HomeNews & LifestyleWelcome To Setenil De Las Bodegas: The City Built Beneath A Rock!

Welcome To Setenil De Las Bodegas: The City Built Beneath A Rock!

Setenil De Las Bodegas Was Built Into & Beneath A Stunning Spanish Cliffside

Setenil de las Bodegas in Spain brings a whole new meaning to the term “living under a rock”. While this town of 3,000 may literally be under a rock, the town itself is inspiring, full of history, and very current on many tourist directories.

The reason for settling under a rock actually has really practical origins. It’s almost as interesting as how this floating city of Ganvie came to be!

The Name Reveals Much Of The Towns History & Origin

setenil de las bodegas
Image: @andaluciadecolores on Instagram

The caves and rocks have revealed artifacts that prove they’re about 5,000 years old. For at least this long, the people of this small village in Andalusia have been using the overhang of the rock as shelter. Further to this, they also used to store produce and food under the rocks to keep them cool and extend their shelf life.

Rather than needing to build entire houses to stay cool in the summer, the residents could build simple facades. Because of this, historians estimate people have been living here since pre-historic times.

setenil de las bodegas
Image: @ronda_spain on Instagram

The town’s name “Setenil de las Bodegas” reveals its rich history and even its struggles for independence. “Setenil” comes from the Latin words “septem nihil” which means “seven times no”. This is reference to the seven times the Catholic rulers tried to take back the territory from the Moors. Only on the seventh attempt to conquer Setenil were the Catholics successful.

In later times, following their occupation by the Catholics, the residents began to use the cool areas under the rocks to store produce and create large store rooms. This is how the town came to the second part of the name “Bodegas”. This translates to “warehouse” in Spanish.

How To Get To Setenil De Las Bodegas

setenil de las bodegas
Image: @tinincc on Instagram

One of the most popular pueblo blancos in the area, this ‘white town’ is a hit with many discerning tourists. The strange rock buildings and the houses made of caves are among the most alluring attractions in Andalusia.

Most of the people who visit Setenil de la Bodegas do so by car. If you’re from the area, or are visiting friends, you might be able to take your own car. However, if you’re visiting the area, you can easily rent a car and make the drive to this adorable little town.

Renting a car is also a great idea to explore many of the other towns and villages that make up this unique countryside. You can set your own schedule this way, and allow yourself as much time as you’d like in each respective village.

You can also do a day trip from Cadiz or Costa del Sol if you’d like. The roads are mountainous but the streets to Setenil are relatively easy to pass through.

Where To Stay

setenil de las bodegas
Image: @andaluciadecolores on Instagram

The best times to visit Setenil de las Bodegas are in spring and fall. May and October have perfect daytime temperatures averaging around 20-25 degrees celsius.

You’ll get a lot more rain in the winter months. Because of this, it’s much less accessible to explore this gorgeous little town.

As for where you can stay, there are lots of options. You can stay at one of the top ten best hotels in the city itself. In addition to staying in Setenil da las Bodegas, you also check out accommodations in the nearby cities. Ronda is a popular place to stay when visiting Setenil, as is Seville, Malaga, and Cadiz.

Things To Do In The Area

setenil de las bodegas
Image: @antoinerostant on Instagram

There’s not a huge variety of things to do in Setenil, so try to acquaint yourself with the tourist maps. These will list all the best streets to visit, and other points of interest.

The two most famous trips are very close to the entrance to the town. Because of this, you won’t have to walk far. However, you can enjoy lots of strolls throughout Setenil itself, and get off the well-worn paths.

All in all, this little town under a rock is one of the most unique in Andalusia. It’s well worth the trip if you’re going to be in this area of Spain.

Related: Porto Flavia in Italy is also built into a rock. It also completely changed the import/export industry in Europe in the 1920s.

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