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  • Writer's pictureKrista the Explorer

Ultimate Guide To The Best Things To Do in Estepona

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The historic fishing village of Estepona draws in thousands of visitors every year. It’s easily one of the most beautiful coastal towns near Málaga and is relatively flat compared to other villages in the province, making it the perfect destination for tourists with disabilities too. There are a lot of things to do in Estepona, both in the old town and wider afield, so whether you choose to visit in the peak summer period or in the off season you certainly won’t fall short of activities and points of interest to add to your itinerary.


With a history involving the Phoenicians, Romans, and Moors, Estepona is one of the best places to visit along the Costa del Sol. Spending 2 days in Estepona will be enough to see all of the town’s main attractions, but you may want to spend a few more days here so that you can take full advantage of the beaches too. There are also some incredible day trips from Estepona worth looking into if you have some spare time on your hands and have rented a vehicle.

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Best Things To Do in Estepona

The majority of the most popular Estepona attractions are located in the old town and are very easy to walk between. Outside of the old town is where you’ll find the beaches, promenade, and marina which are all worth visiting as well. Here are some of the best things to do in Estepona that will help you get a better feel for this coastal town.


Plaza de las Flores

A small town plaza in Spain full of flowers and eateries.
Plaza de las Flores

One of the most popular things to see in Estepona is Plaza de las Flores. This is the town’s main plaza and is where the tourism office is located as well as Casa de las Tejerinas - an 18th century building that was once a hospital for the poor. Surrounding the plaza are various cafes and restaurants that are nice to sit outside at when the sun is shining. It’s always a beautiful plaza to visit with its abundance of flowers year round.


Iglesia Nuestra Señora de los Remedios

A white church in Estepona with yellow bell tower.
Iglesia Nuestra Señora de los Remedios

The Iglesia Nuestra Señora de los Remedios is an iconic landmark in Estepona that you’ve probably come across in photos. It was built in the 18th century, and although it’s the main church in Estepona today, it was once a monastery chapel. Following the Lisbon earthquake of 1755 the chapel became the parish church instead. It’s one of the best places to visit in Estepona and you’ll be able to photograph the tower from many different areas of the old town too.


Calle Real

A shopping street in Estepona with white buildings.
Calle Real

If you’re thinking of doing some shopping in Estepona, Calle Real has a large selection of shops to choose from and it’s completely pedestrianized, located less than 5 minutes from the waterfront. The other two main streets in Estepona, Calle Terraza and Calle Caridad, are also worth exploring with the latter having a bit more traditional charm than the other two.


Castillo de San Luis

Remains of a castle wall with trees in front of it.
Castillo de San Luis

Did you know that there’s a castle in Estepona? Castillo de San Luis was once a mighty castle that's now almost completely disappeared. The castle was originally built in the 15th century along with a series of defensive towers along the coast. Today you can walk around the castle wall and relax in a garden that’s been placed between the castle and the market. This isn’t one of Estepona's most popular tourist attractions but it’s worth visiting if you’re interested in the history of the town.


Museo Arqueológico

White and yellow painted building with trees in front.
Museo Arqueológico

Looking for things to do in Estepona when it rains? Visiting the Museo Arqueológico is a great option. The town’s archaeological museum is housed within Casa del Ajibe, or the old town hall, and is completely free to enter. Inside you can immerse yourself in thousands of years worth of history and take a look at over 400 pieces on display. The building itself is very impressive and is a nice spot for a photo.


Torre del Reloj

A white and pink painted bell tower at top of steps.
Torre del Reloj

Estepona’s clock tower, Torre del Reloj, was once part of the oldest ecclesiastical building along the Costa de Sol. The church was completed in 1473 and was built on the site of an old mosque. Sadly the Lisbon earthquake of 1755 destroyed everything apart from the clock tower. Rather than rebuilding the church the parish was moved to Iglesia Nuestra Señora de los Remedios and the clock tower was preserved.


El Orquidario

A modern domed building at the top of stairs .
El Orquidario

A unique thing to do in Estepona is to visit El Orquidario, located a short walk from the main part of the old town. The orchid house is home to over 1000 species of orchids from all parts of the world and visitors can take a self-guided tour inside for just €3. If you’re not the type of person who enjoys looking at plants though, I would still recommend walking to El Orquidario to take a look at its impressive architecture from the outside.


Go mural hunting

Large mural painted on the side of apartment building.
Mural in Estepona

As you make your way out of the old town you’ll come across a number of unique murals throughout the streets. The murals can be found on all types of buildings and are often at different heights, so make sure you look up as well! No two murals are the same so if you’re a fan of art you can go on a little treasure hunt for the best murals in Estepona.


Estepona Marina

A marina at sunset with sailboats docked.
Estepona Marina

One of the best things to do in Estepona is to take a walk from the old town and visit Estepona Marina. It’s the third largest marina in the province and is always busy with its variety of restaurants and bars. In the off season it’s quieter so you’re able to enjoy a relaxing sunset stroll.


A short walk from the marina is a lighthouse, Faro de Punta Doncella, which was built in the early 20th century and Plaza de Toros which has a unique asymmetrical design to its exterior that makes it stand apart from other bullrings in southern Spain.


Beaches and promenade

Sandy beach with palm trees in Estepona.
Playa de la Cala

The choice of beaches in Estepona is one of the biggest draws to the coastal town. The beaches stretch along 21 km of coastline and vary in size, with some being more built up than others. The most popular beaches include Playa de la Rada, Playa Cristo, Playa de la Cala, and Playa del Padron. I would suggest doing your own research beforehand to find the ones you like the most.


When we visited Estepona they were completely revamping the promenade all the way from the old town to the marina. The promenade is beautiful to walk along with plenty of space for large crowds and provides easy access to the main beaches.


Places To Eat in Estepona

Now that you know about the best things to do in Estepona, what about food? There are a lot of places to eat in Estepona, especially in the old town and along the promenade. Some of these eateries are very tourist oriented though, so it can be difficult to find the best spots. These are the places I would highly recommend eating at in Estepona that are locally run.


Las Gitanillas

One of the best restaurants in Estepona’s old town has to be Las Gitanillas. They’ve been dishing out the best Andalucían cuisine for decades. The speciality of this restaurant is fresh seafood which they pick up daily from a local market. Las Gitanillas prides themselves on being a zero-kilometre restaurant meaning all of their food is sourced as close to Estepona as possible. The head chef and owner even enjoys picking his own avocados before the restaurant opens! You’ll have a fantastic dining experience here, but what should you order?


We sampled some of their most popular dishes, paired with locally made wines, when we visited for dinner. One of their latest refreshing dishes is grilled avocado with an orange vinaigrette, chopped tomatoes, and onions all topped with fresh parsley. The tuna tartare is another great sharing option, as are the tiger king prawns baked in a bed of salt which are plated up right in front of your table.


The rodaballo (turbot) is a beautiful white fish that’s also prepared in front of you and comes with a side of potatoes and broccoli. There are other options on the menu other than fish but Las Gitanillas is well known for its seafood and as Estepona is a fishing village you shouldn’t miss this dining opportunity.


And of course you can’t forget dessert! I would highly recommend ordering the apple tart that’s served with vanilla ice cream and molasses. It’s a very unique dessert using fresh ingredients that really blend well together. If you’re wondering where to eat in Estepona, you won’t be disappointed at this family-run restaurant in the heart of the old town.


El Patio del Macarena

El Patio del Macarena is located down a narrow street just off of Plaza Antonia Guerrero. This traditional restaurant offers some of the best tapas in Estepona and is a very popular spot with the locals. The menu is quite varied, offering a good selection of products from the region, with a mixture of unique takes on classic dishes as well as typical tapas plates that both tourists and locals adore.


Wherever I go for tapas I have to order the patatas bravas. El Patio del Macarena’s take on this popular tapas dish combines two different sauces on top of potato wedges - each were equally delicious. We also tried their flavourful prawns on a skewer, fried aubergines drizzled with molasses, and toast with roquefort and pork sirloin. If you’re on the hunt for tapas in Estepona’s historic centre then this is your place to go.


Amarillo Coffee & Lounge

Breakfast is my favourite time of the day so I’m always looking for the best breakfast or brunch spots to try out. We came across Amarillo Coffee & Lounge as we were driving to Estepona from Málaga and we’re very glad we stopped by. It’s located a short drive out of the old town, in Guadalmansa, but is definitely worth the drive. As well as having some incredible healthy dishes on their menu, Amarillo Coffee & Lounge have an equally unique selection of coffee to choose from which is always a nice way to start the day.


Their acai bowl is a must-try filled with fresh fruits, granola, and grated coconut. If you want to have another of their main dishes I would recommend ordering this to share as it can be quite filling with all of that healthy goodness inside. Their American Breakfast is a nice hearty choice for your first meal of the day, or you can opt for one of their bagels which are a big hit with customers. Don’t forget to order a freshly blended smoothie to cap off your breakfast or brunch!


Churrería El Barco

Plate of fresh churros with chocolate and coffee.
Churros

What’s a trip to Spain without having churros? There are plenty of traditional churrerías located around Estepona but after much research we decided to visit Churrería El Barco. This churrería has always been a popular place for local fishermen to grab a quick coffee and something to eat in the morning and it didn’t disappoint. We ordered 5 churros, chocolate for dipping, a coffee, and a freshly squeezed orange juice all for under €7 - what a bargain!


Where To Stay in Estepona’s Old Town

Veranera Hostel

There aren’t too many hostels in Estepona to choose from, but if you want a very modern option in the heart of the old town with private rooms available and a beautiful rooftop then you need to book Veranera Hostel. This hostel has only been open a few months and is quickly becoming one of the best places to stay in Estepona’s old town.


The shared areas include a large kitchen, a reception and dining area complete with complimentary tea and coffee as well as individual baskets to store your food, a TV room, a workspace on the first floor, and a rooftop with seating, a bar, and a small pool. The views from the rooftop are amazing so I would recommend spending some time up there.


We booked a private double ensuite room with a balcony, located on the first floor. As the hostel is newly opened everything in the room was immaculate. The double bed was extremely comfortable and we had a lot of space for our luggage too. The bathroom was almost as big as the bedroom with a beautiful walk-in shower and towels are included with this type of room. If you forget to bring shower products with you there are some shared ones available in the main lobby.


We loved our little balcony overlooking one of the streets of the old town which is a nice feature that you don’t often get with hostels. Dorm rooms are also available if you prefer or are on a tighter budget. If you like to be surrounded by other travellers then Veranera Hostel will be the perfect choice of accommodation in Estepona for you.


>> Click here for the most up to date prices at Veranera Hostel <<


This is one coastal town in southern Spain that’s worth visiting for more than a few hours, but if you can only spend a day in Estepona you’ll still have a wonderful time. Most of the top things to do in Estepona are within walking distance of one another and if you have some spare time would suggest going on at least one day trip from Estepona as well. With its location along the Costa del Sol and at the foot of the Sierra Bermeja there are almost endless possibilities of places to visit near Estepona.


What are your thoughts about visiting Estepona? Let me know in the comment section below! You can also follow my travels on Instagram and reach out if you have any questions about visiting Estepona or the Province of Málaga.


 

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