Estepona, the Garden of Costa del Sol

Estepona is surprising for the variety of activities and landscapes offered by this municipality of Málaga, Andalusia. The town is part of the Costa del Sol and has 23 km of coast. The mountainous area known as Sierra Bermeja extends inland

Its Mediterranean climate and well-cared-for beaches make it an ideal tourist destination not only in summer but also in winter. The good weather, the gastronomy, the hotel offer, the colourful old town… In short, everything you see in Estepona is a good excuse to visit this Andalusian town. Do not miss the opportunity to visit other towns on the Costa del Sol: Nerja, Velez-Malaga, Malaga, Mijas, Marbella, Casares

Plaza de las Flores

Estepona
What to see in Estepona. Plaza de las Flores

Estepona is known as “The Garden of the Costa del Sol” due to the renovation carried out in the centre in which the streets and squares have been decorated with an Andalusian air that is framed by a large amount of flowers

Specifically, the Plaza de las Flores is located in the old town and, as its name suggests, has a garden full of flowers. However, the square has not always been called that. Over time it has been called Plaza de la Constitución, Plaza del Rey, de José Antonio, de la Cárcel or Plaza Nueva. Today it is a large pedestrian square where the hustle and bustle of city life converges, as well as a well-decorated central fountain and various 19th century houses. Here you can enjoy a cool drink or a good tapa in the bars and restaurants located there.

In addition, the Casa de las Tejerinas is located in the Plaza de las Flores. Here you can access various art collections depending on the season and the Tourist Office. Although it is not known when it was built, it is believed that due to its characteristics it would be framed in the 18th century or before. The beautiful courtyard surrounded by columns, the lookout tower and the doorway, where you can see a large opening and a balcony, are all worth mentioning. 

The square was created when Estepona extended its urban development towards the east in the middle of the 19th century. For this purpose the Plaza de las Flores was built and the most important houses that existed at that time were built there.

Nuestra Señora de los Remedios Church

What to see in Estepona. Church of Nuestra Señora de los Remedios
What to see in Estepona. Church of Nuestra Señora de los Remedios

Amongst all the things to see in Estepona, the Church of Nuestra Señora de los Remedios stands out. It was built in the 18th century as a convent to be occupied by the Franciscans of the Tertiary Order between 1725 and 1766. One of the most famous Spanish preachers attended its inauguration. We are talking about Fray Diego José de Cádiz. However, in 1835 the Law of Disentailment caused the friars to leave the temple. Soon after, the Parish Church of Los Remedios was opened

In its front, different Franciscan, Marian and pre-Columbian elements converge. The church’s archives and the works of art that were there were burned in 1936.  For its part, the altarpiece that can be seen today dates from 1993, when the Church of Nuestra Señora de los Remedios was remodelled.

Orquidario Botanical Park

What to see in Estepona. Orquidario Botanical Park
What to see in Estepona. Orquidario Botanical Park

The Orquidario Botanical Park has an area of more than 16 thousand square meters in which to see in Estepona an outdoor park, an orchidarium and a square with a waterfall of 17 meters high. Here you can find more than 5,000 plants among which more than 1,300 different orchids from all over the world. It is the largest collection in Europe and one of the largest in the world.

Punta Doncella Lighthouse

What to see in Estepona. Punta Doncella lighthouse
What to see in Estepona. Punta Doncella lighthouse

The Punta Doncella Lighthouse dates back to the 20th century, directing ships towards the Strait of Gibraltar. This lighthouse of maritime air traffic is located between the promenade and the seaport of Estepona.

What to see in Estepona. Seaport
What to see in Estepona. Seaport

Thus, the lighthouse was located in Punta Doncella in 1861, designed by the engineer Antonio Molina. It was a circular tower almost 9 meters high, 18 meters above sea level. Later, in 1922, it was made more visible and was replaced by a current tower which is more than 20 meters high and 31 meters above sea level.

Old Town in Estepona

What to see in Estepona. Old town
What to see in Estepona. Old town

The old town of Estepona reminds us of the character of a typical Andalusian village. It is also one of the few remaining examples of this on the Costa del Sol. Its streets are pedestrianised and are characterised by their colour, flowers, drawings… Even the large murals painted on the facades of the city buildings are surprising. The poetry route can also be seen in the streets of the center, sentences written on the facades of the buildings. In this way, up to eight districts in Estepona are differentiated, which are distinguished by their particularities and architecture.

San Luis Castle

San Luis Castle. Photo: turismo.estepona.es
San Luis Castle. Photo: turismo.estepona.es

On the one hand, the Villa district includes the old medieval fortress, with buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries. Here are the remains of the Castle of San Luis, ordered to be carried out by the Catholic Monarchs at the beginning of the 16th century. The aim was to reinforce not only the walls of the town in order to obtain more security but also to achieve an increase in the population

Over time, the construction of houses attached to the wall caused it to be hidden for centuries. Nowadays, after the proper acts of recovery, it is possible to see a part of the castle wall. In the Plaza del Reloj, near the castle, is located the Clock Tower of the already demolished Church of La Fortaleza. The tower has an Arabic origin. However, when the Castilians took the town, the mosque became a church, and the tower became their bell tower. In this quarter you can see the municipal market and the Casa de los Algibes, now an archaeological museum.

Other quarters to see in Estepona

On each side of the Barrio de la Villa are the Old and the Hornos quarters. The Barrio Antiguo draws attention to itself through its narrow streets, parallel to the coast, which retain the layout of the 16th century. On the other hand, the Barrio de Hornos is full of architecture from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, with a humble origin

To the north there are other districts, such as San Francisco, Plaza Nueva and Montecillo. Here we must see in Estepona the Church of Nuestra Señora de los Remedios. 

In the eastern part of the city, you can visit the Barrio Nuevo and the Barrio del Palmar, which are of agricultural origin. These quarters were developed during the 18th and 19th centuries.

Artistic murals of Estepona, poetry and sculptures

What to see in Estepona. Murals
What to see in Estepona. Murals

Walking through the districts of Estepona you can see in its buildings real works of great originality and quality. This shows that Estepona is committed to culture and art, which is displayed on the streets in murals on the facades of the buildings

On the other hand, the old town of Estepona hides corners where poetic works of national and international authors can be read. In the open air there are also different sculptures not only by local artists but also by internationally prestigious ones. They can be seen in the squares and streets of Estepona, as another of the attractions of the city.

Roman remains

What to see in Estepona. Photo: turismo.estepona.es
What to see in Estepona. Photo: turismo.estepona.es

Although Estepona was populated during prehistoric times, the origin of the town is disputed. However, in recent years, Roman remains have been discovered in the urban area of Estepona. This could correspond to a Roman villa

The remains correspond to an octagonal room that matches the crypt of a mausoleum. This funerary building was built in the 4th century A.D. Funeral monuments like this one were developed by the Roman Empire together with the advance of Christianity. However, the mausoleum was abandoned as early as the 6th century AD. The construction of a Muslim wall in the 13th century affected the remains.

Almenara Towers

What to see in Estepona. Watchtower
What to see in Estepona. Watchtower

Estepona has 21 kilometres of coastline with seven watchtowers. They are of Muslim and Castilian origin and served as defence structures until the 19th century. After the Castilian conquest, the coast was frequently attacked by pirates, so they made the watchtowers work. Thus, if they attacked, they made smoke signals during the day and luminous ones at night

Today, in Estepona there are six watchtowers of Christian origin and one of Muslim origin. These are: Saladavieja or Celada Vieja, Arroyo Vaquero, Velerín, Padrón or Paredón, Saladillo, Guadalmansa or Desmochada, and Casasola or Baños.

Bullring of Estepona

This is the first bullring that was made asymmetrical in the world. The design responds to the objective of achieving maximum comfort and shade for the spectators. It is a work of the architect Juan Mora Urbano. There are also concerts, sports competitions

Promenade

What to see in Estepona
What to see in Estepona

With its almost 3 km long, the promenade of Estepona runs from La Rada Beach to the Fishing Port. In addition to all the buildings to see in Estepona, you should not miss a sunrise or sunset from its promenade.

Beaches of Estepona

What to see in Estepona. Beaches
What to see in Estepona. Beaches

Estepona is a town on the Costa del Sol where you can enjoy 23 kilometres of coast. With an extensive and diverse offer of accommodation and restaurants, what you see in Estepona is divided into a multitude of services. Its more than 15 beaches surprise those who visit them, four of them with blue flags, fine sand, beautiful landscapes where you can see the Strait if the day is clear… 

La Rada Beach is the best known beach to see in Estepona. Its hygienic, environmental and sanitary conditions have achieved that sometimes it is distinguished with the blue flag. The location is one of its greatest advantages, as it is near the main streets to see in Estepona. Its three kilometres of beach reach their greatest splendour in summer, when the sun bathes its waters and different water activities can be carried out there, as well as planning a day of rest. Beach bars are also well known, where you can taste some typical dishes such as sardines, so popular in Malaga. 

If what you want is to go to the beach not only in summer, but to walk on it also in other seasons, the El Cristo Beach is ideal for this plan. It is a small beach less than 700 metres long and with calm waters, as it is protected by a breakwater. 

We also recommend a visit to El Padrón beach, next to the river of the same name, Bella beach if you are looking for tranquility, Guadalmansa beach to practice activities such as kite surfing, La Galera beach for scuba diving…

Useful information

Coordinates

36°25′59″N 5°07′59″O

Distances

Málaga 91 km, Sevilla 227 km, Madrid 615 km

Parking

In the centre of Estepona or in private car parks.

Elevation

18 m.

Inhabitants

67.012 (in 2018)

Amongst all the things to see in Estepona are also its striking fiestas. First, the Carnival (second week of February, with comparsas and chirigotas). Second, Holy Week (March or April, with processions carried out by different brotherhoods). Third, San Isidro Labrador Pilgrimage (May 7). Finally, Day of the Virgen del Carmen (July 16, patron saint and mayor of the town of Estepona). The Virgin is taken to the sea, where different boats are waiting for her. A very beautiful and emotional festivity.

For example, the burning of the moustaches of San Juan and, on the other hand, the fair and major festivals.


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