What to do in Estepona
What to do in Estepona. ✅ Discover Malaga with Marbesol Malaga Guide. ⭐ Completely Free! ✅.
Whether you’re planning a vacation with your kids, sweetheart or friends, Estepona has what it takes to give you all the authentic bits of the Andalusian Spanish experience.
Located on the Andalusian Costa Del Sol at just an hour from Malaga Airport and twenty minutes from Marbella, Estepona, once a quiet fishing village, has become the attraction of tourists since the 80s. Nevertheless, it managed to preserve a pleasant and relaxing town atmosphere.
Estepona is paradise on earth! Winter or summer, the sun is shining 300 days per year and the average annual temperature is 18.7º.
On the northern side of Estepona, you can admire the marvellous sunset view of the Sierra Bermeja Mountains that reach 1,449m at their highest point.
When you need a break in the sun, you can just relax anywhere on the 22 km coastline low-level sandy beaches; or play some golf in any of Estepona’s 12 golf courses.
Estepona has 66000 inhabitants, who derive their income mostly from tourism, but also from fishing and cultivating lemons, avocado and other fruits.
You can try fishing in Estepona’s fishing port which is the second most important in the region after Malaga’s. Who knows, you might be lucky fishing some sardines, Anchovies, bonito, red mullets, or angle fish among others!
If you’re a cultural type person, you’ll be captivated by Estepona’s history, monuments, watchtowers, archaeological excavations and 4 museums, one of which has 36,000 fossils.
When you need a quiet resting place, you can go to the exquisite Plaza de las Flores that is surrounded by quaint bars and orange trees.
Are you rather a nightlife lover than a cultural type of person? Then after midnight, you can start swinging on the dance floors down in the Marina and along the Calle Caridad.
In short, no matter what type of vacation you’re seeking, you’ll find it all in Estepona! Not only you’ll be captivated by its authentic Andalusian atmosphere, history, monuments, restaurants, etc. but with the diverse activities, you can enjoy there. You’re certain to have one of your most unforgettable travel experiences!
History of Estepona
Different cultures, religions and languages existed in Estepona and left their influence in one way or another. First traces of human life date back to the Paleolithic era (60000 years ago). Phoenicians, Carthaginian, Romans, Visigoths, Byzantines, Muslims and Christians all settled in Estepona throughout the ages.
Around 3500 years ago, evidence exists that Esteponians’ ancestors lived mainly on agriculture, cattle breeding and fishing.
Phoenicians landed in Estepona around 3000 years ago and built salazone factories, launching thus the fish and seafood export activities. At the time, they called the town “La Astapa” which means “Town on the water”.
Around 300 AD, the Romans settled there. Along the coast, there are still remains of factories that the Romans had built to produce Garum (a sauce made of small fish) that was exported to all parts of the Roman Empire. Romans built also thermal baths around the tower by the Gauadalmansa River.
It was the Arabs who remained the most in Estepona: from the 8th until the 15th Century.
They called the town “Astabbuna” and built many walls and watchtowers of which 7 ruins still exist today along the beaches of Estepona. These watchtowers were very useful to counterattack pirates who tried to invade the town coming from North Africa and Turkey.
During this period, various Muslim Kingdoms fought each other, and therefore “Astabbuna” was governed by different Taifas kings.
In 1457, Enrique IV de Castille captured the town from the Arabs and ordered to build a church on the site of the old Mosque. The town was finally called “Estepona”.
When in 1492 the Catholic Kings conquered Granada, Christians were able to repopulate Estepona. The famous San Luis Castle and other watchtowers were built to prevent another Arab and North African pirates’ invasions.
In 1502, no more than 25 families lived in Estepona. Between 1507 and 1600 new victorious columnist came from northern Spain. As a result, more streets were built around the castle and the church.
At first, the town was part of Marbella’s jurisdiction. However, in 1729 Philip V of Spain granted Estepona its independence.
Monuments and Museums in Estepona
Estepona has a rich history. You’ll find throughout this exciting town bits and pieces that were left by all civilizations that landed there namely Phoenicians, Romans, Muslims and the Christians. Every day, new excavations are found that decipher new elements of the History of Estepona. Here are some of the exceptional monuments and museums that are worth visiting while in Estepona.
Monuments in Estepona
-Remains of Castillejos.- Muslims reconstructed these remains that date back to the prehistoric era.
-Guadalmansa Roman Ruins.- The Ruins of Guadalmansa Estuary belonged to the Roman town of Salduba.
-The Town Clock Tower.- Back in the Arab era, the tower clock was the minaret of a mosque. When the Castillians took control of the town, they built a church on the site of the mosque and the minaret became a bell tower. This church is the oldest throughout Costa del Sol.
-El Nicio Castle.- Numerous towers and walls still exist from this 9th Century fortress that played a vital role during Ben Hafsun’s revolt against the Cordoba emirs. In the end, it was dominated by the emirate troupes in 923 DC.
-The Watchtowers.- 7 Watchtowers of Muslim and Castillian origin are spread along Estepona’s 22 km coast. These were used to defend the town from any adversaries attack and were used up till the 19th Century.
-The Ruins of the Castle of Saint Louis.- In the dawn of the 16th Century, the Catholic Kings ordered the construction of the Castle to strengthen and support the walls of the town.
-Lighthouse of Punta Doncella.- A 21 meters high lighthouse with a range of 18 sea miles. It was constructed in 1861.
-The Church of Our Lady of Redemption.- The legend states that around 1400 when this spot was full of pines, someone found a crucifix that was supposed to be wood from the True Cross. It was the Tertiary Franciscans who built this church in 1766. However, unfortunately, the church experienced great damage in 1936 during the Spanish Civil War and the True Cross was destroyed. The whole church was reconstructed in 1943 and the ashes of the True Cross were saved in a reliquary in this church.
-The House of the Marques of Mondéjar.- This House was constructed in the 18th Century. Its aristocratic architecture is fascinating.
-The Bullring.- The architect Juan Mora Urbano designed this bullring in an outstanding asymmetric design. It was first opened in 1972.
Museums in Estepona
You can visit 4 exceptional museums in Estepona.
-The Museum of Palaeontology.- It is situated in the Plaza de los Misioneros near the Church of Our Lady of Redemption. When you go through the exhibition halls of this museum, you'll be able to make an entire tour of Estepona's ancient history and get to know what Phoenicians, Romans, Arabs and the Christians left from their occupation of Estepona. You'll also be more familiar with the rich history of Estepona and all cities located in the Costa del Sol region.
-The Museum of Archaeology.- Found in Estepona's bullring, this museum exhibits information related to bullfighting like posters and many suits offered by renowned "toreros". It also includes twelve exhibition halls that highlight how people lived in Estepona in previous recent centuries. Themes covered are as follows: bee-keeping, harvesting cereals, the forge, livestock, fishing, and more.
-The Maritime and Country Museum.- This museum has some of the most important variety of fossils some of which are more than five million years old. It is situated at Estepona's Bullring.
-The Bullfighting Museum.- It contains a wide selection of exhibits associated with bullfighting in Spain.
Leisure Activities in Estepona
While you’re at Estepona you don’t have to worry about entertainment as this town is geared up to entertain tourists of all ages and tastes.
If you’re a golf lover, Estepona has over 12 golf courses where you can practice your passion.
Should you be a nature trekker, then you’ll surely want to go for a hike at Los Pedregales which is located inside the Natural Park of Sierra Bermeja. Every year hundreds of persons go for Pilgrimage for San Isidro Labrador who is a Saint that has a hermitage in his honour since 1988. You’ll also walk through many rural homes.
You can practice other activities in the heart of nature like biking or horseback riding. Estepona has wonderful installations for horse lovers and a renowned horse riding school (Escuela de Arte Ecuestre) which is one of the main centres of equitation where competitions take place.
Estepona annual Feria
On the first of July and for a whole week one of the most important fiestas in Estepona begins. Streets and shops are closed; Restaurants serve food and drink in the street where people of all ages dance and sing on the rhythm of popular Spanish music like “Sevillianas” and rumbas.
And when night falls, the town is illuminated with thousands of marvellous fireworks. There’s also a traditional amusement park that people of all ages enjoy.
Selwo Wildlife and Safari Park
It is only 20 minutes drive away from Estepona Port. Over 2000 species of animals from the entire world are housed in this park in a state of liberty taking of course into consideration the safety and security of visitors. The largest aviary in Europe is found at the entrance that has over 1000 birds’ species. Lions, tigers, elephants, white rhino, hippos, bears and anacondas are among the animals that you’ll see. The list is endless in this terrain which is a simulation of the wild environment of natural jungles.
You can practice other activities as well like falconry, archery displays, camel rides and a great adventure playground.
You can have lunch in any of the excellent restaurants available there and might decide to stay overnight in any of their native styled and air-conditioned huts.
Beaches in Estepona
With 300 days of sunshine during the year, and 22 km of wide sand low-level beaches that offer many water sports activities like jet skiing, water skiing, sailing, scuba diving and fishing in addition to kids activities, Estepona is your must destination if you’re looking for a relaxing vacation in the sun. Moreover, should you like to connect with nature; you can go to any of Estepona’s 3 naturists’ beaches.
On the other hand, despite the increased flow of tourists during summertime, Estepona beaches don’t get relatively too overcrowded.
Here’s the full list of Estepona’s beaches:
Location: Casco Urbano
Located in the centre of Estepona, La Rada is the biggest beach in Estepona.
Many beach bars “Chiringuitos” are located all along the seafront and serve Spanish and international cuisine.
Location: Casco Urbano
Length: 680 m
Ideal for kids as it is located in a charming sheltered bay with many water sports activities. Two beach bars are available in addition to all services and facilities from a Red Cross post to a pedal boat hire shop.
Punta de la Plata
Location: A-7 Km. 158
Length: 2500 m
A grey-sand, pebbled beach.
Location: A-7 Km. 148
Length: 960 m
Location: A-7 Km. 149
Length: 500 m
A very peaceful beach ideal for fishing. Lovely vegetations grow along the beach.
Location: A-7 Km. 152
Length: 585 m
This is a nudist beach located next door to Natura.
Costa Natura (Nudist)
Location: A-7 Km. 150,5
Length: 400 m
Spain’s first naturists’ complex, Costa Natura is situated between Guadalobon Beach and Arroyo Vaqueros Beach. Since the beaches are interconnected, it is ideal for running or any other sports activity.
Location: A-7 Km. 151
Length: 1860 m
Another naturists’ beach in Estepona.
Location: A-7 Km. 159
Length: 1290 m
Location: A-7 Km. 162
Length: 750 m
Contains a Red Cross post, maintenance service and showers.
Location: A-7 Km. 161
Length: 1000 m
Location: A-7 Km. 163
Length: 500 m
Location: A-7 Km. 160
Length: 1040 m
Located near the Kempinski Resort Hotel, this beach has Jet skis and windsurfing boards for hire.
Location: A-7 Km. 164
Length: 1370 m
Location: Punta del Saladillo, Km 166
Length: 2630 m
It contains playgrounds for kids and beach chair rentals in addition to 2 beach restaurants 'La Antigua’ and 'Pepe's Beach' which serves delicious paellas.
Location: A-7 Km. 168
Length: 910 m
Location A-7 Km. 169
Length: 1070 m
Restaurants in Estepona
Estepona’s restaurants are famous for their friendly service and the tasteful dishes they serve. From local to international cuisine, you’re certain to eat in Estepona the kind of fresh food that suits your taste and budget. Most restaurants are located near the seafront and offer cooked fish of different forms. You’ll definitely want to try the different tapas Estepona is famous at. Tapas consist of a wide variety of appetizers in Spanish cuisine and they can be eaten either cold or hot.
Here’s a short list of some of Estepona’s restaurants:
From a quick drink to a long lunch, La Paloma is a great place with its friendly service and relaxed atmosphere. It is located approximately 4 minutes inland from Estepona Poligino on the Casares road. Open all day from 11 am. It is closed on Mondays. For reservations: 952794606
Le Petit Paris
Le Petit Paris is a French restaurant that serves exquisite French cuisine and deserts. It is located near the Belgravia Club & Estepona Marina at Avda. Del Carmen 45. For reservations call 952802431.
Bikini Beach Lounge Bar
It is a modern top class beach restaurant that serves a varied choice of delicious food: From Lebanese mezzes to pasta and of course a wide choice of fish. You can either sit inside or on the wooden decking outside that overlooks the beach.
It is located in Playa La Rada, Estepona. For reservations call 951775453.
Located in Urb. Monte Biaritz, you can admire in this restaurant a Flamenco dancing and singing show weekly from Thursday to Saturday. For reservations call 952 880 435.
Blue Dolphin Beach Club
It’s also a beach restaurant at the end of the bay of Estepona with unique views on Gibraltar. It offers a wide range of tasty local and international specialities in a relaxed ambience. For reservation call 952781006.
Restaurante La Cala
A good Spanish Restaurant located in Calle Padre Cura that serves traditional cuisine. For reservations call 952797128.
It serves a tasty creative cuisine and is located in Carretera N-340 Cadiz-Malaga, Estepona, 29680. For reservations call 952887673
La Sal proposes original entries and seafood recipes as the main course. For reservations call 952888369
Fast food restaurants are also present in Estepona. There’s one McDonald’s restaurant found at the edge of the town near Carrefour and a Burger King restaurant located along the main seafront promenade.
Marriott’s Playa Andaluza
Crta de Cadiz, km 168
Crowne Plaza Estepona
Ctra. N-340/Km 168
A luxurious 5 stars Hotel.
Hotel Villa Padierna – Golf & Spa
Ctra Cadiz Km 166 Marbella
A spa hotel with a full-service health spa that is close to Selwo Adventure Park. It also has a golf course.
Kempinski Hotel Bahia Estepona
Carretera de Cadiz km 159
Playa del Padron
4* Hotels in Estepona
H10 Estepona Palace
Avda Del Carmen – Playa del Guadalobon
Has direct access to the beach and is 800 meters away from Estepona Marina. Your little ones have their own swimming pool and from June 15 till December 15, they can be entertained in a playground and a mini club Daisy.
Gran Hotel Playabella
Costalita s/n – Estepona 29680
Located on the beachside, it has a bicycle hire service. During summer time, children between 4 and 12 years old can enjoy the kid’s club activities.
Selenza Estepona Thalasso & Spa Hotel
Nacional Km 165340
This spa hotel provides medical services (extra charge), has a wheelchair accessible, indoor and outdoor freshwater pool, in addition to a children’s pool and mini club.
Atalaya Park Golf Hotel & Resort
Avda de las Golondrinas
3* Hotels in Estepona
Diana Park Hotel
De Cadiz (a7) km. 168.5
This 3 stars hotel has a 24-hour reception, a safe lock and currency exchange desk. Kids’ club is available to entertain your kids.
Residence Albayt Country Club
Carretera N-340 km 149.2
2 Urb Costa Galera
Finca La Cancelada
Calle Tamesis N 16
Contains 9 rooms, each has its own patio and terrace. Alberto Lodge offers a wide range of cultural and sports activities.
2* Hotels in Estepona
Avenida San Lorenzo, 32
Avda Litoral 22
A bed and breakfast hostel that is located one minute walking from the beach and 15 minutes walking from Estepona’s boisterous centre.
Shopping in Estepona
Shopping in Estepona is a real pleasure! Not only prices are reasonable but also the quality and design of clothes and leather apparels are excellent. You’ll find a great variety of shoes and clothes shops in the town centre of Estepona “Calle Real” and “Calle Terraza which runs in parallel to the main coast road. Moreover, if you happen to be in Estepona during sales time, then you can buy great bargains.
Here are some of the shops you’ll find along the “Calle Real”:
Soberbia, Base, Mango, Via Vai, Apresto, Mango, Marga, Gales Fabiola, Capry, Payma, Martino and Martini, Babilonia, Duo, Arpe, Carla Sede, step, Jana, Primate, Amichi, La Leneceria, Paris, El Pozo, Benetton, etc.
Alternatively, you can go shop at Laguna Village which is located A7 km. 159, Playa del Padon, Estepona. Laguna Village is a luxurious shopping where you can find many luxurious shops like Escada Sport, Elle Morgan, Hugo Boss, Armani, to name a few. And you can eat there in any of the distinguished restaurants that serve a wide variety of international and local cuisine!
On the other hand, three main Markets occur every week in Estepona:
Estepona Tourist Market
Every Sunday from 10 am till 2 pm you can walk through La Marina and shop for bargains that include gift, leather, shoes, fake high quality watches, sunglasses, music, souvenirs, arts & crafts, with the understanding that a variety of lovely potteries, marble sculpture, iron forging and tapestries can be found at Estepona as this town has a good number of craftsmen. You can continue your day eating a delicious lunch in any of the great restaurants located by the sea.
The Wednesday Market
This market is held every Wednesday in the Avenida Juan Carlos in the morning. You can find mainly fresh fruits, vegetables, clothes, kitchenware, etc.
Covered food Market
Located at Calle Villa, Estepona about 200 meters from the beach, this market sells on a daily basis fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, bakery, spices, etc.