Why we love Estepona
Occupying a coastal position on the west of the Costa del Sol, Estepona is renowned for its wonderful 20km stretch of flat sandy beaches. Sadly many of Estepona’s historical records were lost during the Spanish civil war, so we can only surmise about certain aspects of its history from the remaining 7 watchtowers – some Moorish and some Christian – dotted along the beaches. However, if you head to bullring there are 4 small museums (entry is fee) with exhibitions as diverse as the Palaeolithic era, farming and fishing, fossils and bullfighting memorabilia.
Another important landmark is the San Luis Castle, although not much is left to see, it dates back to around 1457, which Enrique IV protected the coast with a series of towers to protect it from the Moors
What’s it like?
Similar to its more famous neighbour Marbella, Estepona has delightful cobbled streets lined with small shops and lively restaurants. It has a wonderful paseo spanning the entire length of the town, lined with plazas, play areas, cafes, bars and shops, and it’s only 5 minutes’ walk from the centre. Located to the west is the port, which is popular amongst locals and expats alike for its marina and selection of bars, restaurants and clubs. You’ll also find the Sunday market at this end of town.
Southern Spain is renowned for its warm friendly people and their love of fiestas, and Estepona is no different. There are 3 main festivals throughout the year; San Isidiro, Estepona feria and the Virgen del Carmen which is celebrated by sending a statue of the Virgin Mary to sea in a fishing boat.
Eating and drinking
You’ll be spoilt for choice for eateries in Estepona, many of which are located very close to the beach, colourful plazas adjacent to Calle Real in the town centre or the port. The variety is outstanding, everything from traditional Spanish to international cuisine, and of course the ubiquitous fast food chains.
When night falls most of the action takes place away from the main high street in the numerous small bars in the town centre and the port which is frequented by a younger clientele. There is also a smattering of bars and international restaurants and sea food places, popular with tourists of all ages, dotted along the beachfront. There is also a good selection of bars and a lively atmosphere in the main square of the old town, ‘Plaza de los Flores’ which gets very busy in the summer.
Estepona offers the typical Spanish town feel when it comes to shopping, with a plethora of small boutiques, fresh produce and a few of the better known clothes chains. There is also an extremely popular market selling everything from clothes to fresh vegetables every Wednesday, and a fish market in the port open for just one hour between 6am and 7am. The nearest department store is El Corte Ingles at Banus and just a few minutes further towards Marbella on the A7 you can shop till you drop at La Cañada indoor shopping mall.
Sports and outdoor activities
There’s quite literally something for everyone, with plenty of opportunities for water sports, horse riding, golf, tennis and there is even a wildlife park. Selwo Safari Park located on the section of coast known locally as the New Golden Mile, houses almost 2000 exotic animals, such as tigers, lions, apes and you can even have a ride on an elephant.
If you’re looking for a fully equipped sports and fitness centre, Centro Deportivo Jose Ramon de la Morena located on Avenida de Toledo fits the bill. If you’re a horse lover, you’re also in luck, as Estepona offers several riding schools including the famous Escuela de Arte Ecuestre Costa del Sol, one of the largest of its kind in Spain and well-known throughout the rest of Europe.
Golf courses in Estepona
One of the many activities you can do in Estepona is golf. In fact this stretch of the coast boasts some of the Costa del Sol’s best courses, which due to the wonderful temperate climate can be played all year round.
- El Paraiso Golf Club – 18-holes, driving range, designed by Gary Player
- Valle Romano Golf & Resort -18-holes, occupying 60 hectares, suitable for tournaments and amateurs
- Estepona Golf – 18-holes, Sierra Bermeja mountain backdrop, suitable for all players
- La Resina Golf & Country Club – 9-holes, exclusive and private golf club, with luxury restaurant
- La Duquesa Golf & Country Club – 18-holes, designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr., beautiful surroundings
Beaches close to Estepona
Estepona is blessed with an impressive 21km of coastline with no less than 17 flat sandy beaches, catering for everyone from families and water sports enthusiasts to naturists. It is also dotted with a number of excellent chiringitos, ranging from the relaxed Heaven Beach and Blue Dolphin to the more upmarket Laguna Village, Puro Beach Club and the famous Tikitano Beach Restaurant.
- Punta Pinillos: 1,100 metres of dark sandy beach not usually as crowded as the rest.
- Padrón Beach: Great for water sports, bars and sunbathing with disabled toilets, lockers and healthcare.
- Velerín Beach: A lovely dark sand beach next to Moorish watchtower with a cafe, showers and parking.
- Rada beach: The most popular beach in Estepona, centrally located just a few minutes from the port.
- The Cristo beach: A sheltered by just 5 minutes from the port with two restaurants.
- Bahía Dorada: Popular centrally located beach with fine dark sand.
- El Castor: A few more stones than the other beaches with great facilities, including hammocks.
- Costa Natura: A lovely secluded nudist beach where you can throw your inhibitions to the wind – arguably the most famous one in Spain!
Facts & Figures
Approaching from Gibraltar or Malaga, Estepona can be reached by taking the either the toll road or coast road which runs the length of the Costa del Sol.
Estepona is connected to its neighbouring towns by a regular local bus service. Avanza-Portillo also runs non-stop coaches between Estepona and Malaga, Cadiz, Cordoba, Granada and Algeciras.
Nearest airports to Estepona:
- Malaga airport = 81km
- Jerez airport at =147km
- Granada airport = 199km
- Seville airport = 238km