Nestling in the shelter of the Sierra Bermeja mountain range, Estepona has its own microclimate with an average of 325 days of sunshine a year - small wonder that the seafront is a hive of activity all year round. Down at the marina and beaches there's non-stop outdoor life with fiestas, street markets, quayside cafes, a wealth of watersports and late night clubs.
The marina, at the western end of the promenade, is the centre of seafront activity - here you can You can marvel at some magnificent yachts, dine al fresco, dance till the small hours, hire a jet ski or simply sip a sangria and people watch.
There's a huge range of food available in the numerous bars and restaurants in and around the marina - from the simple but delicious char grilled sardines in the chiringuitos (beach bars) to international haute cuisine.
For local and regional dishes - fresh fish, paella, oven baked rice - try the hugely popular Los Cazadores (the Hunters) which is good value for money and offers superb views from the large terrace. La Alborada specialises in paellas but if you're pining for a traditional English roast head for Dali's Mustache.
Rosatti's is a good quality Italian restaurant in the port (evenings only); for curry dishes (eat in and takeaways) there's Sacha's Indian Restaurant in the centre of the marina.
Renaldo's bar at the entrance to the marina is a favourite meeting place with Spanish visitors and foreigners alike. The port is packed with pubs and clubs with live music and partying all night long, especially in high season.
On Sunday mornings the marina hosts a big outdoor market where you can buy everything from leather goods and cheap watches to paintings and CDs.
Boat hire and excursions are available in the marina which is divided into two distinct sections - the fishing port and the more cosmopolitan pleasure boat marina. In the fishing port you can watch the day's catch being landed, auctioned and ice-packed for distribution.
If you're holidaying in July you'll be able to see the Virgen del Carmen celebrations when local fishermen carry an effigy of the virgin from the local chapel out to sea, followed by a flotilla of small boats. This traditional fiesta, common throughout coastal Spain, takes place during the evening of July 16th.
Another, more lively seaside fiesta not to be missed if you're in town on June 23rd is the feast of San Juan when the locals light bonfires on the beach and the chiringuitos serve char grilled sardines. At midnight the local townspeople paddle or swim in the sea in a time-honoured tradition to cleanse their souls (don't try this one after too much sun and sangria!).
There are plenty of watersports available along this section of the coast including jet ski-ing, water ski-ing, sailing, scuba diving and fishing.
Estepona's coastline is more than 20 kilometres with no less than 15 beaches, including tiny coves and a famous nudist beach. The most popular beach is La Rada, to the east of the marina, which is flanked by the promenade and well served with sun beds, shades, a lifeguard service and numerous beach bars and restaurants.
To the west of the marina is El Cristo beach, an attractive sheltered cove with beach bars providing good food and music during the summer months.
The beach at Costa Natura, to the east of the town was the first on the Costa del Sol to be officially authorised as a nudist beach. The beach is open to the public and if you find your clothes are cramping your style while on holiday, you can apply for temporary membership of the adjacent purpose-built naturist complex.