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Could Estepona Be the New Marbella?

‘No reste before Este’ could be the new saying on everybody’s lips, as Estepona looks to take Marbella’s crown as the place to go on the Spanish coast. At least for overseas property investors.

Everyone has heard the saying ‘no carbs before Marbs’ made famous by a certain Essex ‘reality’ TV show, but the town of Estepona has big ambitions to match its more famous neighbour.

Like Marbella, Estepona has a beautiful natural setting with palm trees lining the waterfront, a port and a flower-bedecked Old Town with quaint narrow streets. But compared with Marbella, those beaches and restaurants are less crowded, and the coast is less developed.

Situated just twenty minutes west of Marbella and 15 minutes east of Sotogrande with airports at Malaga, one hour away, and Gibraltar, 40 minutes. The town faces the coast and is backed by the Sierra Bermeja mountains. Drive inland from Estepona for 40 minutes and these mountains provide excellent cycling and hiking paths in a National Park as well as giving distant views to Gibraltar and North Africa.

The other thing that Estepona has going for it a very forward-thinking mayor who is ensuring building licences are approved correctly and quickly, keeping the town clean and tidy with plenty of green areas and adding to Estepona’s long-term ambitions to become a second Marbella.

Estepona is now booming and prices are rising. Significant international finance companies are investing heavily in the town, and numerous posters advertise new projects. The current population of 70,000 looks set to increase as new homes are built, most aimed at overseas property investors who come with a budget of around €300,000.

Property prices are still very reasonable in Estepona and can be between 50 and 70 per cent cheaper compared with glamorous Puerto Banús. Boat berths in Estepona’s good quality marina are around half the price and so too, on average, is a round of golf one of the six courses in Estepona, or the further five 15 minutes away in Sotogrande.

A new-build three-bedroom townhouse in Marbella would be €700,000, one at La Cala in Mijas is €435,000 and one at Green Golf Estepona is just €299,000.

There has also been a considerable upgrade in infrastructure, local facilities and the overall standard of bars and restaurants to cater to buyers of the new, exclusive properties being developed.

For those who value a beach holiday, Estepona has 17 beaches stretching across 13 miles. Playa de la Rada Beach in Estepona Town is the largest, liveliest, closest to the town centre and certainly one of the best, with easy parking and children’s play areas. It is also a Blue Flag winner for its cleanliness.

Estepona has long been a favourite with British overseas property investors due to its value for money, but they are now being joined by many other nationalities who can see the potential the town.

Despite this foreign influence however, it is still easy to get a taste of authentic Spain. You can enjoy freshly caught fish or black-rice paella one of the many port-side restaurants or wander the narrow streets of the Old Town filled with flowers against the traditional whitewashed houses.

So if you want a taste of Marbella without the towering price tag, Estepona could be the place for you.

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