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Sotogrande aerial view, July 2011
Sotogrande aerial view, July 2011
Sotogrande is located in Province of Cádiz
Location in the Province of Cádiz
Sotogrande is located in Andalusia
Sotogrande (Andalusia)
Sotogrande is located in Spain
Sotogrande (Spain)
Coordinates: 36°16′42″N 5°17′24″W / 36.27833°N 5.29000°W / 36.27833; -5.29000Coordinates: 36°16′42″N 5°17′24″W / 36.27833°N 5.29000°W / 36.27833; -5.29000
Country Spain
Autonomous community Andalusia
ComarcaCampo de Gibraltar
MunicipalitySan Roque
 • Total2,584
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Official language(s)Spanish
WebsiteOfficial website

Sotogrande is the largest privately owned residential development in Andalusia, Spain. Originally a gated community, it is located in the municipality of San Roque and is composed of a 25 square kilometres stretch from the Mediterranean Sea 25 km east of Gibraltar, back into the foothills of Sierra Almenara, providing contrasting views of sea, hills, cork forests and green fairways, including the Rock of Gibraltar and Morocco.

Some of the richest and most powerful families of Spain, Russia, and the United Kingdom reside in Sotogrande.[1] Current and past regulars and inhabitants of Sotogrande include Peter Caruana, former Chief Minister of Gibraltar, Fabian Picardo, current Chief Minister of Gibraltar,[2] Tony Blair, Emilio Botín, Ana Rosa Quintana,[3] Royal Shakespeare Company actor Mike Gwilym,[4] Vladimir Gusinsky,[5] Boris Berezovsky,[6] as well as Prince Louis Alphonse, Duke of Anjou, the legitimist pretender to the throne of France.[7][8]


To build a city similar to Palm Springs in southern Europe, Sotogrande was developed by the industrialist couple from the Philippines, Joseph McMicking and Mercedes Zóbel with support from their nephews Jaime Zóbel and Enrique Zóbel.[9] The McMickings, having seen the idyllic coasts in 1962, acquired five neighboring farms with the idea of creating a luxurious residential development by the Mediterranean. Joseph McMicking succeeded in creating what has become one of the most luxurious urbanizations in Europe. In May 2006 it was featured in The Times as having the most expensive homes in Europe.[10] There are a number of artificial lakes and five golf courses, including the Valderrama Golf Club, created by Jaime Ortiz-Patiño[11] and the San Roque course. The Port was established in 1988.[9]


View of Sotogrande port

Sotogrande is well known as an architectural showcase on the Costa del Sol, with styles varying from the traditional Andalucian to mid century modern, all the way through 21st century design and even more unusual designs, including moorish/mudejar style homes and even a Swiss chalet. In 2008 the local government declared three buildings as of cultural interest, protecting them from reform or demolition. These architectural gems were the Biddle House, by Francisco Javier Carvajal, the Zóbel house by José Antonio Coderch, and the Real Club de Golf by Luis Gutierrez Soto.[12]

A specially built man-made lagoon is part of the newest developments in Sotogrande within the La Reserva gated residential community in the hills of Sotogrande. Dubbed as the only inland private beach of its kind artificial "The Beach" is a 3252 sqm water oasis surrounded by 2,800 square metres of artificial sandy beach. La Reserva[13] offers its 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


Today, Sotogrande is renowned for its varied sporting facilities. It has five golf courses in Europe, Valderrama Golf Club host to the European Tour's Volvo Masters and the 1997 Ryder Cup, the Real Club de Golf, Almenara, La Reserva, La Cañada and a Golf Academy; six polo fields owned by the Santa María Polo Club; two Tennis and Padel Tennis Clubs and the SotoTennis Academy; the Racquet Centre which specializes in padel tennis and the Octogono which specializes in tennis, a rugby club and two Beach Clubs (Cucurucho and Octogono); a Kayak / Sailing Club, Riding stables and a busy marina.

Valderrama Golf Club in Sotogrande is continental Europe's most renowned golf club. In 1997, it became the first course outside the United States and United Kingdom to host the Ryder Cup


River Guadiaro and Estuary, Sotogrande, a natural area of 27 hectares and the only marshland on this part of the coast, has been designated as an Andalusian National Park, Wildlife and Nature Reserve. A series of pathways has been constructed, with information boards explaining the natural area, enabling nature lovers unobstructed views of the estuary, its wildlife and in particular the migratory birds, on their route to and from Africa.


Sotogrande seems to have kept its head above the crisis. Finanzas, a Spanish finance publication, says that whilst prices in other areas of the Costa del Sol have taken a fall to the tune of -11.4% in Torremolinos, -10.99% in Fuengirola, -7.4% in Manilva, -5-5% in Casares and -3.4% in Mijas Costa. In Sotogrande average property prices have remained the same or increased, in some cases up to 45%. This phenomenon is attributed to the financial status of the residents of the urbanization.[14]


The Sotogrande Marina has a mixture of retail units and restaurants as well as some apartments. The Sotogrande Marina has a taxi boat service during the summer season.


Recorded by Spanish secret services, Vladimir Putin illegally entered Spain at Sotogrande by private boat via plane flights from London to Gibraltar several times while he was head of Russia's FSB during the 1990s.

Spanish police arrested several Russian mafia with residences at Sotogrande during Operation Troika.


  1. ^ "Spanish Resorts: Sotogrande, Costa del Sol". Retrieved 2012-08-02. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ "El 'Gibraltarexit' de los ricos: la Roca para los negocios, Sotogrande para vivir". 2017-04-09. Retrieved 2017-04-11. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ "Todo sobre CALLEJEROS | Reportajes en". Retrieved 2012-03-18. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ "La Revista de Sotogrande". 2008-08-04. Retrieved 2012-03-18. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ Романова, Людмила (Romanova, Lyudmila); Кобо, Хуан (Kobo, Juan) (2000-12-14). "Гусинский опять в тюрьме" [Gusinsky again in prison]. (in Russian). Archived from the original on 2020-02-13. Retrieved 2020-02-13.
  6. ^ "ОПЕРАЦИЯ "ХХ ТРЕСТ"" [OPERATION “XX TRUST”]. Novaya Gazeta (in Russian). 2000-09-10. Archived from the original on 2020-02-13. Retrieved 2020-02-13.
  7. ^ "Luis Alfonso De Borbon And Margarita Vargas Are… Fotografía de noticias | Getty Images España | 103766561". 2010-08-28. Retrieved 2012-03-18. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ Warner, Gerald (2010-05-29). "French royalists celebrate the birth of twin sons to Louis XX, rightful King of France – Telegraph Blogs". Retrieved 2012-03-18. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ a b Abril, Guillermo (2014-08-26). "La burbuja de Sotogrande. Nació hace medio siglo para ser el lugar más selecto de la Costa del Sol. Su clientela teme el desembarco de los nuevos ricos" [The Sotogrande bubble. He was born half a century ago to be the most select place on the Costa del Sol. His clientele fears the landing of the new rich]. El Pais (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 2014-08-28. Retrieved 2020-02-13.
  10. ^ "Spanish gold - Times Online". Retrieved 2012-03-18. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. ^ "The 50 best golf courses - Outdoor & Activity - IndyBest". The Independent. 2010-04-10. Retrieved 2012-03-18. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  12. ^ "El Periódico de Sotogrande" (in Spanish). Retrieved 2012-03-18. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  13. ^ "Sotogrande location and property guide, Costa del Sol". Retrieved 2020-04-30. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  14. ^ Housing prices come down, but not for the rich: Sotogrande records hikes of 45%.

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