Estepona is perhaps one of the least known corners of Malaga among international visitors, although it is becoming an extremely popular residential destination year on year. One of the reasons for this trend may be due to the wonderful beaches of Estepona, a treasure that has been a little overlooked by tourism, with fine sand and landscapes that remain etched in the mind forever.
That’s why the 20 kilometres of coast that make up Estepona, separating Marbella from the province of Cadiz, have a lot to offer for those opting for sun and beach tourism and looking to switch off by the sea. To be able to visit them all, the best option is to get a hire car so you can drive to each one of these sandy beaches with comfort and at your leisure.
Estepona’s beaches: a Blue Flag paradise
Some of Estepona’s beaches have been awarded the Blue Flag which is granted by the Association of Environmental Education and Consumer Affairs (Asociación de Educación Ambiental y del Consumidor (ADEAC)), taking four aspects into account: water quality, environmental management, safety and services and information and environmental education.
This guarantees the safety and well-being of the swimmer, in addition to adding to their convenience thanks to the provision of different services which facilitate their stay and enjoyment. Andalusia boasts more than 100 beaches with this accolade and several of them can be found in Estepona.
Estepona’s best beaches
Below, we list some of Estepona’s best beaches, given that the quality of their waters, the services they offer or the peace and quiet they provide their visitors, compete directly with the famous beaches of Nerja.
Cristo Beach (Playa del Cristo)
Forming a beautiful cove, Cristo Beach is one of the most popular of Estepona’s beaches, not just for being awarded the Blue Flag, but also for its fine sand and clear waters. In addition, this is one of the best beaches to visit with children, since it usually has warm and calm waters.
In terms of the services it offers, visitors will be able to hire hammocks or jet skis while they are there, in addition to having some of the comforts that make it accessible, like toilets and changing rooms with disabled access.
Arroyo Vaquero Beach
Following the coast towards the province of Cadiz, Arroyo Vaquero beach has also been awarded the Blue Flag, surrounded by the beaches of Guadalobón and Costa Natura on a coastline that stretches 2,500 metres. This beach is characterised by its shore formed by pebbles and clear waters where you can admire the rocky seabed, ideal for divers.
Visitors who come in their own vehicle will find parking easily and beach bars (chiringuitos) nearby to enjoy a bite to eat, but Arroyo Vaquero is a semi-urban beach which doesn’t have the typical services, so it is usually quiet and therefore has a more peaceful atmosphere.
Costa Natura Beach
Situated next to Arroyo Vaquero and Guadalobón, Costa Natura beach is Estepona’s only nudist beach. This beach has a peaceful atmosphere without too many people, with a space reserved for naturism which is barely 400 metres wide. Since it is further away from the urban area, Costa Natura has an intimate atmosphere where you can switch off and relax.
El Saladillo Beach
El Saladillo beach is the nearest beach to San Pedro de Alcántara. It stretches 6km and has pine trees and dunes that separate it from the urban area, making it a peaceful spot with natural shade which is ideal for spending the day with children. With clear waters and grey sand, this beach boasts all types of services, from public toilets, showers and bins to a children’s play area and hire of leisure items.
La Rada Beach
Another of Estepona’s beaches with a Blue Flag is La Rada, belonging to the town itself, so it is perfect for people staying in Estepona that want to walk to the beach. Stretching 2.6 km, this beach has a promenade with all types of leisure establishments and places to eat where you can enjoy the best tapas in Estepona. Although it can be one of the busiest, La Rada has all types of services and extensive facilities for the safety of swimmers.
Punta Plata Beach
Punta Plata Beach is situated near to La Rada beach and is characterised for having a fine coastline and being surrounded by housing developments, making this a rather busy area, with visitors from all of the houses nearby. Although it doesn’t have many services, the trademark of this beach is its clear and calm waters, ideal for tourists that want to snorkel.
Bahía Dorada Beach
At just 700 metres long, this beach is characterised by the different colours of its waters which offer special touch of colour. On this beach, you can do all types of water activities, from fishing to diving. Bahía Dorada is not a busy beach, which helps to preserve its surroundings. This beach has various services, including hammock and parasol hire and surveillance towers for swimmers.
El Padrón Beach
For those looking for a perfect beach, El Padrón beach is your ideal destination. With a wooded area and all types of services, this is one of the most frequented in Estepona. It is surrounded by exclusive beach clubs where you can enjoy music, cocktails and a fun atmosphere. It has parking for visitors that come by car and is accessible for people with disabilities.
Also known as Guadalmansa beach, Bella beach stands out for its clean waters and relaxed ambience with a low occupancy. In addition, it features an area set up for kite surfing, a sport that is becoming increasingly popular. In terms of services, this beach has places to eat nearby, as well as hammock hire and showers.
Velerín Beach is also known as El Castor or Arroyo de las Cañas beach and is one of Estepona’s best beaches thanks to its small number of visitors. In it, the sea, river, mountain and a rich vegetation come together, making this one of the area’s most stunning beaches. Its name comes from the fact it is home to the Velerín Tower (Torre del Velerín), a defensive building which forms part of a set of seven distributed across the coast of Estepona and which dates back to the 16th century.
Estepona’s artificial beach
For more curious travellers, Estepona’s beaches also include a beach which is the only artificial lake in Europe and could easily seem like the Caribbean coast. Named Alcazaba Lagoon, this recreated beach belongs to a hotel complex and you have to pay an entry fee of around 15 euros for adults and 7 for children to be able to access it. It features a restaurant and beach bar (chiringuito) on its shores which belong to the residential complex.
Map of Estepona’s best beaches
On this map, you can establish a route through some of Estepona’s best beaches, travelling the coastline from Marbella to the province of Cadiz to discover the extensive beach offer of the coast of Estepona.