Many people only think of sand, sea and sangria when they think of the Costa del Sol, but as part of Andalucia, it has a lot of culture, history and art to enjoy. Estepona in particular is making the most of this with many museums, 25 striking murals around the town, festivals to celebrate the music and food of Spain and the largest auditorium on the Costa del Sol which boasts a great programme of concerts and events.
A great way to start a cultural holiday in Estepona is to follow the “Murals Tour”, a walking tour around the fabulous artworks which are painted on the side of buildings all around the town. This way you can get to know the town, while taking in some wonderful works of art. There is an easy to follow route, pick up the map at the tourist office at the Plaza de las Flores. There is also a “Poetry Route” where you can read beautiful poetry in different languages while exploring the Old Town.
There are four interesting museums, three of which are located in the bull ring and are free to enter, just up from the marina. The Bullfighting Museum features objects related to bullfighting, including photographs of important bullfighters throughout the ages and scenes in the ring that have gone down in history, historic posters and the stunning suits worn on fight day by some of Spain’s top bullfighters. The Ethnographic Museum, is a great way to understand Estepona and its history, as it explains the way of life, customs and economy of the inhabitants of the Estepona province over the centuries. Finally, also in the bullring, there’s a Palaeontology Museum, which is distinguished by its important collection of molluscs and invertebrates from the Pliocene Era found in Estepona, a coral reef from the Late Triassic period which is unique on the Iberian Peninsula, a collection of replica Argentinean dinosaur skeletons from the Mesozoic Era, and a fossil collection from the Miocene Epoch. You can also visit an Archaeological Museum located in the 19th Century “Casa del Aljibe”, with a collection of fascinating objects including the 5,000-year old small statue of the ‘Venus of Estepona’.
Before you visit, check the constantly updated cultural calendar for any concerts or performances taking place at the Felipe VI Auditorium, the largest performance space on the Costa del Sol. There are also regular flamenco festivals and performances, particularly in the summer and during Estepona’s feria in July including the “Cultural Summer” programme of dance performances in the streets.
A highlight for lovers of the Spanish culture of enjoying the best food and eating and drinking late into the night, is the Spanish Jamon Festival in August. Over four days, 1.5km of stalls stretch along the seafront promenade, showcasing the best hams from around Spain, sliced by master carvers, in wonderful atmosphere.
The Kempinski Hotel Bahía enjoys a privileged position by the beach, just 3km from the beautiful town of Estepona and is the only 5* Grand Luxe hotel in the area. They are passionate about art and culture, with works of art by local artist Pedro Rodriguez offering guests the chance to experience art in every corner of the hotel. Various arts events and exhibitions are held throughout the year at the hotel, and throughout the summer there are classical, jazz and flamenco guitar performances in the hotel’s restaurants. The Kempinski is the perfect base for a cultural holiday in Estepona. Find out more at the Kempinski Hotel and view the Estepona calendar of activities
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Nick has lived and worked in Andalucia for over 20 years. He and his partner, Julie Evans, have travelled extensively and dug deep into the history and culture, producing authoritative articles on all aspects of the region. Nick has written four books about Andalucia and writes articles for other websites and blogs.
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