Trip from Marbella to Estepona
Estepona has succeeded in maintaining its pueblo charm and character. Numerous street cafes and tapas bars still serve traditional Spanish delicacies on the steep, cobbled, narrow streets. However, Estepona has all the tourist facilities including restaurants, leisure and cultural activities, and shops. Estepona is well known for its charming historic centre with whitewashed walls, colourful potted plants and elaborately painted ceramic tiles. Especially interesting are the Orchidarium and the street murals. The Sierra Bermeja mountain range, rising to a peak of 1,449 metres, provides a magnificent backdrop to the town.
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When in the old town look out for the pedestrianised Calle Real which has a great selection of shops. Where this road crosses Calle Terraza there is the Café Central on the corner, which is one of the town's most popular cafés. Take a look at the old photos of Estepona on display here. If there has been a recent town event or procession, photos of this will also be on display. The shops on Calle Terraza are worth a look, and don't forget to stop in at one of the bars on Calle Caridad where you can get a traditional tapa and ice-cold fino(sherry). Further on you will see the attractive Plaza de las Flores. The Casa de la Cultura and a cultural centre, which holds art exhibitions by a local artist, are to be found here. The Plaza is of course a great place to eat.
18th Century Church
Further up the hill is the church of Nuestra Señora de Los Remediosis in the Plaza San Francisco. It was built in the 18th Century of local sandstone, which is rich in iron ore. It is an odd mixture of American colonial architecture and rococo, and in the entrance archway stands a statue of the Virgin Mary with a relief showing the sun, moon and stars.
Much further north is La Ermita del Calvario. The hermitage building has records dating back to the beginning of the nineteenth century. There is a small plaza infront of the small chapel which is kept locked. Visitors can peer in to see the virgin and altar through the iron railings. Walking up to La Ermita del Calvario you will notice several unmarked white 'pilar box' size posts which represent the 12 stations of the cross. El Calvario is also the name of a nearby public park with nice gardens.
Plaza Casa Cañada
At the Plaza Casa Cañada, a small garden has been laid out beneath the walls for visitors to rest among the flowers. The centrepiece of the garden is a rusting old cannon, which was once part of the castle's defences.
Walk west to view the Clock Tower, the municipal market, the old town hall and the Castle of San Luis before heading down the hill to the seafront promenade.
The Paseo Maritimo (promenade) runs the full length of La Rada, separating the beach from the town and has several seafront bars. This is the place where the Spanish enjoy their traditional stroll on Sunday afternoons.
Of course the main attractions for tourists are the beaches which are clean, well equipped and stretch for a total of 23 kilometres. There's the main sandy beach of La Rada in the centre of Estepona. There is also El Cristo beach near the marina, a delightful sheltered cove with lots of water sport activities that is perfect for children. Mouth-watering snacks and seafood can be enjoyed at two chiringitos.
The Estepona Marina is situated at the west end of the seafront promenade. This is a very pleasant place for a stroll and there are some magnificent boats to view. There is also a wide variety of excellent bars and restaurants, open both midday and in the evening while younger revelers can enjoy the late night disco bars. There is a popular tourist market here on a Sunday morning.
The fishing port is located to the west of the marina. Here you can watch the fishing boats land their catch. This can take place throughout the day, but is generally during the early morning, mid afternoon, and late at night. It is not possible to buy fish but you can watch the auction process (as long as you don't get in the way) which is followed by the covering of the fish pallets with ice and loading them into the insulated vans for distribution to local suppliers.
The Orchidarium building in Estepona is divided into two levels that are separated by a beautiful forest of bamboo. It has an area of 1,000 square meters and a total volume of 15,000 cubic meters. Three waterfalls at different heights combined with environmental colors create a unique atmosphere. There are more than 5,000 plants and more than 1,300 species of orchids from around the world. The warm and humid atmosphere recreates the habitat of species from South American and Southeast Asia. The botanical garden and the orchid house, with its three glass domes, have become the hallmarks of an innovative structure that has completely changed the nature of the municipality. It is an important tourist attraction. The Orchidarium is open from Tuesday to Saturday between 10am to 2pm and from 4pm to 8pm. On Sundays it is open from 10am to 2pm. Orchidarium website
Until recently, tourists rarely ventured outside the historic centre of Estepona. But things have started to change because Estepona has now become one of the Costa del Sol's most popular holiday destinations. The City of Estepona has invited a number of artists to brighten up the white facades of many buildings. Artists have been given free rein to fill urban canvases, some of which are 80 metres high and others fill the faces of several buildings. There are now at least 25 murals but this number is continuously rising.
From our apartment
Catch the bus (No. 79) to Estepona right outside our complex on our side of the road. A bus comes about every 30 minutes. Journey time is about 50 minutes. If you want to go to the old town (casco antigua), get off when the bus reaches the first set of building on the left after it has started to run along the promenade. However, if you want to go to the port and marina, stay on the bus to the bus station. As you exit the bus station onto the promenade, turn right for the marina and left to backtrack to the old town.
Have a nice Day
Another great trip from our apartment in Marbella