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85km (53 miles) W of Málaga, 639km (397 miles) S of Madrid, 46km (29 miles) E of Algeciras

A town of Roman origin and the most westerly of the coast's burgeoning fishing villages, Estepona hasn't yet been completely taken over by high-rises. Less developed than either Marbella or Torremolinos and with a more Spanish feel than expat-heavy Marbella, it is more likable than either. It still has an old quarter of narrow cobblestone streets and dozens of tascas (tapas taverns).

Traces of the past remain: a round tower constructed to protect the villagers from the raids of Barbary pirates, who took not only all valuables, including food, but the most beautiful women as well.

Today Estepona's recreational port is an attraction, as are its beaches: Costa Natura Km 257 on the N-340, the first legal nude beach of its kind along the Costa del Sol; La Rada, 3km (2 miles) long; and El Cristo, only 550m (1,800 ft.) long. After the sun goes down, stroll along the Paseo Marítimo, a broad avenue with gardens on one side, beach on the other. Estepona also contains an interesting 15th-century parish church, with the ruins of an old aqueduct nearby (at Salduba).