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  • Writer's pictureKrista the Explorer

6 Unique Day Trips From Estepona

Updated: Aug 15, 2023

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Estepona is easily one of the most beautiful coastal towns near Málaga. Its old town is a collection of narrow cobbled streets lined with whitewashed buildings, well preserved historical attractions, and some of the best places to eat along the Costa del Sol. Directly next to the old town of Estepona lies fantastic beaches as well as a gorgeous promenade to walk along. But there are also some incredible unique day trips from Estepona that you shouldn’t miss out on.

Estepona is approximately a one hour drive from Málaga, nestled between Marbella and Gibraltar. It sits at the base of the Sierra Bermeja with the coastline on its other side which creates a unique micro climate for the area. While most people who visit Málaga tend to stay along the coast, if you’re basing yourself out of Estepona it’s definitely worth heading both inland and further afield into the Province of Cádiz too.

Unique Day Trips From Estepona

When it comes to day trips from Estepona, there are a lot of options to consider if you’ve rented a vehicle. Some of the most off the beaten path locations in Málaga are only a short drive away and they’ll be significantly less busy than places along the Costa del Sol. If you’ve run out of things to do in Estepona, take a look at these alternative day trip options.


Viewpoint of a small mountain village painted in blue.

If you enjoy visiting unusual places then you’ll love driving through the mountains to the village of Júzcar. Andalucía is famous for its white villages but it’s also home to one of the few blue villages in the world. Júzcar was traditionally a white Spanish pueblo until the filming of The Smurfs 3D when the village was painted blue. It became such a popular tourist destination in Málaga that the residents decided to keep everything blue and there are now a few smurf statues and paintings dotted around the streets too. This is one of the best day trips from Estepona to go on at any time of the year.


A white church in the middle of a valley in a village.
Iglesia de San Sebastián

A very charming white village near Estepona to plan a day trip to is Gaucín. It may not be as big as some of the more popular villages around Málaga such as Frigiliana, but it does boast a number of interesting points of interest such as Castillo del Águila and Plaza de la Fuente. Its rich history dating back to the pre-Roman period is fascinating to learn about and its important strategic position meant that Gaucín was at the forefront of the development of the area. There are plenty of free parking spaces at the base of the village so it’s very easy to access on foot - just bring some good walking shoes!


View of a white village from viewpoint with metal cross.
Mirador de Casares

One of my favourite white villages in Málaga is Casares and it’s a very popular option for a day trip from Estepona too. It was one of the last Muslim strongholds in the area during the period of reconquest, so there is still a lot of Arab architecture prominent throughout the village. There are many things to see in Casares, with the main attractions being Castillo de Casares, the Iglesia de la Encarnación, and Mirador del Tajo de la Planá where you can look out over the countryside and get a close up view of the vultures. Casares is definitely one of the best places to visit near Estepona for sightseeing.


View of the bridge at Ronda from below.

It goes without saying that no trip to Málaga is complete without visiting Ronda - especially if you haven’t been before. Ronda is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Spain and is easily recognizable with its impressive stone bridge crossing the gorge. I would recommend spending a full day in Ronda so that you have time to explore its medieval streets and treat yourself to one of the many high-quality restaurants serving local cuisine. There are also some impressive Roman ruins nearby called Acinipo that are free to enter and well worth making a pit stop at.


Long suspension bridge in the nature reserve in Gibraltar.
Windsor Suspension Bridge

Planning an Estepona to Gibraltar day trip is very easy. Gibraltar is located a short 45 minute drive from Estepona, and this small British Overseas Territory has a lot going for it. If this is your first time visiting Gibraltar I would recommend spending a couple of hours walking around the old town and the rest of the day exploring the Upper Rock Nature Preserve. You won’t be able to see everything all in one day but you can certainly see most of the main attractions.


Long street with medieval church at the end.
Iglesia de San Mateo Apóstol

A short drive past Gibraltar, further into the Province of Cádiz, lies the popular surfing town of Tarifa. It’s located on the southernmost tip of Spain and is a haven for water sports enthusiasts due to the high winds that are here for the majority of the time. If water sports aren’t your thing though you can have just as much fun walking around the whitewashed old town, taking in the culture and learning more about its long standing history. If you like exceptional food then I would recommend dining at Axta Restaurante, located inside a 19th century manor house.

Where To Stay in Estepona

El Molino Estepona

If you’re wondering where to stay in Estepona that’s relaxing, authentically Andalucían, and boasts modern amenities then look no further than the stunning El Molino Estepona. This unique boutique hotel is located less than 10 minutes from the old town of Estepona and the coastline, situated in a rural area. The villa itself has been fully renovated and at one time stood as a water mill, like other buildings in the area. It really is a beautiful hidden gem in Estepona as well as a unique accommodation option.

We spent 2 nights at El Molino Estepona in the Blue Suite which is incredibly spacious and boasts a large double bed, an enormous balcony overlooking the pool and courtyard, and an equally impressive ensuite bathroom that was almost the same size as the bedroom. What I loved about our suite was how traditional it felt even with pieces of modern décor added to it. And the original door and huge key to our room was a nice added touch. No two rooms at El Molino Estepona are the same and there are ground floor options available if you’re unable to walk up a flight of stairs.

The breakfast served at El Molino Estepona is just as unique as the rooms with the chef whipping up something different every morning. Depending on what time of the year you visit you can enjoy breakfast outside in the courtyard or in the warmth of the main house. The rooms of the house are open 24 hours so guests have access to the library, seating areas, and self-service bar at all times. There are also free parking spaces available on the property. And it may be of interest for you to know that El Molino Estepona is a dog friendly hotel in Málaga, with two resident dogs always happy to greet new arrivals. This is one hotel in Estepona that you won’t want to miss the opportunity of staying at.

>> Click here for the most up to date prices at El Molino Estepona <<

As you can see, Estepona is perfectly located to visit some of the lesser known areas of both Málaga and Cádiz. When planning your day trips from Estepona make sure you take into account the weather if you’re driving through the mountains because it can often be a lot different than what you’re experiencing along the coast. Wherever you choose to go, there are plenty of things to do near Estepona, as well as a number of attractions within the coastal town itself, to fill up your itinerary.

Have you had the opportunity to visit Estepona or any of these nearby places before? If you have any questions about Estepona, what to see in the area, or where to stay please let me know in the comment section below or get in touch through Instagram or email.


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