Javi and I enjoyed a weekend escape to the beautiful Sierra de Cádiz with our dog Pubma this October. Although I’ve been to El Chorro, Jubrique, Vejer, Grazalema and El Bosque there’s still so many places to see in the nearby Sierras of Malága and Cádiz! This trip we visited two new towns; Setenil de las Bodegas and Zahara de la Sierra. Because we brought our 40 kilo chocolate labrador (90 lbs) we booked dog-friendly accommodation and chose uncrowded hiking trails to explore.
Exploring Setenil de las Bodegas
Setenil de las Bodegas
We stopped in Setenil on our way from Sanlúcar to Zahara de la Sierra. Setenil is one of the iconic pueblos blancos (white villages) of Andalusia. This town is famous for its beautiful whitewashed houses built into the rock overhangs above the Guadalporcú River. The town was inhabited at one time by the Romans and later the Moors so there’s lots of history and cultural influences to see too…there were even ancient cave dwelling societies that once existed here!
Setenil is also known for its quality meat and pastry products so definitely eat lunch or dinner in town if you have the chance. While your in the sierra I’d also recommend ordering migas, a traditional dish made of bread, bacon, chorizo, garlic, onion, paprika, etc.—it’s delicious!
Zahara de la Sierra
Zahara de la Sierra is another pueblo blanco located less than an hour from Setenil. It has a beautiful Moorish tower built in the 1400’s that still stands at the top of the town. It’s free to visit the tower and you can enjoy fantastic views of the gorgeous landscape below. But be warned—it’s quite a hike to get up there!
View of Zahara de la Sierra from below
Visiting the tower
Enjoying the gorgeous views from the top!
Zahara is a popular destination in June, July and August because of its Playita de Arroyomolinos—a beach located along the reservoir in the nearby park. Families from surrounding communities come here in summer to go swimming to escape the heat. I recommend hiking the trail around the reservoir (named Arroyomolinos trail) which is perfect for dogs in off-season—Pumba loved soaking up the sunshine and swimming in the reservoir’s turquoise water! There are other trails you can check out near the town like La Bodega and Cerro Coros too.
Pumba at the Arroyomolinos trail
Finding dog-friendly accommodation
I always use Airbnb when we travel and they’ve got a ‘pets-allowed’ filter you can select when searching for mountain houses. We ended up booking a cute little cabin just outside of Zahara de la Sierra. It had a wood-burning fireplace and a little fenced-in yard. If you’re new to Airbnb click here to get €30 off your first trip.
Select the “pets allowed” filter to see dog-friendly rental options
Curling up in front of the fire in our little cabin
Beautiful vegetarian breakfast spread offered at the rental