ESTEPONA is located at the western end of the Costa del Sol at the foot of the Sierra Bermeja mountains, about 30km west of Marbella. It is a more Spanish resort although is has become more popular in the past few years with visiting family holidays makers and expat residents alike.
Estepona boasts a long promenade studded with flowers and palms and a fine sandy beach, away from the seafront, the old town is very pretty, with cobbled alleyways and two delightful plazas. The fish market is definitely worth seeing: Estepona has the biggest fishing fleet west of Malaga, and the daily dawn ritual in the port, where the returning fleets auction off the fish caught that night, it is well worth getting up early for, by 7am though, it's all over.
However although for many years the mainstay of the towns income was derived by its fishing industry Estepona has adopted well and thoughtfully to the tourism market and offers a large selection of activities for holiday makers and visitors alike.
From May onward, Estepona's bullfighting season gets under way in a modern bullring reminiscent of a Henry Moore sculpture. At the beginning of July, the Fiesta y Feria week transforms the place, bringing out whole families in flamenco-style garb. Beyond Estepona, 8km along the coast, there's a minor road leading into the hills to Casares, one of the classic Andaluz White Towns as it clings tenaciously to a steep hillside below a castle.
Further west, 3km inland from the village of Manilva, are some remarkably well-preserved Roman sulphur baths . If you want to partake of these health-giving waters you'll have to be prepared to dive into a subterranean cavern, and to put up with the overpowering stench of sulphur, which clings to your swimwear for weeks. The beaches beyond Estepona have greyish sands (a trademark of the Costa del Sol that always seems surprising - you have to round the corner to the Atlantic coast at Tarifa before you meet yellow sand.
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For golf lovers, Estepona is home to some popular courses including the well establish Atalaya Golf resort, El Paraiso, Valle Romano, Estepona Golf and La Duquesa. Some of the best golf courses on the Costa del Sol and indeed Spain, are located nearby as well and include the famous Valderrama Golf Club, Finca Cortesin, Sotogrande, San Roque, La Reserva, Los Arqueros and many more.
Estepona has its own leisure port ( Puerto Deportivo ) and marina which is well worth a visit and stroll around at any time of the year with its many boats and yachts permanently moored at the port along with a good selection of cafes, restaurants , bars and small shops.
Gibraltar airport is the closest to Estepona, around 35 drive and is used more frequently now for visitors staying in this area on the Costa del Sol. Malaga airport is by the far the largest and most popular is around 1 hours drive away. A great way to discover the area is by hiring your own vehicle. car hire Costa del Sol is available in many locations in and round Estepona . For as little as £9 per day you will have the freedom to drive and explore all corners of this picturesque part of Spain.
Estepona's bus station is on Avenida de Espana, to the west of the centre behind the seafront. The efficient and centrally located tourism office is located at Avda. San Lorenzo 1, east of the centre near the seafront.
The town offers a large number of good places to eat, among them a bunch of excellent freidurías and marisquerias along Calle Terraza, the main street which cuts through the centre - try El Chanquete or La Gamba . There's an excellent churrería towards the southern end of Calle Mayor ( one block back from, and parallel to, the promenade ) - get there before 11am as they sell out early. For market lovers there is a covered market which sells freash food daily and is located on Calle Castillo and open mornings up to around 14.00 each day except Sundays.
Estepona's nightlife centres on the recently pedestrianized Calle Real, running behind and parallel to the seafront. Here you will find enough clubs , music bars, and lively pubs to satisfy every night owl.
Best Value Hotels in Estepona -
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Hotel Kempinski Bahia
"Tasty breakfast - Ocean views - Big balcony"
This fine hotel combines a luxurious setting with first-rate facilities, it features an impressive outdoor pool , has panoramic sea, mountain and beach views , a Jacuzzi and other fitness facilities are provided on site, and guests can make use of the hotel's bicycle rental service. The hotel's reception is conveniently open 24 hours for all your needs. The rooms are sumptious with their marble bathrooms and come with a shower and a separate bath.
Gran Hotel Elba Thalasso
"Large bathrooms - Ocean views - Large rooms"
This large beachfront hotel is ideally positioned just a short drive from Marbella. Amenities at the Gran Hotel Elba Estepona & Thalasso Spa include an outdoor pool, a steam bath and 24 hour room service.
Spanish cuisine is served at the hotel's restaurant. Guests can otherwise visit one of the many eateries found within a short walk of the hotel.
The situation of the hotel allows guests to easily reach multiple tourist destinations on foot. Puerto Banus is around a 20-minute drive from the hotel.
Marriot Playa Andaluza
"Good for shopping - Superb dining - Loved the beach"
This comfortable beachfront resort is ideally located just a short drive from Marbella.
Rooms at the Marriott Playa Andaluza Beach Resort Estepona are equipped with iPod docking stations, coffee makers and full kitchens. The large rooms all have a private terrace, a refrigerator and an in-room dining area as well as air conditioning. Open for lunch and dinner, the Marriott Playa Andaluza Beach Resort Estepona’s restaurant specialises in Mediterranean cuisine. The resort's comfortable restaurant serves breakfast.
"Great Value - Nice Rooms - Clean"
For a budget hotel try this very nice hotel located just 5 minutes walk from the beach .