Categories: Estepona

Step Inside the Estepona Orchid House (El Orquidario)

Estepona Orchid House is home to over 1300 orchid species from around the world, set inside a 1000 square meters modern greenhouse with botanical gardens, artificial waterfalls, and covered by three glass cupolas.

If you’re wondering whether to include it as part of your trip to Estepona, hopefully, this article will help you decide!

I went to explore the Estepona Orchid House as part of my short weekend break – here are some impressions (and detailed photographic evidence) from my visit!

The Orquidario Building

This may be a personal bias, but I think the building really sticks out from its surroundings, and not in a nice way.

By all means, it’s an impressive piece of architecture, but it is set among some traditional apartment blocks that have seen better days and in the middle of a historic old town. It seems like an odd choice and looks very artificial in its surroundings.

The building is surrounded by a small park with beautiful trees and landscaped gardens, and a flight of stairs or a ramp will lead you to the entrance.

Inside the Orchid House is a stark contrast to the outside of the building – it feels like entering a wild jungle with water gushing in the distance and streams of light illuminating the wild oasis inside.

You certainly get your money’s worth for what you’ll see inside!

The Orchid Varieties

Estepona orchid house is the largest orchid garden in Spain and one established with the aim to help boost Estepona’s statute of the ‘Garden of Costa del Sol’.

The collection of orchids is certainly impressive, and they are spread out on two levels alongside winding paths with species names and some information boards both in Spanish and English.

The website claims you will see over 100 blooming varieties on any given visit, but I found that not to be the case when I was there.

Most of the plants were not in bloom, you will only see a blooming one here and there. Some of the rare varieties only bloom at specific times of the year, or even every few years, so it’s really a matter of luck in terms of what you will see on your visit.

In addition to the orchids, there was a really nice selection of some exotic plants, and both the plants and orchids were beautifully presented alongside the pathways and walls of the building.

Even if you’re not into orchids, the surroundings are so beautiful it’s well worth a visit just to experience the lush jungle inside.

The Waterfalls

One of the highlights of the visit is the two waterfalls with an impressive height of 17m and 30m.

The bigger one is not in operation at all times, so you would need a bit of luck to see it. They run them based on the humidity needs of the plants, so it’s hard to predict when to go there to see them both. On my visit, the smaller one was only operational.

The access to the waterfalls is through a ramp leading right under it, or a glass lift. On the lower floor, there is also a small pond and one of the best views of the whole garden.

Photo Tour of Estepona Orchid House

I have included more photos from my visit below – as you can see I got a little carried away and photographed nearly every plant and corner.

Even though it looks like a lot to see, I was done in under 30 minutes, including time for photos.

In terms of photography, the light conditions inside are pretty decent thanks to the light coming from the glass cupolas, so you won’t struggle even with a normal phone camera. The Orchid House was also nearly empty when I visited in the afternoon opening hours, so you will have plenty of space and time to explore and admire individual plants without being in a big crowd.

I found the humidity ok, it’s not as bad as in some smaller greenhouses – you won’t struggle with misty lenses or anything similar.

At the time of writing (Feb/March 2022), face masks were still compulsory inside of the building.

Scroll to the end of the post for visitor information – tickets, times etc.

Estepona Orchid House: Visitor Information

Opening hours: The Orchid House is closed on Mondays. Tuesday to Saturday: 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Sundays: From 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Tickets: 3 euros for adults and 1 euro for children

Location: Calle Terraza, 86, 29680 Estepona

Visit tips: there is a very small souvenir shop by the entrance, and at the ticket booth you can get a tourist map of Estepona which also highlights the locations of the murals. Toilets were located opposite the ticket office.

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