Friday, 29 May 2015


Today I would like to talk about one of the saddest realities of Spain. And how an Estepona association struggle to change this reality. 

To our shame, Spain is the country with the highest percentage of dropouts pets in Europe. Each year, over 100,000 pets are kicked out of their homes (15.000 in Andalucia) . So in order to defend the rights of this creatures, ADANA was founded more than 25 years ago.  

ADANA (Association for the Rights of Abandoned Animals) is an animal charity on the Costa del Sol run by volunteers. Their aims are to promote love and affection for animals, to provide facilities for the shelter and care of abandoned, sick and injured animals whilst seeking new homes for them.  

The animal shelter, located close to “Los Pedregales” park, on a property owned by the local government and run by ADANA. Its open from Monday to Friday from 10:30 till 13:30 and Saturdays and Sundays from 11:00 till 13:00. 

They have volunteers that attend the refuge daily, to feed to the animals, clean them and to take them for walks. It is a work that takes a lot of time and requires responsibility. If you have some time and wish to help, you will be welcome. They also need other volunteers, especially those with knowledge of construction, electricity, plumbing. But anyone with a desire to help is most welcome.

ADANA receives no funds from the government or local authorities. It can only continue its work through the donations the public make. In order to rise founds they also have a second hand shop in Estepona, an online shop ( ) and a stall at the Sunday market in Sabinillas, run by volunteers.

Flight Buddies needed:

They have been successful in getting a number of our dogs adopted by people in northern European countries but need help getting the adopted dogs to their new homes and are looking for people travelling to those countries to help them by becoming "flight buddies". The cost of the dog's flight is paid for by the person who has adopted it so it would cost you nothing. All you would need to do is add the dog to your booking details. They would provide all the necessary documentation, health checks and equipment required in preparation for the dog to fly. 

The dog would be brought to you at the airport (usually Málaga) and their experienced volunteers would guide you through the check-in process and be on hand to assist you until the dog passes through security. The adopter would then meet you at the other end. 

Flights to the UK are excessively priced so dogs travel to the UK via dedicated Pet Taxis but we are always looking for people flying to northern European countries like Germany, Holland, Norway, Finland, etc. 

By agreeing to be a "flight buddy" you would be helping an abandoned dog make its way to a new home and life. 

So if you're travelling from Spain to somewhere in northern Europe and can help us by being a flight buddy please contact them.

This place has made me a better person. I encourage all of you to pass by to the shelter and have a look to the wonderful work they are doing.  

How to get there:

To get to the Pedregales park, you take the road towards Casares; it's actually marked "Casares por los caminos" at the roundabout on the A7 by the Estepona Industrial area (Poligono). You start by going down under the motorway, then after a few kilometres you come to the park on the right. The turn-off for ADANA from the Pedgregales road (Pista Colada de los Molinos a E) is about 200 meters before the official entrance to the park. You will see signs posted for ADANA at the turn-off.

GPS coordinates: 36.452788, -5.210153

More information at

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Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Local elections in Spain.

The municipalities of Malaga province look set for deals and pacts after last Sunday elections in which the Popular Party (PP) saw its vote share drop significantly, and new parties destabilised the two-party system. Across the region the PP’s vote share dropped from 46% to 35% and it lost 50 councillors, while the Socialist Party (PSOE) gained just four thousand votes more than in 2011.

But one place which bucked the regional trend was Estepona, where José María García Urbano secured another overall majority and increased the PP’s share of the vote. 

Estepona citizens wanted to reward with their votes the management of José María García Urbano, who renews his mandate for four more years with an absolute majority that will allow him a peaceful government and without covenants. In 2011, after several years of political turbulences and corruption scandals, Garcia Urbano came to the City Hall after winning with a 48.93% of the total votes. Four years later he gets even better results, to have a 59.67% of the vote in a city which, as most of the citizens say: has changed for good.

On the national scene, the two traditional parties fell short of overall majorities in most areas. They both lost a significant number of votes to emerging groups Ciudadanos and Podemos. 

As expected, in the wake of the economic crisis and high-profile corruption scandals which have tarnished the reputation of the traditional political parties in Spain, the country has now entered a new political era. Spain is unfamiliar with governing coalitions as the PP and the Socialists have dominated for decades, so the next months before the general elections will be good to see how the traditional parties are positioned.

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Sunday, 24 May 2015

Centro Dolmenico de Corominas

As I said, every place in Estepona have a story, but today we will learn about its prehistory ...

At Corominas dolmenic centre, we can see the remains of a spectacular megalithic cemetery. Five graves, moved from its original location (due to the construction of the motorway AP-7) to “Los Pedregales” park. 

The archeologists has reconstructed stone by stone the topography of the site, including the five dolmens in its original position. On the same building there is a tour  where you can see exposed the different tools and handcrafts found inside the dolmens and brief explanations about the way of living of our old ancestors.

With 5000 years old,  were found covered by stone slabs with a coat of rocks and soil over them. Inside the dolmens remains of a dozen burials, ceramic vessels, stone tools, arrowheads, axes and personal adornments of the people buried in the graves, highlighting stone beads and seashells necklaces.

A curious thing about the site is that they also found another graves from 4000 years ago, during the Bell Beaker culture period, just for our orientation we can use as a time reference the construction of Stonehenge (England) during this period.  On the visit you can admire the reproduction of one of these tombs and several showcases with materials deposited inside: smooth ceramic vessels, bronze axes, etc.

The building is a 25 meters diameter dome. One of it features is the lighting, that was done through fiber optics. On the top of the dome, you can see a representation of a starry sky with the stars on the same disposition as it looks 5000 years ago, the time when the original builders of the necropolis finish it.

But there are not only bones and fling stones at Corominas. One thing that makes it one of my favorite’s places of Estepona is the live events that every month are offered there. From classical music to unplugged rock bands concerts, you can find a very attractive agenda and in addition you can have a guided tour after the concert. 

Photo credit: Tomyuki Hotta 

I encourage you to visit the place and to follow it on Facebook (you have to look at “Centro Dolménico Corominas”) and in case you find an event that interest you do not hesitate in contact to book the tickets as the seating capacity is limited.

How to get there:

To get to the Pedregales park, you take the road towards Casares; it's actually marked "Casares por los caminos" at the roundabout on the A7 by the Estepona Industrial area (Poligono). You start by going down under the motorway, then after a few kilometres you come to the park on the right, there is a parking area just passing the main entrance.  Corominas is 400mts from the entrance of the park. 
GPS coordinates:  36.443817, -5.208184

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Friday, 22 May 2015

Estepona Street Art

I still remember the first time I came across a mural in the neighbourhood of "3 Banderas" a place that I visit several times per month to buy the meat to prepare our Argentinian BBQ's. At that moment I thought that it was the neighbours of that building who decided to paint it in that way. I didn't know at that time that this mural was one of the firsts in an ambitious project of Street art around the town of Estepona.

In the last three years, the façades of buildings in the streets of Estepona went from being simple dwellings to be seen as canvases in which artists can exhibit their works. Nicknamed as 'Route of Murals' brought 25 large-scale paintings, a number that will continue to rise in the near future.

This initiative put the city at the spotlight of national artistic scene. In January 2014, five terraced buildings became the largest vertical mural of Spain. 'Fishing day', created by the artist Jose Fernandez Rios, became the emblem of this route and not only for its size but also for its composition. Only watching it from an exact point of the opposite street you can view entirely the fisherman catching his prey.

Thematic are mixed and they are many styles. From hyperrealism  to abstract subjects, from nature to music, colors to black and white. Both local and international artists (including Erin Aman whose work is featured in San Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City), have left their signature on the buildings of our city.

Fortunately, the works will not end with this paintings as it seems that there are many artists demanding "a piece of city" to make their art. It's look like Estepona is becoming step by step in an outdoor museum.

Where you can find the paintings:

If you decide to have a look to all of them, the best is to park near Estepona Marina and walk from there (The first one you will find is "La casa de la buena gente"). It will be a 5 kms walk and you can combine it with the visit to the orchidarium as there are 4 paintings (including "Fishing day") in a 500mts range from there. You will end  near San Jose school (with Azul y Plata),  so you can walk down to the sea side and chill out in one of the beach bars before you start your way back to the port 2.5km).  

Here you have a video from Estepona town hall with the highlights of this murals. 

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Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Public Wi-fi in some areas of Estepona!

Public Wi-Fi is now available in seven areas of Estepona town. The connection is free for one hour, after the initial free period continued usage will be charged thereafter.

The areas you will be able to connect are, the promenade, La Rada beach, El Cristo Beach, Plaza de las Flores, Plaza ABC, and Plazoleta Ortiz.

In the future, Estepona hopes to increase the Wi-Fi coverage to other areas of the city. The only requirement to access this service is a computer, laptop, mobile telephone or tablet with Wi-Fi connection.

Once connection has been established with the Estepona Wi-Fi server, the World Wide Web may be accessed by the user.

Once the hour’s free access is finished, the user can then continue connecting via the server by paying a small amount by credit card or PayPal.

The approximate speed of uploading and downloading within the designated free hour will be 256 kbps, jumping up to 1Mbps for paying customers.

Prices are 1 euro a day, 5 euros a week or 10 euros for the complete month.

A city council spokesperson said: “the connection allows better access to on line services, a reduction of digital divide in the district and assistance attracting tourism in the city.”

You don't have excuse now for not follow us! :P

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Monday, 18 May 2015

Sierra Bermeja

Beyond serving as a superb backdrop for Valle Romano Golf complex, Sierra Bermeja is a great place to spend an unforgettable day.

Surrounded by fresh air, ancient trees and possibly the best views of the Costa del Sol, with an average height of 1,000m (its highest point being 1,450m), covering 1,236ha. It is an area that has undergone major volcanic activity; the rocks are rich in the olivine mineral. Rainwater has oxidized the iron and magnesium present in the rocks and the iron oxide has coloured the rock reddish-ginger, a hue that gives the sierra its name.  

The sierra's most notable tree is the Pinsapo (Spanish fir), which only grows in Andalucía in this area and the neighboring  Serranía de Ronda. This botanical jewel is only found in half a dozen places in the world. You will also find maritime and Austrian pines, cork and kermes oaks, junipers and yew trees. There are some species of Mediterranean scrubland such as rosemary and dwarf fan palms.

There are not dangerous animals in the area, but you can find mountain goats, the roe deer and the Egyptian mongoose. Less visible are the otters and wild cats. Raptors nest in the many sheer slopes and include booted eagles, Griffon vultures, sparrow hawks and eagle and long-eared owls.

Once you get close to the summit, you will find "Refugio de los Reales". During the day, you can buy drinks and snacks here (but just in case, bring your own food as I can’t guarantee it will be open when you get there).  

Nearby you will find a recreational area with picnic tables. There is also a car park and a short walk leads to the mirador point from where you can enjoy breathtaking views.


There are tree hiking trails that are marked (Los Realillos, Paseo de los Pinsapos and Salvador Guerrero), of medium difficulty so it is recommended to wear appropriate clothing and footwear. Please keep in mind that the temperature is often 10° less than the waterfront, so think about whether you want to take something warm. Best time to visit is Spring and Autumn. 

How to get there:

You can drive to near the top of Sierra Bermeja in under an hour. Take the road signposted Genalguacil from the traffic lights on the Estepona inner bypass (Avda de Andalucia), near the Mercadona supermarket. This is the MA 557.

About half an hour after leaving Estepona you will reach "Peñas Blancas" pass. Turn left following the sign up to "Los Reales" (36.504643, -5.188839) . The tarmac road is old, however a 4x4 vehicle is not necessary.

From Peñas Blancas pass the road also leads down to Jubrique and to Genalguacil and on to the Gaucin – Ronda road. In this way one can make an enjoyable half day drive from Estepona up to Sierra Bermeja and then returning by Gaucin and Manilva or by Ronda and San Pedro .

The shelter (El Refugio) GPS coordinates: (36.482422, -5.200806)

I hope you can enjoy this wonderful spot of Estepona!

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Saturday, 16 May 2015

Estepona Orchidarium

Housed in a modern-style building with a 30-metre-high central glass dome and a tall waterfall, is the centrepiece of the new 15,000 m2 Estepona’s “Central Park”.

The orchidarium is the biggest in Europe and accordingly, has more than 4,000 different species. Is the home of vegetable specimens from all five continents, coexisting within the same space.  Divided into two areas of 1000 m2 separated by a bamboo forest, you can find beside others the flower “Ylan Ylan” (Cananga odarata) , a very famous flower among high-end perfumers, like Chanel or Dior. 

But there is not only flowers and plants, also you will find some small tenants who will help to control unwanted pests and insects. The Phelsuma Klemmerii is a daytime Madagascar gecko that loves bamboo forests. Its only 10 cm length but looks very nice with his bright colors skin.

Next time you visit Estepona you cannot miss this place to enjoy with your family. A mixture of colours, fragrance and sensations that will surprise you.

On this one minute video you can find out the radical transformation of the area.

The opening hours are from Tuesday to Sunday from 11-14h & 18-21h. On Fridays and Saturdays the botanical garden is open from till 23h.  It is closed on Mondays.

There are public parking spaces near by the garden.

The address is:

Parque botanico-orquidario Estepona
Calle Salvador Dalí, 22
29680 Estepona
GPS: 36.429650, -5.146814

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Friday, 15 May 2015

Estepona, a new look.

In the last four years, our city has undergone a radical change in its appearance, becoming one of the most desired spots and a reference on the Costa del Sol destinations. The renovated old town, the murals on buildings, the municipal theatre and many other projects that have been completed. For those who have chosen Estepona as "its place in the world" these changes have reaffirmed their decision. 

Photo Credit: Juanmi Marquez

However, there are still many who do not know it well. In the next few posts I will try to show you Estepona from my perspective, hoping that my advice will help you appreciate this beautiful spot in the world.

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