Like its Costa del Sol neighbours, Estepona was once simply a working town, with cobbled streets wrapped around reminders of its Moorish heritage. Today, it has grown into a sleek, modern holiday destination, fringed by some of the most sought-after boutique hotels in Spain. It may be the Mediterranean sun and sea that draw people here – but it’s the local culture that makes them want to stay.
Stylish beach resort with a traditional Andalusian soul, between Gibraltar and Marbella
Things to do
Estepona’s long, sandy beaches make up the New Golden Mile – named after the famous shoreline in nearby Marbella. Go to Playa la Rada for swimming and sun loungers. Or for something more active, go surfing at Atalaya beach, which claims the best waves in southern Spain. Estepona is also a popular spot for scuba diving and sailing, with views of Gibraltar and the African coast on a clear day.
HISTORY & CULTURE
Estepona developed into an important settlement in Moorish Andalusia – and you can still see watchtowers from this period dotted along the coastline. Today, the town is a popular place to watch the region’s most famous art form: flamenco. Many bars and tapas restaurants become stages for these dramatic, emotional music and dance performances.
From almost everywhere in Estepona you can see the Sierra Bermeja mountains rearing up in the distance. For a closer look, plan a day out hiking. To go further afield and explore more of Andalusia, hire a car to visit Ronda. This medieval city is perched atop sheer cliffs, and is famous for its stone bridge that spans a deep gorge.
Look out for local beach bars to try an Andalusian speciality – sardine ‘espetos’ speared on wooden sticks and cooked on an open fire.
Top tip from SLH