Most people go on holiday to relax, get up late and to regenerate from the stress of working life. However, holidaymakers staying at a popular resort on the Canary Island of Gran Canaria in Spain are getting up literally at the crack of dawn, just to get a sunbed for the day.

Joanne Kennedy of Lincoln confessed to being one of the teeming hordes trying to get the best spot around the four-star resort’s pool by marking a sunbed with a towel. However, she couldn’t resist making a video of the morning rush, which will form part of a documentary to be shown on TV on Thursday, titled rather appropriately “Holidays from Hell.”

The British invade sunny Spain

Millions of British tourists visit Spain each year and coastal resorts on the mainland, the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands see a massive intake of people on the streets, the beach and in the restaurants and shops.

On top of this, there are Spanish visitors from Madrid and other inland cities. Even in the tiny seaside resort of La Cala de Mijas on the Costa del Sol where I live sees crowds suddenly take over the town each July and August, but at least here we don’t see tourists stampeding for the sunbeds, as they are available all down the beachfront.

Early morning sunbed stampede begins

The video taken by Kennedy shows a bizarre stampede by holidaymakers at 7:30 AM in the morning, just to make sure they had a sun lounger by the pool for the day at the popular Dunas Mirador resort in Maspalomas on the island of Gran Canaria.

An employee at the hotel claps, and then the race is on. All they had to do was throw a towel over one of the sunbeds to mark it as theirs, before heading off for a more relaxing breakfast.

The Mail Online reports that Kennedy was there with her two children, and while admitting she was part of that teeming horde, she says she still couldn’t believe what she was seeing.

The Irish Mirror quotes her as saying she went out and saw holidaymakers acting like “ants” or “locusts” to grab the best spot by the pool. They were seen to be elbowing one another out of the way by those desperate to get the ideal spot. According to Joanne, one man even got a broken toe for his trouble.

According to Kennedy it just takes three minutes for all the sunbeds to be tagged with towels.

Nobody lay on them, but at least they had claimed their spot for the day. Joanne said if anyone staying at the Maspalomas resort wants a poolside sun lounger, the only way to get it is to be there at the crack of dawn. She added that people had to be ready to fight for that spot, too, saying good luck to anyone ready and willing to battle that early morning sunbed stampede.

The report went on to say that Kennedy’s video footage of the stampede will be included in a new C4 documentary, titled “Holidays from Hell” on Thursday night.