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Up to €3000: Tourists can be fined for taking sand from beach on European island

Up to €3000: Tourists can be fined for taking sand from beach on European island Photo: Beach in Sardinia (

The picturesque island of Sardinia in Italy is a popular destination for European tourists. However, there's strict punishment for vacationers who try to take a handful of sand as a souvenir.

This year, several tourists have already been caught attempting to take stones and archaeological remains from the island, according to

On Sardinia, it's prohibited to take sand or stones from the beaches as souvenirs. Despite fines, tourists have been "stealing" natural treasures from this island for many years.

This year, tourists have been detained with sand, stones, archaeological remains, stalagmites, and shells. A German family attempted to take kilograms of stones from the seabed.

The pristine beaches of Sardinia attract tourists from around the world. However, they need to know that removing or selling sand, pebbles, or turtles from the coast or sea is punishable by a fine of up to 3000 euros.

Imprisonment is also possible. Last year, a Frenchman was arrested when the police found 41 kg of pebbles from the Lampianu beach in the trunk of his car.

The removal of sand and pebbles from beaches can have serious ecological consequences.

"Only a fraction of the tourists visiting Sardinia spend their time digging up to 40kg of sand each. But if you multiply half that amount times 5 per cent of the one million tourists per year, in a few years that would contribute significantly to the reduction of beaches," explained ecologist Pierluigi Cocco.

In 2021, activists estimated that by mid-August, at least 6 tons of sand had been taken from the island's beaches. According to them, most people have no malicious intent, but they take sand and stones as souvenirs or to decorate their home aquariums.

Earlier, we reported that tourists planning to vacation by the sea in Greece this summer will be surprised by new rules. Setting up loungers was planned to be prohibited on most beaches.

We also reported that the Spanish island of Majorca is introducing stricter punishments for tourists' bad behavior. In 2024, rule violators will be fined 3000 euros.