Estepona is the largest town west of Marbella. It stretches over 22km of coastline (some of the best beaches on the Costa del Sol) and has around 60.000 inhabitants.
In the last three years there has been extensive re-development resulting with Estepona’s ‘new golden mile’. This has become the most up-market area to the east of Estepona with luxury properties on either side of the motorway and several 5 star hotels like the Ritz Carlton and the Kempinski. Indeed Estepona has just received an award from the Ayutamiento for having the best development in a town in Andalucía. Walking around the Old Town in Estepona is similar to visiting the Old Town in Marbella.
One can only say that Estepona has become the new ‘in’ place. The port remains unspoiled. The town center has squeaky clean and well cared for streets lined with hanging baskets, fantastic restaurants and bars. For horticulturalists and visitors alike, there is the recently opened orchid house (the largest in Europe) and botanical garden visited by thousands each week. Estepona is often referred to as “the Pearl of the Costa del Sol”. On Wednesday you can visit the market in Avenida Juan Carlos (feria ground and stadium), a bargain shoppers paradise. There is something for everyone, fruit and vegetables, clothes, antiques and much more.
For those with a larger budget Laguna Village, a mere 10 minute’s drive away is a must visit. It is renowned for their two beach clubs Puro Beach and Camurai as well as brand name boutiques and fine dining throughout.
The glorious San Roque Club is close by which plays hosts to many events including weddings and concerts where guests can stay in their opulent suites, with all amenities included. It is renowned for their 2 golf courses designed by the Dave Thomas and also has a magnificent equestrian centre.
The next port of call west of Estepona is Sotogrande. Probably the best hidden secret on the Costa del Sol. It has a lovely marina with Venice-like canals and lots of available moorings with dozens of restaurants and hotels including the NH Sotogrande, Club Maritimo de Sotogrande and Hotel Almenara. There is also a new shopping street at the entrance of the marina.
Sotogrande undoubtedly has been put firmly by golf enthusiasts map throughout Europe for hosting the Ryder Cup and Volvo Masters at Valderrama. Within a short distance is the world famous Santa Maria Polo Club which for the past 44 years has hosted Europe’s principal polo tournament. This year saw 24 polo teams from 14 different nationalities participating. Each year, thousands of spectators descend on the Club throughout July and August including ‘A’ list celebrities and royalty. Indeed Santa Maria is one of the largest continental polo clubs with 9 fields and over 200 stables.