Estepona Property Insights & Area Guide
Browse our comprehensive location guide about the municipality of Estepona and its surroundings on the Costa del Sol.
This information page will help you decide whether property for sale in Estepona is the right choice for you.
With a population of approximately 65,550 inhabitants, this bustling mid-sized town is a leading tourist destination on the Costa del Sol. Nestled between the Sierra Bermeja mountain range and a sprawling 23km coastline dotted with some of the best beaches anywhere in Southern Spain.
Estepona has experienced a mini-boom in construction with many new residential and commercial projects being built. However, despite this new wave of investment, the town itself still maintains its Spanish charm, cultural tradition and relaxed Mediterranean lifestyle.
Estepona still offers excellent value for money in comparison to some of it’s more glitzy neighbours like Marbella and Puerto Banus. Several luxury developments are currently under construction, offering excellent quality at affordable prices.
Estepona is ideally situated on the Costa del Sol just 20 minutes from Marbella and Benahavis. It is connected to Malaga and Gibraltar airports by the A7 motorway and AP7 Toll road. With 23 km of sandy beaches stretching along the coast, next to some of the most exclusive beach clubs on the Costa del Sol, Estepona is fast becoming one of the most sought after holiday destinations in Southern Spain.
This harbour town boasts some excellent seafood restaurants and has one of Andalucia’s most quaint whitewashed old towns. For outdoor enthusiasts, the highly-rated hiking trails that run through the breathtaking Sierra Bermeja mountain range have views stretching out into the Mediterranean and as far down as Gibraltar. Estepona has several world-renowned Golf Courses with Atalaya and El Paraíso being the most famous.
Estepona’s Big Green “facelift”
Estepona is in the midst of a large public infrastructure project aimed at significantly enhancing the area and becoming one of Spain’s top tourist destinations. The town centre itself has undergone a green makeover with thousands of trees and flowers planted to make Estepona the “Garden of the Costa del Sol”. Additionally, the face-lift involved the updating of sanitation services, telephone networks, new roadways and paving as well as revitalizing the overall aesthetics of parks and public pathways.
The Town Council believes the project will make Estepona a sustainable, healthy, and green destination that will have the capacity to provide a better quality of life for inhabitants and tourists alike. The remodelling of more than 120 streets and squares, offers tourists a new way to enjoy more than 17 kilometres of flower-filled pedestrian streets and discover an authentic urban garden a few meters from the sea.
Estepona has an extensive promenade with children’s areas, restaurants and bars. The marina is at the end of the promenade, just a few minutes from the town, with some excellent restaurants and bars. The marina comes alive during the summer with a vibrant nightlife scene. You’ll find everything from karaoke and all night clubs to Celtic music and flamenco dancing.
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Weather, Beaches & Landscape
The excellent climate that Estepona offers is another one of its main attractions. In the summer months, from May to August, you’re guaranteed warm weather and clear blue skies.
- Annual average temperature: 17º C
- Summer temperature highs: up to 42º C
- Winters are mild and do not usually fall below 10º C
- Typically 300+ days of sunshine
With more than 20 kilometres of coastline and seventeen magnificent pristine beaches, Estepona is a mecca for beachgoers. The most popular beaches are Playa de la Rada, Playa Cristo and Playa del Padron. The property offering of beachfront areas in Estepona is very sought after and there are many amazing developments being constructed.
La Rada Beach is the flagship beach in Estepona. Located along the boulevard, this is the largest beach in the area. Boasting a Blue Flag confirming the quality of its facilities, as well as the cleanliness of the beach and it’s water. The beach is long and wide with a variety of chiringuitos (beach bars) to choose from.
The Playa del Cristo is another one of Estepona’s Blue Flag beaches with clear turquoise water and a tidy, well-kept beach. This is a sheltered bay just to the west of the Estepona, next to the marina, with soft sand, shallow water and two beach bars. It’s an extremely popular beach and a firm favourite for families with young children. The horseshoe shape of the bay shelters the beach from the wind while keeping the water warm.
Playa del Padron is just 6km East of Estepona. This relaxing and trendy beach houses one of the most famous beach clubs in the area “Laguna Village”. If you’re looking for some stylish ambience, good food, cocktails served at your sun lounger and a relaxing massage, then Playa El Padron is the beach for you.
La Galera Playa is a 2km long and 30 metres wide sandy stretch of beach. Not as busy as some of Estepona’s other beaches, it’s ideal for water sports, fishing and snorkelling. Beach beds and hammocks are available to rent during the summer months, and the beach is easily accessible on foot or by car.
Saladillo Beach is a long, quiet and narrow beach situated to the east of Estepona. Perfect for long evening strolls and for those who want to relax and enjoy the sea. With excellent facilities, you’ll find showers, public toilets, chiringuitos, hammocks, water skis for hire and a kids play area.
Playa Costa Natura is one of Spain’s first nudist beaches lying 3k west of Estepona. Tucked between two other beautiful beaches (Guadalobón and Arroyo Vaquero), this volcanic beach is a mix of sand and shingle. It is a small and relatively quiet beach even during the summer months. Costa Natura is home to the first official naturist resort in Spain.
In total Estepona offers seventeen quality beaches with soft sand, public amenities, a variety of bars & restaurants, playgrounds for kids and some great recreational spaces. Whether you prefer relaxing on the beach, eating tapas in the old town or hiking in the Sierra Bermeja, Estepona has something for everyone. It’s a charming seaside resort with loads of fun attractions for the family.
Moving inland from the coast sits the impressive Sierra Bermeja mountain range, these stunning mountain peaks have been drawing foreign hikers for years to explore the numerous trails that wind all through the landscape. With breathtaking views of the Coast and meandering rivers and streams, the Sierra Bermeja mountain range is the stunning backbone of Estepona.
The surrounding landscape is ideal for outdoor activities such as hiking, mountain biking and family excursions. This mountain chain is part of the Serranía de Ronda, and its geological composition makes it unique throughout the world. Its abundant wildlife and different plant species that populate the slopes make it the ideal location for outdoor adventurers.
Hike through lush forests of evergreen, chestnut and pine trees on your way to the summit, with a fantastic mix of rugged nature Sierra Bermeja will keep you captivated at every turn. Take a breather near the top at Pico de Los Reales (1,449m) and enjoy the excellent picnic facilities sheltered from the elements. From here, take in the extraordinary views of the Coast that stretch down to Gibraltar and across the Mediterranean sea to Morocco.
If you’ve been dreaming about incredible coastal vistas, then the Sierra Bermeja mountain range will provide that and more.
Estepona Property Market Insights
Although average property prices are on the rise and sales figures, show healthy growth, the end of 2019 can be summarised as “let’s see what happens” mainly due to the uncertainty around BREXIT.
A positive indicator for the Costa del Sol real estate market is that local town halls have made progress clearing their backlog of building licenses which has stimulated the construction of several new developments. There’s a strong demand for modern-designed new residential housing in Estepona that can be filled at a faster pace now that the town’s administration has cleared the way for building licenses to be obtained more quickly.
The new homes sector continues to evolve, and there is now a wide variety in price, location and build type available for both international and domestic buyers. One of the most in-demand locations is the New Golden Mile which is situated west of Guadalmina towards the center of Estepona.
Estepona’s rise as a lifestyle property destination continues to drive buoyant long-term rentals and a healthy holiday rentals market, and as a result of which demand for homes in the Golden Triangle (Marbella, Estepona, Benahavís) remains consistently strong.
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Things to Do
As a tourist in Estepona, there’s plenty to see and do. You could start with The Clock Tower located in the centre of the town, in the Plaza del Reloj (Clock Square), between the Town Hall, the San Luis Castle and the impressive Church of the Remedies. Then, of course, there’s the peculiar Plaza de Toros where the Municipal Museums are located. A treat for amateur botanists, the Orchidarium has become one of Estepona’s top attractions. With more than 5000 plant species and three mega glass domes, it’s certainly worth a visit.
Estepona’s public spaces have a wealth of green parks, artistic decorations and sculptures. An enjoyable walk around town that we recommend doing is the Route of Artistic Murals which entails the facades of large buildings being used as canvases for more than 40 artistic paintings.
The Hotel Infrastructure of Estepona is of high quality as tourism has become one of the central business activities of the town. Increasingly, hotels in the area choose to include conferencing and business services in their offering.
The town registered a steady increase in the number of overseas visitors who spent time on the Costa del Sol and stayed in Estepona in the past couple of years. There’s strong demand for both long term and holiday rentals making Estepona an excellent choice for property investors looking for healthy rental yields.
To attract business conferences and trade shows The Palacio de Congresos de Estepona, is in the process of being remodelled and expanded. The new facilities will now cater for activities organized by the town hall, and those of private companies and business groups. With more than 3000 square meters, it will become a multi-purpose complex ideal for trade fairs, exhibitions, sporting events, fashion shows, concerts, conventions and, of course, conferences.
The Marina of Estepona is at the western end of the main promenade and can accommodate over 447 berths. Activities on offer include water sports like Sailing, Jet-skiing and Kayaking. The marina area boasts a wide selection of restaurants and bars, and the atmosphere is laid-back and friendly. It’s the ideal spot for the young and trendy as well as for families.
Golf courses in Spain are among the best in the world and Estepona pulls its weight with courses like the renowned El Paradiso designed by Gary Player and the famous Valle Romano. But the real strength of the golf scene in Estepona is that there is something for everyone, whether you’re a seasoned pro or a complete novice, there’s a golf course suitable for your level.
Another star attraction of the area is Selwo Aventura Estepona. This real wildlife adventure for all the family offers an exciting day out where you can enjoy a combination of wild animals, nature and fun. The park is broken up into four distinct regions housing up to 2000 animals of more than 200 different species. You can cross a lake on a zip line, walk over a long hanging suspension bridge or take a 4×4 Serengeti safari trip bringing you up close and personal with some of Africa’s wildest animals.
The Costa del Sol School of Equestrian Art is also located in Estepona and is one of the most prestigious equestrian centres in Spain boasting some of the most modern facilities in Europe. The School offers activities for all ages including:
- Riding classes for all levels
- Horse Care Classes
- Family Pony rides
- Kids Birthday
If the above list doesn’t fulfil your desires for activities, you can read on about one of the top extreme sports activities on the Costa del Sol.
Mediterranean Diet and International Cuisine
Gastronomy in Estepona is the typical cuisine of the Andalusian coastal fishing villages. Food plays a hugely important part in Spanish culture and eating out is a big part of that. The real plus about Estepona is that there’s great variety in restaurants to suit all budgets. Naturally, fresh fish is the main dish of many servings, mostly prepared directly on the grill. The freshness and flavour of the fish often mean no dressing or sauce is needed. A famous fish dish preferred by both locals and travellers is the classic sardine spit called “espeto” made of six sardines on a single bamboo stick.
From further inland comes an exceptional dish: the campera soup. Made from fresh vegetables found growing locally, it is simple and straightforward to make. Prepared with onion, green pepper, garlic, oil, bread and egg, similar to the classic Castilian garlic soup, although a bit lighter. If hot soup accompanied by warm weather is not your thing, then there’s always Andalucia’s trademark cold soup called Gazpacho made with fresh, raw vegetables. Another refreshing summer soup is Salmorejo, a cold and creamy tomato soup, labelled Gazpacho’s “cousin” made with tomatoes, bread, oil, garlic and vinegar.
Whether you’re local, new in town, or just passing through, Estepona has a wide selection of restaurants and tapas bars to suit all tastes. In the cobbled streets of the rustic old town, you will find numerous top quality tapas bars, serving authentic, traditional Spanish cuisine. The Marina has a more international flavour with Chinese and Indian restaurants dotted along the seafront.
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Fiestas and Local Events
Not everything in Estepona is about the sun, the beach and the sea, it also has a lively cultural scene, with many music and cinematic events attracting people from all over Spain. The town is rich in some great religious traditions and holds popular festivals and fiestas throughout the year.
Carnival is celebrated in Estepona with the same passion and vigour as some of the bigger Carnivals in Spain. It takes place in the second week of February and is a fantastic day out for the family. The majority of the festivities kick off around midday culminating in a parade that evening. Everyone is encouraged to get dressed up in a costume and join in the fun.
Holy Week or Semana Santa is the most prominent religious celebration of the Year in Spain. In Estepona, this means plenty of public holidays, lots of eating and drinking mixed in some long processions. It’s a time for locals to take a break from work and enjoy the company of friends and family. The marches have been taking place since the middle ages, and involve lots of hooded men carrying giant statues through the town from the local church to the city’s cathedral. Music is a crucial ingredient of the procession, so expect to see and hear live marching bands accompanying the hooded men.
The festivities continue in honour of San Isidro Labrador, the patron Saint of Farmers. Celebrated on May 7th in the Park of San Isidro, “Los Pedregales”, families and friends come together and make a picnic that lasts all day. There’s plenty of Sangria flowing accompanied by singing and dancing throughout the evening. The following week on the 14th the Feria begins where the town comes to a standstill and people party in the street. On the 15th there’s a mass and procession in honour of San Isidro himself.
The Night of San Juan, on June 24th, is celebrated throughout Spain and welcomes the start of summer. It marks the date on which, according to the Bible, St. John the Baptist was born. In Estepona, celebrations take place on the beach with roaring bonfires. The midnight ritual revolves around either swimming in the sea to cleanse your soul or jumping fires to burn your problems. There’s also the releasing of the wishes or “Juras”. Wishes are scribbled down on a piece of paper and thrown into the fire. You can expect live music, fireworks, plenty of food and drink with loads of dancing.
Estepona Rocks is the hottest rock festival on the Costa del Sol taking place from June 28th to 29th. Live from the Estepona Bullring, the concert is a ‘celebration’ of some of the biggest names in rock from some of the UK’s best tribute bands.
On the evening of July 16th, Estepona’s devotion to the Virgen del Carmen is celebrated during a beautiful procession with the Virgins effigy paraded through the streets of the town and ending out at sea. The Virgen is the patron saint of sailors, and the celebration is to give thanks for keeping the local fisherman safe at sea. The Virgin del Carmen is taken out into the bay in a traditional fishing boat, where the blessing of the waters takes place. Crowds cheer, Brass band’s play, and fireworks light up the night sky.
Last but not least is Estepona’s official “Day of the tourist“. Celebrated on August 9th, with a variety of events and activities organized for all visiting tourists. Some of the highlights include free tapas, a two-hour boat trip and a tour of some of the local Museums.
Estepona’s Historical Heritage
Perhaps it was the beauty of the landscape, or the presence of a natural harbour, which convinced the Romans firstly, then the Arabs followed by the Iberians to make Estepona their home. All these foreign cultures left their mark on the city and the surrounding area. Battlement towers, churches, and ruins of splendid castles, Estepona is a treasure trove for history lovers.
The oldest remains found in Estepona, date back to prehistoric times with stone-age tools and dolmans being discovered. Among the numerous Phoenician and Roman settlements, the Roman ruins of the mouth of the Guadalmansa River still stand today.
In the tenth century, during the period of the Cordoba Caliphate, the city was named ‘Astebbuna’ – and this is the origin of the towns current name Estepona. In 1456 it was conquered by King Henry IV of Castile and destroyed shortly after. At the beginning of the 16th century, the Catholic Monarchs ordered the reconstruction of Estepona, due to its excellent strategic position, and arranged for the repopulation of the town with 30 families. In 1729 Philip V of Spain granted Estepona its town charter. As the 20th century began, Estepona had 9000 residents, mostly farmers and fisherman.
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