What to visit near Sotogrande
Charming places near Sotogrande
Do you fancy taking a spin on a motorcycle tour?
We suggest a tour with which you will be able to discover the nearabouts of Sotogrande, including a magnificent beach, historic ruins, gorgeous views... in other words: a treat for all your senses. All of these appealing places, along with the good conditions of the road and its soft curves have made of this route one of the riders' favourite tours in this area.
Our ride begins in Sotogrande's marina and it ends in San Roque, which makes for a total of 40 km (around 25 miles). We recommend making the first stop in Torreguadiaro Beach. We'll continue to Guadiario, Castellar de la Frontera and then San Roque, which are the most interesting spots in our route. Here you can find more information about each stop.
1st stop: Torreguadiaro Beach
Torreguadiaro is one of the neighborhoods of San Roque. This beach on the mediterranean coast is located just beside Sotogrande's marina in a local fishing spot, which gives the whole place a charming atmosphere. This beach is very appreciated for its calmness and relatively low occupation. It is very clean too with abundant sea life just under the surface; making it a perfect spot for scuba diving. The ground is made of dark sand and small stones. It is a comfortable beach that offers amenities such as toilets and showers.
We have to highlight that this beach (1.300 metres long) is divided into two areas: one of them, the nearest one to the city, is where all of the services are concentrated and where you can find restaurants and quality beach bars; the other part of the beach is a wetland with vegetation known as "La Laguna de Torreguadiaro", which has a bird observatory.
There is plenty of parking space nearby.
Besides, in Torreguadiaro we can find two watch towers from the 16th century from which Torreguadiaro takes its name - "torre" means tower in Spanish. They are in different states of preservation, whilst Torre Nueva "New Tower" is well preserved, Torre Vieja "Old Tower" from the 15th century, is in ruins.For more information visit the Torreguadiaro beach website.
2nd stop: Guadiaro
Located 6 km (3.7 miles) away from Torreguadiaro we find Guadiaro (another neighbourhood of San Roque). Here we'll visit the archaeological site of the Roman town of Barbésula. Given the objects found there and mentions in ancient literature (Pliny the Elder, Pomponio Mela, Ravenna Cosmography) we can infer that Barbésula was an important city dedicated to agriculture and fish products commerce, which is logical, given the proximity to both the sea and the Guadiaro river.
In the archaeological site an old temple dedicated to Diana stands out.
3rd stop: Castellar de la Frontera
Strictly speaking Castellar de la Frontera is divided in three urban areas: Castellar Viejo, Castellar Nuevo and La Almoraima. We are going to stop in Castellar Viejo, which is located inside the walls of castle. Once inside the fortress we'll visit the village, the castle and the Divino Salvador church.
Its name means Castellar "the old". It's located inside the walls and it's one of the rare examples of a habitated fortress. We can get there directly from the castle's parade ground. The village conservs its original arab layout, with narrow and curvy streets, and white houses full of flowers.
Castellar has a good reputation with food, particularly for game meat (especially deer) marinated in wine and herbs.
For more information about Castellar Viejo you can visit [Tourist Information of Castellar Viejo]((https://www.castellardelafrontera.es/es/turismo/castellar-viejo).
Located inside the walls, built in the 13th century, the castle was an arab fortress during the Nasrid dynasty. After the Reconquest, it became home to the Counts of Castellar. The castle is very well preserved, with it's entrance towers being a feature that makes it really stand out.
The castle had an obvious military function given the fact that it's located on the top of a mountain, and was a strategic point from whiche they defended the realm (the kingdom of Algeciras, one of the many arab "Taifas" of the era) against a possible invasion.
Since the location of the castle is quite elevated it provides astonishing views: on a cloudless day you can see Campo de Gibraltar and Morocco.For more information about the castle you can visit the website of Castellar Castle.
Divino Salvador Church
It is also located inside the walls of the fortress and it's linked to the castle (Alcázar) through a passage known as the "algorfa", built so the Counts of Castellar could attend mass without leaving the house.
It was built in the 17th century on the site of a an arabic era mosque. Built in the Baroque style, nowadays it offers a clean and modern image.
4th stop: San Roque
This is the last stop of our route. It is a small city located in the "comarca" of Campo de Gibraltar. The neighbourhood of Sotogrande depends on the city of San Roque. The history of this city is very related with Gibraltar, this is because when England invaded Gibraltar it expelled the people living there. This people installed themselves in San Roque. You can still see this relation in the titles and flags of both cities; they are the same apart from the Spanish crown in San Roque's flag.
San Roque offers lots of things to visit: beautiful landscape, beaches, monuments... we'll visit Juan Luis Galiardo theatre, the Palacio de los Gobernadores and the bullfighting museum.
Juan Luis Galiardo Theatre
Opened in 1995, it was named after the well-known actor Juan Luis Galiardo, who was from San Roque. Inside the theatre we can find objects that he left to the city in his will, including a Goya Award that Juan Luis received in 2001 for his role in "Adiós con el corazón".
Palacio de los Gobernadores
It is located in the church square, fomerly known as "vegetable square" because the market was installed there. The palace was built in the 18th century, and it was the headquarters of the "Comandancia Militar" of Gibraltar until the 19th century, when they were moved it to Algeciras. This military building had an important role during Gibraltar's siege.
Nowadays the palace houses two art galleries: the Archeological Museum, which displays objects got from the archaeological site of "Carteia", and the "Ortega Brú" museum, which shows more than 160 pieces by the local sculptor Luis Ortega Brú. His work comprises a widely diverse style, from the Baroque style to abstract style and expressionism.
It is located in the bullring (one the oldest ones in Spain). It is very easy to park beside the building (you only have to climb a little staircase to get to the bullring once you've parked). Opened in 2002, it focuses in the bull world, from its presence in ancient cultures (Phoenicians) to theses days, and the bullring.
It also pays tribute to Ballón, the African, the first bullfighter to do a "pase de muleta" (with cloack and sword).
All types of objets are in display: bullfihting costumes, saddles, old papers, photographs, etc.
Recommended bike for this route
For riding this route we recommend our Yamaha Cygnus 125cc.