Enjoy the beauty of orchids and other tropical species in the biggest orchidarium of Europe in Estepona
Visiting Estepona is like visiting a giant garden. Its streets covered in pots, its green areas full of small flowers and now the top tourist attraction, the largest Botanical garden – Orchidarium in Europe. More than 4,000 different species of orchids gather in this area that will amaze you due to its natural and architectural value.
If you visit Estepona you cannot miss this place to enjoy with your family. A mixture of colours, fragrance and sensations that will surprise you. A unique experience at the very centre of Costa del Sol. Do not miss a thing and keep record of all the possibilities you have inside this botanical garden.
More than 4,000 species
Estepona’s orchidarium is the biggest in Europe and accordingly, has more than 4,000 different species. During the walk around the area, you will find all types of supports. Some fall from the ceiling, others decorate the tree branches, others form gracious colourful patterns on the floor; and the nicest ones, the tiny orchids that you will find on display and which are the size of your little finger’s nail.
Estepona’s Botanical Garden is divided into two different areas. As soon as you enter, you will find two vertical gardens, which welcome you as two paintings in a museum would. On the floor there are arrows which indicate the path to follow. This is the home of vegetable specimens from all five continents, coexisting within the same space. Therefore it is strange to see species such as Eugenia Uniflora from South America which has a small and round fruit, similar to the cherry tomato, very difficult to find in Spanish markets.
One of the most popular and fascinating plants for children and adults is Macrozamia moorei, not only due to its elegance, but also because it is a Sigillaria (fossil plant), a plant that has survived from Prehistory, something that not many species have achieved. So smelling, looking and enjoying this species takes you to the time when it was used as food for herbivore dinosaurs.
If we continue our walk, we will pass under some arches that will soon be covered with vines. The humid environment refreshes our skin while moving through this area, suddenly finding yourself in a leafy bamboo forest that does not let you see what’s on the other side. Everything has its purpose in this orchid garden. Once you go through it…you get an astonishing view. Three huge waterfalls appear before you welcoming the visitors to the second area of the garden.
The second area is impressive, is more than thirty metres high and three giant domes which let the light through to the area welcome you together with three waterfalls that pour their water into an artificial lake.
As you go down you find more than 200 square metres of vertical gardens hanging from an enormous twelve-metre wall. The plants have been distributed within five different heights and grouped according to textures, colours and shapes, thus creating real drawings and works of art. The watering system used is the ferti-irrigation, which offers the plant the water and nutrients it needs.
The walk once you arrive to the lakes is very enjoyable and refreshing. It is here where you will find an orchid that looks like a carnivorous plant, one of the great stars of Estepona’s Orchidarium.
Pay special attention to this section because if you visit the Botanical Garden – Orchidarium, your curiosity will make you really enjoy your stay. During our everyday life, we have incorporated habits such as having a cup of tea or hot chocolate, or spray some perfume on us before going out. However, where do these habits come from? Many people have not seen a coffee plantation or a cocoa manufacturing plant. Now this is possible in Estepona thanks to its Botanical Garden – Orchidarium. Besides these two species, the venue hosts exotic plants that are used to manufacture perfumes.
The most famous one is Cananga Odorata, better known as ylang-ylang, a very famous flower among high-end perfumers, like Chanel or Dior. Tonnes of these little flowers have to be pressed to get the essential oil that emanates this fragrance. Bixa Orellana, from Peru, is also widely used in the cosmetic industry as the pigments in its fruits are extracted for the manufacturing of lipstick. In the same way we can find specimens with exotic fruits that are not very commercialised within the Spanish markets. From South America we have Psidium Guajava, provider of the famous guavas, an edible tropical fruit. In the same way, Averroa Carambola provides a fruit that is very popular for the decoration of salads due to its star shape.
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WHERE TO STAY
The best choice for accommodation in this city is the Fuerte Estepona hotel, located on the coastline, five minutes from the town centre, between Gibraltar and Puerto Banús. An eco-friendly hotel that offers all kinds of services. A wide 25,000 square-metre area with gardens facing the beach and two sectors: one for families and a quieter one designed for couples and adults. More than 50 years’ experience support this hotel chain which has become an example of quality in Costa del Sol.