A small town (or Pueblo) along the Rio Trejo River in the Province of Cadiz, Spain, Setenil de las Bodegas — often called simply “Setenil” — is a popular Spanish tourist destination, as much of the old town is built directly into cliffs and overhangs above the river itself. The town’s interesting location in a deep gorge at an extreme bend in the Rio Trejo River makes for winding streets, cool climate, and offers a small oasis that is a stark contrast to the drier lands surrounding the gorge.
Setenil de las Bodegas is easily accessible, is only a few miles North of famed Spanish city Ronda, about an hour outside of Malaga, and located within the minor Gibraltar Peninsula. The town takes its name “Setenil” from the Latin “septum nihil,” meaning “seven times nothing,” and is traditionally considered to have grown after the Roman Empire’s invasion in the First Century A.D.. After the defeat of the Moores in the 15th Century, and their expulsion from much of Spain and Europe, the town adopted its full moniker of Setenil de las Bodegas when the agriculture surrounding the town turned to cultivating olives, almonds and grapes for making wine.
The Cave Homes of Setenil de las Bodegas
Many of the homes and buildings in the “Old Town” district of Setenil are actually built into a natural ledge and caves in the cliff that hugs the Rio Trejo; these buildings consist of nothing more that a facade wall in the front, while the natural cave itself acts as walls on the backside. This feature is unique to Setenil, and is unlike any other buildings in the many “white house cities” of Spain — called so for their use of white paint on all of the buildings within the towns.
The Meats of Setenil, Spain
Spain itself is well known around the world for its delicious cured meats, and Setenil is the epicenter for producing delicious high quality cured meats and sausages including chorizo, sausage and cerdo. The area around Setenil is perfect for raising pigs, which produce much of the proteins that locals buy and use, with very few products leaving the area or being exported. If you want to try the region’s most popular meats, you almost certainly have to actually travel to Setenil.