Estepona attractions: The Orchidarium
| 12th Oct
Estepona is featuring more and more on tourist radars as the Town Hall works hard to burnish the ‘Jardín of the Costa del Sol’ image by introducing new lighting to illuminate trees and plants along roads and walkways, whole streets have been festooned with ever-blooming geraniums and you can barely take a step without encountering a plant in flower.
Throughout the town the flowers are Mediterranean and therefore indigenous however for the curious and lovers of more exotic flora, there is a wonderful attraction just for you.
The Orchidarium of Estepona was opened in 2015 and was an immediate success with 35,000 visitors in the first week of opening and 100,000 in the first year. It has swiftly become an iconic building with the three striking glass domes becoming firm favourites with visitors—the tallest of which reaches 30 metres into the sky.
Stepping into the domes is to step into a different climate – there are two levels within, which create the South American and Southeast Asian environments and allow the five thousand plants from one thousand five hundred species to thrive. The guided walk around the centre has informative plaques in Spanish and English that help to identify these fascinating plants and along with three waterfalls that cascade from thirty metres at their highest, the effect is of walking in a tropical rainforest.
There are some plants with which we may be familiar without knowing – for example, how many people know that vanilla comes from an orchid plant? – and curiosities such as the ylang ylang, highly prized by perfumiers. The most fascinating plant here however is the most short lived – the aptly named amorphophallus titanium orchid. This is the largest flower in the world and is in bloom for just 72 hours. The team at the Orchidarium were the first in Spain to achieve the flowering of this staggering plant – at three metres tall, it is impressive however the Indonesian name also gives away another aspect that hits visitors eager to see this natural phenomenon: bungka bankai – or Corpse Flower! The smell is said to resemble roadkill, which is most attractive to the flies that act as pollinators. In March this year this awesome flower bloomed and it is not known when the next opportunity to see it will arise – keep your eyes peeled on the Orchidarium website for more news.
Estepona has many such interesting attractions and as well as the wonderful range of bars and restaurants, we also have many great properties for sale in and around the Estepona area. Contact us for more information.