Estepona, once a small fishing and farming village is now a bustling community and tourist destination located West of San Pedro in the direction of Algeciras. Although very popular with visitors, it has managed to retain much of it's local Spanish charm and offers a more traditional holiday experience than in its more glamorous neighbours further along the coast.
Estepona town is located 33 Km west of Marbella and is approximately 1 hours drive from Málaga's Pablo Picasso International Airport. The municipality of Estepona stretches from where San Pedro meets Benahavis on the A7, near the Guadlmina river to the entrance of Sabanillas.
WHAT TO DO
Wander in the old quarter and you'll find steep, cobbled streets that take you back in time to a more authentic Spain. Have a coffee in the Plaza de las Flores in the center of town and watch the world go by or stop and look in the many small shops and bars in the winding streets. For those of you looking for a little local history, the Municipal museum in Estepona's old bullring is an interesting way to spend a couple of hours as you browse the collection of exhibits dating back as far as 100,000 years to the Paleolitic era.
Other notable places of interest are the Iglesia de los Remedios in the Plaza san Francisco which dates back to the 13th century, the Clock Tower and the remains of the Castillo de San Luis. On the tree lined avenue out of town is the Exhibition and Congress Center that hosts many events throughout the year ranging from it's annual dog show to 'The Over 50's Show' and other special interest events.
The municipal park of San Isidro Ladrador, known to locals as Los Pedregales situated at the foot of the Sierra Bermeja mountain, has good open air facilties that include a rural complex, camping, BBQ areas, artificial lakes and delightful forest paths. The Escuela de Arte Ecuestre Costa del Sol located close to Estepona is also worth a visit. Combining teaching with entertainment and culture in a unique environment, the covered exercise ring with seating for 1200 people is a great place to enjoy events and horse competitions. Selwo Aventura is located on the A7 between San Pedro and Estepona is a must see attraction for the kids on a good weather day. An extensive outdoor wildlife park with over 100 hectares of open air enclosure, visitors can see more than 2000 animals from over 200 species and enjoy a hands on petting zoo and 4x4 off road safari trip.
AT THE BEACH
Estepona's coastline stretches over 21km and boasts some of the areas best beaches with large sandy areas, clean water and good facilities. With 17 beaches to choose from, visitors can either relax in the sun or take part in numerous activities such as children's play areas, pedalos and beach volleyball. La Rada in the center of Estepona town is the largest and most popular due to it's easy accessibility and blue flag status. If you're looking for something a little more secluded, head to the sheltered cove of Playa El Cristo, to the West of Estepona port. There is a great selection of chiringuitos along the Coast including Blue Dolphin on the approach to Estepona, Heaven Beach and more up-market ones like Tikitano or the Laguna Village complex which houses numerous shops restaurants and the stylish Puro Beach Club.
Estepona has a fantastic promenade which is bustling with life both day and night. Running the length of the town, you can enjoy kids play areas, exercise equipment, statues, fountains, rides, restaurants and shops. Just 5 minutes from the town center at the western end of the seafront, you will find Estepona Marina which is a popular area for visitors to wander during the day and for party goers to drink and dance until the early hours in the many bars and discos. There is a great range of restaurants and bars lining the quayside serving everything from traditional Spanish to specialty regional cuisine.
Estepona has a range of shops in the town center selling your usual household items, groceries and tourist gifts. Alternatively, for a more authentic shopping experience you can visit the indoor market which opens each morning near the castle ruins. Laguna Village, located along the beach towards San Pedro has a good selection of top end outlets selling everything from designer fashion to accessories for the home.
Estepona has a great range of sporting facilities that includes top golf clubs such as Estepona Golf, La Serena, Atalaya Golf, and El Paraiso which was designed by Gary Player. Horse lovers also have the pick of facilities in Estepona with several riding schools that teach students of all ages and abilities.