The 16 best sights of Ronda – descriptions and photos

Ronda

Ronda (Spain) – the most detailed information about the city with photos. The main sights of Ronda with descriptions, travel guides and maps.

City of Ronda (Spain)

Ronda is a city in the south of Spain in the province of Malaga. It is located on a rock around the deep gorge of El Tajo, over which an impressive bridge was built. Ronda is one of the most beautiful cities of Andalusia, a colorful ancient tapestry woven from the threads of winding streets, old white houses and picturesque landscapes. The landscape, atmosphere, history and legends make this cradle of bullfighters and artists so unique.

The city is divided into three parts: the historic center or old Arab Medina, the neighborhood of San Francisco, divided by city walls, and the Mercadillo neighborhood, which is on the other side of the Guadalevin River. Ronda encourages a leisurely stroll through its ancient streets, exploring every detail of this ancient Moorish city on the south bank of the Guadalevin River, whose medieval walls all stand. It’s worth crossing the Puente Nuevo (“new bridge”) and wandering around Alameda del Tajo, stopping at every quaint nook and historic monument, before heading out to recover at one of the local restaurants.

What to do (Ronda):

From Malaga to Ronda - a city soaring over the abyss

€180 per excursion.

From Málaga to Ronda, the city that soars over the abyss

Discover the antiquity in the stone streets of Ronda and marvel at the majesty of its giant cliffs.

Geography and Climate

Ronda is located 50km north of Marbella and 100km west of Malaga. The city stands in a mountainous area at an altitude of about 750 m above sea level. The Guadalevin River divides it in two and forms the steep El Tajo Canyon over which the town is built.

Ronda has a Mediterranean climate. It is characterized by a fairly regular seasonal pattern, with warm, dry summers and moderately cool winters with occasional sub-zero temperatures. Spring and fall are usually mild and moderately warm. The average annual temperature is about 16ºC.

A panoramic view of the city

Panorama of the city

Tourist information

  1. Population – 34.3 thousand people.
  2. Area – 384.6 square kilometers.
  3. The language is Spanish.
  4. Currency – Euro.
  5. Visa – Schengen.
  6. Time – Central European UTC +1, in summer +2.
  7. Tourist Information Center is located at Paseo De Blas Infante.

Best time to visit

The best period to visit Ronda: April to June and September to October. Although the city is located at an altitude of approx. 750 m above sea level, so the climate is much more temperate. The summers are not as hot as in other Andalusian cities. During the cold season, it rains quite often.

History

Ronda was settled in the 6th century BC by the Celtic Bastul tribe. At that time the city was known as Arunda. Later Phoenician settlers settled in Acinipo, also known as Old Ronda, located about 20 km to the east. The current city has Roman origins and was built as a fortification during the Second Punic War (218-201 BC).

Ronda was one of the cities of the Roman province of Betic, which had the right to use the ancient Latin law, and could even mint coins. Its inhabitants had the same rights as citizens of Rome.

After the collapse of the Roman Empire, Ronda was first occupied by Germanic tribes and then by the Visigoths, who ruled until the Arab invasion in 713. The Moors renamed the city Hisn Ar Runda (“Castle of Runda”). They built the present historic center (La Ciudad), south of the ravine.

Ronda

Ronda

Ronda remained for a long time one of the last outposts of the Moors in Andalusia. The city was not conquered by the Spaniards until 1485, who then gradually displaced the remaining Muslim population. In the 17th and 18th centuries Ronda expanded northward through the ravine into a new town (El Mercadillo) and Puente Nuevo, completed in 1793, connected it to the historic core.

In the 19th century Ronda was home to numerous guerrilla units fighting Napoleon’s troops and then bandits and adventurers. During the Spanish Civil War, the city was the site of many battles. There are reports that some 500 Falangist supporters were thrown into the ravine. Ronda has a rich tradition of bullfighting and boasts one of the oldest arenas in Spain, built in 1785.

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How to get there

Ronda is not connected to a major highway, but it is easy to get here by car from Seville, Malaga and Cordoba. There are regular buses to the city from the above cities. Rail connections are not very frequent, but there are options to get to Ronda from Algeciras, Cordoba and even Madrid.

Shopping

The main shopping street is the Carretera Espinel, which runs from the arena to the east. Many stores can be found in the streets on the way to the bridge.

Ronda

Ronda

Many restaurants and cafes with delicious Andalusian and Spanish cuisine can be found in the city. Small wineries around Ronda produce high quality red and white wines.

Attractions

Puente Nuevo

Puente Nuevo

Puente Nuevo (New Bridge) is an impressive stone bridge, one of the symbols of Ronda. It was built at the end of the 18th century and connected the Mercadillo district and the old town. The bridge offers a beautiful view of the El Tajo Gorge.

La Ciudad

La Ciudad

La Ciudad is an old Moorish town with historic squares, narrow streets and charming old houses. It is the heart and soul of Ronda, combining the atmosphere of an ancient Arab city and medieval Spain.

In the picturesque Duquesa-de-Parcent square is the ancient church of Santa Maria la Mayor, which was built on the site of a former mosque. The church retains four Moorish domes, but the interior is in the Gothic style. To the west of the cathedral, on the edge of the plateau, is the Palacio de Mondragón. It is a beautiful Moorish and Renaissance palace. On Rue Armignane is the Bandit Museum, which illustrates their history since the 19th century. The bandits lived in the mountains surrounding Ronda.

Plaza de Toros

Plaza de Toros

The Plaza de Toros is one of the oldest bullfighting arenas in Spain. It was built in 1785. It is a monumental structure with an arena of 66 square meters and two tiers of arcaded galleries for spectators to sit in. The galleries have elegant arches of Tuscan columns as well as royal cabinets. Ronda was the birthplace of the Romero dynasty, the matadors who developed modern bullfighting.

Arab baths

Arabian baths

The Arab baths are thermal baths from the 13th to the 15th century. They are considered the best preserved Moorish baths in Spain. The baths were built along the Arroyo de las Culebras, a spring water spring that has a perfectly preserved water wheel from the Moorish period. Like the ancient Roman baths, the complex has cold, warm and hot baths (the heating system was entirely hydraulic). However, the architecture epitomizes Moorish design with a central hall and two rooms divided by distinctive Arab-style arches.

Casa del Rey Moro

Casa del Rey Moro

The Casa del Rey Moro or House of the Moorish Kings is an 18th century palace built on the site of a medieval well. It has a beautiful terraced garden. The palace was never the home of the Moorish rulers.

Achipino

Achipino

Achipino is one of the oldest sites around Ronda with ancient Roman ruins. Although the origins of the settlement go back to the Phoenicians. This archaeological site is located on a high hill. Most of the ruins date back to the 1st or 2nd century AD. The site has a typical Roman layout with fragments of the Forum or public square in the center of the hill and public buildings and thermae.

Socorro

Socorro

Socorro is a church and square in Ronda. The church was built in 1956. Previously there was a Christian chapel and a hospital. In the center of the square is a fountain.

Arab Walls

Arabian Walls

Ronda’s location on top of a rocky hill gave the city a strong strategic as well as defensive value. The medina was built with clearly defined boundaries. The old city was bounded on one side by a ravine and on the other by strong walls.

Of the old city fortifications, the Almokabar Gate, located in the southern part of the historic center, is well preserved. It was built in the 13th century and was restored by Charles V. Nearby, a new entrance was added, with a square base and a Renaissance-style tower with battlements. Another remarkable fragment of the city’s fortifications is located in the eastern part of the city. This area consists of a double defensive line of walls with Arab quarters as well as Arab public baths.

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Monastery of St. Domingo

Monastery of St. Domingo

The Convent of St. Domingo was built by Catholic monks in the 15th century. By the end of the 18th century the complex had been virtually abandoned and in the 19th century it became private property. In its southeastern part, the original chapel survives.

Church of the Holy Spirit

Church of the Holy Spirit

The Church of the Holy Spirit is an ancient church whose construction began in the 15th century after the conquest of Ronda. It is a simple single-nave church in the Spanish Gothic style.

Arch of Philip V

Arch of Philip V

The Arch of Philip V – consists of a single vaulted masonry arch with three peaks on top and decorated with the coats of arms of the Anjou family.

Monastery and Church of Merced

The church and convent of Merced

The church of Mercèd is an ancient religious building from the 16th century, and contains valuable works of art.

Church of Saint Cecilia

Church of Saint Cecilia

The Church of Saint Cecilia is a Baroque stone building. Previously it was part of the monastery that belonged to the Order of the Trinity.

Minaret of St. Sebastian

Minaret of St. Sebastian

The Minaret of St. Sebastian – Formerly a small tower belonging to one of the mosques in Ronda, it was used as the bell tower of the now defunct church as well. The tower has a square base. The lower part dates from the 14th century.

Interesting tours

Málaga Roman, Moorish, Catholic

€150 for a guided tour

Malaga Roman, Moorish, Catholic

See the symbols of the city and get to know the local cuisine on a historical and gastronomic walk

Ecotour in the Catalan Mountains

Eco-tour in the Catalan Mountains

Ascent of the Montseni mountain range to the waterfalls and the 11th century church of Aiguafreda de Dalt

Ronda, Spain – Sights of the City Above the Chasm

Ronda (Spain) is a city spread in the southern part of the country in the province of Malaga. This settlement covers an area of 385 km², and its population does not exceed 34 thousand inhabitants. The city is inland. It is separated by 50 km from the nearest coastal point, San Pedro Alcantara. And 63 km south-east of Ronda is the famous resort of Marbella. To get from Malaga to the town will take at least 1.5-2 hours (a distance of 104 km).

Ronda, Spain

The first mention of the city called Arunda is dated in the 6th century BC and is directly related to the Celtic tribes. During its centuries-long existence Ronda has been in the hands of the Greeks, the Romans and the Arabs. But in the 15th century the rulers of Castile managed to win back the city from the Arabs, after which began its modern development.

Today Ronda is considered one of the most picturesque sites in Andalusia, which is undoubtedly due to its unusual geographical location. It spreads out on a rocky plateau at an altitude of more than 700 m above sea level. The rock is deeply cut by the El Tajo gorge, and at its foot there are hundreds of meters of emerald valleys. Hovering over the abyss, Ronda is also recognized as one of the largest white cities in the region thanks to its architecture.

Undoubtedly, such a unique object could not fail to attract the attention of the sophisticated traveler. By the end of the 20th century, Ronda managed to become a real tourist center, and visitors have discovered many fascinating attractions in its territory, more about which we tell below.

Attractions in Ronda

It’s always interesting to visit tourist cities that are not stingy with their attractions. And in this matter, Ronda can be a real discovery for lovers of versatile excursions. Curious, what are the sights Ronda offers in Spain?

New Bridge

Almost no photo of Ronda is without its main attraction – the New Bridge, overhanging the El Tajo Gorge. Although Puente Nuevo is the youngest of the three bridges in the city, it has earned the title of Ronda’s calling card. Built at the end of the 18th century, it is a stone structure made up of three arches. The bridge is 66 meters long and 98 meters high. Today the landmark connects the Old Town and the new Ronda. It is noteworthy that the new bridge was built on the site of the old one, which had not stood for five years and collapsed at the bottom of the gorge, taking with them at least fifty lives. Interesting is the fact that inside Puente Nuevo there is a small room that used to be a prison for local bandits.

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Of course, the bridge itself is architecturally fascinating, but its appeal would not be so great were it not for the spectacular views offered by the El Tajo Gorge. A powerful rock fault, which depth in some points reaches 120 m, divides the Spanish city of Ronda into two parts. And the bottom of the canyon itself is decorated by the waters of the Guadalevin River. Tourists who have visited the place advise to go down the gorge and contemplate the local beauty from the bottom up.

  • It is free to visit at any time.
  • Address: Calle Armiñán, s/n, 29400 Ronda, Spain.

Old Town

Hovering above the abyss, Ronda is especially curious for its old quarter, a maze of winding alleys, alleyways, and dead ends that can lead a stranger to a rocky precipice with breathtaking panoramas. The old town occupies a small area where only some of the locals live, but it is always full of tourists. Strolling through the streets of the old part of Ronda, the traveler will come across snow-white houses with tiled roofs, temples and monuments, as well as the ancient fortress of the Muslim Gate.

One of the main attractions of the quarter is its museum of local history, located just behind the famous bridge. Also, while walking through the Old Town, many tourists visit local restaurants, most of which offer beautiful views of the El Tajo Gorge. In the area you can see several souvenir shops, where, according to travelers, the prices are very moderate.

The city of Ronda in Spain is also famous for its predilection for national traditions, and, in particular, for bullfighting. Here is one of the most famous in the country arena Plaza de Toros de Ronda, which has been visited by some public figures, including the American writer E. Hemingway (bas-relief of the author can be seen in the adjacent park). The bullfighting arena was erected in 1785: it is 66 m² in size and two floors of arcaded galleries can accommodate up to 5,000 spectators.

Bullfighting Arena

Although the Plaza de Toros is a small arena, it is very prestigious and revered by bullfighting fans in Spain. If you’re not ready to go to the bullfight itself, but would like to learn about this controversial show from the inside, the Plaza de Toros in Ronda gives you that opportunity. For an additional fee, tourists can learn about the history of bullfighting, take a walk around the arena, sit in the spectator seats, and see how bulls are prepared for the show and how horses are trained. Also within the walls of Plaza de Toros de Ronda is a miniature museum and two exhibitions showing matador costumes and posters from different times.

  • Opening hours: January to February and November to December from 10:00 to 18:00, March and October from 10:00 to 19:00, April to September from 10:00 to 20:00.
  • Price of admission: 8€, price of an audioguide: 1,5€.
  • Address: Calle Virgen de la Paz, 15, 29400 Ronda, Spain.

The Reservatauro Park is another great place to visit, 5 km from the city. Reservatauro is a breeding farm where they breed fighting bulls and thoroughbred Andalusian horses. Its founder was the bullfighter Rafael Tejado. Not so long ago, UNESCO awarded the farm the status of a biosphere reserve. Today visitors have the opportunity not only to observe the animals grazing in the meadows, but also to look at them in the process of training.

  • Working hours: daily from 10:00 to 18:00. However, the official website of the farm strongly recommends reserving your visits in advance.
  • Address: Ctra. A-367 Ronda-Campillos Km 34, 29400 Ronda, Spain
  • Cost of visit. The organizers offer three types of tours:
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“Walk with bulls and horses”. Duration – 70 minutes, price for an adult – 28 €, for children – 12 €.

Excursion “Five Senses”, during which visitors get into an arena where bulls are trained and then taste local wines and tapas. The duration is 2 hours, the ticket price is 40 € for adults, 20 € for children.

An “exclusive tour” during which a personal guide will tell you about the farm and introduce you to its inhabitants, after which you will go for a wine and tapas tasting. The duration is 2-3 hours, the cost for an adult is 90 €, for children 30 €.

Arab baths

In photos of Ronda in Spain, you can often see curious structures in Moorish architectural style. These are none other than the Arabian baths built on the territory of the city in the 13-15th centuries. Today the remnants of the water pump, three rooms with the baths themselves and a miniature garden have been preserved here. Before visiting the site itself, tourists are shown a five-minute film in English about the structure and function of the baths, after which it becomes much more interesting to study the site.

  • Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 10:00 to 18:00, Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 to 15:00.
  • Cost of admission: 3,5 €, children under 14 years old are free.
  • Address: Calle Molino de Alarcón, s/n, 29400 Ronda, Spain.

Alameda Del Tajo Lookout

Ronda is a real city above the abyss and once again you can see it in the park Alameda Del Tajo. Here are several viewing platforms, from where you can see the full panorama of Ronda with its famous bridge and ravine, mountains and valleys. Once you’ve enjoyed the breathtaking images you can always continue your stroll through the park among the fountains, studying its monuments and sculptures. If you happen to visit Ronda in the spring, you’ll catch the fruit trees in bloom.

  • You can visit the park and the observation decks at any time.
  • Address: Calle Virgen de la Paz, Ronda, Spain.

One of the most visited attractions of Ronda in Andalusia (Spain), was the House of the Moorish King. The funny fact is that it has never served as a house for royalty, and bears this name solely due to the image of a Moorish prince adorning the facade. Now the house, as well as the surrounding once luxurious garden, are in disrepair.

Moorish King's House

But modern tourists are drawn here, above all, because of the mine, which leads down to a depth of 600 meters and reaches the bottom of the gorge. Everyone can take a trip down the secret path, but note that the descent and ascent back require considerable physical effort.

  • Working time: from October to April – from 10:00 to 20:00, from May to September – from 10:00 to 21:30.
  • Cost of admission: 7€ for adults, 3,5€ for children under the age of 12.
  • Address: Calle Cuesta de Santo Domingo, 9, 29400 Ronda, Spain.

If you are a wine connoisseur you must visit the local winery García Hidalgo. It’s a small, family-run farm with very friendly owners who personally give tours in English of their modest property. During your visit, you can visit the vineyards and sample fine wines and tapas. The winery is surrounded by picturesque hills and everyone who wants to spend a little more than that, can stay overnight (from 70 € per day).

Garcia Hidalgo Winery

It is important to note that the winery does not set standard visiting hours and does not provide exact rates for tours, as they are optional. All information about booking tours, as well as their costs, can be obtained directly from the hosts by contacting them via email (info@bodegasgarciahidalgo.es) or by phone (622879005, they speak English).

  • Address: A-6300, 38, 29400 Ronda, Spain.

Accommodation

Before telling you in detail how to get from Málaga to Ronda on your own, I would like to highlight the issue of accommodation in the city: its variety and cost. It is pleasant to note that the booking services in the city offer more than 150 accommodation options. And most of them are apartments and hotels 3 *.

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Hotel in Ronda

The most budget institutions of this segment offer double rooms from 24-30 € per day. Apartments of the middle category, equipped with all necessary furniture and appliances will cost 50-60 € per night for two people. Rooms at three star hotels close to the center of Ronda and including breakfast can easily be rented for 70-80€ a night.

How to get there

If you liked the description of the city and its sights, you would probably like to know how to get to Ronda in Spain. It is easy enough to do from anywhere in the country, but most often tourists prefer to reach the city from Malaga. And as a means of transportation they usually use either a train or bus. Ronda is separated from Málaga by a little more than 100 km, a trip on a given route by car takes at least an hour and a half.

Rail transportation in Spain is provided by the company Renfe. There are daily trains from Malaga María Zambrano train station to Ronda. Flights are operated several times a day. Depending on the hour of departure you choose, fares range from 15 to 37 €. Travel time ranges from 2 to 3 hours. More accurate and detailed timetable you can always find on the website www.omio.com or on the official Renfe portal – www.renfe.com

Málaga Train Station

The bus is the more common mode of transport from Málaga to Ronda and back. And for good reason: bus transportation for a given route is engaged in several companies, which provides passengers with a large number of trips. At the same time, bus travel prices are significantly lower than by train and range from 11 to 13 €. You can also find out more about bus timetables and prices at www.omio.com.

Bus Alsa

Now you have a good idea of how to get from Málaga to Ronda. All you have to do now is choose the transport that best suits your needs, find out the exact timetable and plan your trip.

The prices on this page are correct as of January 2020.

Useful tips

Ronda Weather

  1. If you are traveling in Spain by car and have decided to enter Ronda from Marbella, it is best to park your car outside of the Old Town, otherwise you risk wasting time trying to find a free parking space.
  2. As you approach the New Bridge along Arminan Street you can see several wine shops. Tourists who have been there strongly advise against buying wine in such establishments, as there is a high probability of coming across an adulteration.
  3. It is best to visit Ronda in Spain in the spring or early summer, when it is not too hot, but the parks and gardens are beginning to bloom.
  4. To fully enjoy the beauty of Ronda and see its main attractions, a day is enough.
  5. Don’t forget that if you plan to visit the García Hidalgo Winery or the Animal Farm, you must contact the owners and book your tour in advance.

These are probably the most sensible recommendations for visiting Ronda, Spain. Take all of the above information into consideration and start planning your trip to the amazing, soaring over the abyss town.

A walk through the Old Town of Ronda:

Author: Catherine Unal

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“This tiny settlement covers an area of 385 km²” – the note seems to have been written by a Muscovite. How dare you say “tiny”! So this is the area of an average regional center, and there are regional centers which are twice as small. And no one ever called Kostroma, Kurgan, Tula or Kursk miniature…

Victor, the main thing is not to get nervous, it is not worth it. We took the word out specially for you.

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