Estepona Orchidarium: The Botanical Haven of Southern Spain

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Simply WOW! The Estepona Orchidarium has my heart.

This outstanding botanical garden with thousands of orchid species will amaze you and is well worth traveling to visit from across the Costa del Sol and greater Andalucia region.

I’ve just got back from visiting El Orquidario de Estepona, and I want to share this highlight of Estepona with you.

Read on for everything you need to know about the Orchidarium so you can visit for yourself. 

About Estepona Orchidarium

Estepona Orchidarium is a botanical garden dedicated to orchids (Orchidaceae), one of the world’s most diverse groups of flowering plants.

Features Estepona Orchid House
Estepona Orchid House

It is located in Estepona on the Spanish Costa del Sol. The Estepona Orchid House is known for its impressive collection of orchids and other tropical plants from around the world. 

A World-Class Attraction 

The orchidarium is a popular attraction for both locals and tourists alike, offering a unique opportunity to explore the beauty of nature in a peaceful and serene environment.

The orchidarium covers an area of over 1,000 square meters and features more than 5,000 plants with at least 1,300 unique orchid species arranged in exquisite themed gardens. 

The Orchidarium has strong outreach and offers educational programs and workshops that introduce visitors of all ages to the exciting world of horticulture. It is the perfect place to spend some time enjoying the beauty of nature. 

The history of Estepona Orchidarium

Estepona’s Orchidarium opened on March 15, 2015, on a former unused plot of land.

It was devised by the Estepona town council which wanted to create a unique attraction showcasing the natural beauty of the region.

Development of the gardens was led by the landscape architect, Francisco Guillén and a team of botanists and horticulturists who were charged with designing a beautiful and educational space. 

Fascinating Orchidarium in Estepona
Fascinating Orchidarium

The creation of the orchidarium required careful planning and execution.

It was designed to be an environmentally sustainable space, divided into several different zones, each with its own unique theme and collection of plants.

The themed gardens and Orchid House are now home to orchids from around the world, cultivated in zones that showcase the unique flora and fauna of different geographical regions. 

Impressive features of El Orquidario de Estepona

The first thing that struck me on visiting the Orchidarium was its giant glass dome, which is essentially a big greenhouse.

The dome is made up of over 4,000 square meters of glass, supported by a steel frame covered with a special coating that helps to protect it from the corrosive effects of marine air.

About Estepona Orchidarium
Giant glass dome Estepona Orchidarium

The building has two levels. The ground floor is home to the orchids, while the upper floor is an exhibition and event space.

There is also a central open-air patio, which is an open-air space that is surrounded by a water channel.

This channel helps to regulate the temperature and humidity levels inside the building, which is essential for maintaining the orchids’ health and growth.

Inside the Orchidarium 

I found the interior of the Estepona Orchidarium just as impressive as the exterior. Inside, the orchids are displayed in a way that enhances their beauty and diversity.

The species are arranged in different zones, which each represent a different ecosystem.

There were also interactive exhibitions with multimedia displays that helped me to learn more about the orchids and their role in the ecosystem. 

The Orchid Collection at The Estepona Orchidarium

There are more than 1300 unique orchid species with 120 orchid varieties in bloom at any given time.

Elephant's Ear orchid
Etlingera Elatior

Many of the species are native to Spain, but there is a strong cohort of exotic and extremely rare species including:

  • Fredclarkeara After Dark, a unique black orchid
  • and the Elephant’s Ear orchid (Etlingera elatior) which blooms infrequently with a flower that reaches up to five meters in height. 

My Thoughts on the Estepona Orchid House

I had been bracing myself for excessively high temperatures inside the orchidarium but it was much cooler than I thought.

Planning to visit Estepona Orchid House
Entrance Orchidarium

It is probably one of the best places to escape the heat as a cooling mist is continually released inside the orchidarium to maintain the flowers.

The route through the glasshouse is laid out for you with a path to walk around. The waterfalls are breathtaking, at least 17 meters high! I was also impressed by the level of wheelchair access and the lifts provided.

There is also a film room with a multimedia exhibit on orchids.

As someone who is not a horticulturist, I found the Orchid House fascinating and someone everyone could appreciate and enjoy visiting.

Also, as a parent, I noted that there were no shops selling things, so the kids could just focus on the plants. It’ll take up to an hour to get around the Orchidarium, time well spent in my opinion. 

Visiting the Orchidarium

Estepona Orchid House
Visiting the Orchidarium

The Estepona Orchid House has a central location in Estepona, just outside the Old Town. You can walk to it from most parts of Estepona.

If you’re traveling into Estepona by bus, the Orchid House is a 20-minute walk away from the bus station.

There is no parking at the Orchidarium, but you can park under the Estepona seafront promenade and walk.

I was amazed at how cheap it is to visit this outstanding botanical garden. The adult entry is just €3, and children €3 making it one of the cheapest attractions in Estepona. Such great value for money makes the Orchidarium a must-visit for your Estepona stay. 

Rounding Up

The Estepona Orchid House is a great reason to make Estepona your destination for a Costa del Sol holiday.

You’ll find so many things to do in this charming town that is less commercial, more authentic, and cheaper than the bigger Costa del Sol towns.

If you’re wondering what else you can do in Estepona, I’ve created a video that rounds up ten great things to do on an Estepona holiday:

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