There is little doubt that Sotogrande is one of the most sought-after living areas for the rich and famous. From celebrities in the movie, music, sports, and entertainment world to powerful politicians and even a former UK prime minister or two, Sotogrande has become a mecca for the wealthy to enjoy life.
Unlike many other exclusive communities, Sotogrande began not as a town, but rather as a residential complex that is privately owned. This means that the community has been exclusive since its creation. And it seems that Sotogrande will continue to be one of the most desirable places to live for the wealthy and powerful.
What is Sotogrande?
Located in Andalusia, Spain, Sotogrande began its existence as a gated community within the confines of San Roque. Consisting of 25 square kilometers that begin east of Gibraltar and stretch to the foothills of the Sierra Almenara, Sotogrande offers a stunning view of the Mediterranean Sea as well as the many hills, forests, and even the Rock of Gibraltar itself.
To reach Sotogrande, it is about one hour from the Malaga airport. However, to reach the community faster, you can avoid taking the N340 and instead land at the Gibraltar International Airport. That puts you only 35 minutes from Sotogrande. Remember that Gibraltar is still part of the UK and not Spain.
The community was founded in 1962 by a group of investors who saw the potential of creating a luxury residential development near Gibraltar. Led by Joseph McMicking, the group succeeded in creating one of the most desired luxury living locations in all of Europe. In 2006, Sotogrande was featured in The Times as having some of the most expensive, luxurious homes in all of Europe.
And that reputation has grown over the years, thanks in large part to the homes themselves combined with amenities such as five golf courses and several artificial lakes. The result is that Sotogrande is still one of the most desired places for those seeking luxury living.
Sotogrande Real Estate
- The average price by square metre for Sotogrande is 2,998 €, an increase of 1.62% according to the Physis Realty Property Index
- The average price for properties in Sotogrande is 997,877 € based on Physis exclusive property stock.
- The areas with the lowest prices in Sotogrande are Torreguadiaro and San Enrique – Guadiaro – Pueblo Nuevo, with an average price of 422,111 € and 465,644 €, respectively.
Best and Worst Areas of Sotogrande
Sotogrande is divided into a number of Zones, with each having its own characteristics and appeal.
Sotogrande Zones Ranking
Los Altos de Valderrama is the most exclsuive zone in Sotogrande. So much so that many expats don’t even know about this Zone as they are unable to reach it due to armed security, within the general outer security ring of the urbanization.
Sotogrande Kings & Queens is in Sotogrande Costa and its wide, palm lined roads remind one of Miami Dade.
Sotogrande Costa is the general area of Sotogrande that is beachside. It includes Sotogrande Marina.
La Reserva sits at the top of the Urbanization of Sotogrande, next to Sotogrande International School. After a shaky start, La Reserva has established itself as one of the more exclusive areas.
Sotogrande A Zone consists of mostly cheap housing, and is not considered worthy of the Urbanizations luxury status dues to the run down status of many villa and semi detached homes.
Sotogrande B Zone is ranked well for Luxury Realty. Sotogrande C Zone is better. E, F and G zones are further into Sotogrande Alto and are further from amenities but very private and quite charming.
Sotogolf has been voted the Worst place to live in Sotogrande. It is often referred to as the ‘Cheapseats’. A place of low quality housing stock filled with people claiming to ‘live in Sotogrande’. Living in Sotogolf is not recommended by Physis Realty.
Who Lives in Sotogrande?
You may be surprised to know who lives in Sotogrande, but then again it would be surprising to find out given how private and exclusive the community has been all these years. Confidentiality is one of the biggest selling points for those seeking a luxurious lifestyle in this part of the world. Needless to say, some of the richest families in Spain, Russia, and the UK call Sotogrande home. Just a few of the current and former residents include the following.
- Tony Blair: Former Prime Minister of the UK
- Peter Caruana: Former Chief Minister of Gibraltar
- Prince Andrew & Sarah Fergusson
- Prince Louis Alphonse, Duke of Anjou, the legitimist pretender to the throne of France
- Ana Rosa Quintana, Mike Gwilym, Boris Berezovsky, and more
Chances are, if you are rich, famous, and living somewhere in Europe, you have at least visited someone living in Sotogrande. What is true is that many of the rich and famous which go well beyond celebrities from the entertainment industry call Sotogrande home.
Types of Homes in Sotogrande
You will find a wide mixture of architectural designs when viewing the homes and buildings of Sotogrande. The styles include traditional Andalusian which is common to the region and mid-century modern which remains a popular style. Of course, there are many post-modern designs which include homes that hint of Moorish or Mudejar which has roots in this part of the world.
But diversity is the order of the day for homes in the Soto area. It is expected as the residents come from different parts of the globe. That is why you’ll find a Swiss chalet amid the many different styles that dot the area.
It should be noted that while replacing older homes and buildings is rather commonplace in Soto, the local government did declare three buildings off-limits to renovation or demolition due to their cultural interest. The Biddle House, Zobel House, and Real Club de Golf were designed by Francisco Javier Carvajal, Jose Antonio Coderch, and Luis Gutierrez Soto respectively, meaning that they will stand in their original condition, save for any necessary repairs.
Everything starts with the remarkable natural setting which has been preserved in large part thanks to the formation of a National Park, which includes a Wildlife and Nature Reserve. This is a park that protects 27 hectares of marshland, which is the only terrain of its type along the coast. In addition to providing a beautiful area for visitors to walk through and relax, it also serves as home to migratory birds that make their way from Africa to Spain and back throughout the year.
As part of the Sotogrande community, a large man-made lagoon was recently constructed. As a result, this created The Beach, a massive, private inland beach which is unique in the world. Known as La Reserva, this artificial construct not only houses The Beach, but also an 18-hole golf course and tennis courts that overlook the Mediterranean Sea.
In terms of sports, while there are five golf courses in the area, polo is arguably the most popular. With no less than six polo fields, some of the best polo riders in the world compete regularly under the auspices of the Santa Maria Polo Club. In addition to polo, tennis is almost as popular followed by a variety of sports that includes sailing, kayaking, two beach clubs, and a rugby club. There is plenty to choose from in Soto when it comes to sporting activities to both participate and watch.
Of course, boating is a popular activity as well. The Sotogrande Marina offers plenty of space for the boats of the rich and famous. But in addition, the marina also provides for restaurants, rental units, and even apartments for those who want to live close to the sea. There is even a taxi boat service during the summer season to transport visitors and residents to and from the marina.
For the best in luxury living, few places in Europe match the splendor and spectacular scenic setting of Sotogrande.
The best beaches in Sotogrande are:
- Playa Sotogrande is a 2 km long, 35 m wide beach that fronts the Sotogrande estate and is situated west of the Guadiaro River estuary.
- Playa Guadalquiton is a 5 km beach that stretches between Soto and Alcaidesa to the south.
- Laya Paseo del Mar is a small triangular shaped 1 km long beach, situated between the mouth of the Sotogrande Marina and the Guadiaro River.
- Torreguadiaro Beach, also known as Playa de las Conchas is between the village of Torreguadiaro and Soto port to the east.
- The Cala Chullera Beach is perfect for diving and rock fishing