The city of San Roque, whose full name, hardly used, is that of “Very noble and most loyal city of San Roque, where the one of Gibraltar resides”, is a Spanish municipality located in the area of the Strait of Gibraltar, that is, in the Southeast end of the province of Cádiz, in the autonomous community of Andalucía.
The multiple sports facilities and hotels in the area have led to it being considered one of the main luxury residential areas in Andalusia, Spain and even Europe.
It has a registered population of 2,584 inhabitants, although it is estimated that its total number of residents reaches 12,500 in the summer season. Some of the richest and most influential families in Spain and Gibraltar have permanent or holiday homes in Sotogrande.
Today, Sotogrande has 5 important golf courses, among which the Valderrama Golf Course, home of the 1997 Ryder Cup, is considered one of the best courses in Europe. Sotogrande also hosts polo and sailing competitions. Sotogrande is one of the most important polo practice venues in the world, both for the quality of the facilities available and for the level of international competitions developed by the different polo clubs in the area. Among these competitions the International Polo Tournament stands out, organized for more than 40 years by Santa María Polo Club.
Reaching out into the sea, the southernmost point in Europe and the closest point to Africa: Tarifa is one of the coastal towns with the greatest tourist renown, having become an authentic Mecca for windsurfers. Besides its numerous prehistoric remains; such as the naturalistic paintings in the Moro Cave, and the necropolis at Los Algarbes; there are not only Phoenician remains on the Island of Las Palomas but also remains from the Roman period. With the archaeologically important town of Baelo Claudia, considered the most important find in the province. Called Al-Yazirat Tarif (Tarif Island) by the Muslims, this was an important strategic point as frontier zone, stronghold against pirate forays and military site opposite the English occupied Gibraltar. It is possible to see two separate sections of the town walls dating from the 10th-16th centuries: the first section is from the Islamic period and surrounded a smaller area whilst the second surrounds almost the entire historic centre. This is where the Iglesia Mayor of San Mateo, that of San Francisco and Santa María Church are to be found. Its idyllic, extensive beaches beaten by the winds from the east make Tarifa a cult centre for fans of water sports, such as windsurfing, kitesurfing, fly-surfing, Blokart sailing or diving, to name but a few.
Beyond Playa Chica, Los Lances and Valdevaqueros, we come upon Bolonia Beach. A wild, huge dune with areas reserved for nudists. El Cañuelo is a beach with natural surroundings, spectacular vegetation, and crystal-clear water, which can be reached from the Camarinal Lighthouse. Los Alemanes beach stretches from the La Plata Cape to Gracia Cape. Finally, Atlanterra is the continuation of Zahara de los Atunes. The borough extends across four different protected natural areas: the Los Alcornocales Natural Park, El Estrecho Natural Park, the Los Lances Beach Beauty Spot – an area where many birds come together going to and from the crossing at the Strait of Gibraltar – and the Natural Monument of the Bolonia Dune, which is more than 30 metres high and is situated on the Punta Camarinal isthmus, on the southern Atlantic coast of Cadiz.