Sightseeing, activities and great food in Estepona
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 second place in ranking 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 town. 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 mainly 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 a pleasant environment for 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 apparent why: the flower murals, the facades covered with sunny blossoming plants and the botanical garden in the city centre all contribute to the theme.
a sea of flowers
Tours in the area
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 flats. This property is located in the city’s heart and is just a two-minute walk from the beach.
Estepona has many lovely small squares and plazas.
Plazas de las Flores
One of the loveliest squares, the pedestrianized Plaza de las Flores, or the Flower Square, is an oasis of tranquillity in the city’s heart pedestrianised. On the tree-lined square, you will find terraces and a fountain, where you can enjoy a refreshing drink or a tapa.
Estepona is like many cities these days, gripped by graffiti. The largest wall painting in Spain can be found in Estepona. The image 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.
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