It wasn't our intention to stay this far south, our original plan was to sail round to Aquadulce in the Granada province. But, from the moment we arrived at the marina and saw the naff office building shaped like a Disney princess wedding cake, the hustle and bustle of the marina promemade, the polite and friendly welcome of the marina staff and the welcoming bottle of wine, we fell in love with Estepona.
It's one of those towns that has something for everyone. It is a working town with a flourishing fishing port, thriving spanish community and a tourist hotspot.
The town of Estepona can be broken down into three parts: to the west of the marina there are a number of low rise apartments that are rented out for tourists. Behind the marina there are stunning views of the mountains and a newish town that is inhabited by locals, with lots of small locally owned shops and restaurants, and to the east of the marina is the old town which is inhabited by a mix of locals and tourists and is one of the most beautiful old towns I've ever seen (and I've seen a lot during my travels). On a clear day we can see Gibraltar and the Rif mountains of North Africa!
Estepona has numerous attractions and has a thriving cultural scene, with live music, plays and shows held across the town. In our first week here, we went to the local arts centre to watch The Godfather. It was a bit surreal watching a film about American Italians, in English, with Spanish subtitles
It also has great transport links to a number of towns and cities. This was one of the selling points for us as we want to visit cities such as Cadiz, Seville, Malaga and Granada.
The Sierra Bermeja is just behind the town of Estepona and is within easy walking reach, so I'm sure we'll be having days out there. We are also close to the Sierra de Las Nieves, which is set behind Marbella. This is a mountain range that I particularly want to visit as the village of Tolox, where my Dad came from is set at the foothills of the mountains. When I was young, he would tell me stories about spending time in the mountains with his grandfather, so it will be a very poignant visit.
I mentioned previously that Estepona is a beautiful town. One of the reasons for this is because of the obvious investment in amenities and public areas. The Mayor of the town had a vision to improve the aesthetics of the town and make it a town to be proud of.
The Mayor set about improving the old town, by having buildings restored and painted, having roads pedestrianised and streets decorated with flower pots of every colour you could think of.
Parks were replanted and children's play areas added, the roads were resurfaced and roundabouts redesigned with sculptures or water features and the promenade along the 2 kilometre beach was replaced and children's play areas added.
When we had been discussing what we would look for from our winter moorings, we set out a checklist of things that would be important to us, from being able to do maintenance to Offbeat through to being easily accessible for family and friends to visit. Estepona has ticked those boxes and more. It is a beautiful, friendly town that is well looked after and where everyone who lives here has on overwhelming sense of pride.
Hi to you both, just wondering how you are spending your time and what your plans are for this season? The marina does look great-do you still like it as much as you did? Regards, ChristineReplyDelete
If anything, we love Estepona even more after 3 months. The marina is safe - no swell so far, regular checks by the marineros and good gates - and fairly quiet. The staff are helpful and we've found suppliers for everything we need for working on the boat. The showers are big and cleaned twice a day - luxury that we are not used to! The marina prices are higher than those further east, but to us are worth the €100 a month extra.
Estepona keeps us very busy - exercise classes, good shops, sightseeing, a few language exchange groups. We have also met many people and made some good Spanish and Swedish friends. The tourism here is mostly Spanish, with relatively few Swedish and English tourists and residents. So we have learned basic Spanish very quickly. And also that the Swedish are great fun with a few drinks inside them!
oh yeah, our plans for the sailing season. After hauling out and a bit more refit work (Offbeat is 40 years old this year and getting a bit tired. I know the feeling!) we will bead up the Costas in April, then head over to explore Sardinia, Corsica, Sicily and the Italian coast, maybe Malta and Tunisia, before heading back towards tbe Gibraltar Straits. Our aim is then to head out to the Canaries and see whete the wind takes us, but, hey, who knows. Neitber of us would mind coming back to Estepona again 😁ReplyDelete
Hi, thanks for the update! Glad you are having a good time. I know what you mean about the Swedes - after cruising in Scandinavia , we found if we approached them first and “ broke the ice” they were really friendly and good fun after appearing a bit frosty on first meeting!ReplyDelete