used until much later in the day. 

Some long-time practitioners of this behaviour argue that if they wake up early to secure their spot, others should do the same. They contend that what they are doing is not explicitly prohibited. 

Beach regulations and enforcement 

According to the Beach Ordinance of Benidorm, leaving belongings unattended in public spaces is prohibited. Moreover, the Local Police have the authority to intervene based on this regulation. They can remove unattended items, but only if they have been left unused on the beach for an extended period. Furthermore, the items are then taken to the lost property office. 

However, conflicts often arise when the owners of the abandoned items return. Some beachgoers have taken matters into their own hands by relocating the “ownerless” chairs to areas further back on the beach. 

Respect and awareness 

Mónica Gómez, the councillor responsible for beaches, expressed concern in the newspaper Informacion about the escalating problem. She emphasised that the municipality is committed to finding a balance on the beaches and preventing such issues. Gómez stressed that it is essential for all users of Benidorm’s beaches to demonstrate awareness and respect. 

Also read: Benidorm faces a ‘stag and hen tsunami’ in 2024 worth 40 million euros 

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