Welcome to Spain.
In this blog post, we’ll tell you EVERYTHING you need to know about Setenil de las Bodegas, including the history, top things to do, accommodations, food, and much more!
EVEN BETTER: We’ll provide you with insider tips and tricks AND with Instagrammable locations on the beaches!
Would you like to know what to expect from Setenil de las Bodegas? Check out the video below!
Setenil de las Bodegas is a unique town located in the province of Cádiz, Andalusia, Spain.
This pueblo, renowned for its houses built into rock overhangs above the Río Trejo, is situated on a bluff that overlooks this river, making it a critical fortified position not far from Ronda.
The town is well-connected and EASILY accessible by car. It’s part of the route of the white villages of the province of Cadiz, on the road that leads from Jerez de la Frontera to Ronda.
Read further below for the top things to do in Setenil De Las Bodegas!
Top Things To Do
Setenil de las Bodegas offers a variety of must-visit attractions that showcase its rich history and cultural heritage.
Below is our list of 9 ABSOLUTE top things you should do when you’re in the city!
1. Calle Cuevas De La Sombra: A famous STREET where houses are built into the rock overhangs. It provides a unique experience and fantastic photo opportunities.
2. Calle Cueva Del Sol: Another iconic street known for its houses built into the rocks. This street gets more sun, hence the name which translates to “CAVE OF THE SUN”.
3. Stay in a Cave House: For a truly unique experience, stay in one of the spectacular cave houses that have been transformed into accommodations (see further in this article).
DID YOU KNOW: You can use the Self Guided Tour App from NaviCup in the city. Inside the Spain Grand Tour, you’ll find the story about the city of Setenil de Las Bodegas. It’s perfect to listen to while driving! You can find it here.
4. Explore the Town: Walk around the town to see the houses under the rocks and enjoy some splendid views.
5. Andalusia Square: A popular spot in the town where you can relax and people-watch.
6. Kiss me in this Corner: A romantic spot that’s perfect for couples.
7. CASTLE of Setenil: This medieval fortress dates back to the 12th century and was built by the Moors during their rule in the region. The castle provides panoramic views of the town and surrounding countryside. It features a keep, ramparts, and an impressive gateway, all of which have been well-preserved over the centuries. The ENTRY FEE is 1 euro.
8. CHURCH of Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación: Constructed in the 16th century on the site of a former mosque, this beautiful church is an excellent example of Gothic and Renaissance architectural styles. The church features an impressive bell tower, intricately carved wooden altarpieces, and a stunning coffered ceiling.
9. MERCADO (market) de Abastos: This traditional market is housed in a charming, historic building, showcasing the best of local produce, meats, and cheeses. Visitors can experience the vibrant atmosphere and sample authentic Andalusian cuisine while supporting local vendors.
These are the top things to do in Setenil de las Bodegas! Read below for the amenities in the city so you know what to expect!
Amenities in the town
The town has ALL the essential AMENITIES you would expect such as grocery stores, pharmacies, banks, and ATMs. There are also several restaurants and bars where you can enjoy local cuisine and tapas (see below).
Transport To Setenil De Las Bodegas
Getting to Setenil de las Bodegas:
- By car: Setenil de las Bodegas is approximately 90 minutes (148 km) from Malaga and 60 minutes (95 km) from Seville by car. The most convenient route from Malaga is via the A-357 and A-367 highways, while from Seville, you can take the A-376 and A-384 highways.
We use Rentalcars.com to book all our car rentals when we travel. The website is very reliable, they have competitive rates and a variety of different options to choose from!
- By public transportation: While there is no direct train service to Setenil de las Bodegas, the nearest train station is in Ronda, about 20 km away. From Ronda, you can take a bus operated by Los Amarillos or Grupo Valenzuela to Setenil de las Bodegas. Alternatively, you can consider taking a bus from Malaga or Seville to Ronda and then transfer to a local bus to reach Setenil de las Bodegas.
To see all the public transportation options in one go, we love using OMIO, their website is easy to use and they always show the cheapest tickets for the fastest time. You can show your QR code via the Omio app to the train/bus conductor and you’re fine!
Parking in Setenil de las Bodegas can be LIMITED due to its narrow streets and unique architecture. It is advisable to park your car at the entrance of the town, where there are designated parking areas, and explore the town on foot (it’s a small town so perfectly feasible by foot).
The DESIGNATED car parks:
- Los Caños Setenil de las Bodegas car park, located towards the exit road to Olvera.
- Another significant underground parking lot is mentioned on the outskirts of town, called Parking Los Caños.
History and Background
Let’s take a moment to appreciate the deep-rooted history that has shaped this unique village over the centuries.
With origins dating back to prehistoric times, Setenil de las Bodegas has been a melting pot of cultures and civilizations, each leaving its own indelible mark on the town’s character.
Why, we can see you wondering. Read it below!
Believe it or not, Setenil de las Bodegas’ story began THOUSANDS of years ago in the prehistoric era.
Archaeological findings suggest that the area was inhabited by ancient settlers who took advantage of the NATURAL CAVES carved into the cliffs.
These early inhabitants recognized the potential of these caves as SHELTER from the elements, paving the way for the town’s fascinating architectural landscape that we see today.
Fast forward to the Roman period, and Setenil de las Bodegas continued to flourish due to its strategic location.
Nestled along the ancient Roman road connecting Acinipo (Ronda la Vieja) to Olvera, the town became an important STOPOVER for travelers and traders.
It’s believed that during this time, the villagers began cultivating vineyards, giving rise to the town’s name “Setenil” – derived from the Latin words “septem nihil,” meaning “seven times nothing” – a reference to the seven attempts required to conquer the land and establish productive vineyards.
The Moorish occupation of Spain left a significant impact on Setenil de las Bodegas, as evident in its narrow, winding streets and distinct architectural features.
The Moors fortified the town with a castle and walls during the 12th century, recognizing its strategic value as a stronghold against Christian forces.
Many of the town’s iconic white-washed houses built into the cliffs can be traced back to this period, showcasing the ingenious engineering and architectural prowess of the Moors.
Influence is still visible today!
Today, you can still see remnants of these historical periods as you explore the village, from the ruins of the MOORISCH castle to the beautiful CHURCHES built during the Christian Reconquista.
Setenil de las Bodegas boasts a unique architectural landscape where houses and streets are carved directly into the cliffs.
This striking feature sets it apart from other traditional towns, making it a fascinating travel destination.
This ingenious design provides natural protection from the elements, as the rock formations offer insulation against both heat and cold.
The overhanging cliffs also shield the dwellings from rain and strong winds, creating a comfortable living environment for the inhabitants.
Additionally, these cliffside homes blend seamlessly with their surroundings, resulting in a visually captivating atmosphere that draws visitors from all over the world.
Among the notable architectural highlights of Setenil de las Bodegas are the Cuevas del Sol and Cuevas de la Sombra.
The Cuevas del Sol (Caves of the Sun) are a series of houses carved into the sunlit southern side of the cliffs, offering warmth and natural light to the residents.
On the other hand, the Cuevas de la Sombra (Caves of the Shadow) are situated on the northern side of the cliffs, providing cooler temperatures and shade during the hot summer months.
These contrasting cave dwellings showcase the resourcefulness and adaptability of the town’s early inhabitants, who expertly utilized the natural landscape to create a remarkable and enduring architectural legacy.
Best time to visit
The ideal time to visit Setenil de las Bodegas is during spring (April-May) and fall (September-October), when the weather is mild and pleasant, making it perfect for outdoor activities.
Summer months (June-August) can be quite hot and touristic, while winters (December-February) are generally mild but can be rainy. Nonetheless, even in those seasons we can still recommend Setenil de las Bodegas!
Traditional Andalusian dishes, local specialties, and fresh produce characterize the local cuisine of Setenil de las Bodegas.
Below is our list of LOCAL dishes and ingredients you may find in the town:
- Gazpacho: A cold soup made from tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, onions, and garlic, seasoned with olive oil and vinegar. This refreshing dish is perfect for hot summer days.
- Salmorejo: Similar to gazpacho, salmorejo is a thick, creamy tomato soup served cold and garnished with chopped hard-boiled eggs and Serrano ham.
- Chacina: A range of cured meats, such as chorizo, salchichón, and morcilla (blood sausage), which are produced locally and often enjoyed as tapas.
- Aceitunas aliñadas: Marinated olives, typically flavored with garlic, paprika, and other herbs and spices.
- Local produce: The region around Setenil de las Bodegas is known for its high-quality olive oil, almonds, and wine, which are often used in the preparation of dishes or enjoyed on their own.
For an authentic taste of Andalusian cuisine in Setenil de las Bodegas, consider visiting the following LOCAL and POPULAR restaurants:
- La Escueva: This unique restaurant is located IN A CAVE, offering a cozy atmosphere and traditional Andalusian dishes, such as oxtail stew and rabbit in garlic sauce.
- Bar Frasquito: Known for its delicious tapas and friendly service, this local favorite serves a variety of dishes, including homemade croquettes and grilled meats.
- Restaurante El Almendro: This family-run restaurant offers a warm atmosphere and traditional cuisine, with dishes like roasted lamb and homemade desserts.
Setenil de las Bodegas offers various accommodation options, including charming guesthouses, rural cottages, and vacation rentals. We give you options below for luxury, mid-budget, and budget.
We love using Booking.com for hotels in Europe. Their website is easy to use, you immediately know when you have to pay (we always pay at the accommodation itself, never in advance), and sometimes you’ll even get breakfast FOR FREE!
Booking in advance is recommended, especially during peak seasons and popular festivals.
One of the most notable nearby attractions is the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park, which is located just a short drive from Setenil de las Bodegas.
Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, covering over 51,695 hectares of picturesque mountains, lush forests, deep gorges, and impressive limestone formations.
The park is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, including the Spanish ibex, Egyptian vulture, and the endemic Pinsapo fir tree.
Visitors to the park can enjoy various outdoor activities, such as:
- Hiking: There are numerous well-marked hiking trails throughout the park, catering to all levels of experience. Popular routes include the Garganta Verde, which takes you through a dramatic limestone gorge, and the Llanos del Rabel, a gentle walk through meadows and forests.
- Birdwatching: The Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park is home to over 130 bird species, making it an ideal destination for birdwatchers. Keep an eye out for griffon vultures, golden eagles, and peregrine falcons as you explore the park.
- Rock climbing: The park’s limestone cliffs and crags provide excellent rock climbing opportunities for both beginners and experienced climbers. The area around Grazalema village is particularly popular for climbing, with several established routes available.
- Cycling: For those who prefer two wheels, the park offers various cycling routes that take you through the beautiful countryside, passing through charming villages and offering breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.
- Speleology: The park is home to numerous caves and underground rivers, providing exciting opportunities for caving and speleology enthusiasts. Hundidero-Gato, the largest cave system in Andalusia, is a popular destination for experienced cavers.
Whether you’re an avid hiker, birdwatcher, or just looking to immerse yourself in nature, Setenil de las Bodegas and its surrounding countryside offer countless opportunities for outdoor exploration and adventure.
In summary, Setenil de las Bodegas is a truly unique and charming destination that offers visitors an unforgettable experience.
Let us know about your experience in the comments! We love reading them!
How to pronounce Setenil de las Bodegas?
The correct pronunciation is actually quite simple. Start by emphasizing the first syllable, “seh-ten-ILL.” Next, accentuate the “de las” portion of the name as “day lahs.” Finally, finish by smoothly saying “boh-DAY-gahs,” with a slight emphasis on the second syllable.
Is Setenil de las Bodegas safe?
Setenil de las Bodegas is generally considered a safe place to visit. However, it’s always important to take necessary precautions and be aware of your surroundings when traveling to any destination.
Where to eat in Setenil de las Bodegas?
Here are some of the best restaurants in Setenil de las Bodegas:
- Casa Pepa: This family-run restaurant offers a cozy atmosphere and serves up delicious homemade dishes made with fresh, local ingredients.
- Los Claveles: Located in the heart of the town, this restaurant features a beautiful terrace with stunning views of the surrounding countryside. The menu includes a variety of traditional Andalusian dishes and fresh seafood.
- Bar Stop: A popular spot among locals, Bar Stop serves up simple but tasty tapas and drinks at affordable prices.
- El Mirador: Situated on a hill overlooking the town, El Mirador offers panoramic views and a menu of classic Spanish dishes and regional specialties.
- La Tasca: This casual eatery is a great spot for a quick bite or a casual meal. They serve a variety of tapas, sandwiches, and salads, as well as local wines and beers.
Setenil de las Bodegas nearest airport?
The nearest airport to Setenil de las Bodegas is Malaga Airport (AGP), which is approximately 105 kilometers (65 miles) away. Other nearby airports include Jerez Airport (XRY), which is approximately 82 kilometers (51 miles) away, and Seville Airport (SVQ), which is approximately 134 kilometers (83 miles) away. From any of these airports, you can take a bus, train or rent a car to reach Setenil de las Bodegas.
Setenil de las Bodegas to Barcelona?
The distance between Setenil de las Bodegas and Barcelona is approximately 1,000 kilometers (620 miles). The most common way to travel from Setenil de las Bodegas to Barcelona is by taking a flight from Malaga Airport (AGP) to Barcelona-El Prat Airport (BCN) which takes around 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train or bus from Seville or Malaga to Barcelona, however, the journey time is significantly longer, taking approximately 10-12 hours.