For us residents, its now a bit chilly for the beach (mind you, 25º in October – can’t complain..) so, this is the time of year we escape to many of the beautiful parks in the area. One such park very near to us, is Parque Los Pedragales. Its correct name is Parque San Isidro, named after the patron saint of Estepona, but everyone locally knows it as Los Pedralgales (from the area in which it is situated) This is more of a natural park, set in the foothills of Los Reales mountain range. The park is ideal for bird-watching, horse riding, hiking, mountain biking or just chilling out with a picnic while the kids burn off some steam. There is loads of open space for the kids to run around in, rocks to climb over, a playground, and even a swimming pool but this is only open during the summer months.
There are many paths that wend their way through the rocks, plants and foliage so you don’t have to go “off road” if you don’t want too. It’s perfect fro anyone who doesn’t want to walk to far yet feel like you are really out in the wild or if, like me, you just want a lazy Sunday afternoon.
The other great thing about this park is the BBQ facilities. Dotted throughout the park are many BBQ areas with brick built BBQs, as well as sinks with running water. There is also an abundance of benches and picnic tables, all set in their own little hallows. Most Sunday afternoons, you will find many a family enjoying a day out here but, as its so fast, it never feels busy.. We threw a few sausages, some burgers, some rolls and a bottle of ketchup into a bag along with some drinks and off we went for a few hours – saved the hassle of making sandwiches and the kids (as well as us) enjoyed it much more. I’d advise you to take you own grill to cook on as many of the ones there can be a bit dirty to say the least, and don’t forget BBQ coals and matches!! Please be aware that use of the BBQ’s in prohibited between June and September due to the risk of fire.
There is a really pretty tiny chapel situated inside the park which is sometimes open to the public. Every May there’s a pilgrimage to the chapel and a mass held in honour of San Isidro, the patron saint of Estepona. It’s a lively tradition involving hundreds of people, carriages and horses.
So, pack the car with kids, dogs, football, bat & ball, BBQ stuff and a good book and retreat to the park for a few hours