Estepona Old Town

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Made up of a compact labyrinth of meandering throughfares and open, verdant squares, the historic centre of Estepona old town has undergone a remarkable transformation over the past few years to become one of the most attractive and best preserved towns on the Costa del Sol.

Stretching from Avenida de San Lorenzo in the west, to Avenida de Andalucía in the north and east, and down to Avenida España, which runs parallel to the Playa de la Rada, the town’s biggest beach on the Mediterranean Sea, the old town today is a vibrant area that retains all the charm of the Costa del Sol in days gone by.

History

The oldest part of the old town is the Barrio de la Villa, where the remains of the Castillo de San Luis, the Moorish tower in the Plaza del Reloj, and the Casa de los Algibes, now the town’s archaeological museum. More recent additions to the list of Estepona’s sights include 25 huge murals that cover the sides of buildings around town and a route of poetry on tiled plaques throughout the historic centre.

Estepona – Garden of the Costa del Sol

Since the start of the last decade, the Town Council’s ‘Jardín de la Costa del Sol’ project has seen dozens of the old town’s roads and squares remodelled and revitalised. Residents were even given the chance to choose how they would like to decorate their street, in terms of flowerpots and plants, giving each its own personality and colour scheme.

Much of the heart of the old town has also been pedestrianised, letting locals and visitors enjoy leisurely strolls along traffic-free streets that are lined by traditional whitewashed houses and packed full of local shops, tapas bars, and restaurants, serving all kinds of regional and international cuisine.

The historic centre’s main artery, Calle Terraza, runs north to south from the Botanical Garden and Orchidarium, which opened in 2015, down to the beach and houses a wide range of banks and stores. Just to the west lies the leafy Plaza de las Flores, planted with orange trees and surrounded by cafés.

properties in Estepona Old Town zones

Estepona Old Town zones 1 2 3 4

To the south of Calle Terraza, Calle Real is home to fashion chains, as well as a selection of smaller shops. And to the east, the pedestrian streets of Calle Málaga and Calle Caridad, which both end in the Plazoleta Ortíz at the western end of the old town, have become the place to dine out in the historic centre.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is Estepona Old Town Like?

Walking into Estepona Old Town is like walking into a traditional Andalusian village. Here, you will find flowerpots painted vibrant colours adorning clean, white, adobe houses on cobblestone streets. Estepona as a whole is a town in ascendancy and it began in the Old Town. Town leaders led a beautification campaign that returned the historical centre to its Andalusian traditions.

It is a neighbourhood where foot traffic has returned and beautiful murals dazzle apartment block walls. Renovations have enhanced the architectural uniqueness of old  properties. All of this has attracted a splendid variety of shops and other amenities. A light Mediterranean breeze carries the aroma of coffee and pastries in the morning. You stroll the main streets, free of cars, passing the coastal promenade of cafés, shops, and ice cream parlours. Perhaps meet friends at a traditional Andalusian eatery or tapas bar. Test the variety of international restaurants on offer. Savour grilled fish along the beach. Wind down at an ancient bar, full of local character, or a modern chill-out lounge. From the beach, turn inland, and walk picturesque Calle Terraza. Here lies the heart of old town shopping.

Start from historic Plaza de las Flores, a pretty square sometimes mistakenly called ‘Plaza de Naranjos’ after its Marbella equivalent. Showered with flowering plants, the plaza is  surrounded by good restaurants, wine bars, boutiques, and cafés. You can even find a few quaint hostels and a brand new 4 star hotel. From here, pedestrian streets radiate in all directions. Some are being further transformed into elegant retail streets in the style of Málaga’s celebrated Calle Larios.

Estepona Plaza de las Flores|Estepona Plaza de las Flores

Where is Estepona Old Town Located?

The Old Town forms the heart of Estepona, the exclusive resort town that lies to the west of Marbella and Malaga. The municipality is part of the province of Malaga in the region  of Andalusia. Estepona Old Town stretches from Avenida de San Lorenzo in the west, to Avenida de Andalucía to the east. The main streets feed into Avenida España, which runs parallel to the Playa de la Rada, or Rada Beach, on the Mediterranean Sea.

Getting to and from Estepona is easy. The town is well situated, with easy access to domestic and international destinations by road, rail, and air. For details, see our Estepona  Guide.

What is the History of Estepona Old Town?

For centuries, Estepona was a simple fishing village surrounded by sugar fields and pastures. And indeed, people have been there for much longer than that. Stone tombs or dolmens discovered nearby confirm the area’s habitation since at least the Stone Age. Phoenicians and then Romans settled near the modern-day town.

Estepona in its current form dates back to Moorish times. This is clearly visible in the white-washed Andalusian houses that give the Old Town its character. The oldest part of the old town is the Barrio de la Villa, where are located the remains of the Castillo de San Luis. You will also find the Moorish tower in the Plaza del Reloj, and the Casa de los Algibes, which is now the town’s archaeological museum. More recent additions include a series of poems displayed on tiled plaques. Add to that the 25 giant murals that decorate building walls throughout town.

Estepona old town, bird view

What is there to do and see in Estepona Old Town?

The heart of the old town has been mostly pedestrianised. Locals and visitors can enjoy leisurely strolls along traffic-free streets. The lack of cars and abundance of whitewashed buildings create an easy feeling out on the street. In myriad plazas, along old streets and the beach boulevard, people mingle in the open air outside local shops, tapas bars, and  restaurants. Perhaps the most picturesque place to dine is the Plaza de las Flores, rich with leafy orange trees and surrounded by cafés. The historic centre’s main artery, Calle  Terraza, runs north to south from the Botanical Garden and Orchidarium. There, you can see orchids and other plants, plus a waterfall under three glass domes.

The Town Council has created thematic itineraries to help you explore the Old Town, including a sculpture route, a mural route, and a poetry route. For museums, go to the Casa de Cultura. Or visit MAD (Museo de Arte de la Diputación de Estepona) by the Plaza de las Flores. The town’s iconic bullring also lies nearby. There, you can see the Ethnographic Museum, Paleontological Museum, Museum of Image and Sound, and Bullfighting Museum.

What are the beaches like in Estepona Old Town?

Estepona has 17 beaches, stretching along a 21-kilometre coastline. Playa de la Rada borders the Old Town. It is the town’s biggest and most popular beach. It’s fine sand and clean, protected waters stretch for more than 2.6 kilometres. During the summer, beach bars sprout up on the sand, offering sun loungers, drinks, food, and concerts. This makes it popular with families. Still, it retains all the charm of the Costa del Sol from days gone by. Read more in our Estepona Beach Guide.

Is Estepona Old Town a good place to buy property?

Not surprisingly, buying a property in Estepona Old Town is increasingly in vogue. Where else would you find such a fantastic variety of homes? There are not many apartments in the old town, the main property type being traditional village houses or casa matas. These range in size from 2 bedroom properties with a small patio or roof terrace to larger properties with 4 or more bedrooms, large pations with sometimes a pool or gardens and an abundance of terraces. What lies behind a simple facade and door is often surprising.

What’s more, the Old Town has become a hub of vibrant lifestyles ideal for the perennially young. It’s perfect for those who like having everything on their doorstep. The Old Town is ideal for anyone who simply wishes to escape car culture and wander carefree down picturesque streets. Be at ease in the privacy of an Old Town property, tucked away on a cobblestone street insulated from the lively centre. Real estate prices in Estepona consistently outpace the rest of Spain. Its proximity to pricy Marbella, where the rich and famous  take their vacations, certainly helps. Land and property taxes are cheaper here than in Marbella, too.

We have been in business in Estepona Old Town since 2003 and have probably sold more properties than anyone else in the Old Town, we are therefore ideally placed to offer professional and honest advice to buyers and sellers alike.

Estepona-Old-Town

Is Estepona Old Town expensive?

The cost of living in southern Spain remains low compared to elsewhere in Europe and the US. However, the standard of living remains on par with its neighbours to the north and east, with the added bonus of year-round sunshine. The website livingcost.org reports that the average cost of living per person in Estepona as 25% cheaper than Madrid, 30%  cheaper than Rome, 49% cheaper than Paris and a whopping 61% cheaper than London. It is even 25% cheaper than its more expensive neighbour Marbella. Estepona is a bargain wrapped up in a luxury package.

Is Estepona Old Town safe?

Crime rates in Estepona are very low. The town is closely watched, and many properties offer state-of-the art security. people feel safe walking the streets in the daytime or at  night. Estepona Old Town is a verty safe place to reside.

Is Estepona Old Town a good place to retire?

Estepona offers the best of Costa del Sol living. One is never far from every kind of leisure. Choose your bliss: It could be golfing, mountain trekking, beachcombing, or snorkelling.  kicking back with a good book on the beach. Or laughing with friends at a seaside wine bar or world- class restaurant. What better place to start your new life. Estepona is closely connected to Spain, Europe and the world by road, rail, and air. Affordable trains and buses can take you to nearly every town and city in Spain. Estepona offers reliable access to EU-level medical care. Get immediate attention both in town, and in neighbouring places like Marbella and Málaga. Pharmacies provide late hours and service in English. Estepona enjoys excellent air quality in addition to fine views. It ranks at the top of air quality indexes for Spain.

More about Estepona Old Town, Estepona

Estepona Old Town guide | Living in Estepona Centre
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