Estepona is one of the most popular tourist destinations on the Costa del Sol in Malaga. With its warm and sunny climate all year round, its impressive coastline of crystal clear waters, its delicious tapas, and its Andalusian charm, Estepona is a true paradise for visitors. Discover everything this town has to offer with our complete guide.
History of Estepona
This town in the province of Malaga has a history that dates back to the Roman era. However, it was during the Muslim period when the city experienced significant economic development thanks to agriculture and fishing.
Later, Estepona was taken by the Catholic Monarchs and suffered different sieges and looting. After the Reconquest, in the 16th and 17th centuries, the city became an important commercial center throughout the region thanks to the cultivation of sugar cane and the export of wines.
During the 19th century, the city was affected by the War of Independence and the yellow fever epidemic that devastated much of the country. Nowadays, Estepona is a tourist city that preserves an important historical and cultural heritage.
What to see and do in Estepona
From exploring the historic center and enjoying the beaches along the coast to strolling with rhinos, Estepona has a lot to offer its visitors. Here are some of the main places of interest and activities to do in Estepona:
What to see in Estepona
Estepona has multiple activities and things to do. Among the main places of interest in Estepona, we highlight the following:
Visit the old town
Its streets decorated with flowers and pots make this a very picturesque place. Following this route, you can reach the Plaza de las Flores, one of the oldest squares in Estepona. This was built in the 19th century and is characterized by the beautiful flowers that surround the central fountain of the square and the restaurants located in it.
To end the walk you can find the Castle of San Luis 2 minutes from the square. A construction from the medieval period in the center of the municipality that served as a fortress to protect the town from attacks by invaders looking for the riches of the area.
The castle was partly destroyed in 1810 by the French troops. Currently, the remains of the tower and a section of the south wall still stand.
Artistic murals routeThis town offers different routes to appreciate more than 60 artistic murals that decorate the facades of buildings and houses. Immerse yourself in its streets and enjoy a walk finding these striking works of art.
In addition, the city has a large number of art galleries and museums, which reflect the rich history and culture of the region.
Estepona has the Paleontological Museum where a large collection of replicas of dinosaur skeletons can be appreciated, as well as original fossils and marine mollusks from different geological eras of over 5 million years.
Location: C. Matías Prats, 110, 29680 Estepona, Málaga
Hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Price: Free entrance
Phone: 952 80 71 48
Adventure Park – Selwo Aventura
If you want to experience an African adventure on the Costa del Sol, don’t miss out on visiting this natural habitat with over 200 species of animals from all continents. It offers guided tours, safari rides, bird shows, and encounters with exotic animals, among other amazing activities. Undoubtedly, a perfect plan to do with your family. A great adventure you can’t miss.
Location: Autovía del Mediterráneo, Km. 162, 5, 29680 Estepona, Málaga
Hours: Monday to Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Price: Reduced general tickets are available. The price ranges between €16 and €40
Phone: 952 57 77 73
Nature and hiking
For nature lovers, Estepona offers a great variety of hiking trails that allow you to enjoy the stunning views of the Sierra Bermeja and the Alcornocales Natural Park.
Making fires and throwing garbage in the mountains is prohibited. We recommend wearing comfortable clothing and bringing water, especially during the hottest months (May to September).
If you like hiking and enjoying nature, the Paseo de los Pinsapos route has an ideal natural environment to follow the route and enjoy the views. It has a distance of 6 kilometers with numerous species of plants and animals.
Another option for a different kind of route is to walk along the promenade on the Estepona Coastal Path, which has a perfect paved trail for cycling or walking while enjoying the wonderful views of the beach.
In addition, this municipality has a Botanical Garden – Orchidarium. This modern garden has more than 1300 orchids and other species of flowers in a space of more than 1000 square meters to walk through. Inside, it has a magnificent waterfall and a natural habitat that transports you to the Amazon rainforest itself.
Location: C. Terraza, 86, 29680 Estepona, Málaga
Hours: Tuesday to Saturday 10:00-13:30, 15:00-18:00. Sundays 10:00-14:00.
Price: €3 adults and €1 children.
Phone: 951 51 70 74
Sun and beach
Estepona has a great variety of beaches with crystal-clear waters and fine sand. Some of the most popular ones are Playa del Cristo and Playa de la Rada. Each one of them offers different activities and services, such as beach bars, sun loungers, and umbrellas. The perfect plan to enjoy a day with family or friends.
If you are looking for a beach plan with kids, Playa del Cristo is a good option as it is a small family bay with crystal-clear and calm waters of shallow depth, making it perfect for kids.
If, on the other hand, you are looking for a more secluded spot, the best option is Playa del Padrón, a wide coastal area with golden sand. It is located 10 minutes away by car from Estepona and the best thing is that it has a parking area right on the beach, which makes it very convenient to access.
As you can see, Estepona treasures a great variety of tranquil tropical beaches to enjoy with friends, family, or your partner. If you want to discover them all, you can visit our post on the best beaches in Estepona.
Popular Festivals and Gastronomy
Among the most popular festivals in Estepona are the traditional Feria de San Isidro Labrador celebrated on May 15th, which refers to the Patron Saint of the town. On this special day, you can see unique floats, as well as various music and equestrian art shows, among others.
Another of the most outstanding events is the Feria de Estepona. During a week, various leisure activities are held such as dances, float parades, music and folk shows. The fair is held at the Recinto Ferial, which has a large number of booths and attractions.
During the day, the fair takes place in the town center, at night the party continues at the fairgrounds, which are a bit further from the historic center.
As for gastronomy, one of the most outstanding dishes in the area is the Sopa Campera, a typical dish of San Isidro Day. However, if you’re strolling along the city’s beaches, what will catch your eye are the “sardines on the tile”.
If you want to explore all their gastronomy in more depth, you can do so by trying the best tapas in Estepona at their terraces and bars.
How to get to Estepona
How to get there by bus
To get to Estepona by bus from Malaga, you can use different bus lines such as the M-240 Line or the M-110 Line, departing from the center of Malaga. The journey takes approximately 2 hours and the ticket price is around 5 euros.
How to get there by car
Another option is to have your own vehicle and drive to Estepona, you can explore the surroundings at your own pace, without worrying about schedules and public transport restrictions. This allows greater flexibility to visit places like Manilva, Istán or Casares. With CarGest, you can rent a car with everything included to avoid worries throughout your trip.
To reach Estepona by car from Malaga airport, you must follow the MA-21 towards Torremolinos, until linking with the AP-7 motorway towards Fuengirola. In this town, the road branches off, giving the option to follow the motorway to Marbella and Estepona, or follow the coastal road. If you decide to follow the motorway, you must take exit 1070A, just at Estepona’s level.
The toll fee is approximately 13 euros, although it is a much faster route (50 min) than the beautiful old coastal road.
Map of Estepona
Below you will find an interactive map with all the places of interest mentioned in this article, so you can plan your visit to Estepona more easily and comfortably. Don’t miss it!
Best time of the year to visit: Spring and summer.
Don’t miss: An ideal day in Estepona. Relax on the beach, stroll through the narrow white streets of the historic center, try the most typical dishes and enjoy the relaxed nightlife of the city.
Nearby places to eat: We have a post about restaurants in Estepona, in case you feel like eating at any of these places. We wanted to make a ranking, but we were not able to decide which one we like the most.
I hope you have found this information useful and that it will encourage you to visit Estepona. For more information about the town you can consult the Estepona Town Hall website: https://ayuntamiento.estepona.es/