Sotogrande, the pearl of Cadiz


By ML
Director of Alanda Properties

Introduction

Sotogrande, to many of us this word evokes images of unspoiled sandy white beaches, unending forested areas, superb views at dusk against a dashing blue sea, free roaming horses on green fields, and luxury secluded villas. To be honest, every time I’m there, it strongly echoes the Marbella of the 70’s I once knew, unblemished and blissfully underdeveloped.

Sotogrande has a very low building density by rapport to neighbouring towns, with very few constructions actually reaching two stories high. The plots of land are huge, allowing nature to take over. It belongs to the Andalusian province of Cadiz. Meaning all the lenient tax breaks and allowances I have collated in previous taxation articles apply, making Sotogrande an area of ultra-low taxation.

Sotogrande, by Spanish standards, is a very unusual place and that is good! If you take a moment to drive through its wide avenues, you can’t help but notice it bears an uncanny resemblance to a US leafy suburb; you would be forgiven if you thought you were in the US, and you would in fact be right. Col. Joseph Ralph McMicking, a retired US serviceman, bought in the 60’s several adjacent plots of land and set about developing them devising a huge housing estate reminiscent of Boston.

As a result of his ambitious overarching vision, through sheer force of will, this forerunner developed a very exclusive estate that stretches lazily from the coast all the way up to the gentle mountain slopes, adjacent to land earmarked by the Spanish Army where building is banned. This results in a huge estate that is cleverly surrounded by green belt land. This sprawling estate is dotted with lakes, lush forested areas, 18-hole golf courses (such as the Real Club Valderrama, which hosted the Ryder Cup in 1997), and a top private school. Sotogrande is renowned for its beautiful and elegant polo matches during the elegant summer soirees.

If you are the kind of person that shies away from the bling and glitz of sister upcoast resorts, and rather place value in discretion, choice, and exclusive gated communities that keep to themselves, Sotogrande is right up your alley. Sotogrande’s game, unlike other tacky neighbouring coastal resorts, is not about distasteful antics showing ostentatiously what you have, but rather, about enjoying what you have. It is home to discreet affluent individuals from all over the world.

Sotogrande is split broadly into three distinct areas, which I’ll gloss over.

Sotogrande Bajo

This is the part of the estate that borders the coastline. You will find lavish mansions built in huge independent plots of land. Its wide sprawling avenues, with green sidewalks that make them distinctive, are dotted with impossibly tall palm trees that look taken straight out of a postcard from Miami Beach. What they lack in views is compensated by vast plots of land.

Sotogrande Alto

This is the part of the estate that sprawls over the gently rolling green hills with commanding views over the Atlantic coastline and Gibraltar. Impressive views are guaranteed at dawn & dusk. No palm trees here, it’s a leafy suburb. A mantle of evergreen lush vegetation covers the ground whilst a mature canopy, that belongs to the Atlantic climate, provides a welcome respite of shade. You will find multiple impressive gated estates within, such as La Reserva, where discretion is cherished, mum’s the word.

La Marina de Sotogrande

Strictly speaking, it’s located within Sotogrande Bajo. But it has such a distinctive personality, that it warrants being featured as its own space. This is where the port is located, Sotogrande’s main social hub and its vibrant heart. Its unusual bright pastel colours, Moustique like, catch visitors’ eyes. Most homes boast their own private moorings, door-to-door, much like in Venice! The marina is lively and vibrant, dotted with glam cafes and trendy restaurants that cater to all tastes where one can mercifully rest his weary bones basking in the warm sunlight, sipping a coffee, whilst watching life gently passing by; with younglings amorously courting each other, against a backdrop of sailboats and luxury yachts, in a never ending cycle that only gets interrupted, from time to time, by the bickering of seagulls flying overhead.

Article reproduced under the kind permission of LN Abogados.

Contact me at Alanda Properties if you are buying or selling property on the Costa del Sol and Sotogrande. You will be surprised to learn the deals this new market has to offer on prime locations.

2022 © ML. All Rights Reserved.

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