Sunday, September 27, 2009

Setenil de las Bodegas, Andalucía [Part III of V]

You know sometimes, when you are a little out of touch with the current affairs, your friends would ask if “you’ve been living under a rock"? Well for some residents in Setenil de las Bodegas, indeed they have been!

6 months ago, I received one of those forwarded e-mails with the subject title: “Amazing city underneath the rocks”. The attached pictures blew me away. They were taken in Setenil de las Bodegas, a small town south of Spain (not far from Ronda), located in the province of Cádiz in Andalucía. Part of this town is built under a huge overhanging piece of rock. How can I not go check it out and photograph it myself?

An architectural nightmare or a geological marvel? You decide.

Setenil is one of those small towns that look like they have pretty much remained unspoilt and gone under the radar for major urban redevelopment. It continues to emanate that rustic atmosphere, that warm & friendly vibe - characteristics that seem to have been wiped off of many cities thanks to urbanisation.

I wouldn’t be surprised if some locals get put off by foreigners constantly snapping pictures (even if discreetly) outside their homes, but it turns out quite the opposite here. It’s really nice to have the town-proud elderly locals come up to you offering help and tips on getting around. They just make you feel so welcomed.

Above: An example of the amazingly narrow lanes for both cars and pedestrians.

Above: A bar underneath the rocks.

Below: Inside the bar, an exposed part of the rock wall.

Above & below: Looking like a piece of meteorite wedged between the houses.

There’s apparently a tourist office where you can enquire about the booking of rural houses / cave houses if you’d like the experience of living under the rocks. Check it out here.

For more background history on Setenil, check it out here.

Don’t miss this place if you’re ever around the area!


  1. Thanks for sharing these striking photographs. My husband and I traveled in this part of Spain perhaps thirty years ago. We discovered Setenil only through conversations with people in Ronda--it wasn't in any of the guidebooks. And yet of all the places in Andalucia, Setenil haunts the memory the most. Your photographs really bring it back. Good luck in your travels!

  2. Hello! Thank you for reading my blog. Setenil is definitely one of my personal favourite rustic towns in Spain as must see it to believe it. Thanks for the well wishes, same to you too!


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