The city's coast continues to be upmarket until you reach Estepona, about 30km. West, which's a more or less spanish resort - in as much as thats possible round here. It lacks the enclosed hills that give marbella character, but the hotel and apartment blocks which sprawl along the front are restrained in size, and there's space to breathe. The fine sand beach has been enlivened a little by a promenade studded with flowers and palms, and away from the seafront, the old town is very pretty.
The fish market's definitely worth seeing, Estepona has the biggest fishing fleet west of Málaga, and the daily dawn ritual in the port, where the returning fleets auction off the fish they've just caught.
From May onward, Estepona's bullfighting season gets way in a modern bullring reminiscent of a Henry Moore sculpture. At the beginning of July, FeFiesta and Feria week transform the region.
Beaches beyond Estepona have greyish sands, and there are more greyish developments before the road turns inland towards San Roque and Gibarltar.