For someone coming on holiday and renting a car at Malaga airport, this guide will take you on a scenic drive from Marbella to Sotogrande. The Costa del Sol is a popular tourist destination in southern Spain, known for its beautiful beaches, warm climate and vibrant nightlife. Marbella and Sotogrande are two of the most popular destinations in the region, attracting visitors from all over the world.
Marbella, a glamorous resort town, boasts luxury hotels, designer boutiques and high-end restaurants. Celebrities and the wealthy frequent this popular destination, but it also offers plenty for those on a budget. Narrow streets and whitewashed buildings form a charming maze in Marbella’s old town, while cafes and restaurants line the beachfront promenade.
Sotogrande, on the other hand, is an exclusive residential development known for its golf courses and polo fields. It’s a quieter destination than Marbella, with a more laid-back atmosphere. The marina at Sotogrande is a popular spot for dining and people-watching, while the nearby beaches are perfect for swimming and sunbathing.
This guide will take you on a scenic drive from Marbella to Sotogrande, passing through picturesque villages and stunning countryside along the way. Whether you’re interested in history, culture or nature, there’s something for everyone on this route.
Take the road to Casares and turn right onto the A-377, signposted for Gaucín. Be sure to drive carefully along the narrow 16 km (10 mile) road which, although easily navigable, can be treacherous. Falcons fly above the beautiful land as the road meanders down the Río Genal and then up the other side to Gaucín, which sits high above the valley. The journey from Casares to Gaucín should take you no more than half an hour by car. You will take the North exit of Casares and come across a highway that follows the contour of Sierra Crestellina: A-7150. Take it for just over 2km, after which you will eventually reach A-377, which you should take North.
Park wherever you can find a space in the village. One of the main sights is the 13th-century Moorish Castillo de Aguile (Open daily 11am-1pm, 4-6pm). In 1848 the powder magazine blew up and destroyed much of the monument. Defender of Tarifa, Gúzman el Bueno, died here fighting the Moors in 1309.
The Fonda National (952-151-092, Calle Juan de Dios 8) has been serving customers since the 1860s and it retains its ‘old-world’ feel, although now it functions only as a restaurant. Once named the Hotel Inglés, it was frequented by members of Gibraltar’s garrison who needed an overnight stopover on the way to and from Ronda.
The Road to Algeciras
Leave Gaucín on the A-369 signposted for Algeciras and 2 km (1¼ mi) on look back to catch a wonderful view of the village. The A-369 is an Andalusian road located in the province of Malaga. It is the communication route between Ronda and Campo de Gibraltar. Its route is parallel to the Bobadilla-Algeciras railway. The road drops through gorse and grass-covered hills past picturesque cortijos (farm estates), near which horses and cattle shelter. After 13 km (8 mi) the road enters Cadiz province and crosses the Río Guadiaro. This is bull-raising country: about 3 km (1¾ mi) after the hamlet of San Pablo you see a bull ranch on the left.
Jimena de la Frontera
The white profile of Jimena de la Frontera is outlined against a hill topped by a ruined castle. Jimena de la Frontera is a municipality in the province of Cádiz, in the autonomous community of Andalusia. It is located in the Campo de Gibraltar region, 157 km from the provincial capital, Cádiz. The municipality has three population centers: Jimena de la Frontera, Estación de Jimena de la Frontera and San Pablo de Buceite. Its municipal area, located between the Bay of Algeciras and the Serranía de Ronda, is included in the Los Alcornocales Natural Park. Quite a few foreigners in search of the ‘real Spain’ have settled around the village, in the process affecting the ‘authenticity’ of what they were seeking originally.
The Road to Nuevo Castellar
Continue south on the A-369 past meadows where cattle graze and through avenues of eucalyptus trees until, 14 km (8¾ mi) from Jimena, there’s a tiny road to the right leading to Castellar de la Frontera. The villagers abandoned this isolated place when Nuevo Castellar was built on the main road. The remains of a frontier castle that once proved pivotal in the struggle between Christians and Arabs broods over newcomers’ hideaway and waters of Embalse de Guadarranque reservoir. A narrow but very scenic road weaves southward to A-369.
Turn left and head into Nuevo Castellar, from where you can pick up a back street to Puerto de Sotogrande. The marina’s ‘modern Mediterranean’ style is quite different from other ports on Costa. Sotogrande port is the most exclusive nautical sports tourism enclave in southern Europe. It has a total of 1,382 moorings at the meeting point of oceans, countries and continents, a crossroads of cultures. Here you may want to have a drink and watch sun go down over Gibraltar. It’s an easy run of 50 km (31 miles) back to Marbella.
This scenic drive from Marbella to Sotogrande offers plenty of sights and attractions along way for tourists visiting area. From picturesque villages like Gaucín and Jimena de la Frontera to stunning views of countryside, there’s something for everyone on this route. As you can see, driving your own vehicle will provide with beautiful experiences.
Finally, if you are considering renting a car you can book now in advance above this article. Reserve your favourite model and avoid a possible change in price.