In a small and special corner of the Campo de Gibraltar region, this quiet tourist hotspot emerges. The place has been privileged with anonymity, important sporting events, and some excellent tourist offers that provides visitors and inhabitants with an environment that is full of peace and tranquility. From beautiful beaches and amazing nature to whale-watching, horse riding, and other luxurious activities, this small Spanish coastal town has a lot to offer. If you’re planning to visit soon, keep reading; here are the best things to do in Sotogrande.
Sotogrande is a part of the San Roque municipality and its famous for its golden sand beaches and crystalline waters. Sotogrande has approximately 3,000 permanent inhabitants, but during the holiday season, the population easily exceeds 12,000 people. Most of these people are repeat visitors who appreciate the luxurious yet discrete nature of Sotogrande.
We start of this list of things to do in Sotogrande with one of the most visited beaches in town. Torreguadiaro Beach is famous in all corners of Spain for its spectacular views and the fine, golden sand mixed with tiny pebbles, which has earned this beach the nickname Playa de las Conchas (beach of the shells). The beach is around 60 meters wide and has a wide range of entertainment options for visitors.
Unlike Torreguadiaro, Alcaidesa Beach lies somewhat off the beaten track. This gorgeous beach stands out above all others as it offers one of the most natural and rustic environments in the region. It is one of the cleanest beaches and also has a special section reserved for nudist visitors.
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Cala Sardina Beach
Speaking of exciting things to do in Sotogrande, we just have to mention Cala Sardinia. Despite the increased waives of tourists throughout the year, Cala Sardinia is one of the few (still) truly-pristine beaches in the area. It has fine dark sand and is considered one of the most isolated beaches in Sotogrande and Southern Spain. The beach’s isolation is probably the main reason it’s known among locals beach as Playa El Cabrero (Goatherd Beach).
If you’re looking for a beach where you can take a long walk, rest and enjoy the spectacular view, Sotogrande Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches you can come around in this part of Spain. Since it’s one of the most popular beaches in the region, there are a lot of private masseurs around and you can get a good relaxing massage while soaking in the sun for a very good price.
If you ever get tired of Sotogrande’s gorgeous beaches, you can always get away from the crowds and go relax in the city’s ancient Roman bath. Just 13 kilometers away from Sotogrande’s center, you’ll find Banos de la Hedionda; a divine Roman bath hidden in the forest between Sotogrande and Malaga. The bath is located in a white building near a forest stream. The roman bath experience complements Sotogrande’s beach perfectly and it’s bound to make your vacation even better.
Natural Park of the Acorns
If you want to go on a day trip and get away from Sotogrande’s scorching summer heat, definitely consider visiting the Natural Park of the Acorns. It can be reached in around 40 minutes driving from Sotogrande. This natural park spreads across more than 170,000 hectares and it’s known as the ‘virgin forest of Europe’ due to its untouched nature. If you like outdoor activities, you’ll come around a lot of hiking trails around and it’s also a great, peaceful destination for camping enthusiasts.
Personally, I’m not a polo fan but if you’re in town, you should check out the Santa Maria Polo Club. It’s one of the most important, and most prestigious polo clubs in the whole world. The club was founded in the 1960s but has since grown in reputation and it’s been attracting thousands of polo enthusiasts for years. I know this might sound strange to you (at least if you’re like me) but a lot of people come to Sotogrande with their main goal being to attend the prestigious annual competitions held in Santa Maria Polo Club.
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Castillo de Castellar de la Frontera
Castillo de Castellar de la Frontera is a fortified historic village that dates back to the 13th century. So, if you’re a history lover, this is one of the most exciting things to do in Sotogrande. You can take a walk along the cobbled streets of Oldtown Castellar and discover some of the oldest Andalusian traditions. Castellar’s strategic location also means you’ll get an amazing view of the local towns of Casares, Gaucin, Sierra de Bermeja, and even the Rock of Gibraltar.
Food options in Sotogrande
Despite the activities and things to do that Sotogrande offers to visitors, it also has a very vibrant food scene. A lot of people visit the coastal town because of the distinctive dishes that are part of the local cuisine. There are a lot of great food options in Sotogrande, whether you’re looking for local, continental, or even Asian food. If you’re like me and want to taste local food while traveling, definitely try:
- Some tapas from the local street food vendor;
- Seafood dishes like tataki tuna, fish stew, and Galician oyster from Cerveceria Mara;
- Beef cuts manicured in green turf at Ayala Polo Club;
- The best local traditional delicacies at La CabaÃ±a;
- Amazing local soups at La Terraza de Teo;
- The best pasta in the region at Inboca;
- Local street food delicacies at Torreguadiaro.
Day or weekend trips
Not only is Sotogrande an exciting summer holiday destination but it’s also a short drive away from some of the most famous resort towns in the region. The city is located in the southern part of Spain and from here, you can easily take day trips to Malaga, Ronda, Nerja, and even Gibraltar. If you decide to take some of these road trips you can even go for…
Whale and dolphin watching
Finally, we round up this list of things to do in Sotogrande with some whale watching opportunities which is probably a part of your Spain bucket list. Nothing can turn a great vacation into an unforgettable one like an encounter with the largest mammal on our planet. As mentioned above, Sotogrande is only a short drive away from Gibraltar and Tarifa, which happen to be two of the best whale-watching destinations in the region.
Accommodation in Sotogrande
Being the established resort town that it is, Sotogrande has some great luxury accommodation options but a lot of option for budget travelers as well. There are also some very nice high-quality hostels (great for young solo travelers). Hence, it’s no surprise that you can find accommodation options that fit anyone’s budget; accommodation prices in Sotogrande vary from $25 to $750 per night. If you want to stay at a luxurious hotel without breaking the bank, use this booking discount code to save up to 25%.
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Did you ever visit Sotogrande? Did you like this list of things to do in Sotogrande? Would you say it’s a good summer holiday destination? Let us know what you think in the comments!
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Wednesday 17th of February 2021
Torreguadiaro is well known for tapas. I'd like to mention Sotogrande has probably the best golf courses in the country including a Ryder cup host Valderrama gold club
Sunday 7th of March 2021
Thank you for your comment, Antoni. I agree, Sotogrande's golf courses are unmatched, I'd say no other city in Spain comes close when it comes to this.
Saturday 17th of August 2019
I must admit this is the first time I hear of Sotogrande and sounds like a true gem! The beaches look lovely, especially Torreguadiaro. What intrigues me most though is the possibility to see whales and dolphins, it's always such a fascinating experience!
Monday 19th of August 2019
Thank you, Val, I'm glad you liked it.
Sandy N Vyjay
Thursday 15th of August 2019
Sotogrande seems to be one of the lesser-known treasures of Spain. The beaches are absolutely gorgeous and the Natural Park of Acorns an ocean of greenery. Polo is another thrilling attraction of the place. In short, the place seems perfect for a family getaway.
Friday 16th of August 2019
Sotogrande sure is one of the lesser-known treasures of Spain! I hope you get the chance to visit someday, Sandy
Wednesday 14th of August 2019
I had not come across Sotogrande before but looks like a nice choice for a quiet and luxurious resort in Southern Spain. The Sotogrande beach looks utterly gorgeous, though the pebbles might be uncomfortable to walk on? The sandy ones might be more comfortable! I didn't know there were roman baths in this part of Spain, I would definitely visit those, ad the Frontera castle.
Friday 16th of August 2019
There sure is a lot to see and do in Sotogrande. As for the pebbles, they're quite tiny and not sharp, so walking on them isn't that uncomfortable :)
Wednesday 14th of August 2019
I've been to Spain but never to Sotogrande! Just goes to show how much more there is to explore! The waters are so blue and beautiful and the fact that you can go whale and dolphin watching is SO cool! I love the Roman baths and would love to visit it! And I'm a huge fan of seafood so all those dishes sound amazing!
Monday 20th of July 2020
It's definitely worth a visit. The beach clubs are second to none (some even better than Marbella's) and Sotogrande port also has a lot of fun things to do.
Friday 16th of August 2019
There sure is, Clare! If you liked this, feel free to check out my article about Hidden gems in Spain. I think you'll like that too :)