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Estepona - Quiet Gem on the Costa del Sol in Spain

Church, Estepona, Costa del Sol, SpainEstepona is a wonderful little town - relatively unspoiled by tourism - and located on the Costa del Sol, about 30 minutes from Marbella, and only a short drive to Gibraltar.

Unlike the busy towns of Marbella and Fuengirola, Estepona is relatively quiet - and the centre of town is still very traditionally Spanish.  The winding narrow streets are lined with older houses, with balconies decorated with bright geraniums, and the sound of pet birds singing in their cages makes a lovely sound as you stroll along.  Relax in the Plaza de las Flores - a beautiful town square lined with flowers and several excellent cafes and bars. 

Plaza de las Flores, EsteponaThere's a coffee bar on virtually every corner of town and you will never go short on somewhere different to eat dinner, or have a light snack, or "tapas".  On the beach you will find the famous beach "chiringuitos" serving excellent sea food and other dishes, or just an ice cold drink when you need one.

The outskirts are developing, however, and there are many huge apartment blocks sprouting up, but luckily this doesn't luckily interfere with the atmosphere and attractions of the town itself.  New supermarkets and shopping centres have also been built on the outskirts, giving more shopping options for both residents and holidaymakers including the famous Carrefour and the ubiquitous McDonalds!

Running alongside the town is a beautiful Blue Flag beach, which is surprisingly quiet even in the summer months, lined by a stunning flower-strewn promenade. Estepona's beaches are in actual fact 21 kms long in total!   Walk along the promenade from town to the end of the beach (a comfortable stroll), and you will find first the lighthouse, and then the Port of Estepona. 
Playa de la Rada, Estepona
The port is a traditional working fishing port, but there is also the addition of a modern marina, with lovely yachts, and a selection of fine restaurants serving international and Spanish cuisine and also a Yacht Club.  Definitely the place to "hang out" in the evenings, with bars and nightclubs to entertain all ages.

For history buffs, there are interesting museums to visit including the archaeological museum, the Ethnic museum and also the museum at the bull ring.  Quite a few interesting historical ruins in the town too. Selwo Aventura, close to Estepona, is the only Adventure, Animal and Nature Park in Europe - enjoy a safari drive in the warm Spanish sunshine.  200 species of animals can be viewed, and photographed.

Port of EsteponaThe town retains its original bull ring which hosts not only bull fighting, but also international music concerts.

Golfers will be happy with the selection of courses, including Atalaya Golf & Country Club, El Paraiso Golf Club (designed by Gary Player), Estepona Golf, Los Almendros and Golf SotoSerena,

Plenty of attractions close by too… you can easily visit Ronda, a fascinating mountain top city, or Ojen, a beautiful traditional white village, both reasonably close by, or pop down the coast to Marbella one way, or Gibraltar in the other direction, for shopping.

In town, you will find small hotels and hostals to accommodate you in comfort, or you could go for the larger and more luxurious resort hotels on the outskirts of town.  There are many wonderful holiday apartments on offer in the town - either along the beachfront, or above the marina, giving options to suit all.

Transport-wise, the town has an efficient bus service and many taxis, but you might find that you need a hire car to travel further afield.  As for language, many workers in restaurants and shops do speak a certain amount of English, but it would be good to have your Spanish phrase book handy.

All in all, Estepona is the ideal destination for families, couples, golfers and the young.  While retaining its traditional Spanish features, it offers everything one could want for the perfect holiday, and gives you a chance to relax without the crazy crowds!
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About the Author Anne Sewell is involved in web based accommodation reservations and advertising in La Cala de Mijas, Spain.

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Latest update: February 2, 2017