The Ultimate Guide to Estepona Old Town

Estepona Old Town is the most charming historic centre in the Costa del Sol.

There’s beauty in every corner of this Andalusian town – its cobblestone streets, coloured coordinated flower pots, lively squares surrounded by plants and fountains in the middle and sculptures. All of these things are within a short distance from Estepona’s golden sand beaches.

Estepona is less than an hour from where I live, and it’s one of my favourite day trips alongside other small pueblos blancos (whitewashed towns) like Frigiliana.

I’ve compiled everything in this guide, whether you want to know what things you can do in the old town of Estepona or where to eat or stay. I’m sure you’ll love this coastal town as much as I do.

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About Estepona Old Town

Estepona Old Town is considered one of the most beautiful old towns in Costa del Sol.

It’s referred to as the Garden of the Costa del Sol (Jardín de la Costa del Sol) because of the numerous flower pots and plants in the area; you can see anything from bright pink bougainvillaea to begonia flowers.

Besides being a flower paradise, it’s very well-kept and pedestrian-friendly.

Marbella Old Town is my favourite because of its cosiness and picturesque streets, like Carmen Street, but I must admit that the Estepona historic centre is second on my list. 

It’s bigger than Marbella’s old town, and it’s home to charming squares with sculptures and fountains, street art and very well-maintained cobbled streets decorated with flower pots.

Calle Terraza is the main street in the area, and it’s here where you can find many independent shops, but there are many other great streets to stroll along.

Things to do in Estepona Old Town

What I love the most about the old town of Estepona is the wide variety of things to do – from seeing impressive murals and charming whitewashed streets to visiting its orchidarium.

These are the things you can’t miss during your time in Estepona:

1. Do a self-guided tour of the historic centre

The first time I visited Estepona, I had no idea I could do a self-guided tour of the historic town. 

You can simply head to the town hall website and download the map with the key locations to visit in the old town.

Each street is decorated with flowerpots of different colours (yellow, purple, etc.) and these flowers, against the neat white-painted buildings, make them so picturesque. 

There’s an opportunity for photos in every corner. 

If you prefer to explore the old town without following the suggested route, don’t miss these beautiful streets:

  • Calle San Antonio
  • Calle Cruz
  • Calle Concepción
  • Calle Sirena

2. Stop by Plaza de las Flores

plaza de las flores, Estepona, Spain

Plaza de las Flores (Flower Square) is the liveliest square in Estepona. It’s the meeting point for locals and tourists. 

You can find plenty of tapa bars and cafes with outdoor seating surrounding this beautiful square filled with flowers. There’s nothing better than sitting down, enjoying a meal, and people-watching.

However, I wouldn’t miss out on visiting Casa de las Tejerinas inside Estepona’s tourist office. It isn’t a very big space, but you’ll be amazed by the pictures and exhibitions located on the second floor.

I love the patio and discovering more about the local artists. I feel like they aren’t always recognised, so it’s nice to see their pieces of art.

Another lovely square next to Plaza de las Flores is Plaza Dr. Arce. I had an orange juice with my partner in the outdoor seating of La Italiana and loved the atmosphere. 

3. Learn more about Estepona by following the sculpture and poetry routes

If you’re passionate about Spanish literature, that is another reason to love the historic centre of Estepona. 

You’ll come across poems from well-known Spanish writers like Luis de Góngora and Rafael Alberti. There are over 42 poems across the old town for you to discover.

Some of these poems are specially written for the town.

Equally, if you like sculptures, you can follow the sculpture trail. You can see over 50 sculptures in the old town and surroundings.

4. See the Castle Ruins

castle ruins in the historic centre of estepona, spain

During your visit to the historic centre of Estepona, you might want to add Castillo de San Luis. There is little to see from this Medieval fortress, only part of the walls. 

Ferdinand and Isabella of Aragon and Castile ordered the construction of this castle in the early 16th century. However, this one replaced the former Arab fortress.

Nowadays, you can see two different walls that belong to the different periods. Local archaeologists have tried to recover more of the castle, but they haven’t been very successful yet. 

You can walk through one of the arches that leads you to the other side of the castle decorated with bright orange flowers hanging down walls and see Casa Cañada Square, home to a pretty tiled fountain. 

5. Visit Estepona Orchid House

El Orquidario de Estepona (Estepona Orchid House) is a short walk from the historic centre, and it’s worth adding it to your Estepona itinerary.

As its name suggests, it’s a botanical garden with a wide variety of orchids from around the world. I love that you’re surrounded by beautiful tall trees and flowers from the moment you step into the orchid house. 

It personally didn’t take me very long to walk around it, but if you’re passionate about flowers, where they come from, what species they are, etc. You’ll probably spend an hour there. 

However, whether you’re passionate about orchids or not, it’s a great activity to do, especially on a rainy day in Estepona (luckily, there aren’t many rainy days!)

6. Check out Plaza del Reloj

torre del reloj, estepona, spain

It’s a pretty quiet square compared to Plaza de las Flores as there aren’t any shops or restaurants around, but you can see a gazebo and the clock tower, which is very important for the locals as it has always been the main point of time reference. It marks the rhythm of time in the streets of the centre.

One of the best times to visit this square is on New Year’s Eve. The locals gather here to have the famous twelve grapes, watch the fireworks and enjoy live concerts. 

Things to do near the historic centre of Estepona

  • Go to Playa de la Rada
  • Do water sports in the summer 
  • Go on a dolphin-watching cruise
  • Sip a cocktail at one of Estepona’s best beach bars
  • Visit Puerto Deportivo de Estepona (aka the port)
  • Enjoy the views of the coastline at sunset
  • See the bullring and bullfighting museum
  • Do the mural route
  • Discover the dolmens

Where to eat in Estepona Old Town


MaduBar restaurant in Estepona, Spain.

⭐ Best for non-traditional food, a fusion of Mediterranean and Morrocan cuisine

MaduBar, located in Plaza Dr. Arce, is one of the best places to eat in Estepona Old Town. They serve a combination of delicious Mediterranean and Moroccan dishes – from chicken couscous and tagine to wraps and Pil Pil prawns.

📍 Exact location: Plaza Dr. Arce, 23, 29680 Estepona, Málaga, Spain

Restaurante El Cortijo

⭐ Best for local food

Restaurante El Cortijo Estepona is an excellent option for trying Southern Spanish food. You can eat anything from berenjenas fritas (fried aubergines) and porra antequerana (cold tomato soup with savoury toppings) to fried fish and meat.

The food is high-quality, the staff are very friendly, and the location is perfect, in the heart of Estepona’s old town. 

📍 Exact location: C. Caridad, 64, 29680 Estepona, Málaga, Spain

Tahona de Chana

Tahona bakery in Estepona historic centre.

⭐ Best for a quick sweet snack

If you fancy something sweet, go to Tahona de Chana. The smell coming from the bakery is what made me stop and check it out.

They have incredibly delicious pastries and cakes, so it’s a paradise if you have a sweet tooth.

📍 Exact location: C. Terraza, 21, 29680 Estepona, Málaga, Spain

Where to stay in Estepona Old Town

There aren’t many accommodation options within the old town; however, one of the best hotels to stay in Estepona Old Town is Hotel Estepona Plaza.

Hotel Estepona Plaza

The hotel is in the heart of the city, so you couldn’t get a better location, plus it is also a short walk from the beach.

There are three different types of rooms: standard, rooftop or city view rooms. All of them have simple and neat decorations, comfortable beds, ensuite bathrooms and WiFi. 

By staying at Hotel Estepona Plaza, your breakfast is included in the fee too, so you don’t need to look for cafes.

My favourite room is the city view room as you get an amazing sight of the old town.

🛏️ Check out Hotel Estepona Plaza availability and rates here

Other fantastic accommodations located outside the old town are:

How to get to Estepona Old Town

estepona coach station

From Estepona bus station

The bus station is situated outside the old town; therefore, if you’re travelling from Malaga or any other beach town, bear in mind that you need to make your way to the historic centre.

I travelled by bus and then walked to the town from the bus station as it’s a nice and short stroll ( about 20 minutes). As you walk, you can admire the seafront.

From the port

You don’t need a car to go from the port to the town. The traffic isn’t always great, so I’d consider walking, which takes 25 minutes. 

Map of Estepona Old Town

Click on the map below to open it in Google Maps. You can access directions to each of the locations mentioned in this article.

Frequently asked questions about Estepona

Where is Estepona?

Estepona is a coastal town 1 hour drive from Malaga.

Why is Estepona famous?

Estepona is famous for its historic centre, beautiful golden beaches with views of the Strait of Gibraltar and Africa, excellent golf courses and accommodation.

Is Estepona walkable?

Yes, Estepona is walkable, especially the old town is traffic-free and very safe for pedestrians. 

Where to park for Estepona Old Town?

Parking Plaza Antonia Guerrero, Parking Público Ayuntamiento Estepona and Parking La Viña are good car parks.

How far is Estepona Marina from the old town?

It’s a 25-minute walk or a 10-minute drive.

Is Estepona nicer than Marbella?

I love Estepona, but I have a soft spot for Marbella. However, if you prefer a slightly quieter town, Estepona is better.

Does Estepona have nightlife?

Yes, Estepona nightlife is at its best in the summer, but you can enjoy a night out any other time of the year too. 

Conclusion: Is Estepona Old Town worth visiting?

Absolutely, it’s well worth visiting! Estepona Old Town is one of the prettiest in the province of Malaga, and I even dare to say in Andalusia. Not only are the streets of Estepona photogenic, but they are rich in culture.

You can spend a good few hours in this part of the city. Wander and take photos of its lovely streets, do the sculpture, poem or pretty streets route, or simply have a nice meal at Plaza de las Flores.

Once you visit the old town, I highly recommend you stroll along on its extensive beach promenade (one of the best in the area too!)

If you’re looking for other traditional Andalusian towns or villages in Malaga, check out Casares, Mijas Pueblo and Ronda. They all have something unique to discover.

Do you have any questions about Estepona? Drop them below in the comments, or feel free to send me an email.

Enjoy your time in Estepona!

Cristina xx

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Things to do before visiting Estepona Spain

  • Book cheap flights to Malaga-Costa del Sol Airport (AGAP) with Skyscanner.
  • Are you looking for accommodation in Estepona? Check out
  • Discover all the amazing activities you can do in Costa del Sol with Get Your Guide.
  • Travelling around Estepona and nearby hidden gems? Hire a car with Rentalcars.
  • Book travel insurance for your trip; this is a must for any trip! SafetyWing offers flexible travel and health insurance.

Other travel guides to plan your trip to Estepona and its surroundings

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