Sotogrande is the largest resort and residential development in Andalusia. It is situated in the province of Cadiz and is only a few kilometers away from Gibraltar. Its 20 square kilometers (8 sq mi) stretch from the Mediterranean back into the foothills of the Sierra Almenara, providing contrasting views of sea, hills, cork forests and green fairways, including the Rock of Gibraltar and Morocco.
Sotogrande was set up by Joseph McMicking who bought five farms together in 1962, with the idea of creating a luxurious residential development by the Mediterranean. The appeal of Sotogrande, to many nationalities, lies in the natural beauty of the site, enhanced by the early landscaping, the planting of avenues of palm and conifer trees, underground infrastructure and wide, two-lane roads.
Today, Sotogrande is renowned for its variety of sporting facilities. It has five of the most beautiful golf courses in Europe, Valderrama Golf Club host to the European Tour's Volvo Masters and the 1997 Ryder Cup, the Club Real de Golf, Almenara, La Reserva, La Cañada and a Golf Academy. Another sport Sotogrande is famous for is polo. At the Santa Maria Polo Club one can enjoy excellent facilities and a great setting. Stables as well as horses are for hire. Each August there is an international tournament taking place which makes Sotogrande to the hub of Spanish polo. And there is even more two Tennis, Paddle tennis and Fronton Clubs, two Beach Clubs, a Bridge Club, Riding stables and a busy marina, the first on entering the Mediterranean from the Atlantic Ocean.
River Guadiaro and Estuary is 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 or from Africa.