If you’re traveling to Estepona, the chance is that Estepona old town is the main reason why you want to visit.
Known as the ‘Garden of Costa del Sol‘, Estepona truly lives up to its name with beautiful flower-covered streets of the old town, immaculately maintained main coastal promenade, and the Orchid House (Orquidarium de Estepona) which lets you explore more than 1500 species of orchids.
If you’re wondering whether Estepona Old Town is worth a visit, I would definitely say YES!
I have visited a number of Pueblos Blancos – the white-washed towns that Andalusia is famous for – including Mijas Pueblo, Nerja or Frigiliana, and Estepona old town certainly stood out due to its size and how beautifully it is maintained.
Every single courtyard, house, street or small square is beautifully decorated with blooming flowers (all year round) and attention to detail was not spared even on the street signs – they are so beautiful!
The streets are so perfectly coordinated with matching colour flower pots that it almost feels a little staged.
The houses you can see are very old and the owners take pride in presenting them in the best way they can – with beautifully painted window frames, custom tiles, and flowers planted everywhere.
If you’ve visited Mijas Pueblo before, Estepona old town will remind you of it quite a lot – the only difference being that Estepona old town is much bigger and even more elaborately decorated – but it does not have the views you would get in Mijas Pueblo.
Estepona Old Town is just a short stroll away from the main coastal promenade, you certainly can’t miss it.
The best way to access it is through Calle Terraza which leads halfway through it, and if you follow along with up North it will take you all the way to the Orchid House.
The yellow areas in the map below are roughly where you will find the old town.
Take a long stroll, enjoy the plants and flowers, grab a coffee in a beautiful orange tree shaded square and sit down for a lunch in one of the restaurants.
Estepona Old Town is very easy to explore on foot and it’s near impossible to get lost!
One of the major landmarks in Estepona Old Town is the Orchid House, located north of the old town. Check my full guide with lots of photos in this article.
In addition to flowers, you can also admire the numerous murals that have been commissioned by the town to turn the streets of Estepona into an open-air gallery. There is a simple map that marks all the murals which you can download here.
One of the most popular meeting spots is Plaza de las Flores (pictured below), where you will also find a tourist office.
I have spent a long weekend in Estepona and unfortunately didn’t get a chance to test too many restaurants, but here are some of the best ones I found in my search:
The hotel selection in Estepona Old Town is rather limited, I found most decent options to be located along the coastline outside of the town.
This may be due to the fact that Estepona is a very old small town that has only catered by tourists by expanding the accommodation options along the coastline, not in the town itself.
You may have more luck finding some small Airbnb options directly in the old town, but don’t expect any big hotels (there are a few exceptions, there is a bigger hotel directly at Plaza de las Flores).
From your Hotel: If you’re staying in a hotel, the easiest option is to get a taxi to the old town, or drive there in your own car. Most bigger hotels are located outside of the town, and the drive will take max of 5 minutes.
By car: If you’re not staying locally, Estepona can be accessed easily on the main Mediterranean highway. The main road is very spacious and easy to navigate. Please note that most of the zones in the old town are pedestrian areas or one-way streets, so check the parking options earlier before you head out. There is a big parking garage right on the main coastal promenade which is easy to access.
On foot: if you happen to stay in the town, you can simply walk to the old town from your hotel – Estepona is not that big and you can cover a lot just by 2 hour’s walk.
That depends on how fast do you want to walk and explore – I would say at least 2 to 3 hours if you want to take your time and explore in leisure.
If you also want to see the orchid house, I would reserve around 30-40 minutes to see it.
Does Estepona have an old town?
Yes, Estepona has a charming old town that stretches from the coastline promenade all the way North towards Avenida Andalusia.
Is Estepona worth visiting?
Yes. If you have a few hours to explore, it’s well worth visiting Estepona just to explore the Old Town, the Orchid House and perhaps check the murals in the old town. The marina in Estepona is also a great place for nightlife.
Is Estepona better than Marbella?
Each has something else to offer.
If you can only visit one place, I would recommend Marbella as it has a lot more to offer. The selection of restaurants, places to see, beach clubs, and general level of services is much better in Marbella. It also has a long stretch of coastal promenade that connects Marbella with Puerto Banus, which is perfect for strolling or riding a bike.
Estepona would be a better option if you’re planning a family holiday as it has more kid-friendly resorts, and tends to be generally more peaceful and quiet compared to Marbella.
Is Estepona good for holidays?
Yes. Most of the hotels in Estepona are located just outside of the main town, and stretch alongside the promenade. They offer amazing sea views but are also a bit isolated from the town, so in most cases, you can’t just stroll from your hotel to the old town.
In terms of activities, there isn’t that much to do directly in Estepona, it’s great for the type of holiday where you stay most of the time in your hotel and enjoy the beach. If you’re an active holidaymaker that needs a lot of activities nearby, Estepona might not be the best choice, unless you’re willing to drive each day.
Estepona might also be a good location for golfers as it’s close to a few big golf courses.
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