San Martin de Tesorillo - Without doubt the huge expanse of orange groves and the immaculate polo fields are well worth seeing. The months of December and January are good time to visit this village, as this is when the orange harvest takes place. You can buy kilos of huge, freshly-harvested table oranges for just a few Euros.
Polo - Santa Maria Polo Club now has ten polo grounds spread over three sites and it is the home of many tournaments including the Copa de Oro which runs in August. Playing Polo is open to everyone, there are horses to hire, a Polo school and special grounds for stick and ball.
Horse Riding - Sotogrande Equestrian Centre is one of the most well-known horse riding schools in Spain, and The San Roque Club in the town of San Roque also has superb facilities for the keen rider, offering countryside riding treks in the local natural park of Tesorillo, San Enrique and Jimena.
Golf - Known locally as the Golden Triangle Valderrama, Sotogrande Old Course and San Roque are 3 of the best golf courses in Europe. The scenic Almenara with 3 x 9 hole courses, La Canada and the wonderful links course at Alcaidesa are all close by, or head up the coast towards Jerez to Montecastillo (Golf World rated 71).
The Beach - Unlike many beaches along the Costa del Sol, the beaches near this wonderful resort are quiet and sheltered. There are more than 20km’s of coastline in Sotogrande, just 20mins from the Hotel Monasterio, with numerous beaches to choose from. From many of them you will be able to see Gibraltar and on clear days even the coast of Africa. Two outstanding beach clubs are available in Sotogrande, the El Octogono Beach Club and El Cucurucho Beach Club.
Aqualand, Torremolinos. Located just 100 km (1 hour drive) from the Hotel Monasterio, Aqualand Torremolinos is the largest and probably the most popular water-park on the coast.
The Galaxia play centre is well worth a visit to keep the kids entertained. With a huge indoor soft play centre, secure outdoor playground, dance studio, cafe and a toy shop. Parents can chill out and relax on the sofas placed outside while watching their kids playing, making friends and having fun. Galaxia only charges €4 for children under 4 years of age and €8 for kids of the age group 3-12; toddlers under one year have free entry. On the day of entry, kids get unlimited play.
Selwo Safari Park situated between San Pedro de Alcantara and Estepona, the African styled safari park has over 2,000 animals living in semi-wild conditions. The park offers walking tours, guided vehicle safaris and daily shows.
Alcornocales natural park is a large park of over 400,000 acres extending from Tarifa in the south to the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park in the north. Containing vast cork forests, the park has 12 hiking trails, panoramic views, many birds of prey and a small zoo, 'Castellar', located in the centre of the park approximately 10 minutes drive from Sotogrande.
Marbella is approximately an hour drive from the Hotel Monasterio. It’s a luxurious resort town and a favourite spot for the rich and famous. Attractions include the Plaza de Los Naranjos (Orange Square) with small shops, art galleries, bars and bistos, the picturesque narrow cobbled streets around the old town, an ampitheatre used for concerts and plays in the summer, beautiful parks, leisure and sports facilities, promenade, 26km of beach, great nightlife with numerous bars and clubs.
Gibraltar known as the gateway to Mediterranean is just 40 minutes drive from the Hotel Monasterio. You should not miss a visit to the Rock of Gibraltar where the Barbary Apes live. The Straits of Gibraltar and surrounding area have proved to be an excellent place to go to see dolphins and occasionally, pilot whales, (footage was shown on The Blue Planet that was filmed here). Gibraltar is home to around 15 different species of bird including its own unique species the Barbary Partridge. Also well worth a visit are The Moorish Castle, The Cathedral, St. Michael's Cave, The Botanical Gardens, Stakis Casino and Gibraltar Museum.
Don't forget to take your passport!
Tarifa known for its strong winds is located on the Atlantic coast approximately 1 hour drive from the Hotel Monasterio. With its 10km of dramatic wild white sandy beaches and sand dunes, Tarifa offers some of the best windsurfing and kite surfing in Europe and is host to the world windsurfing championships. Other sports facilities include horse riding, hang gliding, rock climbing, diving and water-sports schools. The area is also an excellent place for watching migrating birds especially storks. Dolphin and whale watching trips out of Tarifa often see various species of whale including Orca.
Ronda - The Ascari Race Track, located in the majestic medieval town of Ronda, is the longest (5,425 m) private, luxury race resort in Spain. Located in the unparalleled natural beauty of Spanish mountain town Ronda, in the Malaga province of southern Spain, Ascari motor racing track is first of its kind in the southern Spain. Cars available for use at the Ascari track include: a Le Mans Race Car (LMP 900 two seater), Radical SR3's, Reynard Chrysler single seaters, Lotus Elise race cars, a BMW 3 Compact, and off-road buggies. You can also use the track to test your own wheels on. There are various experiences on offer from half day sessions to the annual track pass. They even have an Ascari club which gives you unique access to F1 cars!
Morocco Take a fast boat to cross the Strait of Gibraltar to Tangier.
- From Tarifa - 35 minutes crossing by fast catamaran
- From Algeciras - 1 hour crossing by fast catamaran or 2 hours by car ferry
- From Malaga - 35 minutes flight