Sightseeing, activities and great food
Estepona is one of the most beautiful places on the Costa del Sol, of course not as dazzling as my place of residence, the provincial capital Malaga. However, the sunny coastal town effortlessly earns a second place in the ranking of cities in this southern province. Although ‘only’ 60,000 people are registered in Estepona, many, foreigners and Spaniards alike, own a holiday home in the city. Thus, the unofficial count stands at 100,000 inhabitants.
And despite the massive presence of foreigners, it is still one of the most authentic places on the Costa del Sol. The Spanish touch of the historic city centre is largely due to the whitewashed dwellings decorated with cheerful flower pots.
Estepona, the garden of the Costa del Sol
According to the mayor, José María García Urbano, the city wants to ensure that it provides a pleasant environment for both its residents and visitors. This means that the municipal budget is not used to build more houses, unlike many other Spanish coastal towns. The money is mainly spent to improve the city and its surroundings. His slogan is “not more, but better”. This is noticeable, even if you visit for just one day.
The town hall promotes its city as the “garden of the Costa del Sol”. When visiting Estepona, it is immediately clear why: the flower murals, the facades covered with sunny blossoming plants and the botanical garden in the city centre all contribute to the theme.
Orchid house Estepona
The botanical garden and orchid house is part of the municipal Estepona garden project. The indoor park boasts an area of 1,000 square meters. A waterfall of 15 meters high and three glass domes ensure that the plants receive the necessary amount of light and moisture.
In the garden, you will find more than 1500 different types of orchids, most of which come from relatively warm climates such as South America or Southeast Asia.
Address botanical garden
Calle Terraza, 86, 29680 Estepona, Málaga
a sea of flowers
Apart from flowers Estepona also boasts an ancient history, proven by the various time-worn structures and ruins scattered throughout the town. On display are:
- a Roman mausoleum;
- ruins of a castle, originally built by the Catholic Kings;
- a bell tower from the 16th century; the former town hall dating back to the 18th century and
- the former fish market (Abastos), the latter is currently being converted to a Gastro Market.
However, the asymmetric bullring is relatively new, it was built in 1972.
When visiting the town and you would like to stay over, have a look at Casa de la Borrega, a mansion dating back to the 16th century. The building functions nowadays as tourist apartments. This property is located in the heart of the city and just two minutes walk from the beach.
Estepona has many lovely small squares and plazas.
Plazas de las Flores
One of the nicest squares, the pedestrianized Plaza de las Flores, or the Flower Square, is an oasis of tranquillity in the heart of the city. On the tree-lined square, you will find terraces and a fountain, where you can enjoy a refreshing drink or a tapa.
Estepona is liked many cities these days gripped by the graffiti. The largest wall painting in Spain can be found in Estepona. The painting of a fisherman (pictured below) covers no less than six buildings.
Furthermore, the city claims to have the most murals in southern Spain, i.e. counting only the fifty official ones. Although I dare to doubt that claim – as a Malaga resident I know that the Lagunillas neighbourhood of the provincial capital alone boasts dozens of murals, not to mention the other areas like Soho and the city centre.
Casa del Rey is around the corner from the Plaza de las Flores. The menu features delicious tapas and other Spanish dishes. Tip: ask for a copa de Celeste Roble, this is a tasty red Ribera de Duero.
+34 952 80 80 81
Plaza de las Flores s/n