So let me raise a few reasons we love living in this beautiful country and why the area we live in Spain ticks so many boxes, far more than we ever envisaged when we moved here
My family are from Poole Dorset and since the late 1960's early 1970s for many people from Poole & Bournemouth annual holidays to Spain often meant a Palmair trip (locally operated air carrier) to Mallorca. The reason for this was that Bournemouth had its own airport and since the 1960s Palmair was a wonderful service to Palma de Mallorca with a great hotel network. So in the footsteps of our grandparents and parents our happy holiday memories were of holidays in the Balearics . So it's no surprise that we dreamed of living there.
As a family we often chatted about living abroad on the Mediterranean sea and regularly suggested to my wife that we consider living in Spain . We began exploring our options starting with Mallorca.
Despite my love for Mallorca, my realization was that Spain was a vast tapestry of Historic Cities and contrasting scenery and we decided that to make a move and be constricted to a holiday island was not what we wanted. Over the 5 years of planning we made many visits to mainland Spain and enjoyed great Road trips through Northern Spain wending our way South and down along Spain's Southern Coasts. We had discounted Almeria as too dry arid and dusty and North of Barcelona was stunning but too quiet and isolated. We liked Javea & Moreira areas but my wife who was tasked to investigate the children's schooling could not be convinced. It was as a result of one of my lads golf trips to Spain that we found out about Sotogrande. I returned home saying that I had stayed in the Almenara hotel and had found a place that was stunningly green, a private estate surrounded by mountains sea river lakes and forests.
My wife started looking into the International School and liked what she found out. (picture of Sotogrande International School)Over the next few years we traveled many times for holidays and loved coming here particularly when we started to make friends. I would play golf the children loved horse riding and my wife enjoyed the sun. We also liked coming here and exploring villages and towns nearby and soon we discovered the culture history and gastronomy of the Spanish cities. From our base in Sotogrande we would often head off for an overnight stay in Jerez, Seville, Cadiz and Malaga all within a 2 hour easy Road journey. Sophisticated Cities buzzing day and night all on our door step. Sotogrande is Europes largest upmarket private community that we often describe as a bubble. No traffic congestion, beautiful surroundings, wonderful climate and immaculately maintained. The estate has 24/7 security and traffic in and out is monitored and checked on CCTV.
Since living here enjoying Sotogrande we often travel all over Spain and even Portugal only 4 hours drive. In the winter a favorite family half term trip is 1 hour 45 minute up to Sierra Nevada for the skiing. At half term in February you meet half of Sotogrande there. Sierra Nevada is the highest ski resort in Europe and every year I will do several day trips up there with mates . There can be snow there right up until late April
For my wife the Sotogrande area was a great mix of English European and Spanish where she would not feel isolated she even pops into Gibraltar a couple of times a month for her English shop. For me Sotogrande is a very social community where I am spoiled for golf and other active outdoor lifestyle a secure community where the weather lends itself to boating cycling, fishing, racquet sports and hiking. I also love the diversity of the wild life that surrounds Sotogrande.
We have lived here for nearly 9 years and to this day there is no going back. The community we live in is all about meeting up with friends at the beach or at sporting venues or socially and there is always lots going on. We love the lifestyle in Sotogrande but its also great at a drop of a hat to head for the long weekend break to a Spanish city. Our location is perfect as it offers us so many choices and its having these choices that has made our move to Spain so perfect.
Click on this further summary Sotogrande in brief to find out more
Article by Francis Payne