Estepona is a small town located on the west of the Costa del Sol with an overall population of 70,000. Despite its popularity as a tourist resort, the town has maintained its Andalucían charm, and is largely characterised by quaint cobbled streets lined with local restaurants and bars, unusual shops and bodegas.
The area has eight golf courses, seven museums, a beautiful marina and a well appointed beach. The ‘old town’ as it is known, is nestled in lush countryside and is sheltered by the mountains that surround it. With the Mediterranean at its feet, Estepona is quieter than other towns on the Costa del Sol, although the luxuries of modern life are still very much within easy reach.
Estepona offers a number of excellent facilities including some of the best luxury health and wellness centres and spas on the Costa del Sol, a variety of trendy bars, restaurants and shops as well as a number of supermarkets and convenience stores.
Estepona has a total of 17 beaches, a 3km long sea promenade and a beautiful marina full of bars, restaurants and nightclubs. Being a seaside town, there are plenty of opportunities to do water sports, including jet-skiing, water-skiing as well as boat and fishing trips. The elegant promenade stretches across the coastline and is the perfect location for a morning jog or an evening stroll.
The area is also an ideal choice for the golf enthusiast as it has a total of eight highly reputable golf courses within easy reach (as well as many others in the surrounding areas).
For those who like to be pampered, there are almost a dozen Spas, hydrotherapy and thalassotherapy centres to choose from (most of which belong to exclusive hotels) offering a wide variety of treatments to suit a number of needs and requirements.
One of the most popular attractions, the SELWO nature park is just outside Estepona and is the only one of its kind in Europe. The park covers an area of 1,000,000m2 and is home to 2,000 animals from all five continents who live in natural semi-captive and purpose-built environments.
The 18th century Church of Virgen de los Remedios with its beautiful rococo façade and the San Luis Castle, as well as the Museum of Archaeology and the Museum of Palaeontology are also worth a visit.
The municipality shares part of the territory of Los Reales de Sierra Bermeja, a natural area that owes its name to the colour of the volcanic rock the massif is made of ('bermejo' means 'reddish' in Spanish). The protected area covers 1,236ha, and includes a Spanish fir grove of significant environmental value.
The highest peak in Sierra Bermeja, Pico de los Reales, offers stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea, Gibraltar and the African coastline. Close to the summit there is a shelter and a recreational area for picnicking and barbecuing.
Although Estepona is located on the western border of the Costa del Sol, all main towns are within easy access by car and bus.
The N340 and the A7 toll road connect Estepona with the rest of the region - Málaga airport is just over an hour away, Marbella and Puerto Banús can be reached in about 20 minutes.
Particularly for expats from the UK, Gibraltar Airport may be a good alternative: there are daily flights to London, Liverpool and Manchester.
Regular bus routes to and from Estepona provide comfortable and reliable transport.
Living and being a registered resident of Spain will entitle you to free healthcare via the Spanish social security system with full access to the network of Centros de Salud and hospitals.
Private Health Insurance is available from a number of companies, including Mapfre, Cesar and Sanitas.
You will find a number of state and private health facilities in Estepona itself and one of the most prestigious hospitals of the Málaga region, the Costa del Sol hospital is located about 30 minutes away.
State schools in Spain are operated by the local Autonomous Community and accept pupils according to their area of residency. Applications for a place need to be made at the local Town Hall.
State schools usually offer transport, school dinners, extra curricular activities and additional Spanish tuition for expat children is also available at many local state schools.
Special thank you to Ayuntamiento de Estepona for providing the photography used on this page.