Just 10 kilometres south of Sotogrande is the coastal resort of Alcaidesa. The resort was developed in the 1990s by Alcaidesa Inmobiliaria SA as a joint venture between the British building company, Costain PLC and Banesto Bank. The architectural plans specified that the houses had to look like traditional ‘pueblo’ dwellings and there had to be a careful balance between apartments, villas and townhouses to retain the appearance of a town.
Unfortunately Alcaidesa lacks the infrastructure associated with towns. Towards the south end of the resort, there is a small square with a café, a pharmacy, the inevitable estate agents and a general store, and that is it. Since the urbanisations sprawl out up the valleys of three arroyos, each separated from the other by a ridge, it can be quite a trudge for the bread of a morning from the northern extremities.
Having said that, Alcaidesa does have one of the best beaches on the coast, and one of the best beach restaurants, Restaurante La Vista. The beach itself has no facilities; they can be found at the north end of the beach at the end of an access road near the lighthouse. Often awarded a Blue Flag, the beach has fantastic views across to Gibraltar and Morocco.
With equally spectacular views are the two golf courses, Alcaidesa Links and Alcaidesa Heathland, the latter only opened in 2007.
Alcaidesa Links is one of the Costa’s most popular courses for beginners. The fairways are lined with gorse and heather and the ‘Highland’ feel is enhanced by the windswept heights and water features.
Alcaidesa Heathland is a total contrast, still with wide, open fairways, it is reasonably flat, apart from the 11th that is laid on different levels.
The clubhouse that serves both courses has a good restaurant and, in the entrance circle, facing the doors, an infinity pool that takes full advantage of the seascape behind.