Welcome to my Place . . . Estepona, Spain

‘The Spanish families all parade around dressed in their Sunday best. It is a pageant’

Breda Gallagher is from Dublin. She bought an apartment in Playa del Moral, near Estepona in Spain, with her husband. After 15 years "we were getting a bit old, and it seemed prudent to reluctantly sell the apartment and move back to Sutton".

What did you like about living in Estepona ?

Retirement can be about new beginnings, and when our working life ended, we realised a dream and bought ourselves a little home in the sun. Situated about eight kilometres outside the town of Estepona, Playa del Moral is a small development of Spanish-style apartments. Right on the Med!

Having the beach and the sea right outside my front garden was just amazing. Morning starts with the sun rising out of the sea were brilliant. Up, up the sun comes in a burst of golden glory. After this, a swim in the sea and then breakfast. Fresh fruit set out on the terrace. And Barry’s tea, which we bring with us. Oranges the size of grapefruits and grapefruits the size of melons. The fruit is simply delicious.

Where is the first place you bring people to when they visit Estepona?

Our visitors like to visit the port of Estepona. Here, there are two harbours. The fishing harbour is busy from 6am getting the trawlers off for their day’s fishing. The second harbour shelters the pleasure boats, yachts for hire and many small craft. Along the harbour walk there are many bars and restaurants, catering to a multi-cultural society. There is even an Irish Bar. Sunday is market day and the traders set up their stalls on the harbour walk. Brightly coloured scarves, pashminas and shirts fluttering in the light breeze are all good value.

The top things to do in Estepona that don't cost money, are . . .

Walk along Playa del Moral, heading west. Admire the Rock of Gibraltar rising proudly out of the sea. Clamber over the rocks, paddle through the waves at times, and eventually arrive at the town of Sabanillas. A really nice, but hot walk. You might need to splurge out on a long, cool drink.

Explore the town of Estepona. Gaily-coloured flower pots, planted with bright geraniums, line the narrow, cobbled streets, giving this beautiful town a unique appearance. On Sundays, after the market, we like to join our friends here for tapas and sangria, and maybe a late lunch. The Spanish families – mama, papa and children – all parade around the town, dressed in their Sunday best. It is a pageant.

Where do you recommend for a great meal that gives a flavour of Estepona?

Dining out. For a really special meal out in Estepona town, I would recommend La Casa de mi Abuela (my grandmother's house) or try San Rafael, near Manilva Beach. This is Spanish cuisine at its best. While driving around the country you will come across many ventas. These are roadside inns, and are mostly of a very high standard. The chirringuitos, which are beach bars, are so very relaxing – you know you are on holidays. The more sangria you drink, the stronger that feeling becomes!

Where is the best place to get a sense of Estepona’s role in history?

Near the port is the bullring. I have never seen a bull there, but here there are a few museums. One, my favourite, is a fossil museum. In the town centre is an Orquidaria, or Orchid House, which has the biggest collection of orchids in Europe. Also, street art in this area is just amazing.

What should visitors save room in their suitcase for after a visit to Estepona?

Souvenirs. When coming home, you can fill your suitcase with souvenirs from the market. Jewellery, pearls, are all lovely. Also cashmere pashminas, silk scarves and trendy tops are all great buys, and these can be used to wrap around the really beautiful Spanish pottery.

If you’d like to share your little black book of places to visit where you live, please email your answers to the five questions above to abroad@irishtimes.com, including a brief description of what you do there and a photograph of yourself. We’d love to hear from you

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