|Estepona - Quiet Gem
on the Costa del Sol in Spain by Anne Sewell
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Estepona is a beautiful little
town - relatively unspoiled by tourism - and located on the Costa del Sol,
about 30 minutes from Marbella, and only a short drive to Gibraltar.
the busy towns of Marbella and Fuengirola, Estepona is relatively quiet
- and the centre of town is still very traditionally Spanish. The
winding narrow streets are lined with older houses, with balconies decorated
with bright geraniums, and the sound of pet birds singing in their cages
makes a lovely musical background as you stroll along. Relax in the
Plaza de las Flores - a beautiful town square lined with flowers and several
excellent cafes and bars.
There's a coffee bar on virtually
every corner of town and you will never go short on somewhere different
to eat dinner, or have a light snack, or "tapas". On the beach you
will find the famous beach "chiringuitos" serving excellent sea food and
other dishes, or just an ice cold drink when you need one.
The outskirts are developing,
however, and there are many huge apartment blocks sprouting up, but luckily
this doesn't luckily interfere with the atmosphere and attractions of the
town itself. New supermarkets and shopping centres have also been
built on the outskirts, giving more shopping options for both residents
and holidaymakers including the famous Carrefour and the ubiquitous McDonalds!
alongside the town is a beautiful Blue Flag beach, which is surprisingly
quiet even in the summer months, lined by a stunning flower-strewn promenade.
Estepona's beaches are in actual fact 21 kms long in total!
Walk along the promenade from town to the end of the beach (a comfortable
stroll), and you will find first the lighthouse, and then the Port of Estepona.
The port is a traditional working fishing port, but there is also the addition
of a modern marina, with lovely yachts, and a selection of fine restaurants
serving international and Spanish cuisine and also a Yacht Club.
Definitely the place to "hang out" in the evenings, with bars and nightclubs
to entertain all ages.
For history buffs, there
are interesting museums to visit including the archaeological museum, the
Ethnic museum and also the museum at the bull ring. Quite a few interesting
historical ruins in the town too. Selwo Aventura, close to Estepona, is
the only Adventure, Animal and Nature Park in Europe - enjoy a safari drive
in the warm Spanish sunshine. 200 species of animals can be viewed,
The town retains its original
bull ring which hosts not only bull fighting, but also international music
Golfers will be happy with
the selection of courses, including Atalaya Golf & Country Club, El
Paraiso Golf Club (designed by Gary Player), Estepona Golf, Los Almendros
and Golf SotoSerena,
of attractions close by too… you can easily visit Ronda, a fascinating
mountain top city, or Ojen, a beautiful traditional white village, both
reasonably close by, or pop down the coast to Marbella one way, or Gibraltar
in the other direction, for shopping.
In town, you will find small
hotels and hostals to accommodate you in comfort, or you could go for the
larger and more luxurious resort hotels on the outskirts of town.
There are many wonderful holiday apartments on offer in the town - either
along the beachfront, or above the marina, giving options to suit all.
Transport-wise, the town
has an efficient bus service and many taxis, but you might find that you
need a hire car to travel further afield. As for language, many workers
in restaurants and shops do speak a certain amount of English, but it would
be good to have your Spanish phrase book handy.
All in all, Estepona is the
ideal destination for families, couples, golfers and the young. While
retaining its traditional Spanish features, it offers everything one could
want for the perfect holiday, and gives you a chance to relax without the
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