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Hi,

We're considering relocating to Sotogrande and putting our kids in the international school there. I'd love to know what it's like to live there year-round:
1. Is the heat unbearable in the summer?
2. Are there interesting things to do beyond polo and golf, neither being occupations we fancy?
3. How's the social network... are people open to newcomers, open to families with different backgrounds?
4. Is it easy to make friends? (for kids and parents)
5. Is it easy and quick to get into Malaga for more cultural activities?
6. As I work from home, super-high-speed internet is essential for me. Is that available in Sotogrande?
7. Does anyone have any experience with the SIS? It seems like a great place to send our children but I'd love some personal experience.

Any and all insight would be most welcome.

Many thanks!
 

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I don't live there but I've visited a few times (I had a bank account there when I first moved to Spain). It didn't strike me as a place where I could live all year round. More a golf/polo resort for the wealthy, and pretty dead out of season.

Why not live in Málaga city, which has everything you could possibly want?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Why not live in Málaga city, which has everything you could possibly want?
Because the school that's likely best suited for our kids is in Sotogrande and I don't want to spend my life commuting to school like I do now...
 

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The school was certainly very good - OH and worked there some time ago and we have many friends who had children there in the past. I've no reason to think it's not still good. It was particularly strong then in the performing arts - we taught music.

Sotogrande itself is not where I would choose to live - it's all golf, yachting, polo and rich people with not an awful lot else and probably pretty dead in winter but close by there are great places. Estepona just up the road is lovely for instance and has much more going on. The school runs buses up and down the coast.

Malaga city is about 1 1/2 hours and Gibraltar 20 minutes the other way by car with little usable public transport.

Like anywhere in Southern Spain it can be very hot in summer but it's on the coast so that moderates the temperature.
 

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You should look at San Luis de Sabinillas/La Duquesa, has a mixture of local and expat communities, its half way between Estepona and Sotogrande
 

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Re internet, high-speed fibre-optic cable is now widely available on the CDS (in urban areas at least), so that shouldn't be a problem. I even have 50 Mbps up here in my hilltop village, 30 miles from the nearest city. If in doubt just gogle "fibra optica" plus the name of the place you're looking at.
 

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I live in Sotogrande with my wife and 4 kids. We came back here after 10 years in Denmark simply because we missed it so much. Lots of expats and wealthy people who are down to earth and not ostentatious. We are not wealthy. We are normal - I work in real Estate and my wife has a small takeaway. My kids go to local school but all the kids in the activities/clubs come from SIS. Nice kids. Everyone here is here because they like a life outdoors and doing things. We get our cheap dinners from a small town next door called Pueblo Nuevo de Guadiaro. Instead of east to Malaga we go to the beaches of tarifa. Every weekend we do things for cheap. Thanks!
 

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I live in Sotogrande and have a couple of kids that go to SIS.

1. Yes it can get a bit hot in summer, but stay out of the sun and its comfortable in the shade
2. Depends what you have in mind re: things to do. Cinema is not far away in Los Barrios (has 1 or 2 English language films on at any one time), and there are likely enough restaurants around that you can find what you like. Kids activities are a little limited - if its football then here is as good a place as any in Spain (beware FIFA article 19), but if its things like boxing or gymnastics, then its limited (SIS has some boxercise type classes and my kid loves the boxing aspect, but we have to go to Malaga for him to step it up). Another wants to do gymnastics, but can't really do that here. For adults, you have the paddle, tennis and things like that.
3/4. I would say as easy as anywhere to socialise, network, make friends (kids/adults). Its not a place they can just run out the door and all meet in the park though as its so spread out - have to drive them around to friends houses.
5. Its a bit of a hike to Malaga, but not so far that it can't be a good day-trip. Gibraltar feels a lot closer, so that's where we usually go.
6. Yes have fast internet. Fast is relative of course, but if I wanted to download a 5GB movie for example (not that I ever would of course) then it takes about 20mins or less. Speed has increased a lot over the last 5 years, and there are faster options too, but its currently as fast as I'll ever need

SIS
- the kids are happy there and its a good environment
- its an IB school, which imo is preferable to GCSEs, and academically they score an average of 34. For comparison, that would put them in the top 30 IB schools in the UK. However, many of the top IB schools in the UK are academically selective, where as SIS is not (ie the intake requirements in some of the top IB-scoring schools ensures their scores stay high). Last year a student scored the highest possible of 45 (rare), with a handful more scoring high enough to meet Oxbridge medical school requirements (38-42) if the kids wanted to aim that high, so the school can accomodate high fliers and all other levels.
- my kids are 11 and 13, and it feels like they ever get homework though. I'm sure it ramps up when they get older, but it feels like they don't do much (so not a high-pressure environment).

Hope that helps.
 

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How's Sotogrande

Hello
Was curios if you ended up moving to Sotogrande? We are moving there in November and would love any tips you can impart.
Thanks!
 

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Hi,

We're considering relocating to Sotogrande and putting our kids in the international school there. I'd love to know what it's like to live there year-round:
1. Is the heat unbearable in the summer?
2. Are there interesting things to do beyond polo and golf, neither being occupations we fancy?
3. How's the social network... are people open to newcomers, open to families with different backgrounds?
4. Is it easy to make friends? (for kids and parents)
5. Is it easy and quick to get into Malaga for more cultural activities?
6. As I work from home, super-high-speed internet is essential for me. Is that available in Sotogrande?
7. Does anyone have any experience with the SIS? It seems like a great place to send our children but I'd love some personal experience.

Any and all insight would be most welcome.

Many thanks!
Did you move there? We're in Uk and considering a move to Sotogrande or Marbella once this pandemic is over, and need a secondary school.
 

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Presumably everyone wishing to move permanently to anywhere in the EU after next month is aware of post-Brexit restrictions.

I have no fixed views about anywhere in Spain or the world for that matter as it ultimately comes down to personal taste and, as we know, sobre los gustos no hay disputos.
Having enough money to live the lifestyle you prefer helps too.

I'm with Alca on Sotogrande, not my preferred place of residence. Too 'Happy Valley' for me. Neither would I choose to live in Sabinillas/Duquesa. I'm not sure of the balance between Spanish and foreign residents but it's not what I'd consider a typical Spanish small town. Plenty of bars and a good immigrant community though.
If I had to move from where I am now (campo just outside Estepona) I'd go for Malaga City.
But I think that you make you own life wherever you settle and how you do so isn't entirely dependent on location. I hated living in Spain for quite a few months but I was happy in my home life, made friends and one day realised this part of Spain was my home.

P.S. Can somebody start a Tasca topic other than Covid? I'm amazed that so much can be said about it.
Like Brexit. Getting boring.:confused:
 
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