Setenil de las bodegas calle cuevas del sol 2

Setenil de las Bodegas on the route of the white villages

Setenil de las Bodegas the best things to see and do

Setenil de las Bodegas is a very unusual village to see and discover.

It is one of the most beautiful villages in Spain. It is atypical because many of the houses are troglodyte. They are built from caves or under rocky overhangs.

Setenil de las bodegas calle cuevas del sol

There is even an inhabited street that runs under a large rock. This is a must-see in Andalusia!

Setenil de las bodegas calle Cuevas de la Sombra 2

Setenil de las bodegas casa en calle Cuevas de la Sombra

It is a village of about 3000 inhabitants. Setenil is part of the route of the white villages of the province of Cadiz. It is on the road that leads from Jerez de la Frontera to Ronda.

Setenil de las bodegas

The magnificent Ronda, another stopover not to be missed, is just 15 km away.

The village as a whole has been classified as a Conjunto Histórico-Artístico (Historic-Artistic Group) since 1985. It also has an important heritage from the Al-Andalus period.

The origins of the village

It seems that this site, made up of natural caves, has been inhabited since prehistoric times, 25,000 years ago.

Later, the Roman colony of Laccipo (now Casares) occupied the site, particularly for the storage of foodstuffs.

However, it was during the Al-Andalus period that Setenil began to play an important role in the history of the region.

From this period, a legend was born. Indeed, its particular geography made Setenil a strong place and particularly difficult to conquer.

It took 7 sieges of the city before the Catholic kings were victorious and took Setenil. The last, victorious attack took place on 21 September 1484. The city fell into the hands of the Catholic kings following an assault by troops led by Rodrigo Ponce de León, Duke of Cadiz.

Legend has it that the name Setenil comes from the translation of the Latin words “Septem Nihil” which means “seven times nothing”.

The full name, on the other hand, dates from the 15th century.

This was the period when new Christians settled here. In addition to preserving the olive and almond fields, they introduced vines. The caves that were used to preserve the wine naturally gave the name of “Bodegas”.

Setenil de las Bodegas, what to see?

  • Calle Cuevas del Sol (Street of the Caves of the Sun): as its name suggests, this south-facing street receives a lot of sunlight.

Setenil de las bodegas calle cuevas del sol 2

  • Calle Cuevas de la Sombra, which is also spectacular with this rock above several houses

Setenil de las bodegas calle Cuevas de la Sombra

  • In the middle of these 2 streets, the river Trejo flows! It is this river which, over time, has carved out the canyon in which the village now stands.

Setenil de las bodegas un puente en el pueblo

  • The remains of an Arab castle from the Almohad period (12th and 13th centuries). The fortress of Xatanil, of which the Torre del Homenaje remains in very good condition (the interior can be visited).

Setenil de las bodegas fortaleza de xatanil Torre del Homenaje

  • Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación, built from 1505 onwards, after the Reconquest, and which mixes the Gothic and Renaissance styles. It is located next to the old fortress.

Setenil de las bodegas iglesia Ntra Sra de la Encarnacion

  • The Mirador del Carmen, which offers a very interesting view of the whole village.

Setenil de las bodegas mirador del Carmen

Setenil de las bodegas casas y roca

Setenil de las bodegas calle jaboneria
Street of the soap factory (Calle jaboneria)

When you visit, you should enter a bar or restaurant in one of these streets to discover the special atmosphere of these houses in the rock. And you will also discover an even temperature in all interior locations and all year round. Depending on the season and the weather, a maximum variation of only 3°C can be observed.

Setenil de las bodegas calle cuevas del sol 4

Setenil de las bodegas calle cuevas del sol 3

The geographical location of Setenil de las Bodegas

The nearest major city is however Malaga, and Setenil is about 15 km from Ronda.

Find accommodation in Setenil de las Bodegas

Guided tour of Setenil de las Bodegas from the Costa del Sol, between Torre del Mar, Torrox and Nerja

An excellent local guide, Cipriano, offers you a wonderful day to visit Ronda and Setenil de la Bodegas.

If you are on holiday between Torre del Mar and Nerja, he will pick you up and drop you off at your holiday destination in the evening.

This day will be an opportunity to see the essentials, accompanied by a guide to understand and discover the richness of 2 magnificent cities. The day is spent in a small semi-private group (8 people maximum).

Here is the link to find out more and to book: day trip to Ronda and Setenil de las Bodegas

Good to know when visiting Setenil

If you come by car, park outside the village, and avoid going at the weekend.

Ideally, you should be able to park on Paseo Federico Garcia Lorca.

You can even read a magnificent text by the greatest Andalusian poet

Setenil de las bodegas paseo federico garcia lorca y poema

And right next door there is also a street with a curious name…

Setenil de las bodegas calle Gibraltar espanol

And if you want to discover other beautiful sites, here is the link to the other articles of the blog about Andalusia.

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A selection of great activities to do in Setenil de las Bodegas and its surroundings

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