By the time we had finished our explorations of Cadiz (blue) and then driven the inland mountain route to the coast, emerging near Gibraltar, it was past 5 PM on Christmas Eve and falling dark by the time we located our accommodations in Estepona (pink). One of our main reasons for staying in Estepona was its proximity to the 'must-see' mountain village of Ronda, so our first full day was spent driving a short distance east before turning to climb over the the rugged mountain range to reach the village (as shown by the 'dead-end' orange road).
Similarly, Gibraltar is about the same distance away in the other direction (the small black blob of writing just to the east of Tarifa) if you want to check out this unique British outpost as well.
Fondest memory: Finally, on the morning of the departure of Sue's sister, we were up and away immediately after breakfast and had no problem delivering her to Malaga's international airport (located at the 'Torremolinos' marker) via the divided toll-highway that runs along this portion of the Mediterranean coast. Once we had said our farewells, we continued along the coast past Velez-Malaga where we made the small inland loop along the coastline to check out some 'white villages' on the mountain slopes before finally coming to rest at Nerja (blue) on the first of our two stop-overs there.
In our short time actually exploring Estepona itself, we only made a couple of forays into the downtown area of the village and seemed to have the same old problem of finding an easy parking spot due to the fairly constant flow of traffic. As it turned out, because our B&B was located on the hillside above Estepona's eastern edges, we eventually chose to stick to that end of town during our exploration of the seashore. This area seems to be newly developed and we were amazed by the opulance of the Laguna Village shopping complex that was built there in 2006. It has easy access off the main highway with lots of paved parking spots available on the beach, so we decided to check it out while we were there doing our beachcombing.
Fondest memory: It touts itself as a 'designer boutique', located on the New Golden Mile and its literature says "the design of the centre and the surrounding grounds are as luxurious as the stores inside. The centre also benefits by having the Puro Beach Club on site which offers visitors a great place to relax and unwind. Inside you will find a small but very exclusive selection of stores and restaurants. The stores may be up-market as are the restaurants, however the beautiful surroundings and the added bonus of the on-site exclusive beach club where you can relax after a busy days shopping make Laguna Village a worthwhile extravagance weather you are living here or just visiting the area. Go on, enjoy the celebrity life style in luxurious surroundings."
Oh yes, it is upscale all right and way out of our shopping league. We first came across the place when we actually ate our evening meal at one of its restaurants on Christmas Day after returning late from our Ronda day-trip! I must admit, it does have beautiful grounds.
The Municipal Tourist Office of Estepona is located not very far away to the old town center and facing the seaside promenade.
La Oficina Municipal de Información Turística se encuentra no muy lejos del centro antiguo de la ciudad, frente al paseo marítimo.
Address - Dirección
Av. San Lorenzo, 1
Tel: 95 280 20 02
If you need to make any official issue you must go to the town hall. It's a nice but simple building, painted in white and yellow. It's located in a small square with a beautiful garden.
Si necesitas hacer cualquier gestión oficial deberás ir al ayuntamiento. Es un bonito y simple edificio pintado en blanco y amarrillo. Se encuentra en una pequeña plaza con un bonito jardin.
Address - Dirección
Plaza Blas Infante, 1
Tel: 95 280 11 00
A view of the clean, and empty beach. Being close to the Straights of Gibraltar, Esterponia can be a little cooler than other Costa resorts, and this was certainly the case when we walked along the beach. Mind you, it was late in the afternoon in March.
A week later, these beaches were battered by storms for a week!
Favorite thing: I'm not sure if this fountain actually has a name, but I'm sure it does. We are now at the far end of the shopping area, farthest away from the Marina. It was getting late, and the sun was going down, hence the dullness of the photo. But we had to wait for the bus back, and were literally killing time.
Here's a photo of yours truly, on the harbour wall, with the Santa Bermeja Mountains (1450 Metres) behind.
You may just be able to make out the white building just to the right of my head, which if my memory serves me well, is a toilet block - should anyone need to know that, LOL!
Favorite thing: OK, so I've shown you the nicer bits of town, and this isn't one of them. This is (or was) the scene in Esterpona along the main road. Lots of construction work, and I would prefer not to have been accommodated in nearby hotels at that time. Many of the coastal towns had similar roadworks going on at the time.
Favorite thing: Here is a picture of Mary posing by our newly acquired motor yacht. We wish!!! Haha. There are millions of pounds of boats here, but the mooring fees are very reasonable, when compared to those in the UK. There are as many UK registerd boats here as there are Spanish!
Favorite thing: Anyone that knows me knows how I just hate tanlines, we found the beaches to be topless and the three of us wasted no time, sunning ourselves all day. The beach next to the hotel was nudist, but one of my friends Ella was a little shy. We kept telling her not to be silly, but she would not listen, We both though she looked more out of place on the beach than us.
Favorite thing: Squeezed between the modern day highway, and the coastal drive, you will find the charming old shopping area, with many small shops cafes and bars. This particular area is pedestrianised, so you don't risk being run over by speeding traffic.
Favorite thing: The town of Estepona was a real surprise, the old parts had very narrow streets and on the few occasions we left the beach we loved exploring them. In the evenings there were many outdoors bars where we would start drinking before hitting the clubs.
Fondest memory: These guys were the highlight of our holiday. Six young English lads, they all belonged to the same athletic club and were on holiday together. They joined us on the beach by day and we partied with them all night. Can you imagine six guys, three girls. We only once got them to the nudist beach and four of them would not strip, I still love the photos of them though.