Forty years ago, this market was the centre of housewives' attention in Estepona. It was packed with shoppers every morning, and was also packed with stalls.
There were fruit and vegetable stalls, fish stalls (of course!), butchers' stalls, grocery. Round the edge and back-to-back in the middle, leaving just a narrow corridor for people to struggle through, lugging their baskets. Even twenty years ago it was a bustling place.
But its Peak Period was before Carrefour, before Mercadona, before Aliprox . . . shopping in the market is a minority activity nowadays, and so there are only a handful of stalls in an almost empty, echoing hall. Shame, really.
It's an attractive building, with its traditional ochre-and-white painted exterior, with some attractive tiled pictures. Inside it seems light and airy, but almost empty, despite the stone furniture added to fill it up a bit. There are only a handful of staffs. But it's worth strolling past the newly-discovered Roman ruins in the Calle Villa, on your way to visit the Plaza del Reloj and peeping inside here just to admire the exterior and see how things have changed. Mornings only, of course.
You can pop in to have a glance en route to the Plaza del Reloj, which is just opposite.
Quick Spanish language lesson: this is a "mercado", or "mercado de abastos" - a provisions market, for food only. The other Estepona market you may have heard of, the one on Wednesdays with a few fruit and veg stalls, but mainly clothes, linens, household items, bags, watches, etc. etc. is called a "mercadillo" in Spanish. If you are trying to get there and ask for directions to the "mercado" instead of the "mercadillo", you'll end up in the wrong place.
There is also a "mercadillo" on Sunday mornings, in the marina.
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