Estepona is a charming coastal town on the Costa del Sol, in Southern Spain. Though not unfamiliar to tourists, it retains its authentic pueblo charm with beautiful traditional houses, stone-cobbled streets and charming flower displays. You can treat your taste buds to typical Spanish flavours at tapas bars and explore the quirky shops and bodegas.
The town of Estepona is a museum in itself, as the streets are decorated with artistic treasures and beautiful monuments. The historic centre also provides an authentic experience of the Andalusian town, while its local museums and gardens give you a feel for its history.
Stroll Through the Old Town
From the seafront promenade, walk to the pedestrianised Calle Reale, then turn onto Calle Terraza to reach the Centro Histórico.
The Cento Histórico is a typical Andalusian town centre. The streets are lined with cobblestones and decorated with colourful hanging flowerpots. As you walk down it, you’ll spot the charming Castillo de San Luis, a 15th-century fortress built by Spanish Catholic Monarchs, and the lovely bell-tower.
Visit the Orchid House and Botanical Gardens
The Orchid House is the glass-domed building located in the town centre on Calle Terraza.
The Orchid House and Botanical Gardens are a treasure trove for flower lovers. Discover Europe’s largest collection of orchids, with an impressive 1,300 different species! There is a winding path which takes visitors through the various exhibitions, behind an impressive 17m high waterfall and across a small lake.
Open Tuesday through Sunday from 10.30am-2.30pm, and then again from 6-9pm Tuesday to Thursday, and 6-11pm Friday and Saturday. Entrance cost €3.
Admire the Poetry Plaques
The poetry plaques decorate the houses of Plaza Manuel Alcantara in the Old Town.
This tiny square is lined with traditional Andalusian houses which feature a unique decoration: Manuel Alcantara’s poetry. The walls are showered with hand painted plaques bearing snippets of the malagueño poet’s work.
Wander along Paseo Maritimo to the Port
The Paseo Maritimo is a promenade running from the Port to the opposite end of the Playa de la Rada.
Paseo Maritimo is perfect for a peaceful long walk along the seafront. Its thick foliage separates you from the road so you can admire the beautiful flower beds, palm trees and sandy beaches without interruption. When you get peckish, stop off at one of the many chiringuitos and enjoy some typical tapas.
Inside the bullring, opposite the port, there are four museums.
The Bullfighting Museum
This museum, dedicated to the famous matador Antonio Ordóñez, boasts an ecliptic collection of bullfighting costumes, badges, lances, posters, photos and bull heads.
The Ethnographic Museums
The ethnographic museum takes you back in time to explore the Esteponian settlers’ various lifestyles, customs and economies. There are over 2,000 pieces, including a selection of vintage fishing and farming implements.
The Palaeontology Museum
The palaeontology museum has the largest fossil collection in Europe, with over 2000 fossils from 1000 different species, including a 4-million-year-old marine invertebrate collection and an Upper Triassic coral reef exclusively found in the Iberian Peninsula.
The Sound and Image Museum
The sound and image museum comprises an exciting collection of memorabilia from Estepona’s cinematic and musical history. The Edgar Neville Hall displays cameras and projectors, while the Spring Music Hall presents mementos from important concerts. In the Maria Isbert Hall, there’s a selection of brochures, posters and souvenirs from visiting artists.
All museums are open daily from 10am-2pm, then 5-6:30pm. Entrance is free.
Insider tip: Scattered across the town, there is an impressive trail of murals painted on the side of buildings.
La Ruta de Murales Artísticos
The trail spreads throughout the city. The tourist office has maps showing their location.
About La Ruta de Murales Artísticos
Started in 2012 to renovate Estepona’s unkempt neighbourhoods, this trail transformed the city into a living artwork. There are more than 20 different murals, including an incredibly realistic painting of a fish spread across six apartment blocks.
How to Get to Estepona
Estepona is served by Málaga airport. There are a range of direct three-hour flights from London to Málaga, with prices starting at around £70. To get to your luxury hotel, pre-book a private transfer with Shuttle Direct. A friendly driver will meet you outside the airport terminal and safely take you to Estepona in just over an hour.
Where to Stay:
Senator Banus Spa Hotel: This adult-exclusive hotel offers tranquillity. Its rooms are decorated in a classy modern style and feature a terrace with garden views. Guests can relax at the spa, then tempt their taste-buds at the mouth-watering restaurant serving Mediterranean and international cuisine.
Elba Estepona Gran Hotel & Thalasso Spa: This hotel is located just 2 minutes from the beach (in fact, every stylishly decorated room has a sea view!). It boasts a spa, as well as an indoor and outdoor swimming pool. There are also three different restaurants to choose from.
Iberostar Costa del Sol: This hotel is the perfect mix between practicality and luxury. While providing direct access to the beach, it also has a swimming pool complex and spa. The rooms are elegant, with stylish en-suite bathrooms and a newly furnished balcony.
About Shuttle Direct:
Shuttle Direct, the leading transport provider in Europe and North Africa, offers private, group or shared transfers from the airport to your destination. Book your transfer online in advance and a friendly driver will meet you outside the terminal.