The Andalucian town built underneath a rock

SETENIL DE LAS BODEGAS, the Spanish town in the Cadiz province of Andalucia that was built underneath a rock

Setenil de las Bodegas is a small town and municipality in the Andalucian province of Cadiz, located 157km (98 miles) northeast of the capital city – with a population of just over 3,000 inhabitants – famous for its dwellings that have been built into an overhanging rock above the Rio Guadalporcun.

It’s no exaggeration to say that Setenil is a town underneath a rock, because virtually every house there is built in the shelter of the rock that juts out above, and is set in a distinctive setting along the narrow river gorge, and the houses extend along the course of the Rio Trejo with some of them built into the rock walls of the gorge itself, created by enlarging natural caves or overhangs and adding an external wall.

Setenil has a reputation for its meat products, particularly chorizo sausage, and pork from pigs bred in the surrounding hills, though as well as meat, it has a reputation for producing fine pastries, and its bars and restaurants are among the best in the region, and its outlying farms also provide Ronda and other local towns with much of their fruit and vegetable supplies.

Historians believe that the locals deliberately decided to build their homes inside of a rock because it provides shade during hot summer days, and keeps heat in the winter.

The little Andalucian town evolved over the years from a fortified Moorish settlement, and it got its name after wineries that were once built inside these rocks (bodega means wine cellar in Spanish), although nowadays, the residents of Setenil mostly focus on producing olive oil, almonds, and wine.


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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at