Setenil de Las Bodegas: White Village Under the Rock

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‘What? Senetil? Where is that?’

That was the driver’s question when I told him we wanted to go to the village next to Ronda, to see the famous cliffs hanging over the streets.

Little did I know, I was messing up the village name every time I was talking about it.

After pointing it on the map, I stood corrected and found my way to Setenil de las Bodegas (with a taxi as we didn’t rent a car). The drive was something out of an Italian action movie with olive plantations lining the roads and our driver speeding through the curves like his life depended on it.

I did not have high expectations as Setenil is a very small village, and all the tourists descent here just to get a snap of the famous cliffs which stretch through only two short streets in the village.

We joined them on the quest and after getting lost right after stepping out of the taxi, we found the cliffs hanging over a line of busy restaurants.

It feels little strange sitting under such a massive rock, like a lizard hiding from the midday sun. The cliffs are huge and I couldn’t get my head around how they could just hang like that, without any obvious support.

From the first moment we arrived, it was painfully obvious that all the crowds sitting in the restaurants were tourists, mostly Spanish.

We had a quick drink and tried to locate a restaurant that didn’t have ‘tourist rip off’ written all over it.

We got lucky and found a place where I had the best meal of the whole Ronda trip, and I still talk about it today. The restaurant was called Cafeteria Bar Sol y Sombra (location here).

Visiting Setenil is certainly an experience in itself, but don’t set your expectations too high.

There is not much else to see or do, so it’s a good stop-over for lunch if you’re passing the area of want to see what’s outside of Ronda.

I will leave you to enjoy the virtual tour through the photos and will follow up with more from my trip to Ronda in the next couple of posts.

PS – the village streets are pretty narrow and it gets busy during the summer, so plan accordingly if you want to avoid the crowds.

Its almost impossible to take a photo without any other people in it, unless you stay in the village and head here early in the morning.

If you want to see what the area looks like on a busy day, check this blog.

setenil de las bodegas - andalusia - spain
A bridge separates the two main streets that are covered by the cliff
setenil de las bodegas - andalusia - spain
I was shocked to find out that cars actually drive through the roads, right next to your restaurant table
setenil de las bodegas - andalusia - spain
From under the rock you have a pretty view on the houses on the opposite side of the river and birds nesting in the cliffs
setenil de las bodegas - andalusia - spain
setenil de las bodegas - andalusia - spain
There are probably 3 – 4 restaurants here serving pretty much the same type of food. Inside the restaurant is actually pretty cool as you can see no roof, just the bottom of the cliff.
setenil de las bodegas 8
setenil de las bodegas - andalusia - spain
Photos were taken post covid, so tourists numbers were relatively low. On a busy normal day, you would have trouble walking through here.
setenil de las bodegas - andalusia - spain
setenil de las bodegas - andalusia - spain
setenil de las bodegas - andalusia - spain
setenil de las bodegas - andalusia - spain
The second street is parallel to the first one – just cross the bridge and walk up the road on the right side.
setenil de las bodegas - andalusia - spain
setenil de las bodegas - andalusia - spain
Menu in the restaurant was simple, but executed to perfection. Best meal we had on the trip, hands down. This is duck main course.
setenil de las bodegas - andalusia - spain
This is salmon with the most delicious sauce I have ever tasted.
setenil de las bodegas - andalusia - spain
setenil de las bodegas - andalusia - spain
Tapas Spanish style – I got immediately addicted to this – its toast with mature cheese, Camembert cheese and sardines on top of it. Heaven.
setenil de las bodegas - andalusia - spain
The smaller streets has a few local shops and a few restaurants to choose from. Enough for an enjoyable afternoon.

Setenil De Las Bodegas – All in the Name

Ok, turns out I wasn’t the only one who messed up the name of the village. For a quick reference, here are some common misspellings of the name:

  • Setinel de las Bodegas
  • Sentinel de las Bodegas
  • Sentil de las Bodegas
  • Setenil de Bodegas
  • Setinil de las Bodegas
  • Senetil de las Bodegas

Explore More Around Setenil de Las Bodegas

Puente Nuevo: The Famous Bridge in Ronda, Spain

Casa Don Bosco in Ronda, Andalusia

Exploring Ronda, Andalusia – Spain

Room with a View at Hotel Don Miguel, Ronda

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Lucia is a founder and travel writer at Viva La Vita. She has been living on Costa del Sol in Southern Spain (Fuengirola) since 2020. She helps travellers plan the perfect trip to Spain thanks to her local insights, practical tips and unique insider perspective complemented by original photography.

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