Estepona, a typical Spanish seaside town nests on the coast, along the highway between popular, trendy Marbella and the famous Rock of Gibraltar.
A little off the tourist-beaten track, and nowhere near the Fuengirola-Málaga Renfe circular rail service, the town enjoys a quieter experience in the summer months. Air-conditioned buses do run to the town, so it is accessible to tourists, but many can't be bothered to make the trek.
However, the Spanish make their way down from the extreme summer heat of Sevilla or Cordoba to thoroughly enjoy their summer holidays in the pretty town.
The center of town is typically Spanish and unspoiled. In the narrow, winding streets with geraniums blossoming on the balconies, you can hear the song of caged birds as you stroll. Friendly cries of "Hola!" greet you as you make your way through the labyrinth.
In the back streets among the houses, there are little shops dotted here and there and you'll bump into the locals taking their dogs for walks.
And sometimes, the dogs are taking themselves for a walk.
Some of the houses are very quaint, with a little window within the front door, so the owner can pop his head out when the post lady arrives.
While the back streets mainly consist of traditional homes, the main street, Calle Real, has many banks, shops and cafes available. Sometimes people will even plonk themselves down at your table while you are enjoying a cool drink, and never imagine that you can catch them on camera!
Some of the town's elderly gents enjoy a coffee and a gossip in a popular coffee and tapas bar.
Relax in the Plaza de las Flores - a beautiful town square lined with flowers and several excellent cafes and bars.
The coastline of Estepona runs for around 20 kms, with beautiful quiet and sandy beaches - plenty of room for everyone. On a clear day you can often see the distant coast of Morocco. The Rock of Gibraltar is almost always visible, as in the images below.
The "Paseo Maritimo" or beach promenade is beautifully laid out with welcoming shade, restful benches and attractive gardens. There is a myriad of "chiringuitos" or beach restaurants all along the paseo, offering local, freshly-caught seafood, or just a cooling drink.
Port of Estepona:
If you stroll in the direction of Gibraltar, you will eventually come to the Port of Estepona. The port is a mixture of a traditional fishing harbour and moorings for luxury sailing boats. In the port there are several good restaurants and a few shops. Fishing and sailing tours are available.
The outskirts of town are becoming more modernized as time goes by with many high-rise apartment complexes on the one end, and the larger supermarkets and the ubiquitous McDonald's are available at the other.
While the town itself offers small, traditional hotels and hostels, on the main highway just outside of town you can find some excellent major hotels and resorts, all on the beachfront.
If you have had enough of the sights in town and wish to explore, Gibraltar is an hour's drive away for duty-free shopping and a trip up the Rock.
Closer by is the Selwo Aventura Park
for a safari adventure and just half an hour away you can enjoy a major shopping experience in Marbella.
So, if you have had enough of packed beaches and the teeming British hordes, this summer head on down to Estepona
for a more relaxed holiday or vacation.
Please note that there are several more photos available for viewing top left of this article.
See even more in the video below: