Why take an Estepona day trip from Malaga
Malaga comes packed with things to do and see, more than enough to keep you busy for a weekend or slightly longer. In addition, the city is privileged to be the capital of the Costa del Sol, a beautiful coastline, also packed with gems worth discovering. They include Estepona, a perfect day trip from Malaga.
Read on to find out why.
A potted guide to Estepona
This pretty town sits at the far western end of the Costa del Sol, about 50 minutes drive from Malaga. Like so many other coastal enclaves, it started life as a humble fishing village. But unlike some other resorts, Estepona has managed to conserve its original charm without succumbing to the ravages of mass tourism.
It also remains a much quieter tourist destination than nearby Marbella, for example. So, on your Estepona day trip from Malaga, you’ll be in the company of families and a slightly older demographic.
You’ll also see a ton of flowers because Estepona tourist branding has turned to nature. The town calls itself the “Garden of the Costa del Sol”, and over one million trees and plants adorn it . They accompany your entire visit, from the flower-lined boulevards to the floral seafront promenade via the hundreds of geranium pots that line all the streets in the centre.
Reason 1 for an Estepona day trip – visit the old town
Like Marbella, Estepona has a pretty old quarter, well worth exploring on your day out. You’ll discover a labyrinth of immaculate streets, all lined with flower-filled pots (colour-coded per street) and flanked with whitewashed façades and Andalusian wrought-iron features.
The Plaza de las Flores (yes, it comes packed with flowers) is the central point and has several fine buildings around it. Casa de las Tejerinas is the jewel in the crown – don’t miss the patio.
Reason 2 for an Estepona day trip – murals, sculptures and poetry
This town isn’t just about plants; Estepona also offers street art in the form of giant murals, tasteful sculptures and thought-provoking verse.
These eye-catching paintings have transformed the town and proved that even the most ordinary façade can transfer into an exceptional one with a mural. Over 60 are dotted around the town, including the largest of all, Fishing Day, on Calle Isabel Simón, stretching over five façades.
If sculptures are your thing, Estepona is your destination because over 50 decorate the town. They range from classical to modern, and include the Monument to the Tourist in Calle Real.
Over 50 verses from poems in many languages pop up in the town centre.
Estepona Tourist Board has free downloadable guides to the street art, with maps showing the location of each mural, sculpture or poem. You can download them here.
Reason 3 for an Estepona day trip from Malaga – seafront promenade
Estepona completed its seafront promenade in spring 2023 when the walkway joined the port area with the rest of the town. The new boulevard at the west end comes flower-packed (of course) and makes a lovely place to stroll and admire the sea and mountain views.
Extend your walk by taking in part of the Senda Litoral. This walkway runs the entire stretch of the Malaga coastline, including 21km through Estepona. Views from the boardwalk are particularly at first or last light when you catch the sunrise or sunset.
Reason 4 for an Estepona day trip – great art
Even if you’ve seen plenty of art in Malaga, don’t miss the chance to see more world-class paintings in Estepona. The town has two great venues for art:
MAD Estepona – located in Casa de las Tejerinas in Plaza de las Flores. On the walls of this museum are works by Spanish artists from 2000 onwards. They include Judas Arrieta, Chema Lumbreras, and Dadi Dreucol (who has some street art in Malaga).
Mirador del Carmen – located in the tower at the west end of the seafront. This exhibition space houses temporary exhibitions that change every few months. Part of the Carmen Thyssen collection was on display in the summer 2023 and Goya sketches will arrive in the autumn.
(The painting at the top of this article is from the Carmen Thyssen exhibition in Estepona. It’s called Estepona Beach with view of Gibraltar and is by Fritz Bamberger who painted it in 1855.)
Get to this exhibition space by walking west along the seafront. The Mirador del Carmen is just before you reach the port. Note that the exhibition is on the ground floor and accessed from the beach level.
Reason 5 for an Estepona day trip – sublime orchids
Estepona Orchidarium houses over 1,300 species in a giant hothouse, with two glass domes and three spectacular waterfalls. On your visit, look out for the very rare Stanhopea trigrina orchid. It’s originally from Mexico and smells of chocolate.
The easiest way to take an Estepona day trip from Malaga is on your own four wheels. Hiring a car gets you there quickly and easily and allows you to explore places on the way there or back.
Alternatively, you can take the bus from Malaga to Estepona, part of the Malaga-Algeciras route. There are several services daily, and the most direct (with just one stop in Marbella) takes an hour and a quarter. More information here (in Spanish only).
Staying in Estepona
If you want to make the most of your visit to Estepona, we’d recommend staying at least one night in the area. Excellent hotels include:
METT Hotel & Beach Resort Marbella
New in summer 2023, this 5-star resort on the east side of Estepona has a beachfront location (with the coastal boardwalk on its doorstep) and offers a chilled beach vibe. Its 249 rooms include 24 suites, some with private pools, and have a choice of views (those overlooking the sea are the best, but those overlooking the pool come a very close second).
Onsite facilities include:
- A spectacular pool (52m long and with infinity views over the Mediterranean)
- Azure Beach Club with poolside and beach loungers and a lunchtime menu.
- Isola Restaurant serving fine Italian food.
- Bar Lola for light snacks and an extensive cocktail menu.
- State-of-the-art gym and spa (opening in late 2023).
Expect to pay around €450 a night for a double room – do treat yourself to breakfast included because the buffet is second to none!
For more information about this hotel in Estepona, click here.
The Costa del Sol beyond Malaga
If you’re keen to discover what’s outside Malaga, you’ll love a Costa del Sol Road Trip! These e-guides include all the information you need to explore the very best of this wonderful coastline and its hinterland.
Each guide takes you on a 7-day trip around the Costa del Sol, visiting its main attractions and most beautiful destinations. And each guide comes themed for your interests.
Best of all? They cost just €4.95 each, with generous discounts if you buy more than one. See for yourself on our sister website Costa del Sol Road Trips.