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Estepona

Surface Area: 136.8 square kilometres

Population: 67,000

What the natives are called:Esteponeros

 

 

Geographical Location: in the western part of the Western Costa del Sol. The northern area of the municipality adjoins the Ronda region, while the village itself is located on the coastal fringe. The average rainfall is 900 litres per square metre and the average annual temperature is 17º C.
 

Almost the entire municipality of Estepona is dominated by the majestic Sierra Bermeja range. This massif is formed of volcanic rocks known as periodite, a mineral rich in iron oxide, that imparts a characteristic reddish tinge to the terrain. The Paraje Natural (Nature Park) of Los Reales de Sierra Bermeja (highest point 1,449 metres) is located in this setting. Here are found the largest masses of periodite in southern Europe. This natural space, with an area of 1,236 hectares, also preserves the only forest of Spanish firs on this type of rock.

The preceding may give some idea of this area’s extraordinary ecological value. This translates visually into an beautiful scenery, especially at the highest elevations, which command an extremely broad panoramic view encompassing not only the coast but also the Atlas mountain range on the neighbouring continent of Africa.

In the lower regions of the municipality the waters that come down from the mountains have formed several short rivers in the eastern part, including the Padrón, Castor, and Velerín, on whose banks citrus and fruit trees grow, while in the west, and in some areas that meet the sea, one again sees fruit orchards and, even more frequently, broad fields of grain, low brush and grazing lands. This is in frank contrast to the coastal strip, where, besides the village itself, endless urban developments have sprung up, as is to be expected of a first class tourist locality.

Nevertheless, the municipality has avoided massive development as much as possible, so there are still large green zones between the most heavily developed areas, and even these generally have open spaces. This has led to the Town Hall of Estepona being honoured with the "Live in Spain-CISA 2004" award for the best residential urban development planning.

The village’s origin is rather confusing, but it seems that the Phoenicians, who established a commercial trading post at this point, called it Astapa. Some historians connect Estepona to the Iberian town of Saldaba, which others think was in Marbella, and there are those who cite Cilciana as the origin of the village. Be that as it may, on the hill of El Torreón ruins have been found that well may be of this primitive settlement. There are remains of Phoenician and Roman settlements, the most remarkable being those found at the mouth of the river Guadalmansa.

It has been established with more certainty that this locality was besieged by the Roman Lucius Marcius because its residents had remained loyal to the Carthaginians, until in 208 B. C. it fell to the Romans. In the tenth century, when the Caliphate of Córdoba achieved its greatest splendour, the Muslims founded the city of Estebbuna, the predecessor of Estepona. Later, and after the customary confrontations between Muslims and Christians-Alfonso XI fought a historic battle off the coast of Estepona in 1342 and emerged victorious-the village was conquered by Enrique IV, under whose ruse the San Luis castle was built, of which some ruins still remain on Castillo Street.

The locality was subject to the jurisdiction of Marbella until 1729, when Philip V granted it its independence by means of a royal rough charter) that is preserved in the municipal archives.

 

Outstanding Sights; Nuestra Señora de los Remedios church, Clock Tower, El Calvario chapel, San Luis Castle walls, watchtowers, Museo Etnográfico (Museum of Ethnography), Museo Taurino (Bullfighting Museum), Museo de Paleontología (Palaeontology Museum), Luis García Berlanga Museum, Plaza de las Flores, Bullring, Dolmen of Corominas Visitor Centre, seaside promenade, marina

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