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  • Writer's pictureTania Andreea

Ronda, Spain - travel guide

Updated: Oct 25, 2023

THE MOST INTERESTING PLACES TO VISIT IN RONDA AND SOME USEFUL TIPS


Even before visiting the town of Ronda, I associated and imagined this place as the heart of what traditional Spain means. Although Seville is considered the city where flamenco was invented, I have always associated it more with Ronda. In fact, it is the city that got me thinking about what authentically Spanish means, from the "embellished" dresses of the flamenco dancers, to the sangria and to the typical Spanish architecture.


I don't think it's hard to imagine why I chose to put this place on the list of places to visit. Besides experiencing the Spanish culture, the landscapes are also unique in the world and so I did not miss the opportunity to explore it. The city is located on the edge of some cliffs, with buildings built right on their edge. A canyon with very deep valleys was formed around Ronda, hence the rocks, which give the impression that they are very high. In fact, the city is located right in the middle of a natural reserve, namely the Sierra de las Nieves, a protected area, where you can visit caves, pine forests and waterfalls.


ronda seen from the iconic bridge

I chose to spend in Ronda one day and that was enough. Surely there would have been touristic attractions to visit for two days, so if you have more time, it is worth staying longer in this town.


HOW TO GET TO RONDA


The first step towards arriving in Andalusia, respectively Ronda, is to choose the airport to land on. The closest airports with international flights are Malaga and Seville. Wizzair, Easyjet and Ryanair (the cheapest low cost companies) operates flights on both.


From both cities, you have several options, such as renting a car, public transport or organized tours.


- by a rented car;


If you choose this option, you can rent right from the airport. I found a very good offer at Click Rent company, for which I paid 200 euros with full cover included for 7 days (so no deposit). Read more information about renting a car.


- by public transport;


From Malaga, by train to Antequera-Santa Ana station, then take the train to Ronda. Another option would be with the Avanza L-304 bus, which you also change at Antequera-Santa Ana. From Seville, it is a direct ride with the Avanza L-525 bus.


- in organized excursions;


It is the simplest option, if you don't want to waste time with public transport or to rent a car. You have options departing from Seville or Malaga. Details and bookings here and here.



WHAT CAN YOU VISIT IN RONDA? THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACES:


Puente Nuevo is the most famous tourist attraction in Ronda and also the iconic location of the city and even of the entire region. Its construction lasted 34 years and crosses the El Tajo canyon, formed by the Guadalevin river. This canyon divides the city in two, and the bridge represents the connecting point. The bridge itself, in my opinion, is not that special, but the view around it leaves you speechless, both literally and figuratively. For a more interesting perspective on the location, you can take a short hike, of a maximum of 5 minutes, going down to the river bed. It is an alley that goes down among the almond trees, easy to walk. The interior of the bridge can be visited, and the ticket costs 2 euros.

puente nuevo from ronda, andalusia spain

Mondragon Palace is one of the most important buildings in Ronda, which dates back to the 14th century and was the residence of the last king of Ronda. It is not an impressive building by its grandeur, but rather a modest location, with a gorgeous garden and spectacular views of the fields at the foot of the city.

mondragon palace in ronda andalusia spain

Baile Arabe is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Ronda. They were built by the Arabs, during the period when they ruled a good part of Andalusia. It is very similar to the Roman baths, with very few different characteristics.


Wine museum is a place I found out about after visiting Ronda and I regret I missed it, especially since I like to collect special wine bottles from the places I visit. It is the place where you can find out more things about the wine culture of Andalusia. More details about a visit are on their website.


Jardines de Cuenca is one of the places I discovered absolutely by chance, looking for the perfect place to admire the bridge and take the perfect photos. I can't say that the last wish has come true, but the one related to beautiful views, it certainly has. Besides the fact that it is a very green area and you can at least theoretically hide from the infernal heat during the summer, it is the ideal place to admire both the bridge and the canyon.

jardines de cuenca from ronda spain

Plaza del Socorro is, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful squares in Spain and should not be missed if you arrive in Ronda. In the middle of the absolutely gorgeous square, there is an artesian fountain, as is usual in places like this in Spain. This fountain represents Hercules with two lions.

plaza del socorro from ronda spain

Plaza de los Torros, which hosts a historical monument, namely the arena where bullfights took place. The location can be visited, and there is also a museum inside. The arena was built in 1784 and was designed by the same architect who also designed Puente Nuevo. It was also the first bull fighting arena built in Spain.


Mirador de Ronda, located quite close to Plaza de los Torros and coming from that direction, you do not have to cross the bridge. It is a promenade on the edge of the canyon, with several viewpoints. Only when you arrive at this place you do realize the height at which the city is built and how people managed to create urban art with the help of nature, which was quite generous in this area.

mirador de ronda in andalusia spain

Olive Oil Experience is a kind of museum-factory of olive oil located near Ronda. Here you can learn interesting things about olive oil, you can see the manufacturing process depending on the variety, you can test different varieties and you can relax on a walk through the orchard. The location, as expected, is not in the city, you have to book a visit there and deal with your own transport. It should be put on the list, especially if you have a rented car. More details here.


WHERE TO STAY IN RONDA:


Among all the options available on Booking, two accommodation units caught my attention:


- Catalonia Ronda- a hotel with a swimming pool and a view of the bullring, with air conditioning, internet included and parking at an additional price;

-Apartamentos Avanel - it is apartment type accommodation, with kitchen and outdoor pool. Internet is included in the price;


THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE PLANNING A VISIT TO RONDA:


- The best time to visit is between September and June. It is the least crowded and it is not very hot either, being the ideal weather for exploring;


- If you like to shop, it's good to know that the city has a long street with clothes, shoes and other kind of shops. The street is called Carrera Espinel, or as the locals call it Calle la Bola and it has shops on both sides, enough to spend a few good hours;


- If you use a rental car and are looking for a parking space, it is good to move a little away from the historic center and you will find a lot of free parking spaces. The sat nav can help you with this aspect, if you choose to write the destination in Spanish, not in English, namely "aparcamiento gratuito", instead of "free parking".


- Ronda is a well-known place, among many others, for horse riding. Here you can relax on a horseback ride, if you like such activities. I leave a link with some companies from this field;


- If you like hiking, Ronda is the right place. There are several trails in the area that you can follow. I leave a link to a list.


- To learn more about the history of the city, which is considered to date back to the 6th century, you can take a guided tour, details here.


on the streets of ronda spain

CONCLUSION


Although it is a very touristic place, Ronda still retains that Spanish authenticity that I was talking about at the beginning of the article. I was very happy that I managed to visit a place loaded with so much history and that I enjoyed Spanish culture far from resorts and all-inclusive holiday packages. By writing this article, I managed to relive the moments spent there and I would definitely return to visit it again.


The visit to this wonderful city was part of the 8-day vacation in Andalusia, which I talked about in a different article, I leave a link to it. I also filmed a vlog from this location, you can find it below, if you have the pleasure of watching it.


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