A holiday in Estepona transports you into the very heart of the Costa del Sol, with its warm weather and beach living. And while you’ll experience all of the summertime coastal vibrancy of this famous region, you’ll also find yourself surrounded by some captivating Spanish charm. The Costa del Sol region of Spain is synonymous with the summer holiday, but while many of the beach resorts in this part of the country are very modern settlements, you’ll find lots of tradition and history during your holiday in Estepona.
The beautiful and historic town centre of Estepona has the most authentic charm and character available in the area. Combine this beautiful Spanish heritage with lovely beaches, a lively marina, a hypnotic culinary scene and plenty of action and adventure, and you’ll only scratch the surface of this beautiful city.
Most popular hotels in Estepona
Elba Estepona Gran Hotel & Thalasso Spa
Estepona, Costa del Sol
At a glance
- Currency: Euro
- Language: Spanish
- Time Zone: GMT +1
- Average flight time: 3h 10m
When to go
(°C) Avg. High Temp
The historic centre of Estepona is a maze of cobbled streets lined by traditional housing, occasionally dotted with churches and impressive landmarks. Wandering these idyllic alleyways and passages will easily prove to be one of the most memorable aspects of your holiday in Estepona.
You’ll find equal satisfaction from the impressive Plaza de las Flores, arguably the heartbeat of the city. The square is full of lively bars and alluring restaurants, providing the perfect location for an afternoon snack or an evening drink.
Staying in a hotel in the old town will put you in the centre of the action for food and drink, as well as daytime leisure and shopping. The area is adorned with lots of quirky shops and colourful boutiques, all offering a variety of interesting goods at affordable prices.
The Costa del Sol is also renowned as a playground for golf enthusiasts, and around Estepona you’ll find some fantastic options if you’ve brought your clubs along for the ride. El Paraiso, Atalaya and Valle Romano are among the most scenic and reputable clubs in the local vicinity.
Wine and Dine
Estepona isn’t known as a lively clubbing location, unlike the party hotspots you’ll find in some specific areas along the Costa del Sol. But even without its own stock of late night dance clubs, it does have a busy and varied nightlife, with a wide variety of laid-back bars and restaurants.
Restaurant menus place an emphasis on locally caught seafood, and you can find lots of local Spanish dishes as well as other Mediterranean cuisine, including Italian and French. Many restaurants have outdoor terraces so you can experience eating al fresco (outside) in the late evening warmth.
Most restaurants are located near the seafront, either along the main promenade fronting the sea or along Calle Real. There are a number of small plazas or squares next to Calle Real, where you’ll find numerous restaurants and bars to explore.
The beaches of Estepona are perfect for families, where adults can sunbathe and kids can play in the sand, paddle in the sea, play some of the organised games or have fun in the kids play areas. But the beach isn’t the only place families can enjoy their holiday in Estepona together, as there are lots of attractions for kids and parents alike all within easy reach.
Tivoli World is the main theme park and family attraction on the Costa del Sol, and has plenty of things to keep kids and adults entertained all day and into the evening, with rides, live shows, and an open-air theatre, as well as a choice of bars and restaurants.
For more water-based fun, the Aqualand theme park has swimming pools and slides for kids of all ages and for adults, or there’s the Sea Life Aquarium for getting up close with all kinds of sea creatures from starfish to sharks.
If it’s wildlife you want, there’s also the Selwo Safari Park in Estepona and the Crocodile Park in Torremolinos, where you’ll be able to take lots of photos with exotic animals and make some memories too.
Action and Adventure
Laid-back enjoyment is the order of the day for many people who visit Estepona on holiday, but that’s not to say you can’t have some adrenaline-fuelled adventures if you want to.
For thrill-seekers, there are lots of activities to get your heart rate up, starting with a trek through the greener parts of Estepona. You can hike the countryside trails, ride them on horseback or cycle through them, taking in some spectacular views at the same time.
The sea is also ripe for exploring, and a diving trip with an experienced instructor will show you a whole new underwater world just off the Estepona shore. You can also try surfing on top of the water for even more excitement.
If you’re craving something more fast-paced and a little bit scary, you can even try shooting ‘em up at Estepona’s own paintballing arena.
Life's a Beach
The region is famed for its stunning coastline – and you’ll soon understand why if you visit the beach during your holiday in Estepona. Beyond the city’s attractive marina, decked out with bars and restaurants, you’ll discover a stretch of sandy beach. It’s a great place for families visiting between June and September and looking for some summer sunshine, or couples that want to take romantic seaside strolls in the winter sun. Del Cristo Beach is one of the best options and is especially safe for young children.
As you head north along the coast you’ll discover even more fantastic beaches and great family attractions. Nearby Marbella has some stunning beaches and offers a very active water sports scene, for anybody hoping to do more than chill on the sand. While in Torremolinos, you’ll discover long stretches of sand and one of the country’s best water parks – providing a great day trip option for families.
There are two main areas that visitors will naturally gravitate to during their holiday in Estepona when they’re looking for a lively night out, and that’s the town centre and the port.
In each of these places, you’ll find a wide selection of places to grab a drink and some food after dark. Along the seafront you’ll find all the seafood you could want at the many bars and restaurants, with fresh catches from that same day on offer, along with lots of different cuisine from around the world.
But if you want to find the very best places to eat and drink in the evening, you need to head out to the less obvious backstreets. If you head to Plaza de las Flores, with its garden and water feature, you’ll find another selection of bars and eateries where you can mingle outside in the warm air with a drink or two.
The beach provides a beautifully romantic setting for couples who want to lie by the sea together or walk hand-in-hand along the sand, but there’s even more to a holiday in Estepona for couples than its idyllic seafront location.
How about a walk through the gorgeous botanical and orchid gardens instead? This indoor paradise is home to lush green plants, illuminated waterfalls and over 4,000 different species of orchid.
A stroll around the historic streets of the old town is a relaxing way to spend the day, and while you’re there you can look out for the many murals all over the place, left by local artists for visitors to enjoy.
Travel by horse and carriage for a truly romantic way to get around, and if you’re looking for somewhere to go you can always ask the driver to take you to the best flamenco shows in town, where you can watch this passionate dance performed by professionals.
The port of Estepona is the original hub of activity well before the town was a popular holiday destination, and spending some time around the marina puts you right at the centre of the action. There’s also the old town to explore, where laid back cafes provide the perfect spot for people watching as the locals and visitors mix and mingle in the historic and beautiful streets.
Taking in a flamenco show is the ideal way to absorb some of Estepona’s culture, through this traditional music and dance performance. So head to the Flamenco Centre Patio de Estepona for the finest flamenco in town.
The bullring, with its four museums, holds some of Estepona’s cultural history and is worth a visit even if you’re not a fan of the sport itself.
A walk along the coast means you can spot the seven old watchtowers around Estepona that used to provide some of its coastal defence, and there’s an old clock tower in the town centre called the Torre Reloj that you can explore with a professional organised tour.