There's more to Estepona holidays than meets the eye, with a must-visit old town that gives the Blue Flag beaches a run for their money.

Cultural credentials

A snapshot of Estepona tells a trademark Costa del Sol story. But beyond the high-rise hotels and soft sands is a toy box of old and new treats. Tapas bars stud the streets of the old quarter, which is home to the pretty Plaza de las Flores, a 16th-century clock tower and easy-on-the-eye churches. Seven ancient watchtowers have survived the test of time along the coastline, and the town’s botanical gardens are holed up in a futuristic, dome-topped building.

Blue Flag flurry

It doesn’t matter which way you turn here, there are Blue Flags everywhere you look. The sandy sweep on your doorstep, Playa de la Rada, is the roomiest option, while Playa del Cristo offers quieter surroundings at the bottom end of town. The pair are separated by the swaying masts of a marina which, like its neighbours, is a signed and sealed member of the Blue Flag club. The whole lot’s drenched in 325 days of sunshine a year, courtesy of a handy micro-climate.

Famous friends

Marbella’s just along the coastline from Estepona, which means daytrips with a celebrity sheen. It’s about half an hour’s drive away and, when you arrive, you’ll see it’s a holiday destination with a luxe edge. Skip between the swanky bars and restaurants, and you’ll see that magnums are more common in bottle form than ice-cream form. And if you’re keen to spot a famous face, July and August might shorten your odds a little.

At a Glance

  • Tuck into tapas on Plaza de las Flores
  • Spend your beach days the Blue Flag way
  • Pop along the coast to Marbella

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