Enjoy San Roque
Where the Sun resides
San Roque has an extraordinary coastline, belonging to the famous Costa del Sol. In a unique setting where the Mediterranean and the Atlantic converge, its beaches invite you to let yourself be carried away under the sun, enjoying the sea and its pleasures.
With a total of eight different beaches and more than fifteen kilometres of coastline, the clean sands and their well-kept infrastructures turn these corners into authentic paradises to be discovered, which has earned some of them the prestigious Blue Flag distinction.
This is an unspoilt beach with dark sand and calm waters, ideal for a quiet day of relaxation. As a curiosity, several feature films and television commercials have been shot here.
Sotogrande (Guadalquitón and Borondo)
With more than five kilometres of dark sand and close to the Natural Park of Guadalquitón and Borondo, archaeological remains from Roman times have been discovered on this beach, as well as bunkers from the Second World War.
This is an urban beach in the centre of the town. With calm waters, it is very popular in the area.
It is located in the neighbourhood of the same name, presided over by the two watchtowers from the 16th century. It is close to the Sotogrande marina and the “La Laguna” promenade, and has a wide range of restaurants.
It is a practically virgin beach, with the dark sand characteristic of the area, of spectacular beauty. From here you have impressive views of Gibraltar and the Strait of Gibraltar, with the lighthouse as a sign of identity.
At the foot of the Archaeological Site of Carteia, this is a semi-urban beach with natural golden sand dunes. Its tranquillity makes it one of the San Roqueños’ favourites.
Puerto de Sotogrande
Located within the port itself, it is considered an urban beach, and has all kinds of bars and restaurants within easy reach. Its moderate waves and tranquillity make it very popular.
Located in the neighbourhood of the same name, it is easily accessible and has ample services and infrastructures.
Where The Beach resides
If you have already visited our beaches and are looking for something different, The Beach is definitely the place for you. Located in the country club of La Reserva Club Sotogrande, its facilities invite us to let ourselves be carried away by relaxation and fun. Not only does it have the first private beach in Spain, but it is also one of the most exclusive, ready to satisfy those who are looking for extra originality and spectacularity.
At The Beach everything is designed for the enjoyment of the whole family. It has an artificial lagoon with crystal-clear waters and a white sandy bottom to transport you to the place of your dreams. Surrounded by hammocks where you can relax with a cold drink and restaurants where you can enjoy the best gastronomy of the area, there are different activities to enjoy an unforgettable day.
Where Nature resides
For those who want to explore nature San Roque is everything you have ever imagined. Its wide extension means that there is room for everything, sea and mountain, forest and geological formations to get lost in the different green paths waiting for the visitor to discover them. Active tourism or reconnection with the environment, you choose how you want to enjoy our natural treasures.
In a unique setting stands the Pinar del Rey pine forest, which forms part of the Alcornocales Natural Park. With no less than 338 hectares, this natural oasis is the true green lung of San Roque and offers a multitude of options with which to enjoy its corners throughout the year. With a recreational area where the locals usually spend their days off, it has different facilities for a quiet day out in the countryside, just a stone’s throw from the hustle and bustle of the city.
For those looking for a little more action, the park has four trails of varying difficulty such as the Arroyo de Alhaja, Tajo del Pajarraco, Cerro del Águila and Pinar del Rey routes. There are also other options to enjoy this paradise such as horse riding, cycling routes, mycological days… Nature has never been so close at hand.
Within the park there is an information point, the Aula de Naturaleza, where educational activities are organised throughout the year and which has been awarded the Blue Centre distinction on numerous occasions, which means that El Pinar is always a new place to explore.
The estuary of the Guadiaro River in San Roque is one of the key places for bird watching. Once again, the extraordinary location of our town gives us the unique opportunity to witness the migratory movements of thousands of birds, making it a place of pilgrimage for many enthusiasts.
Finca La Alcaidesa is one of those magical places where tradition meets the magic of nature. With an extension of approximately 1500 hectares and bordering the north-eastern part of the Pinar del Rey pine forest, it has an 18th century farmhouse inside, and is largely covered by pine, cork oak and wild olive trees. Here you can find a large number of animal species such as deer, mouflon and wild boar, as well as a wide variety of birds, reptiles and amphibians.
In addition, in Sierra Carbonera, halfway between our town and La Línea de la Concepción, we find a large concentration of World War II bunkers of great singularity that belong to the so-called Línea Jevenois; and in Sierra del Arca, a geological formation that contained prehistoric settlements, we can see cave paintings in Cueva Horadada.
For those who want to combine the enjoyment of nature with more active tourism, they cannot forget the different cycle paths that exist in San Roque and that allow you to get to know the municipality in a different way. Sotogrande or the coast, the Pinar del Rey or to other nearby villages, with these trails you can enjoy nature while getting to know our surroundings better. It is worth mentioning the path that links the neighbourhood of La Estación with Guadarranque, which allows you to enjoy the special charm of the river bank and which is part of EuroVelo, the European network of long-distance cycling routes that cross the continent.
Where Tradition resides
In our town tradition and fun come together when it comes to fiestas. From the more traditional ones such as Easter or Christmas, to the more popular ones such as the Fair or Carnival, in San Roque we always think of joining in the festivities.
Holy Week in San Roque is undoubtedly one of the most important and historical of the Campo de Gibraltar, not in vain is declared of National Tourist Interest in Andalusia. With a great brotherhood tradition and images of great antiquity, some of them brought from Gibraltar and dating back to before the foundation of the city in 1704, our Holy Week is one of the most special moments of our calendar and a must for all those who want to enjoy the authentic tradition. With nine Brotherhoods and Guilds, San Roque has such historic carvings as Nuestra Señora de la Merced, the Cristo de la Vera Cruz en el Calvario, the Nazareno and Nuestra Señora de la Soledad. Of special importance for the people of San Roque is the Christ of the Good Death, as it was carved by the San Roque native Luis Ortega Brú, using a cypress tree from the San Miguel municipal cemetery and taking several of the town’s neighbours as models. It couldn’t be more San Roqueño.
The charm of the typical streets of San Roque is combined here with religious and cultural fervour, making it a very special moment for all those who are lucky enough to experience it. Throughout the week various images make their stations of penitence from the different temples of the city to gather in the Parish Church of Santa María la Coronada, from where they depart on Good Friday for the so-called Magna Procession of the Holy Burial in which up to fourteen processions can be seen in the Malaga style, preceded by the impressive squadron of Roman soldiers on horseback. The feeling and passion of the moment move San Roqueños and visitors alike, who are deeply impressed.
Christmas is always a special time but in San Roque we can say that we live it with great enthusiasm. The Living Nativity Scene, located in the Plaza de Armas and which carefully recreates the time of the birth of Christ, is one of the most emblematic in the region and attracts many visitors who get into the festive spirit while browsing the craft stalls or the food and drink stalls where they can recharge their batteries. On the other hand, the traditional Three Wise Men’s parade brings the illusion to children and not-so-children on this magical night.
In addition, throughout the year different pilgrimages are held with processions from different parts of the municipality. Of special importance is the one dedicated to the Saint San Roque, who gives his name to our town, and which is held on the last weekend of April, attracting a large number of pilgrims who accompany the figure of the saint from the hermitage to the Pinar del Rey, on a day of celebration, devotion and festivity. Horse competitions, rocieras masses, music and dance make this weekend one of the great opportunities to get to know all the flavour of Andalusia.
No less devotion is aroused by the Virgen del Carmen, who is carried in procession in the seafaring neighbourhoods of Torreguadiaro, Puente Mayorga and Guadarranque, through whose waters the image is carried that day, accompanied by music and entertainment. Once again, the picturesque touch combined with religious fervour make this a festivity not to be missed.
Where the Fiesta resides
However, if we are looking for real joy we cannot miss our Royal Fair, which is held in August. Dedicated to Santa María Coronada, the historic centre of the city is decorated to celebrate a few days in honour of our patron saint, in which there is no shortage of music, dancing and fun. In our traditional “casetas” you can experience the true festive spirit and there are always attractions for the little ones to enjoy themselves, making it one of the unmissable events of the summer in Campo de Gibraltar. The festivities end with the Toro del Aguardiente, the release of a bull through the streets of the town until it is taken to the Plaza. In addition, all the neighbourhoods have their own fairs throughout the summer, so it is easy to find the time to enjoy one of them.
The Night of San Juan also has its place in San Roque, especially in the more seafaring neighbourhoods such as Torreguadiaro, Puente Mayorga, Guadarranque and Taraguilla, where the popular bonfires bring good luck to all who come along.
In addition, in the area of San Enrique and the Guadiaro Valley it is traditional to celebrate the festivity of the Virgen de Fátima with a pilgrimage, in which the virgin is honoured by accompanying her in procession from her parish church to an area near the river, where the party goes on for hours.
We cannot forget to celebrate Carnival, as the good people of Cádiz that we are. With great popular roots, it is easy to find during these days different activities in many parts of the town. Costumes, music and, above all, lots of fun, make these days the perfect occasion to live the party intensely in the streets of the city. Particularly noteworthy is the great parade, full of light and colour, and the group competition in which the ingenuity and grace of the participants stand out.
Where the Taste resides
At San Roque we take enjoyment very seriously and it is clear to us that there are few things comparable to the pleasure of a good table… and after a meal! If you like to savour good food, you’ve certainly come to the right place, as there are few places where you can enjoy such a wide and varied range of dishes.
Our special location makes us the ideal place to taste wonderful dishes created with raw materials from the sea, with a unique range of fish and seafood, and game meat from the nearby mountains, which will delight the most demanding palates. With a rich gastronomic tradition, San Roque offers different tapas bars where you can savour the most typical dishes of the south.
And, once again, thanks to San Roque’s own uniqueness, its different neighbourhoods offer a true gastronomic journey around the world, with restaurants offering dishes from all corners of the world. From the Argentinean steakhouses, traditionally linked to the world of polo, to the exquisite sushi, passing through refined Italian restaurants or exotic dishes such as those from India or Thailand.
And after an excellent meal, it’s time to relax and there’s nowhere better than in our numerous cafés and bars, where you can savour some of our typical sweets or sophisticated cocktails. In addition to the wide variety of restaurants and bars, there are also beach bars where you can spend the day and night during the summer, while in the cooler months you can enjoy other nightlife venues with live music and pleasant terraces. There is something for everyone in San Roque.
Where the Culture resides
In San Roque we know how to have fun and how to make our visitors feel at home and join the party. It is not in vain that the city is the Cultural Capital of Campo de Gibraltar, with a leisure offer difficult to match, for all audiences and ages, all year round.
Throughout the different months, citizens and visitors can enjoy not only the festivities of each seasonal season but also a wide variety of activities to enjoy their free time.
The Juan Luis Galiardo Theatre offers a continuous programme of concerts, plays and different shows for all tastes and ages, so you will always find entertainment. The San Roque International Short Film Festival (FICSAN), the Puppet Festival (SAN ROTÍN), the Music Festival (SAN ROQUE SUENA), the Dance Festival, the Jazz Festival and, of course, the Flamenco Biennial “Canela de San Roque”, whose art forms part of the cultural identity of our town. The little ones can also enjoy themselves in the parks specially designed for them or explore the city with the online game Marco Topo and the children’s guide, with fun to suit them.
In the summer months, San Roque is the historical venue for the Summer Courses of the University of Cadiz, hosting courses and conferences on different subjects, from archaeology to contemporary history, literature, sociology, politics or historical memory, and attracting a large number of students of all ages, who see a unique opportunity to broaden their culture while enjoying the city and its surroundings. In addition, the City Council offers citizens different workshops in its Popular University, where they have the opportunity to learn different skills adapted to all ages and requirements, with the best teachers.
Where Our People Live
The peculiarity of San Roque means that, in addition to its historic quarter, it has neighbourhoods more or less distant from the centre, each with its own special charm. They were born over the years and in all of them you will find memorable corners:
The Estación de San Roque takes its name precisely from the station on the railway line. Although its first section, as far as Jimena, was inaugurated in 1890, the town as such was not born until 1909. Today it is well known for its large number of restaurants of the highest quality.
The hacienda of Taraguilla, the origin of today’s neighbourhood, was included in the famous meadow of Fontetar and very close to the Phoenician settlement of Cerro del Prado.
The current use has a lot to do with the floods that occurred in the neighbourhood of La Estación, which led many families to settle here in the 60s.
Although the current urbanisation of Miraflores dates back to the 1980s, different estates have been known since before the 18th century. In 1916 the Venta Miraflores was founded, which was frequented by Italian and German spies during the Second World War.
Guadarranque, so called because it is located at the mouth of the river. With the Roman settlement of Carteia nearby, it has been inhabited to a greater or lesser extent since ancient times. Its beach enjoys great popularity, due to its historic setting and tranquillity.
In San Enrique there was already an important farmhouse in the 17th century. The current neighbourhood was born under the protection of the Larios family, who created here the Industrial and Agricultural Society of Guadiaro in 1887. Today, polo is one of its most representative activities.
Torreguadiaro started out as a fishing village, although it is now one of the municipality’s most important restaurant and recreation areas. The 15th century tower is one of the icons of San Roque and its beaches one of the most popular.