Take the coastal N-340, not the toll motorway. Before you reach the town you will see areas that are becoming the next trendy area of the Costa de Sol, with beachside property developments, golf courses and luxury hotels such as Las Dunas and the Kempinski.
Escuela de Arte Ecuestre
For horse lovers, a must-visit attraction is the Escuela de Arte Ecuestre (952-808-077), located 5 km (3 miles) before the town (turn off at km 159). This riding centre features a dressage demonstration one evening per week – on Fridays in summer and Tuesdays in winter. It is one of the most notable and renowned equestrian centres in Spain, offering some of Europe’s most modern facilities
Selwo Aventura Park
Both adults and children will be attracted to the Selwo Aventura Park (952-792-150), a 100 ha (250 acre) reserve where lions, tigers, elephants, rhinoceros and other exotic species roam. Visitors view the resident wildlife from special buses, but to tour the park in full takes the better part of a day, so you might want to save that for a separate outing.
Estepona Old Town
For now, continue on to Estepona, and park along the Avenida de España, which runs alongside the beach. The tourist office (Mon-Fri 9am-3pm, Sat 10am-1pm) at the eastern end of the adjoining Paseo Marítimo is the place to ask about any special events, exhibitions and the like. Cross over into Calle Santa Ana and wander at will around the old town.
- Street names are painted on ceramic tiles.
- During the summer, cafés put out tables in the attractive Plaza de Las Flores, once a venue for bullfights.
- At its eastern end in the Casa de la Cultura there may be an exhibition of interest.
- In Calle Castillo are remnants of the wall of a castle first built by the Moors and rebuilt after the Christians took the town in 1456.
- Behind the ruins is the bustling weekday food market.
- The town’s clock tower symbol, Torre del Reloj, remains from a 15th-century church.
- Wander through the back streets, keeping an eye out for art and craft shops.
What distinguishes Estepona from other municipalities along the coast is its ongoing role in agriculture. The development and diversification of agriculture are actively supported by local authorities. Evidence of this can be seen on your drive into Sierra Bermeja. In a place of traditional lemon-growing, more profitable tropical fruits are harvested. A monument on the promenade honours Estepona’s farmers and fishermen’s honest toil. The town still has an active fishing fleet.
Back in your car, take Calle La Terraza which heads out of old town and is signposted ‘Jubrique’. The road is in good repair and rises through agricultural land to Sierra Bermeja’s starker slopes and Peñas Blancas. About 15 km (9 mi) from town turn off at Los Reales. Marked paths lead deeper into woods to Pinsapo firs – classical models of Christmas trees indigenous to area growing only at heights over 1000 m (3,280 ft). The high point Alto Los Reales (1,450 m / 4,757 ft) looks out over coast some 8 km (5 mi) away to Gibraltar and on clear days even Africa.
Venta Los Reales
Venta Los Reales is a restaurant that has received positive feedback from customers. Some customers have praised the restaurant for its excellent food and affordable prices. The chef, Vito, has been complimented for his ability to prepare a variety of dishes, including chuletón with a tasty sauce and potatoes, as well as homemade pizza. The restaurant also offers home delivery.
In addition to being a restaurant, Venta Los Reales is also a venue for celebrations of all kinds. Customers have reported a good atmosphere and friendly staff. The venue offers adjustable prices to meet customers’ needs and does not charge extra for unused items. The price includes the use of the venue as well as a bouncy castle, music and karaoke at no additional cost. Customers have recommended the venue for those looking to celebrate an event at an affordable price. After the event, there is no need to worry about cleaning the venue as this is taken care of by the restaurant. The closing time will depend on the restaurant.
Travel through town west to Puerto Estepona where fishing fleet anchored next to small pleasure craft and ocean-going vessels. Port does not have glamour of Puerto Banus but isn’t less attractive because of that. On Sunday morning it scene of one Costa del Sol’s markets with stalls selling arts crafts second hand bric-a-brac clothes houseware.
In conclusion, Marbella to Estepona offers a wide range of attractions for visitors arriving at Malaga airport. Renting a car from Malaga car hire is a good option to explore the area. From horse riding demonstrations at Escuela de Arte Ecuestre to exotic wildlife at Selwo Aventura Park and sightseeing in Sierra Bermeja, there is something for everyone.
Estepona, in particular, has its own special charm with its flowerpots and stunning murals all around the urban centre. The town also offers a fabulous choice of tapas bars and restaurants, long stretches of clean beaches on which to work up a tan, and a rocking nightlife.
Whether you’re looking for relaxation and wellness, sun and sea holidays, a health program stay or to enjoy life’s pleasures such as gastronomy, outdoor activities, golf and other activities, Marbella to Estepona has it all.