Estepona is an attractive coastal town, with golden, sandy beaches stretching 21 km from east to west. While it’s fast becoming a tourist hot spot, it’s still not quite as popular as Malaga or…
Marbella is a historic town and much more. The broader area of Marbella covers well beyond the town itself, extending from between Estepona and San Pedro de Alcantara in the west, inland up to Benahavis, and along the coast to Cabopino in the east.
Here we look at Marbella’s best neighbourhoods including Benahavis (this is it’s own district but it’s so close to Marbella we wanted to include it too). There is so much to see and do in Marbella and all within easy reach but depending on your priorities, it can be a minefield knowing where to stay. So, hopefully this will help you distinguish one area from another when choosing your next luxury private villa holiday on the southern Mediterranean coast.
This sprawling residential development, one of the largest in Marbella, is known locally as “Golf Valley”, as it is home to numerous courses: Aloha, Los Naranjos, Las Brisas and La Quinta Golf Clubs.
Where is it? Nueva Andalucia sits to the north of Puerto Banús, starting from the A7 coast road and stretching north to the AP-7 toll highway, and bordered on the west by the Rio Verde.
Proximity to shops and restaurants? As you’d expect from such an extensive residential area, on-site amenities are good. You’ll find an excellent range of shops at Centro Plaza shopping centre, close to the A7, plus others at La Campana. There are numerous restaurants in the neighbourhood, covering many international cuisines and catering to all tastes.
Quiet residences close to Puerto Banus
Situated in the heart of Golf Valley, and backed by La Concha mountain, this development is well-located for both Las Brisas and Aloha golf courses, with properties lining the fairways – the latter is one of the best-established golf clubs in the area. Aloha Pueblo is a pretty village with traditional style townhouses covered in bougainvillea, as well as bars and restaurants.
Where is it? Leave the A7 at the Puerto Banus exit (175). Aloha Golf is just 3km from Puerto Banus, while Marbella is 8km away.
Proximity to shops and restaurants? There are many shops and restaurants in Nueva Andalucia, as mentioned above, but Puerto Banus is very nearby too, with its designer boutiques and beach clubs.
Golf in the shade of La Concha
Also enjoying a prime location sitting in Nueva Andalucia’s renowned golfing area, and bordered to the west by the Guadaiza river, Los Naranjos is a delightful residential development. Named after an orange grove, the golf course whose name it bears was designed by the highly respected Robert Trent Jones Sr.
The development consists of white apartment blocks and villas, surrounded by lush lawns and shaded by tall palm trees.
Where is it? Located to the west of Aloha Golf, close to the AP7 toll motorway (exit 172). Leave the A7 at the exit 174. Los Naranjos is just 5km from Puerto Banus, while Marbella is 10km away.
Proximity to shops and restaurants? Nueva Andalucia has a good selection of food shops, bars and restaurants, while Puerto Banus with its smart restaurants and international brand names and designer fashion boutiques is nearby. The nearest beach is Playa de Cortijo Blanco.
Glitzy playground for the international jetset
Built in 1970 by Jose Banus, this renowned development in Nueva Andalucia is centred around a 900-plus-mooring marina full of super-yachts and high-performance sports cars. Its reputation as the favoured destination for the rich and famous draws the glamorous crowd.
The most celebrated area after Marbella, Puerto Banus has buzzing nightlife, good beaches (Playa Nueva Andalucia, Playa de Levante and Playa del Rio) and beach clubs, such as Nikki Beach, Ocean Club and Sala by the Sea; and enough designer boutiques (think Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Hermes), both in the marina itself and in shopping malls nearby, to keep even the most dedicated retail maven happy. For foodies, there are plenty of gourmet restaurants offering varied cuisines, as well as elegant bars.
Where is it? 6km west of Marbella, close to Nueva Andalucia.
Proximity to shops and restaurants? There are plenty of shops within the development itself and in nearby malls, as well as a branch of the department store El Corte Ingles, and you can buy food supplies in Nueva Andalucia.
This elegant avenue runs parallel to the coast, connecting Puerto Banus and the western part of Marbella town. The two iconic hotels, Hotel Marbella Club and Puente Romano are located here. The refined boulevard is lined with leafy green areas and flanked by exclusive properties on both sides. To the south lie beachfront villas and apartments while to the north, palatial mansions lie hidden in large private grounds. The beaches along this stretch of coast are some of Marbella’s best.
Las Lomas De Marbella Club
Classic charm near the iconic hotel
As its name suggests, this development is set on the hills behind Marbella Club, the iconic hotel that originated the town’s fame back in the 1960s.
The 35-hectare private estate next to the Golden Mile consists of plots for independent villas, and 11 complexes of apartments and townhouses with an Andalucian village feel, including features such as cobbled streets, plazas with fountains, and wrought-iron balconies. The largest residential estate, measuring 200,000m2, belongs to the Saudi Royal family.
You can play golf and tennis, and Puente Romano has superb restaurants including Dani Garcia’s Bibo and Leña.
Where is it? Close to the A7 coast road – take the Puente Romano exit. Marbella old town is 7 km away.
Proximity to shops and restaurants? Nueva Andalucia, with its shopping centres, is within easy reach (3km), as well as El Corte Ingles department store, and the designer stores and gourmet restaurants of Puerto Banus (4km).
Well-established villas near Marbella’s Golden Mile
This residential area of Marbella has an unbeatable location, on the Golden Mile. Its villas and apartment complexes are built on gently sloping roads, lined with mature trees. The more long-standing villas are built on large plots. Nagüeles is located between the A7 and AP7 roads, in the area to the east of the Arroyo de las Piedras stream.
The Nagüeles Quarry is famous as the venue for the Starlite festival, where international pop stars play in a season of open-air concerts every summer.
Where is it? North of Marbella Club hotel, on the other side of the A7. Next to Las Lomas de Marbella Club.
Proximity to shops and restaurants? Marbella old centre is 5km away. The nearest beaches are Playa Casablanca and Playa de la Fontilla.
North from Marbella historic town centre there are two neighbourhoods that are very established and have great proximity to the beach, nightlife and the countryside: –
Marbella Sierra Blanca
Very desirable, above the Golden Mile, with fabulous views
Named after mountains behind Marbella, this highly prestigious and sought-after gated community enjoys an elevated position at 300m, with spectacular views of both the Golden Mile, and across the Mediterranean to Morocco. This area is also known as the hillside Golden Mile and has opulent, high-end properties – large villas with extensive grounds in contemporary, Andalucian and Moorish styles. Protected by the mountains from cold winds, the area has a subtropical micro-climate which means that the temperature is always pleasant – never too hot or too cold.
Where is it? North of the AP7 inland toll road (exit 182). Sierra Blanca is just south of Cascada de Camojan.
Proximity to shops and restaurants?Easy access to Marbella town centre (4km) via the AP7 and A7 highways for shops and restaurants; La Cañada shopping centre on the AP7 (exit 186) is 5km away. Fontanilla beach is 3 km.
Cascada de Camojan
EXCLUSIVE mountainside estate, close to nature
Situated right next to Sierra Blanca, this development is considerably smaller but even more sought-after. It is at the limit of the built-up area, so you have access to mountain trails for hiking and enjoying nature, surrounded by the scent of wild thyme and rosemary. This estate is named after a waterfall, and is bordered to the east by Arroyo de Guadalpin stream.
Villas in Cascadas de Camoján are large and luxurious, enjoying secluded spots nestled within pine woodland, yet offering fabulous sea views. This is the location for ultra-luxurious mansions with owners desiring privacy.
Where is it? Directly bordering Sierra Blanca, lying to the north-east, off exit 182 of the AP7.
Proximity to shops and restaurants? Marbella centre is 5km away via the AP7 and A7 highways for shops and restaurants; La Cañada shopping centre on the AP7 exit 186 is 6km away. Playa de la Fontanilla is the nearest beach (4km).
This part of Marbella town runs along the coast from the casco historico (old centre) to La Cala de Mijas, the next town to the east.
Near a beautiful beach and pretty marina
This development lies just to the north of the A7 road, at the far eastern end of Marbella, where neighbouring Calahonda starts. The gold course is extremely scenic, with pine-covered hills and sea views.
Cabopino Golf is within easy reach of Cabopino family-friendly beach (3km), which is quieter than the beaches near Marbella old town, with shallow waters ideal for little ones to paddle safely. The next beach along to the west is Playa de Artola, backed by sand dunes covered with vegetation, and reached by a wooden walkway which crosses the dunes – look out for Torre Ladrones Moorish watchtower. This part is more secluded, a perfect setting for a naturist beach.
Another attraction of this part of Marbella is the picturesque Cabopino marina with boats and yachts of all sizes, less glitzy than Puerto Banus. You can find small bars and restaurants here. Those who prefer a more adult scene will enjoy the celebrated Nikki Beach bar at the Don Carlos Hotel, 6km from Cabopino Golf.
Where is it? The development is located just off the A7, at the Cabopino exit.
Proximity to shops and restaurants? Sitio de Calahonda and La Cala de Mijas (7km), just along the A7 to the east, have shops and supermarkets. Marbella centre is 13km away.
Stay right on the beachfront, and enjoy five-star facilities
This development is all about the prime location – right on the beachfront, one of the few to enjoy this distinction. Part of the five-star GL Los Monteros Spa and Golf Resort, this leafy development has frontline beach villas on good-sized plots, as well as high-end apartments and townhouses. The hotel was originally built in 1962, making it one of the most long-standing, and its restaurant was the first hotel restaurant to receive a Michelin star in Spain. Another first – its golf course, Rio Real, was the first to be created in Marbella, in 1965.
Famous guests have included Julio Iglesias, Sean Connery and Melanie Griffith. This development comprises various estates and complexes, including Los Monteros Playa and Las Brisas. Los Monteros is bounded to the east by Arroyo Siete Revueltas stream, and on the west by Rio Real golf course.
Where is it? Between the A7 coast road and the beach, 6km east of Marbella old town.
Proximity to shops and restaurants? Sleek beach club, La Cabane, at the eastern end of Playa Los Monteros, was the first such establishment to open in the world. You can find several restaurants on this beach, where Antonio Banderas’s house is located. The nearest shops are in Marbella old town centre and La Cañada shopping centre (6km).
Golf Rio Real
Marbella’s first golf course, close to the beach
Located close to the AP7 toll motorway, this estate is name after the river that passes through it, the Rio Real. The properties are grouped around the west, north and north-eastern borders of the golf course, Marbella’s oldest, which opened in 1965 as part of the Los Monteros estate. The course right down to Los Monteros beach. The course has plenty of mature trees, offering much-needed shade, and the Rio Real Golf Hotel offers tennis courts, a clubhouse and a restaurant.
Where is it? Between the A7 (exit 184) and AP7 (exit 186), across the coast road from Los Monteros – Rio Real is to the north of the coast road, whereas Los Monteros lies to the south. Marbella old town is 5km away.
Proximity to shops and restaurants? Marbella old town is an easy drive away, with La Cañada shopping centre 6km away on the AP7 (exit 182).
New Golden Mile
This is the stretch of the Autovia del Mediterraneo (AP7 coastal road) between San Pedro de Alcantara and the eastern part of Estepona. So not the whole of the New Golden Mile is in Marbella. It has excellent beaches, such as Playa Gualdamina, and the long Playa del Saladillo, and top-end hotels such as the Ikos Andalucia and Kempinski Hotel Bahia. You can follow a new coastal path, Senda Litoral Estepona, which runs parallel to the road.
Ok, ok, the area below is in Estepona district not Marbella but it’s only 9.9km from San Pedro de Alcantara, Marbella which is closer than Estepona at 12km away. We’ve included it as it’s so close to Marbella and certainly has a Marbella neighbourhood feel.
Two championship golf courses on your doorstep and often sea views
Situated in a secluded private valley, overlooking a lake fed by the Arroyo Taraje stream, this development (named after the Flamingos Golf Course) is part of the luxurious Anantara Villa Padierna Palace Benahavis Marbella Resort. The five-star GL hotel, designed in Italianate style, with opulent interiors, gleaming marble and elegant tree-lined walks, hosted Michelle Obama on her visit to Andalucia back in 2010.
The Golf Club features three courses (Flamingos and Alferini are both championship courses, while Tramores is a par-64 executive course, which features a golf academy). As well as sports facilities, there are restaurants, spa, and beach club. The resort is located just a few km from San Pedro de Alcantara.
Where is it? Just off the A7 coast road, between San Pedro de Alcantara and Estepona. 12km to Puerto Banus and 21km to Marbella. Strictly part of Benahavis in Estepona but close to Marbella beaches.
Proximity to shops and restaurants? The nearest shops and restaurants are in San Pedro de Alcantara and Estepona – this development is equidistant between the two coastal towns. Playa Saladillo is the nearest beach.
Benahavis is a pretty and historic town of whitewashed houses, situated inland from the coast on the southern slopes of the spectacular Sierra Blanca, part of the Serrania de Ronda (Ronda Mountains). At 400m above sea level, the town is just 7km from the Mediterranean, between Marbella, Estepona and Ronda.
This area is the ideal destination for golf lovers, with 12 golf courses (including those of the estates mentioned below) within its terrain, which is traversed by three rivers: the Guadalmina, Guadaiza and Guadalmanza. Benahavis also offers excellent dining options, and the coast with its beach clubs and shops is within easy reach.
Where is it? Benahavis is located to the north-west of Marbella, on the A7175 – take the San Pedro turning (exit 172) off the AP7 motorway. From the A7, turn off at Guadalmina, between Estepona and San Pedro de Alcantara.
Proximity to shops and restaurants? Benahavis has restaurants and shops, including a Mercadona supermarket. See our Benahavis restaurant guide here.
The three prestigious private estates we list below are part of Benahavis district, but form part of the perceived greater Marbella area:
Marbella’s most desirable yet discreet gated community
This secluded development, one of southern Europe’s most exclusive, is set within large private grounds in the foothills of the Sierra Blanca mountains at 400m. Its almost 900-hectare estate consists of 250 extensive plots (at least 4,000m² each) built with exceptionally well-appointed properties, mostly southwest oriented. Several of the world’s rich and famous have homes here, though they keep a low profile.
The villas at La Zagaleta are the most expensive villas in the region, with facilities as impressive as you’d expect for this top cachet. To the owners of these mansions the development offers two 18-hole golf courses, a clubhouse, racquet club (tennis and paddle) and an equestrian centre. La Zagaleta is sometimes referred to as the ultimate country club. As well as these sporting facilities, there is also a private heliport.
Where is it? North-east of Benahavis, just off the A397, to the west of this road linking San Pedro de Alcantara on the coast with Ronda. It is on the opposite site of the road from El Madroñal, which lies to the east of the A397, and north of Los Arqueros. La Zagaleta is 14km from Puerto Banus and Marbella is 23km away.
Proximity to shops and restaurants? Benahavis has restaurants and shops, including a Mercadona supermarket, but a more luxurious selection can be found in Marbella and Puerto Banus. You can also order food using La Zagaleta’s services.
A quiet mountainside retreat with PRESTIGIOUS villas
This gated country estate in the mountains above Marbella, with pine and oak forests, wildflowers (madroño is a madrone tree which is a sweet fruit) and the river Guadaiza, dates from the 1950s. El Madroñal is a blissfully peaceful place, yet just a few minutes’ drive from the buzz of Banus. All properties enjoy spectacular views of the Mediterranean, across to the Rif mountains of Morocco.
The villas in El Madroñal are as sumptuous as you would expect in such a high-end development, magnificent and spacious, with well-tended gardens and plenty of parking.
Where is it? North-east of Benahavis, just off the A397, to the east of this road linking the coast with Ronda. It is on the opposite site of the road from La Zagaleta, which lies to the west of the road, and north of Los Arqueros. El Madroñal is 10km from Puerto Banus, 17km from Marbella.
Proximity to shops and restaurants? The nearest shops and restaurants are in either Benahavis, or for a wider selection, Nueva Andalucia, including El Corte Ingles, or Marbella itself.
Backed by mountains and overlooking the sea, with varied types of property
This estate is situated further down the mountain, on the lower slopes of the Sierra Blanca. Stretched in a narrow estate that sprawls down the hill, Los Arqueros is made up of 17 separate “communities” of spacious apartments and townhouses, varying in size, each with its own character. The oldest is El Alto, enjoying an elevated position, while the newest are contemporary Unico and sustainable Botanic. All have beautiful, landscaped gardens and swimming pools (some of which are heated), and parking for each property.
The Golf Club boasts a championship course designed by legendary Spanish player Seve Ballesteros. In addition to golfers, other sports lovers are well catered for, with tennis, paddle and squash courts, and a gym, while families will love the bowling alley, plus a club house restaurant and bar.
Where is it? South-east of Benahavis, close to the AP7 coastal motorway (exit 172). Los Arqueros is 8km from Puerto Banus and 18km from Marbella.
Proximity to shops and restaurants? At Los Arqueros Shopping Village you will find shops, restaurants and bars.
All in all each of these neighbourhoods are luxury locations with beaches, mountains, nightlife and golf plus a fantastic climate. As a jumping off point Marbella is a convenient place to do day trip into Andalucia or even Morocco.
Array (  => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 244050 [post_author] => 4 [post_date] => 2023-05-22 12:59:55 [post_date_gmt] => 2023-05-22 12:59:55 [post_content] => Estepona is an attractive coastal town, with golden, sandy beaches stretching 21 km from east to west. While it’s fast becoming a tourist hot spot, it’s still not quite as popular as Malaga or Marbella – which is all part of its charm. Beaches are spacious, you won’t have to fight for a lounger, and there’s always room at a local chiringuito for a quick cerveza (beer) or a cocktail. Whether you’re looking for a secluded cove, a beach with watersports, a beach-side daybed or even a nudist beach, Estepona beaches offer something for everyone. And if you fancy a stroll, the beach promenade runs all the way to Marbella.
Playa del SaladilloJust a 15-minute drive away from Estepona town centre, Playa del Saladillo is the perfect family day out, with a long sandy beach for playing games and building sandcastles, facilities such as toilets and showers, and even a place to hire jet skis. For a bite to eat head to Pepe’s Chiringuito, a local favourite or for something a little more indulgent, try La Antigua, set slightly away from the beach. Length: 3km Location: Playa de El Saladillo Estepona, 29680 Resturant tips: Pepesbeach.es & La Antigua Google Map
Playa GuadalmansaIf you’re looking for a more quiet, urban beach – even in summer – Playa Guadalmansa offers just that. A long, thin beach, about a 10-minute drive from central Estepona, with a mixture of sand and a little stone, it’s ideal for long walks or relaxing with a book. Barraka Beach Club is at the east end of the beach, and has day beds, should you wish to be a little closer to refreshments. Length: 2.5km Location: Playa de Playabella – Guadalmansa Estepona, 29680 Restaurant tip: Barrakabeach.com
Playa de GuadalminaIf you want to embrace a little local culture on your trip to the beach, visit Playa de Guadalmina, famous for its Roman ruins known as Las Bóvedas, an archaeological site sitting next to the beach from the 3rd century AD, and a defensive watchtower from the 16th century. A popular site, this isn’t the quietest beach but there are plenty of facilities and a few chiringuitos like Senora Beach, or head into the urbanisation behind the beach where you’ll find Restaurant PlayaBella. Length: 1.5km Location: Guadalmina Beach Marbella, 29670 Restaurant tip: Restauranteplayabella.com
Playa Arroyo de las Cañas - Playa del VelerínThis 1km beach is one of the quietest to the east of Estepona, as there’s only one chiringuito. Hotels such as Andalucia Beach are at the far end of the beach, so often it’s only hotel guests who you’ll see in this area. Towards the west end, Playa del Velerin, there’s a nice chiringuito (Chiringuito Torre Velerín), with tables on the sand and a few beds, too. There’s also another watchtower, from the 16th if you wanted to take a stroll to the look-out point. Length: 1km Location: Arroyo las Cañas Beach – Velerin, Estepona, 29680
Playa del CastorSimilar to Playa del Velerín, this is a more secluded, urban beach, with just one place to grab a bite to each or drink – Dominion Beach. There are no water sports and only a few facilities but it’s ideal if you want to escape the crowds for a little while and relax in the sunshine. Length: 880m Location: Playa del Castor, Estepona, 29680
Playa del PadrónPlaya del Padrón used to be incredibly popular, with its blue flag-rated beach, soft sand, and the shopping centre and cafés of Laguna Beach. Unfortunately, Laguna Beach burnt down in a fire a few years ago, but the council is working to bring it back by the end of 2023. That said, there are still a few beach clubs and several elegant hotels nearby, such as Spíler Beach Club and the Kempinski 5-star hotel, which bring plenty of visitors. Length: 1.4km Location: Playa de El Padrón Estepona, 29689
Playa de Punta PlataIn the eastern part of Estepona, Punta de la Plata is a long, narrow beach with a mix of stones and dark sand. Even though there’s a large urbanisation behind the beach, it's relatively quiet and a great place to watch the many cyclists and runners enjoying the new boardwalk. Plata Beach Restaurante is a lovely place for lunch or dinner, or if you walk a little further, Wild Cafe is a very popular brunch and lunch spot, with lots of healthy and vegan options, too. Length: 2.3km Location: Playa de Punta de la Plata Estepona, 29689 Restaurant tip: Wildrestaurante.com
Playa de la RadaOne of Estepona’s busiest beaches, expect fun for the whole family, from watersports to playgrounds, and long, sandy beaches. This iconic beach has many chiringuitos and beach clubs, with plenty of daybeds and atmosphere, too. A few favourites are Palm Beach and El Madero. If you want to get away from the beach, you’re right by the town centre too, which has a brilliant restaurant scene, with places like Restaurant el Pescador offering views of the promenade and incredibly fresh seafood. Length: 2.6km Location: Playa de la Rada Estepona, 29689 Restaurant tip: Palmbeachestepona.com, Chiringuitoelmadero.com, Elpescadorestepona.com
Playa del CristoA small, sandy blue flag-rated cove, to the west of Estepona Port, Playa del Cristo is popular with locals and tourists alike. The waters are warm, it’s slightly protected from the wind, and there’s plenty of parking, too. For a quick bite to eat, visit Lolailo Beach Bar or head to the port, where there are plenty of restaurants to choose from, whether you fancy Spanish, French, Italian or Asian Cuisine. If you walk to the far west of the beach you’ll reach Playa Seghers, which is often quieter and there’s a fun restaurant/bar overlooking the sea called Restaurante Ancla Sea Bridge. Length: 700m Location: Playa de El Cristo Estepona, 29680
Playa de GuadalobónAnother narrow, dark sand/stoney beach, Playa de Guadalobón stretches out west, and is the back garden to many of the guests who live in the apartments closeby. Quite out of the way, it never gets too busy, although you’ll have to walk to another beach for refreshments. Length: 850m Location: Arroyo Vaquero Beach, Guadalobón Estepona, 29680
Playa de Costa NaturaOne of the first naturist beaches on the Costa del Sol, and the only one in Estepona, Playa de Costa Natura is a small, private nudist beach. You can wear clothes if you like but be aware that many people don’t. It’s a very relaxed atmosphere, and certainly an experience. Length: 100-200m Location: Carretera de Cádiz Km 151, 29680 Estepona
Playa de Arroyo VaqueroThis wide stretch of sand, located just in front of the Vaquero stream, is bathed by rocky waters that are popular for snorkelling and scuba diving. The beach itself is a little rocky but there are watersports available, as well as the popular Nido Estepona beach club, where you can grab a bed by the pool, overlooking the sea. Length: 700m Location: Playa de Arroyo Vaquero, 29680 Estepona Restaurant tip: Nidoplayaestepona.com
Playa Bahía DoradaThe quiet Bahía Dorada Beach is a tranquil spot, loved by locals and tourists who want to escape the busier beaches. The rocky seabed is great for snorkelling and there’s enough sand you can find a comfortable spot to relax, too. Again, you’ll need to bring some snacks along with you as there aren’t any chiringuitos around, although there are a few hotels. Length: 10m Location: Playa Bahía Dorada, 29680 Estepona
Playa de la GaleraAlthough Estepona’s westernmost beaches, it’s still very popular with tourists and locals who want a little more seclusion – there’s also a lot of space if you have children who want to run around. While mostly sandy, the beach is peppered with a few rocks, but if you walk along a bit, you’ll find a soft spot to set up camp. As before, a packed lunch is required as there aren’t any bars and cafes, with just apartments and a few hotels behind the beach. Length: 2km Location: Playa de La Galera Estepona, 29693 Estepona is a coastal town full of character and history, with flower-lined streets and a beautiful old town, which you can wander around in for hours. Check out our guides to Estepona restaurants and top things to do in Estepona. [post_title] => The Best Beaches in Estepona [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => beaches-in-estepona [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2023-09-26 17:00:57 [post_modified_gmt] => 2023-09-26 17:00:57 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://theluxuryvillacollection.com/?p=244050 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )  => 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 ) ) 1