Ronda is a very famous city in the Andalusia region, in the south of Spain. The reason why it’s famous is a deep gorge that separates the old town from the new, and a beautiful bridge (Puente Nuevo) that connects the two parts. The old town of Ronda dates back to the Moorish period. It is full of beautiful Moorish buildings and things to do. Here is the complete guide to Ronda, an amazing city full of wonder.
Since Ronda is quite a small city, there is no airport where you can fly in. The best way to get to Ronda is to fly to one of the bigger cities in Andalusia region like Seville, Granada, or others. From there you would not have a problem getting to Ronda. There are many trains or buses that you can take. Click here to check out trains’ (buses’) schedules.
Some people also visit Ronda as a day trip from coastal cities like Marbella et al. However, I think Ronda deserves at least two full days of exploring and sinking into its atmosphere.
Ronda is located in the South of Spain, so the weather is quite comfortable even in the late autumn or early spring. However you need to remember that Ronda is located on the top of a gorge (El Tajo), so you will have to walk a lot and mostly up or down. That is why the best time to travel in this part is during the end of spring and early autumn.
Ronda actually has many hotel options. There are even a few hotels that hang on a cliff, overlooking the gorge and the Puente Nuevo. Hotel “Don Miguel” (click here to read my full review of this place and what to expect for €140/night) is one such hotel. Because of the amazing location we decided to book a room at this hotel.
There are many cafes and restaurants in Ronda and most of them are quite good. Same as in Seville, in Ronda you can experience tapa culture. There is also a place that I insist that you visit, I also put this place on my list of “Things To Do In Ronda” that you can read beloved. The place is called “El Lechuguita”. Here you can try amazing tapas for under €1 each.
Besides the Puente Nuevo, Ronda is also famous for its bullring. After your visit you can get a very nice souvenir at their gift shop. For example we got two small statues of a bull and bullfighter. However, Ronda is full of gift shops, so you can find pretty much everything you want there.
Puente Nuevo (New Bridge) is the newest (completed in 1793) of three bridges. It is also the largest bridge in Ronda; its height is 120 meters.
Puente Nuevo is a very impressive site. I do recommend seeing this bridge from different angles, during daylight, and also at night when the bridge is lit up.
Puente Nuevo is the main tourist attraction in Ronda and one of the most recognizable places in Spain. Around the bridge you will find lots of viewing platforms from both sides. There are also some restaurants with a view of Puente Nuevo that you can visit.
Location: C. Armiñán, 29400 Ronda, Málaga, Spain
Ronda’s Bullring is the second site you need to visit in the city. There is a museum where you can learn a lot about the whole bullfighting culture and history. You also can visit the ring itself and explore it without seeing brutality .
For those who actually would like to see a real bullfight, Ronda still keeps the tradition alive, although it is not an often held event. Usually you can see a bullfight in Ronda at the beginning of September when there is the Corrida Goyesca celebration.
The Interpretation museum is located inside the Puente Nuevo, under the road. This museum at different times served a different purpose. It was a prison, a restaurant, and even a hotel.
Across the street from the hotel Don Miguel there is an entrance to the Interpretation museum. You can buy a single ticket or a combined ticket (that includes other museums) at the entrance of the museum.
The whole museum is actually one big room that nowadays shows a history of the bridge and of that very room.
From inside the room you will be able to see the valley and take nice pictures. It is far from my favorite museum, but the location of it is very exciting.
The Giant’s House is a typical Nasrid style building that is built around a courtyard. The name of this house comes from two stone reliefs on the corners of the building. Unfortunately from the two of them only one remains.
The Giant’s house is dated back to the 14th – 15th century. As it is built in the Nasrid style, the house itself reminds a lot of those in Granada.
Price: € 2.5
Mondragon is another house that was built in the 14th century and that is open for visitors.
One of the highlights of the Mondragon Palace is its garden with a fountain and an amazing view.
You can learn a bit of the general history of Ronda here, but overall the palace won’t take long to see (15 – 30 minutes).
For some reason I especially love visiting Arab Baths. Maybe it is because at that time their techniques and bath culture were so new and foreigner to Europeans, or maybe because the ruins of those baths are so damn beautiful.
For those who have never visited sites like that I highly recommend visiting the Arab Baths in Ronda. This historical site is quite nicely preserved and maintained.
On site there are many informative plaques that give you an understanding of each area of the Arab baths. There is also a short movie in Spanish and English that you can watch inside one of the rooms. The video is quite interesting and informative.
On the way to the Arab baths you will pass through a beautiful arc, it’s “Arco de Felipe”. This was actually an Arab arc that was replaced with a new one during the rule of Filipe the fifth in 1742.
Puente San Miguel is a hidden gem of Ronda. It is located in the very back of the city a few minutes away from the Arab Baths, so not lots of people actually go there.
Puente San Miguel gives you a feeling that you left Ronda and went to the neighboring town. It is quiet there and the atmosphere is very different from the one on Puente Nuevo.
Through this bridge you also can get to other high viewing platforms like Jardines de Cuenca with great views of the valley and the New Bridge.
Location: Río Guadalevín, Spain
Tapa culture is very big in the Andalusia region in the South of Spain. Cities like Seville and Granada probably are the best choices to experience the whole scale of tapas culture. However, Ronda also has something to offer for tapas lovers.
One of the places in Ronda is quite famous for its amazing tapas that cost under €1 each. The place is called – “El Lechuguita”, and I’ve already mentioned it at the beginning of this article.
Since the food at “El Lechuguita” is great and the price is ridiculously small, this place gets very crowded and the waiting line can be very long. So I recommend getting there at least 10 minutes before it opens.
Why did I recommend getting lunch at this place and not dinner? Because it is even more crowded during dinner time. A cool thing about El Lechuguita is that you are given a paper menu with which to select the tapas you want to order – it’s very similar to ordering authentic Dim Sum in Hong Kong!
Price: under €1 each
Puente Viejo is yet another bridge that you can visit in Ronda. From this bridge you can take amazing pictures of the gorge and the New bridge.
Puente Viejo is also the oldest and the smallest bridge in Ronda. Nowadays this bridge carries only pedestrians, so it’s nice spot to hit during a walk around Ronda.
Location: C. Real, 2, 29400 Ronda, Málaga, Spain
I actually found Casa de Don Bosco by accident and decided to check it out. This place turned out to be the best of all the palaces and houses I have visited in Ronda.
First of all, this house is furnished and everything looks so beautiful. You will find many details that attract your attention at Casa de Don Bosco. However, the highlight of this place is a gorgeous terrace with the same gorgeous view.
Casa de Don Bosco is definitely one of the places you must visit in Ronda.
The first thing that you need to know about this palace is that you actually won’t be able to visit the palace itself (it is in a very bad shape and hasn’t been renovated yet). Instead here you can see something even more special. At the Palacio del Rey Moro you will visit a water mine.
The water mine was built at the beginning of the 14th century, during the Moorish period, when Ronda was an independent Islamic kingdom. To see this water mine you will have to climb down a thin and often slippery staircase (better to wear comfortable shoes for exploring the water mine).
It actually will take you a while to climb all the way down to the river and then climb all the way back, so prepare a bottle of water for yourself.
The water mine itself is a very interesting place, it is carved into El Tajo gorge. There you will see a few carved rooms that you actually can step into and explore a bit.
The atmosphere of this place is truly amazing. Together with the water mine and the gardens above it, Palacio del Rey Moro is a must visit place in Ronda.
Iglesia de Santa Maria la Mayor is a beautiful church full of surprises. This church stands on the 13th-century mosque and has some of it’s elements.
The interior of this church is, of course, beautiful, but the highlight is the staircase that leads you to the outside viewing platform. And there is also a second staircase that will take you to the small viewing platform inside the church.
The Arco del Cristo is also known as Arco Arabe and is an Arab arch that was part of a fortification wall. But the arch is not that important here, what is important is the pictures of Puente Nuevo that you can take from that location.
Because of El Tajo gorge, Ronda is a great place to do bird watching. There are many viewing platforms for such activity. If you are a fan of bird watching, make sure not to forget your binoculars or telephoto camera!
Ronda also offers guided tours for bird watching.
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