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Though it shares the Costa del Sol with other renowned luxury spots such as Marbella, Sotogrande is often regarded as a place of singular beauty, style and refinement. To understand this distinction better one need only look at the origins that bestow it with this rare sense of pedigree and understated charm.

Unlike most of the coast, which developed from small fishing communities into resort towns with suburban areas made up of a succession of adjoining urbanisations, Sotogrande was conceived from the outset as a luxurious master-planned resort destination – and it remains so to this day.

The concept of a refined residential resort was first developed by Joseph McMicking and his wife Mercedes Zobel de Ayala y Roxas when they visited and fell in love with this idyllic coast in 1962. Not long afterwards, they bought five farms in the area, expanding their holdings until a large contiguous estate was established. Here they began the construction of a series of tasteful villas that respected the cultural and natural environment.

As these grew in number and the resort matured and attracted discerning visitors from across Europe and beyond, a master plan was developed that continues to form the basis for development in Sotogrande and whose order, space and aesthetic appeal also sets it aside from other beauty spots on the coast. It takes the form of a well-designed infrastructure, spacious suburban roads lined with bicycle tracks, protected green zones that respect the natural environment and enhance the living quality of Sotogrande, and also designated residential areas each with a character and appeal of its own.

The so-called King and Queens area near the beach – so called for its streets named after Spanish royals – is a case in point, enveloping the beautiful greenery of the Real Club de Golf Sotogrande, while the residential area near the Santa María Polo Club, the properties near the beach and racquet clubs, and those facing the protected Guadiaro River estuary are all fine examples too. The iconic marina, whose pastel-toned luxury apartments give it a uniquely Mediterranean feel, adds another element to the mix, as well as being the social, shopping and dining hub of the community, while further inland luxury residential areas such as La Reserva, La Almenara and Valderrama followed the undulating contours of golf courses to produce luxurious country clubs setting in leafy surroundings.

Here too you will find a fine horse riding centre and nature trails radiating in all directions, for Sotogrande remains a very low-density living environment where true exclusivity, understated refinement and quality of life go hand in hand. Contact Winkworth for more information about the finest properties for sale in Sotogrande.