8 Best Things to Do in Sotogrande, Cadiz

Sotogrande, located in the province of Cadiz, is a lovely town famous for its luxury marina, golf and polo.

Before visiting Sotogrande, I had always heard others say it’s a really nice place, and many call it the French Riviera of Spain.

I recently visited Sotogrande with my friend on a day trip from Marbella. We weren’t quite lucky with the weather, but I love how picturesque it is and would love to go back.

Although I’ve never been to the French Riviera, I’ve seen many photos on social media and can see some similarities in the marina areas. 

If you’re wondering whether Sotogrande is worth visiting, what to do in Sotogrande, and where to eat and sleep, I’ve compiled all the information in this guide for you.

Pinterest pin that reads things to do in Sotogrande, Cadiz, and shows four photos of Sotogrande, including the marina and la reserva beach club.

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8 Best things to do in Sotogrande

1. Wander the Sotogrande Marina

A photo of the colourful houses in Sotogrande marina.

The Sotogrande Marina is the prettiest place in Sotogrande, and it turned out to be one of my favourites. 

It makes you feel like you are on the French Riviera: colourful buildings, luxurious yachts and boat houses, boutique shops with stunning home decor, and lovely cafes. 

It isn’t a place to sightsee but simply relax, stroll along and have a nice meal.

A fun activity for groups or families in the Marina is going on a dolphin-watching boat trip like this one. You’ll spot dolphins, go for a swim and enjoy a drink while contemplating the stunning views. 

The marina is also perfect for anyone who loves taking photos, like me! You can spend some time taking photos of yourself with the colourful houses and yachts in the background. The cafes and restaurants in the area are also very picturesque!

Although the marina is walkable, you might feel sometimes like you’re walking somewhere you shouldn’t be as it’s filled with residences. 

2. Shop at boutique shops 

Within the marina, you have some amazing boutique shops selling fashionable clothes, home decor and jewellery.

You won’t find branded well-known shops, but if you’re all about supporting local businesses and buying unique items, I can assure you you’ll like the ones in the marina. 

I love the dresses at Malvaloca, and there are some lovely ceramics and dishes at BALAKATA

3. Grab a drink at Trocadero Sotogrande

Trocadero is a restaurant chain you can find across Costa del Sol, but there’s also one in Sotogrande. 

The restaurant decor is elegant and beautiful, and you can tell they’ve paid attention to detail when putting together the rooms, tables, and bar. 

My friend and I decided to have lunch here. The decor and service were spot on, but we were both disappointed with the food. 

I ordered the chicken and vegetable wok whilst she had the Trocadero burger accompanied by chips. 

Also, the price was higher than other places, but to be honest, Sotogrande isn’t a cheap location. 

As I said, I didn’t feel like I had the best noodles ever, but maybe I should have ordered something else. 

I still recommend going because it’s aesthetically pleasing and is next to the beach. They also have a good variety of top-notch cocktails and a fantastic atmosphere. 

4. Swim at Playa de Sotogrande 

If you’re coming to Sotogrande in summer, hitting the beach is an absolute must! 

There are a few beaches you might want to check out in Sotogrande, but the most popular is Playa de Sotogrande which starts in the Guadiaro River and finishes where the Carbonera Lighthouse is.

The beach is approximately 2 kilometres long, and it has dark sand. It’s a lovely beach, but you sometimes need to keep an eye on the tide.

I absolutely love the views of the Strait of Gibraltar from this beach on a clear day.

5. Spend the day at La Reserva Club Sotogrande

La Reserva Beach Club in Sotogrande.

Alongside the Sotogrande Marina, visiting La Reserva Club is among one of the best things to do in Sotogrande.

This resort is huge, and there’s so much to do – from water activities and playing golf to sipping cocktails and swimming at the pool. 

We went off-season, so it was quieter than normal. However, I bet La Reserva gets very busy in the summer months. 

What really amazed me was the Reserva Beach Club. They have an artificial beach with fine sand and sunbeds, a lake with paddle boats and a lovely bar area with outdoor seating overlooking the lake. 

We sat by the lake, and despite the fact that there weren’t many people, they had a DJ playing some hits.

We only ordered dessert as we had lunch at Trocadero. Let me tell you that if you have a sweet tooth, order dessert! 

I highly recommend the olive oil cake with white chocolate mouse and citric fruits. It was delightful! My friend really enjoyed her dulce de leche cake. 

6. Watch a polo match 

Did you know that Sotogrande has one of the most important polo clubs in Europe? Yes, that’s right, Santa María Polo Club attracts polo fans from all around Europe. 

If you love this sport, check out polo matches during your stay in Sotogrande or nearby towns. It’s truly an experience, and the atmosphere is fantastic.

7. Play golf 

Sotogrande golf course.

In addition to polo, another famous sport in this town of Cadiz and the Costa del Sol is golf. 

Sotogrande is home to some of the best golf courses. La Reserva Club, Almenara and Real Club de Sotogrande are a few to mention.

I’m not great at golf, nor an expert by any means, but the golf facilities in the area are impressive.

8. Go on a hike

If you visit Sotogrande during the off-season, going on a hike is a fantastic idea. 

The town is surrounded by beautiful natural spaces, including beaches, lakes and mountains.

One of the best hikes in Sotogrande is the Faro Torre Carbonera route, which is 6.9 kilometres (4.3 mi). 

Although I haven’t done it yet, it’s definitely on my list for the next time I’m in Sotogrande. 

From what I’ve heard, it’s an easy walk that can be completed in under two hours. You’ll walk on a sandy path to the lighthouse, which offers gorgeous views of Gibraltar

You’ll also probably see locals hiking (sometimes with dogs) or on bikes most of the time, but it’s less frequented on weekdays.  

🚶🏻‍♀️ Check this hiking trail on AllTrails 

Day trips from Sotogrande

Sotogrande is surrounded by some incredible places to visit on a day trip or even stay for a few days. 

These are my favourite day trips from Sotogrande:

Estepona

beach promenade in Estepona, Spain

🚗 Distance from Sotogrande: 25 min (28.2 km | 17.5 mi)

Estepona, often referred as the Garden of Costa del Sol, makes a fantastic day trip because of its wide activities.

The most emblematic area of Estepona is the historic centre characterized by its narrow streets home to beautiful white painted houses with picturesque terraces and flower pots. 

However, strolling along the old town of Estepona isn’t the only thing you can do. Visit the orchid house, do the street art route and get some food at the market. 

Estepona has some gorgeous beaches too. Playa la Rada is my favourite because it’s central, accessible and lively. 

If you go to Estepona with kids, check out Selwo Aventura. I absolutely loved visiting it when I was a kid, but I’ve been to it a few times as an adult and enjoyed it. 

Gibraltar

A photo of Gibraltar rock.

🚗 Distance from Sotogrande: 34 min (26.1 km | 16.2 mi)

One of the most unique places in Southern Spain is Gibraltar. The main reason is its location. Despite being in the Spanish Peninsula, it’s a British Territory. 

You can expect many of the things you will see in the UK but also the lovely warm weather in the south of Spain. 

Wondering what to do in Gibraltar? The top attraction is the Rock of Gibraltar. Take the cable car to get there and start exploring the Upper Nature Reserve. 

St Michael’s Cave is worth seeing, but please be cautious of the monkeys. They can be cheeky and once jumped into my partner’s backpack. Luckily, nothing happened, but I got scared of them and stayed as far as possible from them. 

If you love shopping, Gibraltar is also ideal for treating yourself! Many products don’t include tax. 

Marbella

a street in Marbella old town

🚗 Distance from Sotogrande: 43 min (59.9 km | 26.7 mi)

Last but not least, another fantastic day out from Sotogrande is Marbella, my happy place.

I’ll never get tired of recommending travellers to visit Marbella because it has much more than parties and exclusive shops.

On a day trip to Marbella, visit the old town, explore the parks, walk on the extensive beach promenade, see Puerto Banus and go on a sunset cruise. There are plenty of things to do in Marbella!

Another reason you’ll love Marbella is the wide variety of restaurants and cafes you can find, from traditional tapas to impeccable dishes made by reputable chefs. 

Where to stay in Sotogrande

Accommodation in Sotogrande marina.

SO/ Sotogrande Spa & Golf Resort

⭐ Stars: 5 | Rating: 8.8 out of 10 | Book now!

Best for: an upscale stay

SO/ Sotogrande Spa & Resort is, without a doubt, one of the best hotels in Sotogrande. This 5-star all-inclusive resort has everything you could imagine.

The hotel has 36 large suites beautifully decorated with neutral colours, comfortable beds, private bathrooms with baths and luxury toiletries, flat-screen TVs, minibars, and terraces.

When it comes to facilities, you’re spoilt for choice. In addition to its renowned golf course, you can find a fantastic spa with a sauna, a gym and two outdoor swimming pools.

If you’re a foodie like me, you’ll be glad to hear that it has five restaurants serving traditional food as well as international dishes.

🛌🏻 Check out prices and availability here

Another fantastic accommodation option in Sotogrande is booking an apartment. It works out more affordable and is perfect for longer stays.

These are some of the apartments in Sotogrande you might want to have a look at:

Alternatively, if you struggle to find accommodation in Sotograndre, I recommend staying in a nearby town, such as Manilva, which is a 15-minute drive.

Frequently Asked Questions About Sotogrande 

What is Sotogrande like?

Sotogrande is an exclusive town with a stunning marina, fantastic beach clubs, polo matches and golf courses.

Is Sotogrande worth a visit?

Yes, Sotogrande is a town with visiting for a day. 

Is Sotogrande expensive?

Yes, Sotogrande is an expensive destination compared to other towns in Cadiz and the Costa del Sol. 

Is Sotogrande safe?

Yes, Sotogrande is a safe destination.

Conclusion on what to do in Sotogrande, Cadiz

So is Sotogrande worth visiting? My answer is Sotogrande is a good place to visit on a day trip. 

The truth is that you don’t need much time there. It isn’t a place to visit for sightseeing, visiting museums, or visiting attractions.

However, if you’re after the golf courses, polo matches and lavish lifestyle, you’ll definitely want to stick around longer.

I personally would love to go back and spend more time at La Reserva Club. It’s such a cool place!

Do you have any questions about Sotogrande? Leave them in the comments below!

Enjoy your time in Sotogrande!

Cristina x

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