15 Things to do in Estepona
Nestled in the Western corner of the Malaga province, Estepona is one of the most appealing holiday destinations on the Costa del Sol. Its chilled beach vibe and proximity to Malaga airport make it…
Who doesn’t love to try out new flavours and foods while travelling? indulging in the local cuisine is a huge part of the holiday experience, and never more so than in Spain where you can have the whole foodie world on a plate.
Here is our pick of some of the best local gourmet delights you can try while on holiday in Andalucia:
The world famous pre-dinner drink originates from Jerez de la Frontera (the city is European Wine Capital 2014), home to household names such as Domecq and Harveys, and from a few other places inside the “Sherry Triangle” in Andalucia.
Sherry comes in several different varieties that pair beautifully with different kinds of food and is enjoying a real renaissance among wine circles lately. Here is a quick guide on what to try:
Fino: light-coloured and very dry, this sherry comes from Jerez itself. Served cold and drunk as you would a good white wine, it goes perfectly with shellfish, jamí³n ibérico (see below) and mild cheeses.
Manzanilla: similar in colour and taste to fino, it too is served cold and best accompanies fish and shellfish. Fino and manzanilla are the least alcoholic of the sherry types and should not be kept once opened.
Amontillado: amber-coloured and smooth and rich in taste, amontillado goes well with white meats, oily fish and cured cheese.
Oloroso: dark and with a strong scent, this is also a dry sherry but with a more intense taste than fino. The intensity suits red meats and strong cheeses.
Palo seco: also dark, palo seco is strongly scented and flavoured. Good with game, foie gras and strong cheeses.
Pedro Ximenez: dark and sweet with a rich syrupy texture, Pedro Ximenez has a strong and intense flavour that pairs well with strong cheeses and desserts
The mountains that surround Ronda are some of the most beautiful in Andalusia. They’re also home to numerous goat herds who live at high attitude in wet conditions (the village of Grazalema near Ronda has the country’s highest rainfall) meaning excellent pasture and by extension, delicious cheese.
Most goats’ cheese from Ronda is made using traditional methods and brands to look out for are Flor de Ronda and Queso Payoyo.
Queso fresco: This ‘fresh cheese’ is a lowest-fat version, pure white and has a creamy, texture. It’s ideal in salads and on canapés with quince jelly or anchovies.
Rulo de cabra: You buy a slice of this from a roll with a thick white rind. This version combines superbly with apple and caramel in a green salad or an accompaniment to foie gras.
Queso semi-curado o curado: A harder type of cheese, semi-cured and cured goats’ cheese has a stronger taste than the fresh and usually has a dark yellow rind. This is best cut into small slices and eaten as a tapa, perhaps with cured ham (see below).
Queso Payoyo: Unique to this part of Andalusia, this strong cheese is fast gaining popularity in gourmet bars where it’s often served as a tapa.
Andalusian cured ham is a highly prized gourmet treat especially when it comes to jamí³n ibérico de bellota. This creamier version than the regular cured ham comes from black pigs bred in the western area of Andalusia around Huelva. The pigs roam free around large oak-filled pastures all year and in the autumn, their diet consists almost entirely of acorns – look for the “Pata Negra” black label around the hoof.
The legs of ham are cured for 24-48 months and the end result is an intensely-flavoured meat that’s dark red in colour. Served in wafer-thin slices as a tapa, it’s a great accompaniment to a glass of fino sherry or intense red wine.
You can buy a whole leg (if kept in dry conditions, it will last for as long as it takes you to eat it!), although cutting ham is a fine art and probably best left to those in the know; pre-packed slices – open the packet a while before you plan to eat it to allow the ham to breathe; and off the leg in all good food stores – they slice off the amount you need.
As a general guide, the more expensive per kilo, the better quality the ham.
The backbone of all Mediterranean cooking, olive oil is one of Andalusia’s main exports and olive groves cover hectares of the region, particularly in the provinces of Cordoba and Jaen. Olive oil features at every meal in Andalusia – from the breakfast drizzle of toast to the evening salad dressing via biscuits and pastries.
Not only does olive oil taste good, its monounsaturated fat content make it a healthier substitute for butter and margarine. The best olive oil is unrefined and known as ‘virgin’ or ‘extra virgin’, and almost green in colour with an intense flavour. Indeed, the strongest extra virgin brands taste so strong they’re almost bitter.
When buying olive oil, go for the very best. Perhaps a good virgin oil for general use and a more expensive extra virgin for salad dressings and an occasional drop on pasta and rice dishes. You’ll find the best brands in good supermarkets and specialist shops such as D’Oliva in Marbella
In many convents in Andalusia, the nuns who live there are famed for their cake and pastry-making skills. They offer a range of homemade wares, known as dulces de convento, from simple magdalenas (plain sponge cupcakes) and almond biscuits to elaborate marzipan sweets and traditional Christmas delicacies.
At the entrance to the convent, there’s usually a list of produce, prices and opening times, a bell and a small sliding or revolving tray. You place your money on the tray, ring the bell and your purchases are delivered back on the tray. But don’t expect to see or hear the nun behind the convent walls!
We would love to hear about your own gourmet tips for Spain, so leave us a comment and let us know what you’ve tried and what you loved!
Array (  => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 243459 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2023-04-26 11:11:04 [post_date_gmt] => 2023-04-26 11:11:04 [post_content] => Nestled in the Western corner of the Malaga province, Estepona is one of the most appealing holiday destinations on the Costa del Sol. Its chilled beach vibe and proximity to Malaga airport make it the perfect choice for a family getaway. Back in the 1970s, Estepona was little more than a sleepy fishing village. Despite undergoing significant development over the intervening years, it has lost none of its small-town charm. With its flower-filled parks, spacious promenade and pristine old quarter, it remains one of the most picturesque towns on the coast. But Estepona is more than a pretty face. It also provides culture in spades, with museums, art galleries and ancient ruins all contained within the town. Known as the “Garden of the Costa del Sol”, it doesn’t feel like a typical urban setting, either: the town is home to numerous parks and even a spectacular, glass-domed orchid house. Then there’s the coastline to consider: 21km of clean, sandy beaches fringed with soaring palm trees. There’s also a working fishing port and an upscale leisure marina where it’s often possible to spy a glittering super-yacht or two. Estepona is also a dream location for any foodie, with a diverse range of tapas bars and restaurants on offer – many of them blessed with fabulous sea views.
1. Visit the orchid houseAfter just 5-minutes spent wandering the streets of Estepona, visitors will realise that it’s a town full of flowers. From its colourful parks to the lovingly tended window boxes of its residents, there are no shortage of beautiful blooms on display. So great is Estepona’s love affair with flora that it’s devoted an entire building to orchids. El Orquidario de Estepona is 160,00 square foot botanic garden housed beneath three glass domes in the town centre. Inside, the tropical park is spread over 2 floors and nurtures over 2,000 species of orchid in a myriad of colours, along with vertical gardens and an impressive 17-metre waterfall. Visitors can admire the stunning array of plants from a walkway angled behind the cascading water, which arches a series of pools beneath. Entrance fees start at €3 for adults €1 for children aged 4-11 years, with children under 4 going free. C. Terraza, 86, 29680 Estepona, Málaga. Orchidariumestepona.com Opening Times: Tuesday to Saturday 10.00 – 13.00 & 15.00 – 18.00 hours. Sunday: 10.00 – 14.00 Mondays closed
2. Take a walk on the wild side at Selwo AventuraThe sprawling safari park, Selwo Aventura, is located a 15-minute drive outside Estepona en-route to Marbella. Covering over one million square metres and containing upwards of 2,000 animals, this park prides itself on closely replicating the natural environment of its furred and feathered residents. White rhinos, Bengal tigers, zebras and giraffes are just a few of the creatures which call Selwo home – along with birds such as the hornbill, ibis stork and crane. The best way to spot these animals is in one of the park’s camouflaged off-road trucks, which will allow you to get up close to a magnificent beast or two as they roam their vast enclosures. As things to do with children go it's a hit for all age groups. There’s also a petting zoo for the younger children, along with trampolining and archery activities. For adrenaline junkies, there’s also the longest zip-line in Europe, which runs for 116 metres above the park’s central lake. Autovía del Mediterráneo, Km. 162, 5, 29680 Estepona, Málaga. Selwo.es Opening Times: 10.00 – 18.00
3. Explore the picturesque old townEstepona’s historic centre – or casco antiguo – offers visitors a slice of quintessential Andalucia. White townhouses line narrow cobbled streets, their walls splashed with bougainvillaea vines and pots of tumbling geraniums. There’s also a range of tapas bars where visitors can stop to quench their thirst and enjoy a local delicacy or two. Casa del Ray is located in the heart of the old town and is known for its fabulous tapas and extensive wine list. Diners can choose to eat on the terrace or the interior courtyard, which is particularly charming at night. Don’t leave without trying a portion of the mouth-watering shrimp croquettes or the fresh tuna tartare with creamy dill mayonnaise. C. Raphael, 7, 29680 Estepona, Málaga. Lacasadelreyestepona.com Opening times: 12.00 – 00.00 daily
4. Take a wander in Parque del CalvarioThe Calvario Park is the largest public garden in Estepona. Located a five-minute walk from the orchard house, it is a tranquil and verdant space populated with numerous water features, including a lake, jet fountain and waterfalls. Along a series of lavender-edged pathways, visitors will also find a children’s playground, shaded benches and glorious blooming wisteria bushes in the spring. In the summer months, the area encircling the lake provides a stage for numerous open-air concerts. The park also contains a restored Hermitage building – Erimta del Calvario – which dates back to 1829. The chapel was destroyed in the civil war and later rebuilt in 1936. Although it’s mostly kept locked, visitors are welcome to wander up and admire it from the outside, or peek through its windows to catch a glimpse of the interior. Av. Andalucía, 41, 29680 Estepona, Málaga. Opening hours: 09.00 – 00.00
5. Hire a boatWith its silky-smooth Mediterranean waters and excellent year-round climate, Estepona is an ideal location for a spot of sailing. Whether you fancy exploring hidden coves, indulging in some open-sea swimming or visiting neighbouring towns such as Marbella and Sotogrande, hiring a boat provides a stylish way to get from A to B. Chartering a boat also allows you glimpse the vibrant marine life typical to this corner of Spain. Sail from Estepona into the seas between Gibraltar and Ceuta – the Spanish enclave in North Africa – and you may be lucky enough to glimpse pilot whales, dolphins and even orcas. Local companies such as Sotoboats offer a range of vessels – from fishing boats to luxury yachts – for both half-day and full-day charters. Many come equipped with sea toys such as paddle boards, snorkels and sea bobs, and catering and refreshments can also be arranged on board. Real Club Nautico, Puerto Deportivo de Estepona, 29680 Estepona – Málaga. Sotoboats.com
6. Hike in the Natural Park – Los Reales de Sierra BermejaThere’s more to Estepona than its beautiful coastline; the surrounding area also contains the Sierra Bermeja natural park. Dominated by the Sierra Bermeja mountain range, this area of rugged natural beauty is located an hour’s drive beyond Estepona and is crisscrossed with hiking trails for walkers of all fitness levels. Los Reales de Sierra Bermeja is one of the most popular routes for families or those looking for a casual stroll. This 2.1-mile loop stays fairly flat throughout and offers stunning views of the Med and surrounding mountains. The best way to access the park is by car. Follow the Avenida de Andalucia in the direction of Genalguacil (MA 557). Turn left at the Peñas Blancas sign about half an hour outside of Estepona, then left at the sign for Los Reales.
7. Go for a stroll along the promenadeThe recently completed Paseo Marítimo runs along the length of Estepona from La Rada beach to the fishing port. A 2.6-million-euro project commissioned by the mayor in 2020, the promenade means that visitors can now stroll from one end of town to the other along the scenic seafront. The promenade is often at its busiest early evening, when locals and visitors alike step out to enjoy the sunset. This is best seen from a clifftop wooden walkway on the coastal path leading to Marbella. From here, it’s even possible to glimpse the Strait of Gibraltar on a clear day. There’s no shortage of bars and restaurants populating the promenade, so should you fancy walking its entire length, there will be plenty of opportunities to stop for a refreshment along the way.
8. Stop for a coffee on Plaza de las FloresOne of Estepona’s most popular meeting spots, Plaza de las Flores is an idyllic square framed by fragrant orange trees and beds of bright geraniums. Fanning out from the stone fountain at its centre are a selection of cafes and tapas bars, making it the perfect spot to kick off the day with a coffee. Plaza de las Flores, 29680 Estepona, Málaga
9. Casa de las TejerinasThe square above is also home to Casa de las Tejerinas. This handsome building was once owned by the Tejerina sisters, who later donated it as a charity hospital for the poor. From the 1970s until 2010, the 18th-century building served as Estepona’s Cultural Centre, before being converted to its current purpose as a Tourist Office and art gallery. The art gallery features contemporary work by predominately local artists such as Dadi Dreucol, Enrique Brinkmann, Chema Lumbreras and José Carlos Casado. Admission to the public is free. Opening Hours: Tuesday – Friday 9.00 – 20.00. Saturday: 10.00 – 14.00 / 16.00 – 20.00. Sunday & Monday: Closed
10. Soak up the sun on Playa DE LA Rada beachEstepona is a beach lover’s paradise, with over 13 miles of coastline to enjoy. One of the most popular beaches, Playa de la Rada, is only a short walk from the town centre and is a firm favourite with families. A wide swathe of sand fringed with towering palm trees, Playa de la Rada is also populated with a variety of beach bars – or chiringuitos – where you can seek refuge from the summer sun and enjoy a cold beer and some fresh seafood. Playa Rada can get busy in high season, but as the largest beach in Estepona, there is always plenty of space to spread out. Public toilets and wash stations mean you can comfortably spend the entire day here. There are also sun loungers for hire with parasols to provide some welcome shade.
11. Check out some Urban ArtAlthough the houses of Estepona’s historic centre are known for their pristine paintwork, you will find the walls of other buildings decorated with unique and colourful street art. Various vast murals can be seen around the town, the work of local artists such as Ana Cecila Salinas. At last count, there were 23 murals dotted throughout Estepona, but new art is constantly appearing as more artists are commissioned. One of the most eye-catching pieces is a highly realistic trompe-l’oeil image covering six apartment blocks, making it the largest mural in Spain. Art enthusiasts wishing to check out the full range of Estepona’s murals should head to the tourist office on Plaza de las Flores. Here you will be provided with a detailed itinerary pinpointing where to locate each of the works.
12. Have a cocktail in the MarinaEstepona’s stylish marina is located between La Rada and El Cristo beach. Built on what was the original fishing harbour, it is now home to several bars and restaurants and has a buzzing atmosphere. It’s a great spot to head in the evenings, where you can settle down for a cocktail at a waterside bar such as Reinaldo’s (which has Happy Hour from 20.00 – 21.00 every day) and admire the gleaming super yachts moored nearby. There’s also a market to check out on Sunday, where various stalls are set up in the marina selling handicrafts and leather goods. Reinaldo Café Bar, Urb Puerto Deportivo, 24 29680, Estepona. Cafebarreinaldo.gruporeinaldo.com Open Hours: Mon – Sat 10.00-02.00. Sundays Closed
13. Visit the Prehistoric DolmensThere’s plenty on offer for history buffs in Estepona, including the Prehistorica de Corominas museum – which contains the carefully conserved remains of an ancient burial site. Venture underground at this futuristic museum and you will find five small dolmens (standing stones) dating from 3,000 BC. Displayed beneath a domed ceiling with fibre optic lighting, visitors can also see pottery vessels, stone tools, arrow heads, axes, personal ornaments, necklace beads and perforated seashells. The majority of artefacts in the museum were actually unearthed nearby at Cero de Corominas when AP7 toll motorway was being constructed in 2011. They were then carefully transported to Estepona and reconstructed for public display. The museum offers guided tours in English at 10.00 Tuesday – Sunday. The tour lasts approximately 1hr 15 minutes and must be booked in advance, either by WhatsApp on +34 675 942 975 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Prices start at €5 for children and €12 for adults. Parque San Isidro, Pedregales, 29680 Estepona, Málaga. Dolmenesestepona.com Opening hours: Open every day 11.00-13.00
14. SAMPLE SOME FRESH SEAFOODEstepona is known for its seafood, and many of the town’s restaurants have menus dedicated exclusively to its fabulous fresh produce. Local dishes include espeto de sardinas – sardines cooked over fire on cane sticks – and boquerones en vinagere – pickled anchovies doused in lashings of olive oil and garlic. From Playa Rada to the marina, visitors will be spoiled for choice when it comes to seafood restaurants, but El Pescador is considered one of the best by discerning locals. Everybody knows that seafood tastes better by the sea, and there’s no finer way to enjoy it than on this stylish restaurant’s beachside terrace with its dreamy sea view. Inside, crisp white tablecloths and an understated colour palette create a soothing vibe. The menu is similarly simple and focusses on letting the star ingredients shine. Diners can choose between grilled king prawns, steamed mussels and fresh clams, along with crowd pleasers such as fried fish platters and oven-baked seabass. Paseo Marítimo Pedro Manrique 129680. Estepona. Málaga. Elpescadorestepona.com Opening hours: Open every day 13.00-16.30 / 19.00-00.00
15. SNAP A SELFIE ON THE RAINBOW STEPSOne of the most colourful yet overlooked attractions in Estepona is the set of rainbow steps located just off Avenida del Mar. Known as the Escalera Arco Iris, these 90 steps were originally built to link Estepona town to the country road above. Over the years, this quiet rural community has burgeoned into a large housing estate, which can be seen from the top of the steps along with views of the Sierra Bermeja mountain and the northern quarter of Estepona. Traversing the steep staircase is sure to get your heart racing, but the climb is worth it for the views from the top. Want to explore Estepona for yourself? Check out our collection of Estepona based villas here. [post_title] => 15 Things to do in Estepona [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => things-to-do-estepona [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2023-05-11 11:05:19 [post_modified_gmt] => 2023-05-11 11:05:19 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://theluxuryvillacollection.com/?p=243459 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )  => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 242878 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2023-02-08 12:47:10 [post_date_gmt] => 2023-02-08 12:47:10 [post_content] => For well over half a century, Mijas has been one of the most popular destinations on the Costa del Sol. And there’s good reason for this popularity: it’s quintessentially Andalucian – a pretty white village of plant pot-filled streets, with a bull ring, Mudejar church and hermitage, all just a stone's throw from the coast. It really does tick a lot of boxes for the first-time visitor. Here's our pick of a few of the best things to do in Mijas…
Mijas PuebloLet's get a taste of rural Andalucian life and start with the village in the mountains; Mijas Pueblo.
1. Parque La MurallaThis park easily leads on to a leisurely circular walking route from Plaza Constitucion to Parque La Muralla and then to the Torre Muralla. We recommend starting with this, as you pass most of the sights in the village. The park itself has a 15-metre-high waterfall and some of the best views of the coast. Our top tip: Andalucians traditionally go for a walk around 18.00hrs (add a couple of hours on to that for the summer). The views from the lookout spots down to the coast in the evening when the lights are twinkling is rather magical.
2. Ermita de la Virgen de la PeñaThis rocky, almost cave-like, hermitage is in Mijas Pueblo. A virgin carved out of wood dating from 850 was found there by a shepherd and his children after, as story has it, they followed a dove to it. This virgin is now the patron saint of Mijas. Address: Paseo El Compás; open every day and free entry.
3.Mirador del CompasThis square/look out spot has the most spectacular views down to the coast and across the Mediterranean Sea.
4. Plaza de TorosAn oval-shaped bullring and small museum showing posters, bull fighter clothing and past fights. The seats are at either end of the oval rather than all the way round. Whether you love or loath bull fighting it’s an interesting place to visit. Address: Cta. de la Villa, 0, 29650 Mijas, Málaga. Hours: Everyday 11 – 21.00hrs.
5. Museo Historico-EtnologicoA charming ethnological museum depicting mountain village life. Address: Pl. de la Libertad, 1, 29650 Mijas, Málaga Hours: Everyday 10 - 15.00hrs and 17 - 19.00hrs
6. Plaza de ConstituciónA small square with shops and restaurants in the historic centre of Mijas Pueblo. Our top tip: Stop for a traditional breakfast of pan con tomate (toasted bread with fresh tomato and olive oil) at La Boveda del Flamenco.
7. Iglesia Inmaculada ConcepcionQuite typically of churches in the region the site was once a castle and then a mosque. This 16th-century church we see today has Mudejar features - a bell tower and wooden ceiling - and it’s thought that the square tower was once that of the fort/castle. Address: P.º de la Muralla, 29650 Mijas, Málaga
8. Donkey TaxiThe donkeys of Mijas go back to the 60s when tourists would see them being used to carry things up the narrow streets or returning from farming. It’s said that the tourists would tip for a photo or ride, and it became so popular it quickly outstripped agricultural wages. These days, all manner of donkey taxis are available, riding or in a carriage drawn by donkeys around the village. The welfare of the donkeys is a priority, so there are strict stipulations that must be adhered to by the owners. Address: Av, Pl. Virgen de la Peña, 29650 Mijas, Málaga
9. Hiking – Mijas Mountain Range and the Pico de MijasThe Sierra de Mijas is a beautiful place to walk with rewarding views from the various routes. The highest peak (Pico de Mijas) is 1150 metres - putting that into perspective, the highest peak in the UK is 1345 metres. One of our favourites is Puerta de Malaga ('Doorway to Malaga'). It takes about 3 hours, is well signposted and is medium difficulty due to the steep inclination.
La Cala de MijasMeanwhile on the coast there's plenty to do on the beach from diving to jet skiing and even kite surfing weather permitting. Some highlights are:
10. La Cala BeachWhere Mija Pueblo is village life in the mountains, its counterpart is La Cala de Mijas, a stretch of coast near Calahonda. The beach named La Cala beach is small, but with crystal waters and kayak hire it’s popular with locals and visitors. This part of the coast has good facilities from watersports to restaurants. Do check out Max Beach with a pool, El Olivo for a traditional feel and El Océano part of a hotel by the same name. Our top tip: Our favourite beach in the area is Cabopino, with its sand dunes and golden sand.
11. Coastal WalkLa Cala de Mijas coastal walk is 6kms along the coast that leads to Cabopino. Take this walk at sunset and take your time with coffee stops and beach playtime along the way. Alternatively, it’s a lovely run in the morning. Our top tip: During the summer, look out for concerts being held next to the 16th-century Torre Vieja watchtower.
12. A round of GolfThere are so many golf courses to choose from in and around Mijas, it really is a golfer's paradise. Most locally, La Cala Resort Golf, with three 18-hole courses, makes the most of the area’s steep topography. As an alternative - and much more forgiving - La Noria Golf Resort is a totally flat, 9 hole par 33 golf course near the coast with putting greens.
13. Cala de Mijas FestivalNot a year round option but this music festival held the first weekend of September attracts international bands and DJs. It's first year was 2022 where The Blossoms, Arctic Monkeys and Bonobo among others played to 100000 festival goers. It's held in Sonora Mijas and is very well organised with four stages. More information in our festivals blog.
Where is Mijas?Mijas is in Malaga province and sits between Benalmadena and Fuengirola. It’s divided into Mijas Pueblo (village) which backs onto Mijas Sierra (mountain range) and Cala de Mijas (Mijas cove) on the Mediterranean Sea.
How to get to Mijas?Mijas is very well connected. Mijas Pueblo is 26.7km (that’s under 30 minutes’ drive) from Malaga airport and 32.3km from Malaga Maria Zambrano train station. Have we tempted you to this beautiful part of southern Spain? See villas in Mijas here. [post_title] => The LVC Insider's Guide to Mijas [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => mijas-guide [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2023-05-11 09:32:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 2023-05-11 09:32:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://theluxuryvillacollection.com/?p=242878 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) 1
Nestled in the Western corner of the Malaga province, Estepona is one of the most appealing holiday destinations on the Costa del Sol. Its chilled beach vibe and proximity to Malaga airport make it…
For well over half a century, Mijas has been one of the most popular destinations on the Costa del Sol. And there’s good reason for this popularity: it’s quintessentially Andalucian – a…