Setenil de
las Bodegas
Setenil de las Bodegas, Spain
Setenil de las Bodegas

Setenil de las Bodegas
Top 2022 Guide

Setenil de las Bodegas, Spain - Cádiz

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The Cave Village of Setenil de las Bodegas in Cádiz!

And, TEN Things We Bet You Don't Know...

Setenil de las Bodegas is one of the very popular "pueblos blancos" located in the heart of the Sierra de Cádiz, and it's a very special place indeed.

The scenery around the village is breathtaking, but very different depending on where you are in the park. Most of the nearby "white villages" are surrounded by soaring mountains and a patchwork of farmland that spreads out for miles, neighboring Zahara de la Sierra is even enveloped by large, bright turquoise lakes.

Setenil de las Bodegas, Spain - Gorge Houses Setenil de las Bodegas, Spain - City and Gorge
** Homes built into the gorge - Setenil de las Bodegas, Spain

But the landscape quickly changes as you near the town of Setenil de las Bodegas...

As you drive through the surrounding countryside you will notice that you are descending quickly into a giant ravine with rocky overhangs that drop off dramatically into steep cliffs all around you.


Check out the other famous "Pueblos Blancos": Grazalema - Olvera - Zahara de la Sierra

Setenil de las Bodegas, Spain - Cádiz

Where most of the "pueblos blancos" were built high on the mountain tops to keep a watchful eye on their enemies, the village of Setenil de las Bodegas was hidden deep down within these mysterious ravines. Its homes were actually built into the sheer cliffs themselves... this is what makes Setenil such a popular tourist destination and a fascinating place to explore.


Explore the Hidden Village of Setenil de las Bodegas!


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Where is Setenil de las Bodegas?

Setenil de las Bodegas sits in the center of the Province of Cádiz, in Andalucia, in the middle of the Sierra de Cádiz. It's just a 25-minute drive from the famous white village of Ronda.

Setenil de las Bodegas, Spain - Surrounding countryside - Grazalema Natural Park

A visit to this unique village is easily done in half a day, which will leave you with ample time to see Olvera as well (30 min to the north). With several hotel options available here you could also make this your base for exploring all the other popular "pueblos blancos".


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A Little History

Setenil de las Bodegas derived its name in two parts. "Setenil" is believed to have come from the Latin phrase "septem nihil", which translates to "seven times no". The village was conquered by the Christians and taken from the Moors in 1484, much later than other nearby villages. It is thought that the Christians had tried several times before (possibly 7) with no success.

"Bodegas" is a reference to its once thriving wineries. The full name "Setenil de las Bodegas" dates to the 15th century when the village was known for its successful olive, almond and wine trade. Today Setenil's olive and almond markets are strong, but its vineyards were destroyed in the 1860's by an infestation of phylloxera (a microscopic louse).

Setenil de las Bodegas, Spain - Homes built into the caves

The true origins of Setenil de las Bodegas are still a mystery. But the caves along the Cueva del Sol promenade clearly show signs of black soot on the ceilings. This takes us back to prehistoric times when the caves were probably used as a natural shelter.


Best Hotels in Setenil

Most people who visit Setenil prefer to stay in nearby Ronda (17 km / 31 min) or in the surrounding Grazalema countryside. This gives them a good base in which to travel to all the unique "pueblos blancos" in the area.
TOP THREE HOTELS - RONDA

Hotel Boutique Molino del Arco
Hotel Boutique Molino del Arco - A gorgeous Cortijo Andaluz from the beginning of the 18th century located just outside of Ronda. It has a pool and a spa, and is the perfect place to let yourself unwind after a full day of sight-seeing. Just 18 min (11,4 km) to Ronda and 26 min (16,0 km) to Setenil.

Parador of Ronda
Parador of Ronda - Offering spectacular views of Ronda's gorge and Puente Nuevo Bridge, the Parador is set in Ronda's former Town Hall. Free Wi-Fi and a seasonal pool are featured in this impressive hotel. Private balconies are also available in each of the rooms, but be sure to ask for a room with a view of the bridge!

Catalonia Ronda
Catalonia Ronda - Located in Ronda's town center, just across from the bullring, the Catalonia features an infinity pool, hot tub, and a rooftop terrace with views of the square and the Tajo Gorge. A spa, free wifi, and a buffet breakfast are also available.

TOP HOTELS - SETENIL

Tugasa Hotel El Almendral - This is a great little hotel right at the top of Setenil de las Bodegas. It has beautiful views of the town, a super-sized swimming pool and free parking.

TOP CASAS O VILLAS - SETENIL

Un Rincón en la Roca - Un Rincón en la Roca is a small cave house located in the Setenil de las Bodegas pueblo with views of the river and town.

Villa with breathtaking views over Lake Zahara
Villa with breathtaking views over Lake Zahara - Just 15 km from Setenil you will find this bright and spacious villa with breathtaking views. The villa is wonderfully designed with plenty of space for 6 people and is located directly above the lake near El Gastor.


Best Restaurants in Setenil

RECOMMENDED RESTAURANTS

Bar Frasquito - Mediterranean style tapas bar located at the end of the Cueva del Sol Promenade. Serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Great Prices.

Cafeteria Bar Sol y Sombra - Located just along the Cueva de la Sombra. Nice terrace with views of the river and town. Simple cafe but good value for money.


The Top 10 Things About Setenil We Bet You Don't Know...

1. The Entire Village of Setenil is Built into an 'S' Shaped Gorge

Setenil de las Bodegas, Spain - Gorge - Cádiz

From the top of Setenil de las Bodegas, you can clearly see that the village was built low down in the Trejo River Gorge. The gorge forms an "S" shape where the river runs through town and meanders around. The town is built into one of the bends of the river.

The photo above shows how the town's homes curve around with the shape of the gorge.


2. The Houses in Setenil de las Bodegas are built into the Gorge's Rocky Cliffs

The caves are natural and created by the rocky vaults that jut out from the cliffs. It is believed that the caves have been inhabited since prehistoric times based on the black soot that has been found on their ceilings.

Setenil de las Bodegas, Spain - Cádiz

At some point the villagers began building facades (or house fronts) that close off the caves from the outside. In most of the houses the rocky surface makes up the ceiling and back wall of the home.

The houses are also unique in that the cave walls keep the homes cooler during the summer months and warmer in winter.


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3. The River Trejo Runs Through the Middle of Town

Setenil de las Bodegas, Spain - River and Bridges -  Cádiz

The River Trejo runs through the center of the gorge and splits the lower area of town in half. There are lovely river promenades and old Roman bridges that connect the two halves.

A nice area to walk is along the "Cueva del Sol" promenade that is always bustling with activity. There are several restaurants, bars and cafes right along the river.

Setenil de las Bodegas, Spain - River Trejo Setenil de las Bodegas, Spain - River Trejo & Bridge
** Trejo River and Bridges - Setenil, Spain


4. The Iglesia Mayor was Never Finished

Setenil de las Bodegas, Spain - Iglesia Mayor - Cádiz

The Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación in Setenil de las Bodegas was built under the supervision and financial backing of Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand.

It was built in the late Gothic style representative of the conquest of the Christians over the Moors. However, the central nave and facade were never finished. The project was suspended in 1614...never to be completed.

Setenil de las Bodegas, Spain - Hermitage of Virgen del Carmen Setenil de las Bodegas, Spain - Ermita de San Benito
** Ermitas Virgen del Carmen & San Benito - Setenil, Spain

Visit some of Setenil's other pretty ermitas and churches. Two worth visiting are the Hermitage of the Virgen del Carmen, built in the 18th-century and named after the town's patron saint, and the Ermita de San Benito.


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5. There is a Medieval Fortress in Setenil de las Bodegas

Setenil de las Bodegas, Spain - Medieval Fortress -  Spain - Cádiz

This Nazari Castle was built by the Moors in the 13th century. It used to have 40 towers but today only one still stands (Homage Tower). It was conquered in 1482 by the forces of the Catholic Kings.

Today the Homage Tower has been completely reformed and can be toured for only one euro. The tower holds a small art gallery on three floors and has wonderful views from the top.

Setenil de las Bodegas, Spain - Tower Arch Setenil de las Bodegas, Spain - Views of Torre del Homenaje
** Arch & Torre del Homenaje - Setenil, Spain

6. You Can Visit a Cave House

Setenil de las Bodegas, Spain - Cave Shop - Cádiz

One fun thing to do while in Setenil de las Bodegas is to tour an actual lived-in cave house. If you are interested, you must inquire at the Tourist Center and they will direct you to which homes are open for touring.

Another option for seeing the inside of one of these cave homes is to walk down to the Cueva de la Sombra shopping area. It is full of shops that are also built into the caves. You can go inside and take a look around.


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7. There are Several Miradors in Town with Spectacular Views

Setenil de las Bodegas, Spain - Cádiz

Setenil de las Bodegas is one of those steep Spanish villages that takes a bit of effort to get around. If you're up for the challenge, there are several miradors (lookout points) at the top of the village that are fantastic spots for picture taking, or just to enjoy the bird's eye view.

Mirador "Compania Mar Oceano", near Calle Jaboneria, has amazing views of the Cathedral and Medieval Tower from across the gorge.


8. The "Cueva de la Sombra" is on the Shadier Side of Setenil de las Bodegas

Setenil de las Bodegas, Spain - Cueva de la Sombra

One of the most visited areas of Setenil de las Bodegas is the "Cueva de la Sombra" or "Shady Cave". It is a quaint little shopping area just at the bottom of town along the river. It's called the "shady cave" because there is a large rock that juts out from the cliffs above covering the whole area, keeping it shaded most of the day.

Setenil de las Bodegas, Spain - La Cueva de la Sombra Setenil de las Bodegas, Spain - La Cueva de la Sombra
** La Cueva de la Sombra - Setenil, Spain

This is a great place to buy souvenirs and gifts for friends. There are also several shops selling specialty items and local made products as well as wine shops and sweet artisan bakeries. You will also find a few small cafes where you can relax and take it the views of the river, gorge, and the beautiful village above.


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9. The "Cueva del Sol" is the Most Photographed Area in Town

Setenil de las Bodegas, Spain - Cueva del Sol

Just across the bridge from the "Shady Cave" you will find the "Cueva del Sol" or "Sunny Cave". This is THE most popular area of town and you will always find it teaming with people enjoying the cafes, bars and of course... the sun!

Setenil de las Bodegas, Spain - La Cueva del Sol Setenil de las Bodegas, Spain - La Cueva del Sol
** La Cueva del Sol - Setenil, Spain

The Cueva del Sol is a sunny walkway that runs along the riverside with shops, cafes and bars all built into the caves with a massive overhang above for cover. This is also the most photographed area of town and you will often see photos of the Cueva del Sol in all the Spanish travel brochures.


10. The Three Most Visited Streets are...

Setenil de las Bodegas, Spain - Calle Jaboneria

These three streets are perfect examples of how the Setenil homes are built. You can see how they are cut directly into the rocky cliffs of the gorge. The homes are all currently occupied as they have been for centuries.

1. Calle Jaboneria (Soap Dish Street) - This street probably got its name from a soap factory or market that once existed here. It is also thought that it could be a reference to the fact that the local women passed through here on their way to the washing house.

Setenil de las Bodegas, Spain - Streets and Alleys Setenil de las Bodegas, Spain - Streets and Alleys
** Calle Herreria - Setenil, Spain

2. Calle Herreria (Blacksmiths Street) - Right off the popular "Plaza de Andalucia" this street curves down towards the lower area of town and is where the blacksmiths used to have their shops. There are a few homes you can tour along this street.

At the bottom of Calle Herreria you will find a romantic spot where you can give your sweetheart a kiss!

3. Calle Mina (Mine Street) - Just off Calle Herreria, Calle Mina seems to be getting a facelift. Most of the houses along this street are under reformations, it's a good time to sneak a peek inside.


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11. There is a Roman Amphitheatre Outside of Town

Setenil de las Bodegas, Spain - Acinipo Roman Theatre

Less than 15 minutes from the town of Setenil de las Bodegas you will find the ruins of the 32-hectare ancient city of Acinipo. Acinipo was an urban area that thrived in the first century AD and had a population of more than 5.000 people. The city even minted its own money, which was decorated with bunches of grapes.

Acinipo fell in 429 AD but its believed that its people moved to Arunda (modern day Ronda) because it was strategically better located.

Setenil de las Bodegas, Spain - Roman Walls Setenil de las Bodegas, Spain - Acinipo Roman theatre
** Remains of Roman Wall & Acinipo Theatre - Setenil, Spain

The Acinipo Roman theatre, which seated 2,000 people, is still in good condition today. It is thought the theatre had its start as early as 65 AD and was completed around 200 AD.

OPENING HOURS
Monday: Closed
Tuesday to Saturday: 10.00 to 17.00
Sunday: 09.00 to 14.00
Entrance: Free


Setenil Tourist Office

TOURIST INFORMATION - SETENIL DE LAS BODEGAS

Oficina de Información Turística
Address: Calle Villa 2, 11692, Cádiz
Phone: 956 134 261

Hours: Monday to Sunday from 10 am. to 2 pm.

Town Hall (Ayuntamiento)
Address: Calle Villa numero 5, 11692, Cádiz
Phone: 956 134 004
E-mail: [email protected]
Web: www.setenildelasbodegas.es

Hours: 8:00-15:00 - (From the 15th of June until the 15th of September 8:00 - 14:00)


BEST Recommended Tours to the "Pueblos Blancos" Including Setenil de las Bodegas

If you prefer to have someone else do the planning, we recommend the following tours.

Tours 1 & 2 give you the option of leaving from Ronda, Malaga, Seville, or Cádiz and visiting 2-3 of the "pueblos blancos" in one day.

Tour 3 is a guided tour of only Setenil de las Bodegas.

#1 RECOMMENDED TOURS - PUEBLOS BLANCOS

Ronda Tour - white villages
Pueblos Blancos and Ronda - Travel through the ancient Andalusian kingdoms of Castille and Granada, while enjoying the natural beauty and learning about the region's history. Visit the white villages, the Grazalema forest and mountains, and the ancient town of Ronda. Tours leave from Malaga, Sevilla, and Cádiz

#2 RECOMMENDED TOURS - PUEBLOS BLANCOS

Ronda and Setenil de las Bodegas Tour - white villages
From the Costa del Sol: Ronda and Setenil de las Bodegas - Discover the hinterland of Malaga and the peculiar town of Setenil de las Bodegas on a round-trip tour from the Costa del Sol. The highlight of your day trip is the romantic town of Ronda. Discover this beautiful city, set above a deep gorge.
#3 RECOMMENDED TOURS - SETENIL DE LAS BODGEGAS

Walking Tours - Setenil Old Town
Setenil de las Bodegas Tour - This guided tour will take you into the Setenil historic centre along the street Calle de los Reyes Católicos until we reach the castle. You will also get the chance to see the beautiful medieval Church of Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación, Calle Herrería, La Cueva a la Sombra, and La Cueva del Sol.


Price: only 10€ / or a private tour for 60€ (up to 10 people)
Duration: 1h 30m
Language: English

For More Information and Reservations: Setenil de las Bodegas Tour


Other Important Information You Should Know About Setenil de las Bodegas

1. Setenil de las Bodegas has been Chosen as One of the "Prettiest Villages in Spain":

Setenil de las Bodegas has been chosen by the Association of The Most Beautiful Villages in Spain as one of the most beautiful villages in the Cádiz province.

The three other "most beautiful villages" nearby in Cádiz are Vejer de la Frontera, Zahara de la Sierra (33 min / 20 km), and Grazalema (47 min / 32 km).

We highly recommend visiting these amazing villages while you're in the area.


2. Setenil de las Bodegas is One of the Famous Villages on the "Ruta de los Pueblos Blancos"

The White Towns of Andalusia, or Pueblos Blancos, are a series of towns and large villages in the northern part of the provinces of Cádiz and Málaga in southern Spain, mostly within the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park.

Other villages on this route are: Casares, Zahara de la Sierra, Mijas Pueblo, Villaluenga del Rosario, Benaocaz, Ubrique, Benamahoma, El Bosque, Prado del Rey, Puerto Serrano, Algodonales, El Gastor, Grazalema, Alcalá del Valle, Torre Alhaquime, Olvera, Arcos de la Frontera, Algar, Espera, Bornos and Villamartín, Vejer de la Frontera and Frigiliana.


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Setenil de las Bodegas, Spain - Cueva del Sol Setenil de las Bodegas, Spain - Roman Walls & Tower
** Interesting Corners - Setenil de las Bodegas, Spain

3. Distances to Other Important Towns:

Larger Cities / Towns
Malaga 97 km / 1 hr 26 min
Cádiz 134 km / 1 hr 44 min
Sevilla 117 km / 1 hr 45 min
Ronda 17 km / 31 min

Other Smaller White Villages
Jerez de la Frontera 104 km / 1 hr 30 min
Villamartín 54 km / 56 min
Olvera 15 km / 27 min
Grazalema 32 km / 49 min
Zahara de la Sierra 35 km / 45 min


4. When is the Best Time to Come

  • During the months of April, May and October you are most likely to experience good weather with pleasant average temperatures that fall between 20 degrees Celsius (68°F) and 25 degrees Celsius (77°F).
  • On average, the warmest month(s) are July and August, with July being the hottest.
  • The months of January, February, March, April, August, September and October have a high chance of precipitation, with November being the wettest.
  • On average, the coolest month is January.
  • June is the driest month.

5. Gastronomy

Setenil de las Bodegas is known locally for its meat products, particularly chorizo, sausage, and cerdo (pork, from pigs bred in the surrounding hills). There are also several fantastic bakeries in town that make wonderful cakes and pastries. The surrounding farmland also provides Ronda and the other white villages with much of their fruit and vegetables.

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6. Fiestas

Dia de San Sebastian - January 20th - Setenil's top fiesta is the festival of its patron saint, Saint Sebastian.

Carnaval - February - Celebrated alongside all the other small villages.

The Annual Fair - Takes place in the first week of August.


7. How To Arrive

From Malaga, Take A-357, A-367, MA-414 and CA-414 to CA-422 in Setenil de las Bodegas.

From Ronda, Take A-428, MA-7403 and CA-9122 to CA-422 in Setenil de las Bodegas.


Transportation
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8. Parking

If entering town coming from Olvera (lower Setenil), there will be a large underground parking garage on your left-hand side.

If you are coming in from the other direction (upper Setenil) there is another large parking area at the top of town. You will then have to walk down the hill to access the town.


I think that's all you need to know for an amazing day in Setenil de las Bodegas! This is a town you will not forget! Have a safe trip!! ;-)

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Setenil de las Bodegas, Spain - Cádiz

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