This walk begins on the seafront and ends in the main square of Estepona, the Plaza de las Flores, visiting a score of other pretty places in between. Most of the plazas have somewhere to sit down, by the way!
N.B. Don't try to follow this itinerary with Google Street View. As the last 6-8 years have seen more and more streets pedestrianised, beautified and flowerpots installed, it is often very behind the times, and not showing Estepona in its current beautiful condition. The links in the itinerary take you directly to photos, so you can enjoy the route sitting at home if you can't get here yet!
Start off at the main beach, the Playa de la Rada
Very big, plenty of room for everyone! Then go to the saefront road, begin towards the Marbella end of the seafront, by the Bar Tolone and La Bulla bar.
***Plazoleta Ortiz. https://goo.gl/maps/yGatywnTHytsbsZA6 https://goo.gl/maps/jqDsVfeHrsv1qBhh9
This is the square that opens onto the Avenida de España, and has a woman's statue at the front in black marble. Take the first street on the left, the Calle Real, which is one of the main restaurant streets in town. Soon you'll come to a little square with palm trees
***Plaza Rocío Bazán, aka Plaza de las Palmeras https://goo.gl/maps/m4eNYZXzL3H8YRsm7
Turn right at the end of the square into the Calle Teatro, turquoise pots, then at the T junction with a terracotta restaurant in front of you, turn left into the Calle Caridad, blue pots, and then right into the Calle San Miguel, lilac pots.
If you think this street looks familiar, it's because Channel 4 uses it as a stock view whenever they have “Life in the Sun” set near Estepona.
At the top of the street you have the charming
***Plaza Juan Bazán. https://goo.gl/maps/EBdmop9hRMR9Tb9T7
This is the first of many examples that we'll see, where the Town Council has recently made a pretty little square. An elderly person dies, leaving a modest village house to a fairly large number of children or grandchildren. The house, unlived in, is likely to fall into disrepair and finally ruin. So the Ayuntamiento, the Town Council, takes it over, knocks down the house and sets up instead a little square, or perhaps an ample passageway - one house wide - joining two streets. Puts in a bench or two, adds some trees, scatters flowerpots all over the walls, and you have a delicious little spot for our benefit.
Finish walking up Calle San Miguel, at the top turn right into the Calle Portada, green pots. As you walk the 200 metres to the next spot, look at some of the really tiny old houses on the left of the street. So you walk on for just a minute or two, past a small crossroad, and there on the right is:
***Pasaje Felipe Campuzano. https://goo.gl/maps/eTd7r1sWxAjgHUqm9
This is a “pasaje”, a passageway, a house knocked down, the Town Council used it to join two streets as a short cut. Come back out of this pasaje and almost immediately opposite, back in the Calle Portada, is:
***Pasaje Manuel Sanchez Bracho. https://goo.gl/maps/ZxpjzR9rq3qJrWPA8
It looks really charming, flowerpots on the wall, cypress trees, a pretty bench. But when you get to the end of it, you see that you have two possibilities for going down to the street below: some steps or a tube in which you slide down! Go down using either means of transport, and turn left into the Calle Extremadura, follow it round the bend, and in 50 metres you turn left into the wonderful Plaza Antonio Ortega Vela, another space made by the Town Council, with benches and a fountain. Walk through this.
***Plaza Antonio Ortega Vela https://goo.gl/maps/Kpgz7WdkJhrLqccq5
At the end of the Plaza turn right into the green-potted Calle Lozano. Almost at the bottom on the left the road opens out into a pretty little plaza filled with orange trees – the Plaza Manilva. This is not a recent square, but one which has been here for ever and ever. Peer in and walk on past.
***Plaza Manilva https://goo.gl/maps/1NVPHPcu2dY2XNY18
Continue down the Calle Lozano to the main road, Calle Terraza, and turn right. Just before the main road, in Calle Lozano, there's a shop that sells beautiful flamenco dresses for the ferias and fiestas here in town.
So you've turned right into the Calle Terraza, and almost immediately you come to the Plaza Antonia Guerrero.
***Plaza Antonia Guerrero https://goo.gl/maps/Qaxt2r7DQNsp6fzX8
This is a flower-decked open space with tiny fountains for jumping over in the middle, palm trees, and a Moorish castle at the rear, overlooked by mountains. But of course they aren't mountains, and there's no Moorish castle, I believe that it's an electricity sub-station actually. It's just - just! - another of Estepona's 65+ murals. There's another in the far left corner, a woman with a dove denoting freedom.
At the far end of this square turn left up Calle Papuecas, purple-spotted pots, right at the top, red and white spotted pots and then immediately left into Calle Montecillo, blue pots. On the right below you, via some zigzag steps, you will see:
***Plaza Antonio Gala. https://goo.gl/maps/boPhCyjXAJJmCjud9
Go out the far end, between the “windows” - you'll see what I mean! - turn left, round the corner into Calle Guadiana and then immediately left into another pasaje:
***Pasaje Alicia Villa Padierna. https://goo.gl/maps/ZdApZLvcNc9mTYKM7
Walk through it to the Calle Casares, multi-coloured pots, turning left then immediately right into the Calle Florida, green pots. Go across the crossroad with the pretty Calle Figueroa, looking back over your shoulder at the Calle Florida as you do – at the right time of year the bougainvillea over its entrance is just wonderful.
Straight on into a wide open space:
***Plaza Begines https://goo.gl/maps/MMdegC5Mg3xJqVbGA
This is unusual in that instead of palms it has mature pine trees, as well as orange trees, and also it has more substantial houses. I guess that in past centuries this was where the landowners lived.
Leave Plaza Begines by Calle Sierra, which is more or less in a straight line from where you came in, with green pots. Ahead of you is the tall narrow house of a friend of mine, Fran Garcia Gil.
He has won the prize for best decorated façade, but more importantly, he personally has created in 1985 and maintained ever since the little garden by the steps at the side of his house. Go up these narrow steps, which are the entrance to:
***Pasaje de María Cintrano https://goo.gl/maps/BSmFVKDtqqdjNie6A
Once you have admired the tiny square at the top of the steps, and seen the poetry plaque, part of Ruta de la Poesía, the Poetry Route, around the town, you then turn left into the Calle Sevilla, walk past the charming Calle Pequeña and then on your right you come to another tiny square. Just look how small the house was that once stood here!
***Homenaje a Antonio Machado https://goo.gl/maps/ADiEwsTcJktiwAHYA
It is dedicated to the poet Antonio Machado – one of his poems is on a beautiful ceramic plaque on the wall. This again is part of the Ruta de la Poesía. Now go back down the Calle Sevilla, past the Pasaje de María Cintrano again and down the hill towards a large pink house. Just opposite this is another pasaje
***Pasaje de Doña Francisca Contreras https://goo.gl/maps/n4U3qY1NcZMRnBow5
Look in here, see the well, the poetry plaque, then back out into the Calle Sevilla and along the little street next to the tall pink house,
the Calle Suspiro, and turn left up into the Calle Caravaca. Here you take the first right alongside the yellow-and-white painted building to come to
***Plaza Blas Infante https://goo.gl/maps/Bzk27NP2ct7apDtV6
The large building is now the municipal museum and town hall annexe, you can pop inside to admire the central patio, typical of a rich family's house in past centuries. Walking past the front of this building, continue straight so you come to
***Plaza del Reloj https://goo.gl/maps/uKNmpTZAp2hmBe1S6
The clock tower is popularly believed to be the remnant of a Moorish Mosque; Estepona was a Moorish town for 700 years. Leave the square by the wide stairs more or less in front of the tower,
down to the Calle Santa Ana, blue pots, turn left up this street and you'll come to:
***Plaza Manuel Alcántara https://goo.gl/maps/dEUsFevAoJ3y17Ze6
Really lovely, with its flowersbeds and a little stream running down the centre, it has various poetry plaques, devoted as it is to the poet Manuel Alcántara. Leave the square at the bottom, leaving the bust of the poet on your left, going along the Calle Manzanares.
At a bend in this street, take the right fork down a little street to
***Plaza Dr Arce https://goo.gl/maps/aN7ixuTQsP3JpCh48
Lots of places to eat a meal or just an ice-cream here! Take the first right out of the square, into the
***Plaza de las Flores https://goo.gl/maps/SyZsj6AwVyzK213s7
View of the church tower, gorgeous new hotel just in front, this is the centre of the town, and the end of our walk.
Now choose somewhere nice to sit with a drink, some tapas or raciones, and take a rest!