Estepona City Guide
Midway between Marbella and Gibraltar on the Costa del Sol, Estepona is a charming Spanish town which has simultaneously managed to embrace the growing number of foreign visitors who are making Estepona their home from home, whilst fiercely guarding the traditions which make this town so special.
The delightful old town has flower filled plazas with street cafes and bars serving typical Spanish fare, and one can spend hours exploring the cobbled streets of the centre, or enjoying a stroll along the seafront promenade from the Playa del Cristo at the western end to the picturesque harbour in the East, home to modern high powered sports boats as well as the local fishing fleet.
As one would expect of a fishing port, Estepona has strong ties with the sea. A central fiesta is the Virgen del Carmen, celebrated on July 16th, where the statue of the Virgin Mary is taken from the local church, through the crowded streets, and out to sea by the fishermen to bless them, the sea and their livelihood.
A dazzling array of restaurants offering cuisine from the world over rub shoulders with the "bodegas" and "tapas" bars which are so popular with visitors. But if Estepona is known for anything it would be for the excellent fried fish which is a staple of the town. Caught in the early morning and brought to the table later the same day it is served with pride by the local restaurants. Accompanied by a glass of good Spanish wine and the meal is complete, the visitor hooked like the fish before them!
The A7 motorway runs around the town and makes for easy connections to the international airports at Gibraltar and Málaga as well as the rest of the Costa del Sol.
Estepona golf courses include Estepona Golf and the spectacular Monte Mayor, with more within easy reach along what has become known as the Costa del Golf. The growing popularity of the area as a golfing destination, in main thanks to the year round season, has led to a steady increase in the number and quality of courses as well as the number of golfers who regularly visit the area to play. Local clubs are friendly and welcoming and many have regular competitions open to green fee paying non-members.
Beyond the town centre, Estepona has a number of important features which add to its appeal. The Selwo safari park, with more than 2,000 animals living in semi-wild conditions is a popular day out for adults and children alike. The weekly market in the port is a wonderful way to spend a Sunday morning, with a wander around the varied stalls ending with an aperitif at one of the port’s many bars before lunch.
As the international population has grown, with many choosing to live full time in Estepona, there is now a complete range of services available in any number of languages. Health centers and international schools cater for those who find Spanish an obstacle – although the Town Hall sponsors a number of courses for those wanting to integrate fully by learning the language.
Lesser known than some of the Coast’s other towns, Estepona is a real find with a character and personality all of its own and is well worth closer attention.