Known for its famous beaches, low-key vibe, and cozy historic district, Estepona isn’t as touristy as some of its glitzier neighbors on the Costa del Sol, which made it ideal for my first excursion in 115 days outside Málaga. Less known is that Estepona also seems to be one of the epicenters of street art in Andalusia with over 60+ recorded murals. I spent the 4th of July weekend celebrating my freedom to travel again by trying to see how many I could find in a single day.
There’s so much art here that you may end up walking just by it – just like the photo you just scrolled past. That second story is not a reflection. It’s Porticos del Cielo (Platforms in the Sky) by José Fernández Ríos, one of the more well-known artists in the city.
Una Flor de Futuro (A flower of the future), Regando el Jardin (Watering the Garden), the hanging plants, and Evocación Nazarí all showcase the style of José Fernández Ríos working the physical environment into his art.
Stretching across five buildings at almost 1000 square meters, Dia de Pesca (Fishing Day) is one of his most famous pieces and an impressive feat of street art. It’s difficult to capture the scale of this piece with a camera, but I included a few shots below of its various parts. Simply one of the most amazing things I’ve seen in Spain.
Nearby Dia de Pesca, you’ll see the latest art in Estepona. These are big, bright murals covering entire walls and they were completed by a group of international artists just days before the lockdown was announced in Spain.
Nourish by Samantha Jordaan
The Fall by Sav45
Estepona Dresses in Flowers by Susana Velasco
Untitled by El Chorro Arts
Fragmentation of a Specific Environment by Alberto Montes Sanchez
Untitled by Alex Senna
Illusion by Jose Antonio Barrientos-Barri
Click on the photos below to see some alternate views of these pieces in the photo gallery.
The city invited ten artists and provided them with accommodation, a cherry picker, and a space to paint with $15,000 in prize money. I only managed to track down seven of the ten so looks like I’ll have to make a return trip.
Lalone is one of my favorite artists in Malaga, and it’s because of this mural called Musas (Musings) that Estepona first came onto my radar. Here he is brightening up an otherwise drab parking garage into a work of art.
Another Malaga based artist is Dadi Dreucol making a guest appearance here in Estepona with La Luna (The Moon). The bearded man is a common theme with Dreucol’s artwork across Spain. To see even more of his work, I have a dedicated article on him over here.
This untitled mural by Efrén Calderón is so colorful and full of fun little details. There’s even an alien toking up a joint on the top floor.
Agua (water) is done entirely in braille (Francisco Jesus Redondo Losada)
4m was inspired by Scarlett Johansson (Miguel Gonzalez)
Dreams of Freedom celebrates the life of Antonia Guerrero (Paco Alarcón)
There’s a small debate whether the title of this piece translates to “Keep on Trucking” which I prefer, although purists point out that it says “Keep on Tracking” on the plaque.
In Memoriam by Pilar Castañon and Maria Romero is dedicated to the refugee children that crossed the Aegean Sea into Greece.
Towards the edge of the city, you’ll find another collection of murals including Llegando a tu destino (Arriving at your destination) by DOURONE, Almas del Mar (Souls of the Sea) by by local artist Blanca Larrauri, and a new one by Alberto Montes Sanchez
And where you would expect to find a mural of The Last Supper? On the back of a church, of course.
And even more artwork! Click on any of the photos to open the photo gallery in full size.
After five hours, I managed to track down 38 of the 60 reported artworks found on La Ruta de Murales Artísticos de Estepona so looks like I have an excuse to return for the rest. Maybe I’ll even check out the beach.
Where is it located? Estepona’s Route of Artistic Murals is found all over the city. You can find a map of the locations here. Surprisingly, most of the pieces are not found in the city center.
How long does it take? All the photos above took me around five hours of walking, but I also returned to a few places to catch the afternoon sunlight. You could definitely see most of the artwork in a single afternoon.
Best time to visit? Not July, I can tell you that. But if you are here in the summer, go earlier in the morning to avoid the heat and mid-afternoon for better photos.
Any other tips? Rent a bike for the day. This would be the easiest way to see everything without going on an extended hike. The murals are spread out across the less interesting parts of the city, so not the most pleasant of walking environments and driving can be a pain in Spain.
Estepona felt far less hectic than Malaga with the type of beaches you see in vacation advertisements. They also seem to have a thing for hanging plants. I’d tell you more, but that’s a whole other story.