Estepona is a fascinating town on Spain's western Costa del Sol, having moved with the times, yet still retaining much of its original charm. Surrounded by sea and the Sierra Bermeja mountains, Estepona has its own microclimate, with over 325 days of sunshine a year.
The town still has its own working fishing fleet and fishermen's port, where every morning the day's catch is auctioned off. The old town rises on the hill behind, the terraced cottages and narrow streets ringing to the sounds of children playing or tumbling out of school, as the townsfolk go about their daily routine. The historic church is famous for its clock tower.
The seafront, the Paseo Maritimo, is always inviting, by day and by night, to both visitors and locals alike. Small traditional fish restaurants, the chirringuitos, with their tempting dishes featuring the day's local catch, are to be found on the sandy beach. Whilst the wide esplanade itself has subtropical gardens to the one side, the sparkling Mediterranean to the other. Here is a popular venue for Spanish families as they take their evening stroll, a secure place for the children to run and play, whilst parents and grandparents, or groups of friends, amble slowly along.
But the Paseo Maritimo really comes into its own at fiesta time, as with the Fiesta de la Virgen del Carmen. Then the long procession of fisherman, musicians and townsfolk follow the huge gold embossed dais bearing the statue of the Virgin, raised high on the shoulders of the menfolk, down to the shore. Here she is carefully manoevred onto a boat which takes her out to sea, to bless each of the fishing boats in turn, and offer thanks for the harvest of the sea. All amidst a huge crowd of townsfolk and visitors, soaking up the atmosphere as dusk gives way to night, and the lights from the boats begin to sparkle on the sea..
The picturesque Plaza de Flores offers a relaxing haven from the bustle of the town, with its beautiful fountain and colourful gardens, where you can enjoy a coffee or cold beer whilst admiring the traditional Andualucian architecture of the surrounding buildings and church. And the old quarter of Estepona retains much of its original charm and atmosphere, particularly at night, when the numerous traditional tapas bars, restaurants and sherry bodegas tempt you in from the narrow streets. Mouthwatering Argentinean steaks are a particular speciality here.
Out of town are numerous golf courses, Estepona Golf, Monte Mayor, 5* Finca el Cortesin, Duquesa Golf, Casares Golf, Dona Julia, etc. close by; Sotogrande, Valderrama, San Roque, etc within 30 minutes drive.
Estepona is a town to suit all ages and tastes, a true Spanish town retaining much of its original charm, full of life and sunshine throughout the year. With 2 blue flag beaches, tapas, fiestas and fun, Estepona is a year round holiday destination.
Local celebrations: San Isidro Labrador, agricultural fiesta 15 May
Virgen del Carmen, fishermen's fiesta 16 July
San Juan, traditional night time fiesta 23 June
Ferias y Fiestas mayores, annual town festival with fireworks early July
Tres Reyes, procession of the three Kings for the children 5/6 January