Spains best kept secret
I wanted to write something brief which sums up this beautiful location in Southern Spain.
Sotogrande is located on the western edge of the "Costa del Sol" just outside the province of Malaga. The Sotogrande estate is approximately 40 minutes drive west of Marbella and 20 minutes from Estepona.
Also in close proximity is Gibraltar and many Sotogrande residents work on Gibraltar or live in Gibraltar and have holiday homes in Sotogrande. My wife likes to pop over there simply for the occasional British shop, its a comfort thing.
Often when the TV flashes up the luxury lifestyle in Spain the eating drinking dancing are normally images of Marbella. However many of the images that are used of Marbella are infact Sotogrande. Its annoying to a Sotogrande estate agents when the press show stunning scenery shots are shown alongside party people enjoying life in the sun and state its Marbella. All the Polo, Our port scenes, beach scenes, mountains forests are not Marbella. Sotogrande is very unspoilt with no high rise development and no traffic congestion.
Marbella has become over developed crowded and congested and often traffic grinds to a standstill.
All too often those beautiful scenes are photo shots of Sotogrande. The word Sotogrande means "a large wooded area" and that is exactly what it was. A vast valley chosen for its natural beauty and wonderful scenery. The gated community is possibly the largest private upmarket estate in Europe.
Sotogrande is roughly 4 kms wide x 8kms deep and is surrounded by a mountains, native forest and sandy beach's and there is even a large river running through the heart of the estate. Sotogrande has its own Port, an upmarket marina, 7 golf courses within 5 minutes of each other 4 of which are in the top 10 for Spain. There are two tennis centres, 2 International Equestrian centres and two beautiful beach clubs and a great international Polo scene with 10 local polo clubs in close vicinity.
Security is good and Securitas control entry gates and cctv in and out of the walled estate with regular patrols and are on call 24/7 if needed or worried
Sotogrande is not a mass tourism destination and whilst tourists do come to Sotogrande the main residents are the full time dwellers and the second home visitors with many of the latter often choosing to live here more often than not. For me Sotogrande is wonderful because there is a good community its a place where new faces are readily accepted. Join a few clubs get the kids involved in a few activities and in no time your social life will rocket. The International school is at the heart of Sotogrande as without a good school this place would become a faceless holiday destination. The schools reputation has often been the decider for any parents who maybe concerned at any move that may affect there children's education. With nearly 700 children at the school that's a lot of families all involved in community the life .
A quick drive around Sotogrande is no way to find out what this location has to offer, its so spread out that its impossible to take it in on a single day trip. People who do a day trip may comment that the area is very quiet and maybe too quiet for them. I would respond by explaining that in Sotogrande its not always the most obvious locations where people gather and meet. There is a lot going on here socially and the people who live here are very open and welcoming the key is to make a couple of friends whether its from chatting to other parents while waiting on your childrens activities or your own involvement in golf tennis boating fishing etc and from there you quickly will start to know and understand Sotogrande.
Sotogrande 1 hour 10 minutes Malaga airport, 30 minutes Gibraltar airport
Article by Francis Payne
Tailor Made estate agents based in Sotogrande Port.
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