The coastal town of Estepona is just 25 kilometers west of glamorous Marbella, and around an hours drive from Malaga’s international airport. With a population of around 40,000 it is becoming ever more popular with tourists, though Estepona remains one the most unspoilt coastal towns on the Costa del Sol. This is mainly due to local goverment initiatives; such as the compulsory whitewashing and reparation of all residences in the town centre/areas of antiquity.
The old town centre is always a good place to start when exploring, and since Estepona has been around since (at least) the 14th century there is much to see and do here. There are several delightful squares, such as the Plaza de las Flores (the main square), the Plaza del Reloj (complete with clocktower built by Henry V), and the Plaza San Francisco; each flanked by ancient buildings and fed by narrow cobbled streets. Alternatively the pedetrianised Calle Real is a good place to visit some of the more traditional coffee shops and eateries.
The Calle Real leads to Estepona’s seafront promenade. Having been awarded a national prize for beauty by the Ministry of Information and Tourism this runs the length of the town and is flanked by palm trees and flowers. From here you can access the majority of the more modern facilities; such as Estepona’s marina, with restaurants and bars close at hand. Alternatively you could head for the hills and rent out a log cabin in the Los Pedregales national park; an ideal place from which to explore the beautiful countryside above Estepona.
The beachfront at Estepona stretches for many kilometres and is mainly sandy. The main sections are made up of the lengthy Playa La Rada (which has been awarded the European blue flag), and the Playa de Cristo (a quiet child friendly cove). They are well maintained, clean, and with plenty of good quality chiringuitos (beach front cafes) and bars.
In more recent times Estepona has attracted a lot of interest from residential tourists. With house prices often considerably cheaper than in more central parts of the Costa; Estepona is still close enough to sample the high life, but without the price tag or (in the summer months) nearly as many crowds.
Estepona also benefits from the quantity of high quality golf courses nearby. Aside from its own local courses it is after all within easy driving distance of both Marbella (with its infamous golf valley) and Sotogrande (home to Valderrama Golf, Sotogrande Golf and more). In fact the Costa del Sol boasts perhaps the highest concentration of high quality golf courses in Europe, with many golfing professionals using the Costa as their winter training ground.
Estepona is sheltered on its northern side by the Sierra Bermeja mountains, which limits rainfall and creates a mild weather system. The result is that Estepona and surrounding areas enjoy sunshine for in excess of 300 days per year; making the town an ideal destination for holiday makers all year round.