Moving to Estepona – What is it Like Living in Estepona?

Estepona is one of the most popular places on the Costa del Sol of Spain that expats consider moving to.

We interview locals and find out just what living in Estepona is REALLY like.

Should you move to Estepona?

We attempt to answer all your most popular questions to help you decide whether Estepona is the right place for you or not.

For other related advice, see our popular moving to Spain page or our tourist guide to Estepona.

Moving to Estepona

If you are thinking of moving to Estepona, then you must read our interview with Celeste Alonso of The Property Agent below.

the property agent estepona sotogrande

Celeste is a real estate agent and inmobiliaria based in Estepona and Sotogrande and covers all nearby areas.

We are very grateful to her for this helpful local knowledge she has kindly provided exclusively to us:

Celeste, where in Spain is Estepona, and is it easy to get there from major airports?

Estepona is one of the largest seaside towns on the Costa del Sol situated in the southwest of Malaga province between Marbella and Sotogrande. Marbella is a 20-minute drive, Gibraltar airport is 40 minutes, and Malaga airport is just over 1hr by car.

What is Estepona best-known for?

Estepona is a harbour town and has its roots in the fishing industry. Over the years, this bustling mid-sized coastal town has become a leading tourist destination on the Costa del Sol. It is nestled between the Sierra Bermeja mountain range and a sprawling 23km coastline dotted with some of the best beaches anywhere in Southern Spain.

Estepona has an extensive promenade that runs along the beachfront. There is a marina at the end of the boardwalk, just a few minutes from the town, and is home to many yachts and sailing boats. The place comes alive during the summer months with a vibrant nightlife scene, expect everything from Karaoke to Celtic music and of course Flamenco.

What would you say would be the advantages to living in Estepona compared to other towns on the Costa del Sol?

  • Estepona has seen the most investment in recent years of all its neighbouring towns on the Costa del Sol.
  • Great infrastructure, new roads, a new hospital, a green facelift is also underway.
  • Estepona sits on a long stretch of glorious beach, so you have the sea pretty much on your doorstep.
  • Good choice of restaurants and bars with excellent value for money.
  • Cost of living is also cheaper than neighbouring towns like Marbella, Benahavis, and Sotogrande.
  • A down to earth town with typical Andalucian charm.

Would the Estepona area not suit certain types of people, i.e. are there any possible downsides? Is Estepona a nice place to live?

Not as upmarket as Marbella and being a small town it doesn’t have the variety of a city.

What proportion of the local population in Estepona is Spanish?

About 75% Spanish, with the remaining 25% made of up foreigners.

What are your favourite things to do in the Estepona area?

I like getting lost in the old town with its beautiful cobbled lanes or enjoying tapas with friends in any of the delicious restaurants that line its streets. Jogging along the 2.5km beachfront promenade is a great way to keep fit. There is plenty of water sports, and the mountain that sits behind the town has some picturesque walking trails that lead to the summit with spectacular views of the coast.

Can you give us some insider tips to the best bars or restaurants in Estepona?

The ‘Casa Del Rey’ in the old town is probably one of the best Tapas bars in the area. For a proper healthy option’ ‘Wild Estepona’ is a must. For beach clubs, ‘Trocadero Estepona’ is top quality with good food, maybe a little bit more on the expensive side. There is also plenty of beach bars like Heaven that serve fresh fish, typically caught that day.

Are there many facilities in Estepona such as doctors and dentists, shops etc?

Excellent dental and hospital facilities, with plenty of private clinics. The old town has a commercial centre with some small shops, and there are plans for a large retail centre to be built on the outskirts of the town. You will find plenty of supermarkets like Mercadona and Carrefour.

Are there smaller villages nearby that you might also recommend?

Casares and Benahavis are a must-visit. Casares is a whitewashed village that sits on the side of a mountain, and it’s small and beautiful. Benahavis, on the other hand, while also small is much more upmarket and is renowned for excellent food. Both are about 20-minute drive in opposite directions from the town centre.

What are the nearest international schools to Estepona and how good are they?

There are some outstanding fee-paying schools like San Jose, which is bilingual. The main international school is ‘The International School of Estepona. Further up the coast, maybe 15 to 20 minutes away you have Atalaya, Aloha College and Swans international school. In the opposite direction, again about 20-minute drive, you have the Sotogrande international school.

How safe is Estepona? – Is crime in Estepona an issue for ex-pats?

Keeping the tourists and ex-pats safe is hugely important for the local government, it ensures people come back year after year to spend their holidays here. It is very safe.

What is the market for buying a property in Estepona like now in terms of prices going up, or down or staying the same?

Prices have steadily moved higher over the last few years. March 2020, compared with March 2019, shows a 6.5% increase. We might see a drop over the next few months due to the coronavirus, and I can’t see it being a massive drop but maybe a few percent. Prices will return to an upward trend in 2021.

Is this a good time to buy, and are there any repossessions or very cheap properties still available to buy?

I would wait and see what impact the coronavirus has. There are some bargains still to be had today like the Santa Lucia Apartments. Bank repossessions are harder to come by these days and typically require a hefty investment to get them into a liveable state as in most cases they have not been occupied for several years.

How much are the typical property prices in Estepona for apartments, villas etc?

The average price of a good quality 2-bed apartment starts around 200.000€ working out at 2.200€ per square metre, whereas villa prices start around 550.000€ at 2.600€ per sqm.

What urbanisations are there and can you describe each one and how they might differ from each other? 

In the town centre:

Darya Estepona is a luxurious high-end complex on the beachfront in Estepona Centre with 1, 2, 3 and 4-bed apartments with superb onsite facilities. Prices start from 425.000€.

Edificio Kairos is a new modern building with 1, 2, and 3-bed apartments in Estepona Centre, with shops and restaurants on your doorstep. Prices start at 120.000€.

On the outskirts of the town:

Las Mesas Homes is set in a more tranquil location on a gentle hill with stunning sea views. Prices are from 270.000€.

Do you have any tips and advice to people looking to buy in Estepona or the surrounding areas

Spain’s Real estate industry, has really cleaned up its act since the last financial crises, one of the only benefits of the 2008 crash was the clearing out of all the cowboy Really Estate companies. Only the reputable and professionally managed businesses survived, so to answer your question, always start with a Real Estate Agent, they have expert local knowledge, they know the market and will have contacts within many banks, law firms and service providers.

How much does it cost to rent in Estepona for an apartment or villa on a long-term rental basis?

Rents have risen sharply over the last few years, and the increase is almost 60% in six years. A decent-sized apartment in the centre of the town will cost about 1100 euros per month, at around 11€ per sqm.

Is Estepona a good place to consider renting in the wintertime on a longer-term rental basis? 

With an average annual temperature of 17º C, the winters are very mild. The town itself has many good festivals and traditions that run throughout the year, and it’s a lively place all year round with a friendly atmosphere. Summer is called the’ ‘high season’ for a reason, but I prefer the quieter months before and after summer, things are more relaxed, the beaches are less crowded and the streets less busy. So, Yes, it is a great place to consider renting on a longer term basis.

How is the cost of living in Estepona for people thinking of retiring to Estepona?

The great thing about Southern Spain is the cost of living, it is cheaper than most northern European countries, and money goes further. Retiring here with its excellent climate, relaxed vibe, and affordable lifestyle makes it the ideal place to spend the twilight years of your life.

the property agent logo Celeste Alonso, thank you so much for taking the time to help our readers with your experiences of Estepona, Spain.

If you want to contact Celeste, you can find her details below.

The Property Agent

Telephone: +34 637227986 | Skype: Celeste Alonso
Address: Urb. El Casar Floresta 44, 11310 Sotogrande, Spain.

Celeste also has a detailed area guide to Estepona on her own website here:

Contact us to be featured – we want more expat interviews for our newsletter and website. You don’t need to be an estate agent, we want to hear from anyone who lives in Spain whether you are working or retired.

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