Estepona – The Garden of the Costa del Sol
Estepona is a municipality of Málaga province on the Costa del Sol. It sits in a lush green valley, intersected by rivers and streams and protected by the Sierra Bermeja mountain range, providing a stunning backdrop to the traditional white washed town and its endless golden beaches.
Boasting 22km of coastline, the Estepona municipality stretches from the borders of Casares in the West through to Marbella in the East and encompasses the areas of Valle Romano, Bahía Dorada, Buenas Noches, Selwo, New Golden Mile, Los Flamingos, El Padrón, Cancelada, Bel Air, La Resina, El Paraiso and Saladillo-Benamara and Atalaya. It has a population of 70,000 distributed over an area of over 137 km2.
Thanks to the unique local micro climate, Estepona enjoys more days of sunshine than any other stretch of the Costa del Sol coastline. Compared to its glamourous neighbour Marbella, visitors and residents benefit from an extra 10 days of sunshine per year; 330 days in total. Estepona is blessed with 18 beaches, which can be enjoyed year round and multiple world class golf courses.
Estepona has one of the highest numbers of fairways in Spain. Home to the New Golden Mile, this is the epicentre of golf valley or the ‘Costa del Golf’ as it is now coloquially termed. There are a range of excellent golf clubs in panoramically scenic locations, which bustle all the way through the winter season. Here are just a few to get you started…
Costa del Golf
Atalaya Golf & Country Club
Opened in 1968, this is one of the most well established golf clubs on the Costa del Sol. It enjoys fantastic views across countryside to San Pedro Alcántara and the Mediterranean. The parkland setting, wide fairways and elevated greens of the course make it a perennial favourite, with an older and newer 18-hole course available. The club has a friendly, informal atmosphere with a panoramic terrace café that serves food and drinks.
El Campanario Golf & Country House
This small 9-hole course is set within a residential area just west of Atalaya, opened in 2003. It is a challenging 9 hole, suited to those who want to perfect their game. If you can master El Campanario, you’re ready for the big courses. The clubhouse features elegant lounges and a first-class restaurant/bar and outdoor dining area that is ideal for families lunches or even more formal events. Many of the members also use the gym and indoor swimming pool, which rank among the best of any golf club.
El Paraíso Golf Club
One of the golfing institutions on the Costa del Golf. It fills the undulating valley of El Paraíso and was designed in 1973 by none other than South African legend Gary Player. It’s a leading championship course and a popular amateur club with active membership and a sociable atmosphere.
Los Flamingos Golf Club
A little further to the west, in the direction of Estepona town, lies the country club and golf course of Los Flamingos. Its fairways are the focal point of the urbanisation and surround the palatial Villa Padierna resort hotel and spa to create a aristocratic atmosphere among the mountain and sea views. The 18-hole course designed by Antonio García Garrido is in many ways unique, dotted with fantastic water features, lakes and sandy bunkers.
La Resina Golf and Club de Golf El Coto
These two courses form the heart of golf country along the New Golden Mile, which stretches from Estepona to San Pedro Alcántara. Both clubhouses are charming and part of a small local country club. La Resina was opened in 2005 while El Coto is an older course surrounded by Japanese landscaping, which gives it a very Zen feel.
The main course immediately west of Estepona, and close to its marina, Estepona Golf is a casual, informal club with a real family feel. Its setting is surprisingly rustic and rural given its close proximity to the beaches of Estepona east, which endows the 18-hole course with a delightful setting with country, mountain and sea views. And that sums up the variety of first-class golf experiences available in and around Estepona.
Estepona: a town with great ambition
Thanks to the introduction of new mayor José María García Urbano in 2013, Estepona is leading the way in the gentrification, and modernisation of this picturesque town. The investment in infrastructure, facilities and services add value and appeal to residents and visitors alike, whilst the beautification with flowers, greenery and urban art only adds to its reputation as the Garden of the Costa del Sol. There is already a new outdoor sports centre, a range of modern gymnasiums, a new theatre, a botanical garden with the largest Orchid Museum in Europe, and beautiful award winning public green areas. With excellent new restaurants, modern wine-tapas bars and luxury beachclubs emerging, the demands of the increasingly cosmopolitan international inhabitants are well catered for.
Furthermore a brand-new state of the art public hospital is under construction in Estepona and due for completion in 2018. This is great news for the residents of the western Costa del Sol who have previously had a 40km journey to the nearest public hospital. This impressive modern hospital will have A&E, a surgical wing and specialist centres for women and children and much more.
There are also plans in place for a shopping centre and cinema in the town centre, as well as 6 brand new hotels which are a huge boost for the area. For the foodies, the hottest topic on everyones lips, scheduled for May 2018 is the launch of the San Luis gourmet food market. Located in Plaza de Abastos in the heart of old town Estepona, just few steps from the beach and next to the ruins of the old medieval fortress, the old food market is under complete restoration. The San Luis Market promises to become the modern centre of Andalusian and international cuisine. A space where both young and old can enjoy great food, drinks and evening entertainment. It will also promote the town of Estepona as a gastronomic and cultural hotspot on the Costa del Sol, becoming a must stop for both residents and tourists of all nationalities.
Along the 22 kms of coastline a ‘paseo marítimo’ walking – biking coastal path is underway. This work has been ongoing since 2014 completing in 2018 with the aim of providing an uninterrupted boulevard of pedestrian walkways, seafront promenades, wooden bridges, parks and playgrounds which together connect Marbella with Estepona. This allows everyone to fully enjoy the stunning sea views whilst exploring the Estepona coastline on bike, foot, segway or skate. Estepona is also particularly family-friendly. New playgrounds have been created all through the town and port, there is the excellent Safari Adventure Park in Selwo and Mundo Mania Splash park for the little ones nearby.
In summary, Estepona has outgrown the shadows of its famous coastal cousin Marbella. While both have their own charm, it is actually Estepona that is experiencing an exponential growth, developing into one of the most dynamic and popular locations on the Costa del Sol. Despite its growth and development it manages to preserve its typical Spanish character and unique identity and it is this classic combination which is capturing the attention of more and more visitors and in turn property purchases to the area.
At Home on the Coast
According to figures released by the Málaga Colegio de Arquitectos, the growth of new property developments applies to nearly all municipalities in the Malaga region. Malaga city centre tops the list, which is unsurprising as the capital of the region, but Estepona takes a brave second position! The traditional Spanish fishing town is now experiencing its largest property sales growth in history. It is here that much of the new quality developments are concentrated, with attractive modern gated villas, apartment complexes and contemporary semi-detached houses taking the entire region west of Marbella further upmarket.
The growth has been spurred on by the greater availability of land and the efficiency of the Estepona town hall in processing build applications coupled with the increasing desirability of Estepona. The town is popular among investors and holiday home buyers alike thanks to many of the points mentioned above. This together with the wave of new, modern, high quality developments has raised the profile and attraction of Estepona, where properties are selling fast and prices have shown a healthy rise, indicating the growing demand for property here.
Estepona municipality has a high percentage of international residents (about 24% as of 2017), who own their second homes here. Overall, international buyers make around 40% of the local property market.
On the skyline to East and West, cranes once again bristle above urbanisation and villa developments. The building consultants, professionals and tradesmen who were laid off 10 years ago are now flooding back and completing shell buildings that have been abandoned for years, or building anew on sites that developers who survived were able to hold onto, or have acquired cheaply from the banks.
Estepona has witnessed a major increase in property buyers. It is relevant to note here that with its Westerly position on the Costa del Sol, Estepona avoids attracting the normal package deal tourists who generally stay in hotel resorts closer to the airport in Malaga. There is a genuine needs for properties built to last, not just for the fleeting visitor. This means property investment value holds strong, at a time of low-interest rates and excellent entry level purchase prices. Estepona attracts more self catering tourists and as a result buy to let has also made a huge revival. With a massive shortage of rental property available, there are excellent opportunities to gain significant returns from rent, either short or long term. The majority of our clients look to buy a property that gives them both an overseas holiday home as well as highest possible return on their investment. If investing in property appeals to you click here for more details
Estepona is rapidly transforming itself into a true hotspot and booming like never before. While prices are rising there is still great value to be had here and so much potential for future growth amid continued improvements and growing demand. It seems that from here on out Estepona is very much the place to be.