Sotogrande Beyond the Saddle

Our Travel Consultant, George Kershaw spent the summer working at Polo Valley and gained unique insight into everything that goes into making Polo Valley such a magical place for clients to experience. He also had the opportunity to explore all that’s on offer off the polo field and here he rounds up his top picks.

Andalucia is home to the incredible Polo Valley, where everyone from novices to experts can hone their skills on the polo field and enjoy the wonderful lifestyle that surrounds this addictive sport. Polo Valley goes from strength to strength with many of our clients booking to return before they even leave the farm. While you'd have a wonderful time without ever leaving the grounds - relaxing at the Guesthouse and lounging by the pool, savouring delicious meals cooked by our resident chef, enjoying polo sessions with experienced coaches, and experiencing an Asado on the edge of the polo field - you'd be missing out on all the other delights that this beautiful area has to offer.

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Andalucia is an extraordinary destination with sunny beaches, striking mountains and a seemingly never-ending selection of activities, bars and restaurants.

Spend the day relaxing at the only 'private beach' in Spain at La Reserva Estate, a 20-minute drive from the Polo Valley farm. While it's actually a beautiful turquoise-hued man-made lagoon set in the hills of the estate (the first of its kind to have a full sandy floor) and not a beach in the truest sense of the word, it is heavenly to relax on the elegant loungers under the Chambaos on the beach that surround the lagoon. Opened in July 2018, the Beach Club also features a 17,000 square metre water-sports lagoon that's perfect for kayaking, paddle boarding, and using water bikes. No motorised sports are allowed so that guests can fully enjoy their peaceful surroundings. There is a lovely beachfront restaurant & bar, adults' pool, yoga classes and treatments to enjoy, as well as a championship golf course, tennis and paddle courts on the 600 hectare estate.  

 La Reserva's water-sports lagoon

La Reserva's water-sports lagoon

For golf lovers, there are 7 golf courses in  total to enjoy within the immediate vicinity of Polo Valley, including Valderrama, considered one of the best courses in the world and host to the 1997 Ryder Cup. You’ll find many have outstanding clubhouses and excellent facilities for children to give golf a try, as well as a variety of other child-friendly activities.

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There is an excellent marina in Sotogrande, offering the perfect solution for your mooring, from small crafts up to superyachts, complementing the overall ambience of this exclusive area. Many enthusiasts use the marina for their base before sailing the med, or perhaps a day trip to Gibraltar or Marbella. The marina is a great place to visit and soak up the atmosphere, view the impressive boats and relax at one of the bars or restaurants and is less than 20 minutes' drive away.

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Speaking of restaurants, there are a number of places in the area that are a must to feast on Mediterranean cuisine and seafood drawn straight from the ocean. Ké bar has existed as long as the port and its terrace has a prime location right on the marina overlooking the boats. You must also visit Cancha II, an Argentinean steakhouse overlooking the immaculate Ayala Club Polo Grounds. There is an excellent choice of meats and fish and don’t miss the excellent creamed spinach. Finally, La Quinta in the Port is as stylish and impressive as they come, expertly overseen by owner Sebastian, with a chilled and ambient temperature-controlled “bodegas”, prime Argentinean tapas and even its own coffee roaster.

 La Reserva

La Reserva

For the health-focused, there are some great health food spots, such as Petit Bistro, as well as great gym facilities available at the nearby Alemnara Hotel.

Always a hit for the kids (and many parents too) is exploring the area on segways, bikes, hoverboards and electric scooters with Spot Segway, located in the Sotogrande marina. There's something for all ages and a big focus on safety.  

Immerse yourselves in Spanish culture and visit the historic village of Torreguadiaro, located on the coast just to the east of Sotogrande. It is a quaint little town that has become well known for its charming cafes, welcoming locals, lovely tapas restaurants and beautiful views and is well worth a visit, only 17 minutes drive from Polo Valley.

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The annual Polo Event El Torneo Internacional, held in August at The Santa Maria Polo Club, is an attraction that draws many polo fans, including famous people from all over the world to enjoy the sights, sounds and action. If you're lucky enough to be there at the right time, it is a wonderful experience to watch the professionals compete at one of the world's most prestigious venues and you may get the chance to rub shoulders with some international celebrities if you spend the evening at Chambao Sotogrande Beach Bar or Trocadero Beach Club.

Back at Polo Valley you can enjoy sunset rides through the bubbling stream that flows alongside the farm or go on a hack through the beautiful Andalusian countryside, perhaps stopping for a picnic while taking in the stunning views. Polo Valley is more about enjoying the unique laid back lifestyle rather than exclusively playing polo.

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If you're looking for an excursion further afield from Sotogrande, there are plenty of fantastic options. Take a trip to the glamorous resort of Marbella, visit the Rock of Gibraltar, follow the coastal mountain roads to Tarifa (45 mins) where the Mediterranean meets the Atlantic, attracting windsurfers from all over the world, or even take a ferry to Morocco.

Andalucia is part of the rich Spanish heritage, a place filled with ancient history, on the edge of the world's cradle of civilization, the Mediterranean Sea. And to an increasing number of people, this part of Spain is the hotbed of investment opportunities that contains the seeds of growth in New Europe.

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There are direct flights from London to Gibraltar with British Airways or Easyjet and the transfer to Sotogrande is 20 minutes, while Malaga International Airport is an hour away by car.

To find out more about a trip to Sotogrande to experience Polo Valley and the many other incredible attractions in the area, call 020 8246 5300 or click here.