Why we love Sotogrande
Sotogrande is located at the furthest most point of the Costa del Sol, where the Costa de la Luz in the province of Cadiz begins, just before you reach Gibraltar. It was developed as a gated community in 1962 by wealthy American Joseph McMicking and it’s the largest privately owned residential development in San Roque, Cadiz, spanning twenty square kilometres of land from the Mediterranean to Gibraltar and the Sierra Almenara Mountains. He was following a very specific vision for a leisurely lifestyle of golf and polo with high quality infrastructure, luxury properties and a picturesque marina. The fact that it’s bathed in all-year-round sunshine and enjoys wonderful mountain, golf and sea view spanning as far as North Africa are all part of its appeal.
What’s it like?
Today Sotogrande is considered to be one of the most sought-after residential and tourist destinations in Spain. It has an upmarket cosmopolitan atmosphere, some of the best hotels in southern Spain, incredible villas and apartments. It also has a picture marina (built in the 1970s) with every conceivable convenience needed when docking your boat, including utilities, TV and securities. The pedestrianized pathways offer a range of trendy boutiques, banks, schools, sports, health, fitness, shopping, restaurants, bars, beaches, water sports and a sailing club. Literally nothing has been overlooked.
The list of Sotogrande’s famous visitors and residents is extremely impressive, ranging from the UK royal family, to Gibraltar’s Chief Minister Peter Caruana and Tony Blair and José María Aznar, the former Prime Ministers for the UK and Spain respectively and the French would-be prince, Louis Alphonse of Bourbon to name but a few.
Eating and drinking
For the best restaurants you should head to the marina, where you can tuck into some seriously delicious fresh fish and seafood. There are twelve restaurants each offering a different ambience and cuisine, ranging from Italian to Indian, Spanish and modern international.
It is an upmarket development which isn’t particularly associated with nightlife instead evenings are a more relaxed affair, drinks in the marina or dining in one of the many restaurants.
Since 2009, the Blue Sotogrande centre has been the place to go for retail therapy. It has a good selection of quality fashion boutiques with the latest accessories, clothes and jewellery, cafes, bars, beauty, health and fitness. Throughout July and August there is a street market on Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and a market all year round oat Ribera del Marlin in the port every Sunday.
Sports and outdoor activities
Sotogrande is home to some of the world’s most exclusive sporting facilities, including the Ayala Polo Club and the Santa Maria Polo Club where the annual El Torneo Internacional is held every August. The Sotogrande Equestrian Centre is also highly regarded throughout Spain and counts several professional equestrians as former pupils.
Golf courses in Sotogrande
Sotogrande is famous for its golf courses the temperate climate provides perfect all year round golfing conditions.
- Valderrama Golf – host to Ryder Cup, Volvo Masters, Andalucía Masters…
- Club Real de Golf – Robert Trent Jones favourite golf club – out of 500 courses!.
- Almenara – 27 hole links course designed by Davie Thomas
- La Reserva – 18-holes, designed by Cabell B Robinson
- La Cañada – 18-holes, hosted 1997 Ryder Cup, Club house
- Alcaidesa – 2 course, the links golf courses in southern Europe
- San Roque Club – 2 course, 9 & 18-holes, golf school
Beaches close to Sotogrande
Sotogrande’s 12kms of beaches are located close to where the Atlantic meets the Mediterranean, making the temperature of the sea slightly cooler than the further east along the Costa del Sol. A great prospect at the height of the sizzling Spanish summer!
- La Cala Chullera: Located at the bottom of the Chullera tower and divided into 2 halves by rocks. It’s sandy, good for diving and fishing.
- El Cucurucho: A popular family beach good for sunbathing and water sports, with great views of Gibraltar and the marina. With plenty of facilities; sunbeds, swimming pools, bars and a restaurant. It attracts a younger crowd and it’s the favourite beach destination for visiting celebrities who can quite often be seen strolling along the sand.
- Cala Manilva: Small and fairly rocking seabed, so it’s good for snorkelling.
- Rada beach: The most popular beach in Estepona, centrally located just a few minutes from the port.
- San Diego Beach: Situated between the San Diego Urbanisation and the N340, yet on the other side there is a lovely aspect of trees, plus it has lovely soft sand.
- El Cabrero: Located on the edge of Torreguadiaro with dark sand and a few small stones. It has a lovely view of Sotogrande port.
- Playa del Puerto Beach: One of Sotogrande’s prettiest beaches located in the port, it has fine grey sand, serving one of the area’s most prestigious developments.
Facts & Figures
The Sotogrande International School (SIS) caters for both boarders and day pupils, offering a high quality English education leading to an International Baccalaureate. (Children from 3-18 years old)
Most visitors choose to arrive by car. However, there is a public bus service which runs from the airport via Marbella. You will need to change at Marbella’s bus station, taking the bus heading to La Linea.
Arriving from Malaga, you can either take the AP7 toll road or take the (N340) coast road which runs the length of the Costa del Sol. Alternatively, if you’re arriving from the UK, it’s worth considering flying into Gibraltar, as Sotogrande is only 20 minutes from the frontier.
- 35 minutes from Gibraltar airport
- 3.45 hours from Jerez airport
- 1.5 hours from Malaga airport