This Stage is almost fl at with ascents and descents of zero difficulty, leading at the sea level direction east, or slightly north-east, between the towns of Estepona and Marbella. It begins in the eastern part of the promenade Paseo Marítimo in Estepona but it immediately penetrates the coastline to travel through the first 17 kilometres along the beaches and dunes of the western Costa del Sol, with brief detours on the pavements along some housing estates. Normally the itinerary of this first part is done by walking on the sand, although there are stretches of boulders and even fossilised dunes.
You have to cross numerous waterways, some of significant scale, which could even prevent passage during the rainy season. The remaining 10 km of the walk leads along the promenades (Paseos Marítimos) of San Pedro and Marbella, sometimes paved, others with wooden walkways and some with clay or dirt surface. All of them do feature landscaped gardens along at least one side. The river crossings, which are much less numerous in this second part, are done using bridges, some of them quite beautiful.
This Stage is an opportunity to learn the ins and outs of the urban development of the western part of the Costa del Sol, linked intrinsically to tourism and its many different facets. Frequently the public seaside acquires quite negligible dimensions or is completely urban in other parts. However, at times the walker will be rewarded by places of singular beauty and surviving reminders of what nature used to be like here in the past.
Thus, the coast has had varied luck due to the moment in history when it was being built up, generally leaving the original wilderness relegated to just a few metres in result.
At certain points of the coast of Estepona, you can still see the surviving strings of dunes, especially at the beaches of Saladillo and Matas Verdes. It is even possible to try to go back in time watching the traditional coastal trades such as the few still working orchards, a few metres from the sea shore, or fishing boats and gear resting on slopes high above the beach.
However, undoubtedly, what livens up the long route along the coast of Málaga is the network of watch towers and medieval beacons, which are sometimes very different from one another; also there are the numerous mouths of the Bermeja rivers. This is the coast which is world famous and yet remains a great unknown from the point of view of its patrimony and natural environment.