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- Town history
With its privileged setting, Estepona captivates visitors in each one or its parts. The revamped old town, one of the most beautiful in Andalusia, offers tourists the change to enjoy a true urban graden at "El Jardín de la Costa del Sol". Its maze of white streets, decked with colourful pots brimming with flowers, is the very essence of a coastal Andalusian town. Estepona conserves its customs and traditions and has blended them in seamless harmony with its modern and tourist-focused side.
Estepona is committed to culture and exhibits art in its streets. Open-air sculptures by renowned artists, artistic murals that decorate building facades and bring life to the streets … a rich and diverse heritage will surprise visitors, who can wander through the different neighbourhoods and areas with buildings that host pictorical works of great quality and originality, and discover a new way of enjoying art.
IN ESTEPONA YOU CANNOT MISS
Estepona has many monuments and museums that allow visitors to discover the history of the town in a few hours of walk. Starting from the church of the Virgen de los Remedios, built in the XVIII century and that was part of a convent until 1835; the Clock Tower, founded in the XV century and which is preserved in perfect condition, and the Castle of San Luis, built in the XVI century on order of the Catholic Monarchs and that only the remains of the fortress, complete the top stops of this tour.
After visiting the historic city centre, the road to the beach leads to the Lighthouse of Punta Doncella. In addition to its heritage value, this lighthouse is maintained operational and each day, it emits light signals that help boats holing the Strait of Gibraltar.
The Corominas Prehistoric Necropolis has an interpretation area beneath the burial mound, recreating megalithic funerary architecture. It contains a recreation, along with other remains, of the five Estepona dolmens, dating back around 5,000 years.
Lovers of natural history in Estepona can enjoy the Paleontology Museum and its collection of shellfish and invertebrates of the Pliocene, accompanied by fossils and dinosaur replicas.
On the other hand, the Bullfighting Museum, dedicated to Antonio Ordonez, collects various objects and goods related to bullfighting. From this building also, the inside of the Bullring of Estepona can be accessed, with its distinctive elliptical and asymmetrical shape. The network of museum spaces is completed with the Ethnographic Museum, where the way of life of its inhabitants in recent centuries is shown.
The museum network continues with the Archaeological Museum, located in the Casa del Aljibe, which has four rooms dedicated to different historical periods: Prehistoric times, Roman times and Muslim times. The Museo de Arte de la Diputación (MAD) (Regional Government Art Museum), located in the emblematic Casa de Las Tejerinas at the Plaza de las Flores, shows contemporary works of art, specifically paintings from the 21st century by renowned national artists, and also offers temporary exhibits.
And Orchidarium Estepona, a building of 1,000 square meters containing more than 5,000 plants, among which more than 1,300 species of orchids from around the world are highlighted.
It’s best to drive from Málaga to Estepona along the AP-7 paid motorway with the trip taking an hour without traffic. Another option is to take the A-357 and get off at exit 48 to continue along the E-15/AP-7 in Marbella to Estepona. The alternate route takes an estimated hour and ten minutes.
Estepona has the best that the mountain and sea offers. Sierra Bermeja, a natural space formed by a striking mountain of red colour, is the ideal place to enjoy all kinds of outdoor activities, from the most demanding, as its walks in search of birds of prey or specimens of the ibex, to the more playful, like those that can be undertaken in the Park of San Isidro or the Paseo de los Pinsapos. Within this enclave, you can admire the sunsets with view of Africa in the background.
Sierra Bermeja has become in recent years, the epicentre of active tourism of Estepona, with activities like mountain biking, equestrian paths and trekking, which can be practiced in a natural environment where rivers and streams offer ideal place to relax and take a bath.
With 23 kilometres of coastline, Estepona offers 17 beaches having all the services that guarantee the safety and enjoyment along one of the largest coastlines in the province of Malaga coastlines. It also has nautical areas to add some adrenaline with sports such as diving, kayaks or paddle surfing.
The Gran Senda has a stage with end in this town (Casares - Estepona) and start of another stage (Estepona - Marbella). These two paths join a stage of Senda Litoral [Coastline Sand] (Estepona - Manilva).
The Marina of Estepona, with its 447 moorings, is the favourite of those seeking leisure and entertainment in the evening, especially when the summer months arrive. A walk through its interior is the perfect start before knowing at first hand some of the many bars, restaurants and nightclubs that are around.
Other leisure centres of Estepona designed for the whole family is Selwo Aventura, a zoo that becomes a kind of safari jeep that runs alongside more than 2,000 animals of 200 different species. To enrich the visit, the route is through four different villages: Pórtico de la Naturaleza (Portico of Nature), Cañón de las Aves (Bird Canyon), Ruta de los Valles (Route of the Valleys) and the El Poblado Central (Central Village). The Contact with animals and large playgrounds make Selwo Aventura, a favourite plans for the younger ones of the house.
Golf enthusiasts will find in Estepona, a paradise for this sport: own, there are excellent golf fields: Valle Romano Golf, El Paraiso Golf Club, Atalaya Golf, El Campanario Golf, El Coto Golf and Estepona Golf Club.
The Exhibition and Conference Centre offers multipurpose facilities that adapt to any type of activity: trade fairs, workshops, exhibitions, conferences, shows, etc. It has a 2,000 sq m pavilion and a 250 sq m conference hall. The Centre hosts major events throughout the year.
A space of much interest is also the School of Equestrian Art 'Costa del Sol'. This is one of the best equestrian centres in Spain and offers beautiful exhibitions with horses.
Finally, It is noteworthy that Estepona is an ideal place for wellness tourism destination, with a wide range of products and services aimed at health, beauty and luxury services. This is one of the most notable and renowned equestrian centres in Spain, offering one of the most modern facilities in Europe.
One of the most important celebrations of the town of Estepona is the one that takes place on the occasion of the celebration of the Virgen del Carmen, on July 16. The town organizes a maritime procession with odour of incense, flowers, and sea salt, which pays tribute to the Patroness of Estepona and fishermen. A crowd of tourists and locals of Estepona who often wait at the Virgin on the shore, where dozens of boats decorated for the occasion receive it to accompany it by sea between cheers and sirens.
The 15th of May is the date of the traditional procession to honour the patron saint of Estepona, San Isidro Labrador, where crowds of people dressed in the traditional countryside dress walk alongside their Saint through the typical Estepona streets, which have been dressed up for the occasion.
Other fairs are the Feria y Fiestas Mayores in July; the San Juan fair in June, which is based around the burning of the “júas”; as well as the Virgen de Los Remedios fair in August.
Estepona also hosts the Costa del Sol Horror and Fantasy Film Week in September. The programme includes films, conferences, workshops and exhibitions, among other activities.
Estepona offers to its visitors, a kitchen with clear sea flavour, thanks to its strong bond with the Mediterranean. Sardines on the spit (skewered on a stick and roasted in the heat of the coals) and a wide variety of species that are served fried are the stars of the menu of restaurants and bars on the beach.
The mountain also puts its grain of sand in the cuisine of this municipality. Among the dishes that come from there, are the soup, made with olive oil, tomato, pepper, onion, garlic, bread, egg and salt.
Other dishes that you can taste easily in Estepona are ajoblanco (cold garlic soup, bread and almonds) the emblanco (a cooked white fish stew), gazpacho (the famous cold tomato soup), gazpachuelo (a delicious soup of hake, potato and a kind of light mayonnaise), sardines tile (made with sautéed vegetables, tomato and spices), salt fish and octopus salad.
The earliest evidence of the presence of man in Estepona dates from the Palaeolithic Era. The finding of 60,000-year-old stone tools points at the existence of Neanderthals in the area. In the ninth or eighth century BC, the Phoenicians founded a city they called "Astapa". Archaeological findings from the site of El Torreón are proof of this settlement.
The Romans set up several garum and fish salting factories along the coast. The products were then shipped to distant places in the Roman Empire. The main population centre sat next to the tower on the bank of the river Guadalmansa. The ruins of the bath found there have been associated to Salduba, although some historians locate this Roman city in present-day Marbella.
The Arab Castle was built in the tenth century. The village of Estebbuna (the origin of the town"s current name) developed around the castle. In the days of Al-Andalus, it was under the rule of the taifa of Algeciras, the Almoravid dynasty, the Almohad Caliphate, the Marinid and the Nasrid dynasties. It became a strategic village near the Strait of Gibraltar, with a local economy based on farming and mining.
In times of the Reconquista, Estepona was conquered by King Henry IV of Castile. Under the Catholic Monarchs, it had its castle rebuilt (its ruins have come down to us). It was a village annexed to Marbella until 1729, when King Philip V granted it its charter, kept at the Town Archives.
The earliest megalithic burial site on the Costa del Sol, this necropolis was unearthed in the context of an environmental impact assessment study conducted to build a highway. Archaeological work ensued in the area of Corominas, where a 5,000-year-old necropolis was found comprising five tombs and several burial mounds.
Given the importance of the findings and the good condition they were in, the archaeological evidence was moved to a specially designed building for exhibition purposes. Corominas Necropolis Visitor Centre, in Los Pedregales Park, is an underground structure recreating megalithic architecture.
Estepona’s strong ties to the Mediterranean seep through its cuisine with a definite flavour of the sea. Its classic, famous spit-fired sardines on a skewer, along with an ample variety of fried fish, are the start dishes at its restaurants and beach bars.
Once you cross the water, the mountain also offers delicacies for the palate. Sopa campera, with olive oil, peppers, onions, garlic, eggs and salt, is the start of inland cooking.
Besides fried fish and sopa campera, you can also try ajoblanco, horse mackerel soup (emblanco), gazpacho, gazpachuelo, “teja” style spit-fired sardines, salted fish and octopus salad. These are dishes you can’t miss.
- Inhabitants (+50,000)
- Coastal area