CONTRIBUTED BY TEANNA SIDLES
Ronda is located in the heart of the Serrania de Ronda, about 100kms from Malaga with a population of ~35,000 people. It is surrounded by lush river valleys and sits above a deep ravine, it is a place that literally takes your breath away when seeing it. Anyone who has been lucky enough to visit Ronda will understand its appeal. It is one of the most beautiful and visited cities in Spain (the third most visited city in Andalucia).
Ronda was first declared a city by Julius Caesar. One of the first routes they followed was the old Roman one, linking Gibraltar with the Roman settlement of Acinipo. Ronda’s most striking feature is the Puente Nuevo, which spans a gorge over 300 feet deep.
We stayed at the Hotel Sierra Hidalga 3km outside of downtown Ronda. It was nice hotel. The receptionist didn’t speak English very well and my Spanish consists of being able to count to 10 and ask if they speak English. Our hotel was 44 Euros, which included parking, and WiFi. The room even had a balcony!
What I loved about Ronda was the fact that all its sites were right next to one another. I wish I would’ve known where we were because I would’ve found parking somewhere closer since we got caught in a thunderstorm halfway through our day. 😦
We followed the map we had got from the hotel and found the Plaza de Toros de Ronda. Rick Steves suggest we tour the Ronda Toro museum. Of course I had to listen to Rick.
Before heading into the Toros we checked out the court yard area next to it, the Mirador de Aldehuela and Balcón del Coño Viewpoints. One of the most popular viewpoints of the city and with good reason. The views of the gorge, the Puente Nuevo and the surrounding countryside are spectacular. The viewpoint has been named in honour of the architect José Martin de Aldehuela. The same architect who built the bullring, the Puente Nuevo and finished Malaga’s cathedral amongst other projects. We got some beautiful shots of the city. At the time it was a beautiful day!
From the viewpoints we headed into the Toro museum. Ronda is said to be the home of modern day bullfighting. The Real Maestranza bullring is one of the oldest and most picturesque in Spain. The ring can hold up to 5000 spectators.
Our day in Ronda got cut short. It had started to drizzle, then out of nowhere it started to pour down. When we checked our weather apps, it said the rain would continue throughout the night so we cut our losses and headed back to the hotel (Not before buying ponchos, I will never travel without one again. They’re even better than umbrellas.)
The next morning before heading off to Malaga, we headed back into town to find the pathway down the gorge to get a clear view of Ronda. Before it started to rain we saw people down there and planned to head there too. We ended up down the Puente Nuevo which offered unforgettable views over the El Tajo gorge. The Puente Nuevo – new bridge – was actually completed in 1793 and took forty two years to build. The bridge joins the old Moorish town and the newer, El Mercadillo parts of the city.
All in all Ronda was everything it was built up to be. Honestly, if you are ever in Southern Spain and you don’t go to Ronda you are seriously missing out.
Hotel Sierra Hidalga
Carretera San Pedro-ronda, KM 2,
Plaza de Toros de Ronda
January to February:10:00 – 18:00
March: 10:00 – 19:00
April to September*: 10:00 – 20:00
October: 10:00 – 19:00
November to December: 10:00 – 18:00
*Except during the feria in the first week of September
€8.00 individual with audio-guide
Paseo Blas Infante, S/N
29400 Ronda, Spain
Note: Teanna originally published a longer version of this article on her website. You can click this link to read it here.