Sotogrande Property Insights & Area Guide
Lying halfway between Gibraltar and Estepona, Sotogrande is the largest privately-owned property development in Andalusia.
It is considered to be one of the most luxurious urbanizations, not just on the Costa Del Sol, but in the whole of Europe.
Introduction to Sotogrande
This information page will help you decide whether property for sale in Sotogrande is the right choice for you and get you acquainted with the location and characteristics of the area.
Sotogrande is one of the most prestigious residential developments in Europe. Thanks to its privacy, the luxurious architecture and the discrete lifestyle, it has been the chosen holiday destination of many well-known celebrities and sports personalities.
The Sotogrande area, which enjoys 320 days of sunshine per year and is synonymous with golf and polo, is home to around 2,500 permanent residents.
However, numbers swell to over 10,000 in the summer months, with many properties being used as holiday homes.
Sotogrande is an area of luxury and prestige, both key factors when deciding to invest. Currently, there are a limited number of developments under construction, offering a diverse selection of location and type of real estate.
Areas/Zones of Sotogrande
Sotogrande has grown considerably over the years and is split into several zones and areas, which you’ll find below. A quick way to identify which Zone is which, is to look at the street names. For example, all the roads in the Zone A start with the letter A, Zone B roads start with the letter B, while the streets in the Kings & Queens area are named after Spanish Kings & Queens.
Sotogrande Marina: This waterfront location is like a little Venice with its bridges crossing the waterways. This area is the social hub of Sotogrande and contains lots of luxury apartments. It also hosts Sotogrande’s, Sunday Market. This waterside enclave is one of the most prestigious marinas in Spain and has an eclectic mix of restaurants and bars to suit all tastes. The Marina boasts 1382 berths, but tying up your yacht here won’t come cheap with some of the most expensive mooring costs in Europe.
Sotogrande Costa – Kings and Queens area: This is one of the original parts of Sotogrande and is a spacious, leafy area, with many beautiful villas lining the streets. Here you’ll find a tennis club and Real Club de Golf Sotogrande. The properties in this area range from traditional Andalucian villas, to multi-million euro contemporary mansions. Open most of the year and sitting directly on the shoreline, you’ll find Bunker Beach Club. This beach bar is a great place to enjoy a cold drink, amazing Mediterranean cuisine and some stunning views of Africa and the Rock of Gibraltar.
Sotogrande Costa Central: This is where Sotogrande’s main commercial area, Galerias Paniagua, is. You’ll find lots of restaurants, businesses and supermarkets here. It is one of the oldest areas in Sotogrande and includes all of Zone A and Zone B. For a super healthy breakfast or lunch, ‘The Petit Bistro’ is the pick of the bunch with friendly staff and great food. Running parallel to the A7 road you’ll find Centro Commercial Sotomarket, home to a private medical centre and two supermarkets, ‘SuperCor’ and ‘Mercadona’.
Sotogrande Alto: The Alto area is on the other side of the main road (A7) and contains a mix of property types including townhouses, apartments and high-end villas. It’s also home to the Sotogrande Equestrian Centre, the NH Hotel, the Centre Comercial Mar y Sol, the Almenara Hotel & Spa, and the Valderrama golf course. This area includes all of Zone C, Zone D and F.
La Reserva de Sotogrande: This is one of the newest developments in Sotogrande and is a gated residential community set on 400 hectares of land, surrounding the exclusive La Reserva Club. Here, you find high-end apartments, townhouses and villas surrounded beautifully by nature. La Reserva offers it’s residents private access to an 18 hole golf course, a tennis centre and a luxury inland beach club with a stunning freshwater lagoon. Sitting on a hill overlooking the Mediterranean sea, this country-style family club is surrounded by stunning Spanish landscape.
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Things to Do: Polo, Golf and La Playa
There is no shortage of things to do in Sotogrande, with some unique activities available in the area. Indeed, Sotogrande is actually a hot spot for polo, with the Santa Maria Polo Club having been dubbed the “Wimbledon of Polo Pitches”. International polo tournaments are a regular occurrence in Sotogrande, with many residents heading down to the club to watch the action.
The Costa del Sol is also referred to as the “Costa del Golf” due to the vast number of fantastic courses that line the sunshine coast. And, in Sotogrande, golf fans are spoilt for choice. There are a remarkable six golf courses in Sotogrande itself (Real Club de Golf Sotogrande, Club de Golf la Canada, La Reserva Club, Real Club de Golf Valderrama, Almenara Golf and San Roque Club), and dozens more prestigious courses within a short drive.
But if polo or golf don’t strike your fancy, don’t worry: Sotogrande has something for everyone. Playa de Sotogrande is the area’s beautiful beach, with the popular Gigi’s beach lining its shore. Sotogrande is also home to dozens of restaurants, bars and cafes, stunning beach clubs (Trocadero, and Octogono). For outdoors and sports activities in Sotogrande there are also various choices: several tennis and padel centres, horse riding stables, fishing and water sports in the busy Sotogrande marina and a sailing club.
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Places of Interest in Sotogrande
There are lots of places to visit in Sotogrande, which is a hub of world-class venues. Below, we look at some of the best places to visit in Sotogrande, including golf clubs, beach clubs and bars.
Trocadero Beach Club Sotogrande
Formerly known as the Cucurucho Beach Club, Trocadero Sotogrande has been rated one of Europe’s best beach clubs and features two restaurants, bar service, several magnificent pools (split into separate Family and Adult-only areas) and luxury sunbeds. It overlooks the Mediterranean and is open to the public from Easter until October, although it’s also available for private functions off-season.
Valderrama Golf Club
Sotogrande’s own Valderrama Golf Club is one of the most famous golf clubs in the world. It regularly hosts major international tournaments, with the likes of the Andalucía Masters, the Volvo Masters and, most famously, the 1997 Ryder Cup, having been played at this course that was called the “best in Europe” by golf legend, Nick Faldo. The Valderrama Golf Club has an 18-hole par 71 course, along with a 9-hole par three course.
Santa Maria Polo Club
Set in 15 hectares of spectacular green grounds and pavilions, the Santa Maria Polo Club in Sotogrande is considered one of the four most important polo venues in the world. It’s also home to the Grand Slam International Polo Tournament that runs from late July to August each year, which attracts thousands of polo fans from across the world. Pop down to watch a game with some drinks – it’s a great way to spend a sunny afternoon.
La Reserva “The Beach”
Another idyllic beach club in Sotogrande is La Reserva Club. As well as the beach club area to relax in, La Reserva also features an 18,000 square metre sports lagoon with a man-made inland beach. For those who prefer a little action, paddle boarding, kayaks, water bicycles, windsurfing and even jet boards are available to use on the lagoon. La Reserva also features a restaurant, a wellness spa and lots more. It even has a kids club for parents looking to get some peace.
Bahía Limón Chiringochill
The Bahía Limón Chiringochill is Sotogrande’s favourite chiringuito (beach bar) and is hugely popular with locals. The Chiringochill features a fantastic range of dishes and even has its own chargrill on the beach, used for cooking local fresh fish and BBQ style meat. It’s also a popular evening spot for sunset drinks with friends.
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Sotogrande surrounding areas
The area around Sotogrande includes several historic small towns, some typical Spanish villages and a few modern enclaves. All share the stunning scenery that characterises property in Sotogrande. Plus, panoramic views of the Strait of Gibraltar and dramatic mountain ranges come guaranteed. And of course, you have the same proximity to Malaga and Gibraltar Airports with the resorts of Manilva and Estepona just a short drive away.
In this next section of our Sotogrande guide, we stray beyond the borders of Sotogrande and take a detailed look at the surrounding areas.
Our first stop is the oldest settlement within the Sotogrande vicinity. Torreguadiaro dates back at least to the 1400s when the first of its two impressive watchtowers went up. The small resort is located to the east of Sotogrande Marina and was once part of the Guadiaro River estuary.
Like so many enclaves on the Costa del Sol, Torreguadiaro started life as a fishing village, but nowadays little remains of its humble past. Instead, it’s a buzzing resort in high season, popular with Spanish families who flock to the sandy beach, one of the best in the area.
Highlights in Torreguadiaro: the 1.2km sands with its good choice of beach bars (chiringuitos); the gastronomic scene – Torreguadiaro has a long list of excellent tapas bars and restaurants; the two watchtowers (the restored Torre Nueva de Guadiaro is one of the largest and finest on the Costa del Sol); and the natural Torreguadiaro Lagoon, home to a range of wildlife.
On the market in Torreguadiaro: as well as apartments, there’s also a good choice of villas particularly in Urb Las Colinas to the east of the resort. Situated on large plots, homes here have sweeping sea views of the Mediterranean and Africa beyond.
Pueblo Nuevo de Guadiaro
As you might have guessed from its name, this small town is one of the newest arrivals in the Sotogrande area. In fact, Pueblo Nuevo dates back just 50 years to the 1970s when the town sprung up on land belonging to the Cortijo de las Cañas estate on the north side of the A7 motorway.
Despite its newness, Pueblo Nuevo has an established feel that comes from its traditional Spanish-town vibe and its colonial architecture. Much of the town’s life revolves around the central square where you’ll find most of the amenities. Despite its small size, Pueblo Nuevo offers a wide range of services on Sotogrande’s doorstep.
Highlights in Pueblo Nuevo de Guadiaro: its wide range of eateries; the excellent amenities (police, vets, notary, banks, shops…); and its two wine merchants, both of which have been in the area ‘forever’.
On the market in Pueblo Nuevo de Guadiaro: property in this part of the Sotogrande area consists mostly of townhouses and detached homes, usually with private garden.
Due north of Pueblo Nuevo and right on the west banks of the river is the quiet town of Guadiaro, named after the river. It has a population of around 2,450 people and sits in the midst of citrus groves and farmland.
The Romans founded a settlement here, known as Barbesula, where they salted fish including tuna. But the town’s heyday came in 1707 when the ferry service across the river began and continued until the iron bridge was built in 1929. The advent of the A7 motorway might have removed Guadiaro from the coastal road radar, but the town still conserves its friendly village vibe.
Highlights in Guadiaro: peaceful riverside position yet within a few minutes’ drive of Sotogrande; good range of amenities; and proximity to La Cañada Golf Club, designed by David Thomas and Robert Trent Jones Senior.
On the market in Guadiaro: real estate tends to be apartments and townhouses with the occasional villa for sale as well.
We continue the citrus theme in this small town, located on the west side of the river across the water from the town of Guadiaro. The enclave was established in the late 19th century to house farm labourers working for the Marquis of Larios, later famous for the main street named after him in Malaga and of course, Larios gin.
The quiet town has a range of amenities including several good restaurants. It also lays claim to excellent sporting facilities: Ayala Polo Club is here and regularly hosts tournaments for Sotogrande’s signature sport; and Dressage Sotogrande is a major centre for equestrian activities.
Highlights in San Enrique: tranquil surroundings; friendly village-like vibe; and great facilities for lovers of horse riding.
On the market in San Enrique: mostly townhouses in the centre of the town, but larger properties including modern villas are located on the outskirts. Homes in the Urbanización Polo Sur, next to the polo club, are particularly sought-after.
At the southern end of the Manilva municipality and where the coastline veers west towards Sotogrande lies Punta Chullera. This panoramic enclave is famous for its rocky coves, home to some of the richest underwater life on the Costa del Sol, and its Moorish watchtower, a sister to those in nearby Torreguadiaro.
Its geographical position makes Punta Chullera a natural vantage spot and the properties in this location enjoy some of the best views in the area, east towards Marbella and Estepona and west to Gibraltar. Punta Chullera has little in the way of amenities but both Manilva and Sotogrande with their much wider choice are within easy reach.
Highlights in Punta Chullera: some of the Costa del Sol’s least developed beaches; stunning coastline scenery; and peace and quiet within a few minutes of Sotogrande.
On the market in Punta Chullera: most homes are contemporary villas on good-sized plots. The majority have commanding sea views.
San Martín del Tesorillo
This town lies on the eastern bank of the river and like San Enrique, formed part of the Marquis of Larios estate. However, San Martín del Tesorillo has only been a municipality in its own right since 2018 when it became independent from Jimena de la Frontera.
The little town is famous for its citrus groves – its oranges have denomination of origin status – and more recently, its avocado and mango plantations. It’s also known for its scenic surroundings that include some of the most beautiful in this part of Andalucia. San Martín del Tesorillo is the base for adventure sports such as kayaking down river to Sotogrande Marina, hiking in the nearby mountains and the famous Corpus Christi Trail Run.
Highlights in San Martín del Tesorillo: its scenic location in the heart of nature; a good range of amenities in the town itself; and its friendly Spanish atmosphere.
On the market in San Martín del Tesorillo: property generally consists of typical village homes, usually townhouses, and apartments.
Perched high on a rocky enclave with privileged views of Gibraltar and the surrounding bay, San Roque lies about 10km from Sotogrande. It’s the administrative centre for the area that includes most of the enclaves mentioned in this Sotogrande guide.
Most of the Spanish residents in Gibraltar took refuge in San Roque when the British and Dutch troops stormed the Rock in 1704. As a result, San Roque and Gibraltar are deeply entwined and its coat of arms includes Gibraltar in form of a castle.
Nowadays, San Roque is an attractive white town with a long list of fine monuments. They include the Baroque church, Governor’s Palace and many stunning traditional townhouses. San Roque has a range of amenities with a wider selection available in the nearby district of Los Barrios.
Highlights in San Roque: the town’s history, present in its monuments and traditions; the views of the surrounding countryside; and nearby facilities that include golf courses, a casino and shopping centres.
On the market in San Roque: traditional village homes and modern apartments make up the main property market in this area near Sotogrande.
Back on the east side of the river and in Malaga province lies La Paloma, a relatively new development that belongs to the municipality of Manilva. Set in tranquil surroundings, La Paloma is just a short distance from the A7 coast road and the sandy beach that runs all the way to La Duquesa Port.
Highlights in La Paloma: tranquil location in easy reach of Sotogrande and Manilva; and scenic views of both the countryside and Mediterranean.
On the market in La Paloma: contemporary modern architecture sets the tone here and you’ll find a choice of apartments, townhouses and villas. The majority enjoy stunning sea views.
Got a question about Sotogrande? Below we’ve answered some of the most common queries related to the area:
Who Owns Sotogrande?
The idea of Sotogrande was brought to life by American, Joseph McMicking, in 1962. He bought five farms to create an idyllic coastal resort community, using Florida’s Palm Beach as inspiration. Since 1999, Sotogrande has been owned by the hotel chain NH Hotels; however, during 2.014 Orion Capital Managers became the owner.
Where in Spain is Sotogrande?
Sotogrande is on Spain’s southern coast, known as Costa del Sol (sunshine coast). It is part of the region of Andalusia, in the province of Cadiz.
How Far from Marbella is Sotogrande?
Sotogrande is approximately a 40-minute drive to the centre of Marbella. The two areas are 58km apart but are well-connected via the AP-7 motorway which is easily accessible from Sotogrande.
Sotogrande is also just a 20-minute drive to Gibraltar and Estepona.
What are the Nearest Airports to Sotogrande?
The nearest airport to Sotogrande is Gibraltar Airport, which is just 20 minutes away and runs regular flights to the UK. Many people opt to reach Sotogrande via Malaga Airport (just over 1 hour by car) due to the higher number of international flights available.
Is Sotogrande a Good Place to Live?
Absolutely. With 320 days of sun per year, beaches, fine restaurants, stunning beach clubs, world-class golf and polo venues, quality international school, Sotogrande is one of the best places to live in, not just Spain, but the whole of Europe.
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