Set upon the western border of the Costa del Sol, Sotogrande has grown from a sparsely developed farmland in the San Roque municipality to become one of the Europe’s most distinguished centres of discreet luxury living. Resembling a smaller version of Beverly Hills on the coast, this exclusive village has expanded slowly and steadily over the years, evolving into the gold standard for tasteful and elegant living in southern Spain. Thanks to the presence of some of the continent’s finest sporting facilities, Sotogrande has also become the centre of golf and polo competition in Andalucía, hosting a number of annual international competitions, including the Volvo Masters, the annual finale to the European Golf Tour.
Named for one of the four original properties purchased in the early 1960s, signalling the first wave of residential development in the lowlands between Estepona and Gibraltar, Sotogrande effortlessly blends high-end living and sporting excellence – and only half an hour from Marbella, the heart of the Costa del Sol. While technically part of the celebrated resort area, Sotogrande could not be more different from its Mediterranean neighbours. Spread over 5,000 acres, the village is a relaxed and sparsely developed residential area, with the majority of the local development concentrated around its elegant, fully-equipped marina. Able to moor over 500 vessels, the marina features a laid-back selection of cafes, seaside bars and designer boutiques, all set within walking distance of Sotogrande’s beautiful beach. Instead of high-rise developments and construction plans, the town of just a few thousand is a charming collection of modern Andalusian architecture, none more than a few storeys high, interspersed with broad stretches of polo fields, golf courses and a 27-hectare patch of protected national parkland.
Originally planned and constructed by an American in 1964, Sotogrande has long been an outpost for international visitors in Andalucía, as evidenced in the wide selection of services available for non-Spanish residents. Those in need of educational opportunities will find classes for students aged 3-18 at the Sotogrande International School, which offers day and boarding programmes. Additional scholastic programmes can be found at Estepona’s Mayfair Academy. While clinics and dentist offices do indeed exist within Sotogrande, comprehensive medical coverage can be found at Estepona’s Centro de Salud Hospital or at Marbella’s fully equipped Costa del Sol Hospital.
A wonderland for sea lovers, Sotogrande’s coastline offers a myriad of opportunities to try any number of water sports, including skiing, sailing and windsurfing. Meanwhile, the village’s Cucurucho and El Octogono beach clubs provide a more relaxing alternative for a day in the sun. Ideal for a visit any time of the day, Sotogrande’s marina is home to a wide array of excellent restaurants, bustling bars and elegant residences, providing a decidedly classy and fun evening out. A wider selection of both shopping and social centres can be found both just outside of the marina area and a short drive down the coast in either Estepona or Marbella. Many people buying property in Sotogrande choose to furnish their property with furniture packages and we can offer advise on many of these companies around the Sotogrande area.
Sotogrande’s sports calendar is always full, thanks to the presence of not only the Santa María Polo Club, which hosts a series of international competitions throughout the year, but also four of the finest golf clubs in Europe, including the renowned Valderrama, home to the 1997 Ryder Cup and the annual Volvo Masters Tournament. An ideal destination for horse-lovers, Sotogrande is also home to the Valderrama and the San Roque Equestrian Centres, which both offer riding and jumping classes for beginners as well as advanced riders. Those in search of a little adventure can catch a ferry to the Moroccan port of Tangier from Algeciras, no more than a half hour’s drive from Sotogrande’s town centre.