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Benidorm declares war on unruly British tourists  Nov 24, 2008

Beaches will be off-bounds between midnight and 7am in a bid to stop drunken couples having sex in the sand after leaving the late night bars and discos.

Daytime beachgoers will be banned from playing ball games, urinating in the sea and building sand castles, which are said to make overnight cleaning more difficult.

The raft of new measures to be brought in by the town hall also prohibit the drinking of alcohol as will fishing, and swimming when the red warning flag is flying.

The measures also prevent sunbathers from laying out towels and erecting parasols before they are ready to take their place on the sand, a practice for which German holidaymakers have earned a reputation.

The new set of by-laws governing beach use will be introduced by Benidorm's town council this week and those breaching the new regulations face fines of 120 euros (£100) for minor offences and up to 3,000 euros (£2,500) for serious misdemeanours.

The seaside town in southeastern Spain pioneered the package holiday in the 1950s to become the most popular resort on the Mediterranean. It now attracts more than five million holidaymakers each year.

During the summer months the five kilometres of sandy beaches are packed with sunbathers enjoying the "sun, sea and sangria" ethos of the high-rise resort.

By night sunburnt tourists flock to the many clubs lining the beachfront to party into the early hours often ending their evening with a tryst on the beach before passing out on the sand.

But authorities say that such behaviour is detrimental to the resort as a whole and threatens to rob Benidorm of its European Blue Flag status, which denotes the beaches as among the cleanest in Europe.

Last summer beach cleaners gathered more than five tonnes of rubbish from the sand during July and August alone.

Josefa Perez, the councillor in charge of Benidorm's beaches, said the new measures were necessary "to prevent the misuse of the beach and ensure that such a resource can continue to be enjoyed by everyone."

"With the beach so busy during the night it became very difficult to clean it properly and people were complaining," he said.

"The machines (used for cleaning the beach early each morning) came across so many obstacles that they couldn't do their job."

A local British pub manager branded the measures draconian.

”It's a bit extreme,” said Evelyn Kelly, manager of BB's Bar in Benidorm. “People do these things when they are on holiday and as long as they don't bother anyone else should be allowed to.”

”No sandcastles? And trying to stop people from peeing in the sea – how are they going to police that one?”

List of misdemeanours and the fines they carry:

• Entering beach between midnight and 7am – FINE: 750 euros

• Placing parasols and towels to reserve space – FINE: 150 euros

• Playing ball games outside designated areas – FINE: 120 euros

• Swimming when the red flag is flying – FINE: 1,000 euros

• Urinating in the sea – FINE: 150 euros

• Building sandcastles – FINE: 150 euros

• Fishing with a rod or net – FINE: 750 euros

• Fishing with a harpoon – FINE: 1,100 euros

• Drinking alcohol on the beach – FINE: 750 euros

• Sex on the beach – FINE: 750 euros

Benidorm declares war on unruly British tourists
Benidorm beach waterfront / Image via

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