08 Feb

By Paul Whitelock

18 October 2023

The Moors invaded Spain 711 and were finally expelled in 1492.

Setenil de las Bodegas was quite problematic for the reconquering Christians.

7 - 0 was the score over several centuries in the battle between Moors and Christians in the hilltop village of Setenil de las Bodegas (Cadiz).

Indeed, the name Setenil is derived from this scoreline: siete – nulo.

Setenil de las Bodegas

When you visit the village nowadays, you can see why the Christians failed seven times to reconquer the village from the Moorish invaders (The Moors from North Africa occupied Spain and Portugal from 711 to 1492).

I first went to Setenil in 2001, after my then wife, Jeryl, and I had bought an apartment in nearby Ronda (Málaga).

Photo: Paul Whitelock

We were fascinated by the topology of this village, located on a hill with caves at the bottom which nowadays are dwellings, shops, bars, cafes, and restaurants. Newer houses are piled on top of the older constructions.

Although on that first visit, I managed to jam my hire car against the wall trying to navigate the narrow streets, it didn’t spoil my enjoyment of this unique village.

7 – 0

I have now been to Setenil de las Bodegas seven times, but unlike my Christian forebears, I managed to get in OK each time.

The other Sunday, our first visit in a few years, Rita and I were surprised how many new shops, bars, and restaurants there are, and how many tourists of all nationalities were wandering around, despite it being October, officially autumn.

We had a drink at La Tasca cave bar down by the almost dried-up river bed, wandered up to the central square and had another drink at Antonio’s before heading off to Benaoján Estación for a late lunch at Bar Ankanita. 11€ a head for a top quality menú del día.

Then we popped up the hill to Montejaque to clear out the dirty laundry from our latest booking at Casa Rita.

Finally, back home to Ronda for a welcome dip in the pool and chilling out before dinner.

What a great day!

© Pablo de Ronda

Further information:

Bar Ankanita, Estación de Benaoján

Bar Antonio, Setenil de las Bodegas

Casa Real, Montejaque

Casa Rita, Montejaque

La Tasca, Setenil de las Bodegas



El Diario


Bar Ankanita, Bar Antonio, Benaoján, Casa Real, Casa Rita, Christians, La Tasca, Montejaque, Moors, Ronda, Setenil de las Bodegas 

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