Best 10 Things to see and do in Ronda
Ronda sits in the heart of the Serrania de Ronda, about 100 kms from the city of Malaga (1 hour and 30 minutes driving) and with a population of approximately 35,000 inhabitants. Ronda has become Andalusia’s third most visited town.
With its world-famous New Bridge and bullring, as well as the hidden corners of the gorge on top of which it perches, Ronda will not disappoint you.
Ronda (Acinipo) was first declared a city by Julius Caesar in the first century AD. when the Moorish troops under the command of Tarik-ibn-Zeyad invaded the region in 8C, one of the first routes they followed was the old Roman one, linking Gibraltar with the Roman settlement of Acinipo.
They renamed the town to Izna-Rand-Onda – Ronda. The ruins of Acinipo actually sit 20 Km outside of modern-day Ronda.
In CostaExcursions we organize guided private walking tours in Ronda, please read more about our day trip to Ronda from Malaga or Marbella.
Here is our Top 10 things to see and do in Ronda, with an itinerary to visit Ronda in 1 day.
Puente Nuevo (new bridge)
Offering unforgettable views over the El Tajo gorge. The Puente Nuevo – new bridge – was actually completed in 1793 and took forty two years to build (and many workers killed…). It was buildt by the same architect as the famous bull ring.
One of southern Spain’s most famous attractions, Ronda’s Puente Nuevo, or New Bridge, spans the 328-feet-deep El Tajo gorge, linking El Mercadillo (The Little Market), the newer part of town, with La Ciudad (The Town), the old Moorish quarter. The Puente Nuevo was built because is the shorte distance between the old town and the new town.
The original bridge had one single arch, that bridge colapsed 6 years after it was built, the new bridge has 3 arches.
One of Spain’s most famous Parador hotels sits adjacent to the bridge and is a well worth a visit. The views of the El Tajo gorge from this hotel are spectacular.
Be careful, the viewpoint is not well secured, so watch your steps and your camera! Every year, hundreds of cameras are found at the bottom of the ravine.
You can then go down to the second viewpoint which will allows you to see the bridge + the waterfall and the river that flows underneath. A second opportunity to take nice pictures!
Bullring (plaza de toros)
The Real Maestranza bullring is one of the oldest and most picturesque in Spain. It was built in 1785 by the architect (Jose Martin Aldehuela – the same architect who built the Puente Nuevo). The ring can hold up to 5000 spectators.
Ronda’s bullring is now used just once a year for the exclusive annual bullfight of the town’s September Feria (local festivity)
The price of entry is 8.00€ per person and 8.50€ with an audio-guide.
All information for the visit is available in a on Ronda Plaza de Toros official website
Ronda Bullring Opening Times
January to February 10am till 6 pm
March 10am till 7 pm
April to September 10am till 8 pm
October 10am till 7 pm
November to December 10am till 6pm
Coño Balcony (el balcón del coño)
Although not a very nice name, the views from this balcony doesn´t get any better. This balcony is jut out over the cliffside and provide straight-down views of the gorge. This balcony feel much sturdier than they look when viewed from a distance (see image), especially if there are a number of visitors crammed onto them.
The Balcón del Coño viewpoint is another that should not be missed.
La Casa del Rey Moro (Moorish Palace)
It sits atop El Tajo gorge on the old Moorish side of town and, the palace is now a museum, you can walk down the steep stone staircase to the Water Mineall the way to the bottom of El Tajo. Legend has it that this was the residence of the Moorish King, Almonated, who is said to have drank wine from the skulls of his enemies.
Although more recent evidence seems to indicate that the King never actually lived in the building. Today’s structure was completed in the 18th century and completely remodeled in 1920 by the Duchess of Parcent.
The gardens were designed by the same French architect who designed the Maria Luisa Park in Seville, Jean Claude Forestier.
You can also stroll through La Casa del Rey Moro sumptuous gardens. Designed by a French architect, Jean-Claude Forestier (the same architect who built the Maria Luisa Park in Seville), these terraced gardens with canals and fountains are simply magnificent. And the view too!
Jardines de Cuenca – Cuenca Gardens
The Cuenca Gardens (jardines de Cuenca) are located on the ledges of the Tajo and distributed across a series of terraces. The views are fantastic and give you a unique and differing perspective (and less crowded) of the city and of course the New Bridge. Totally worth it if you are up for a little walk.
The new bridge is not only the Ronda’s most iconic attraction, it also serves as a connection between the old town and the new town, each with its own style and atmosphere. La Ciudad – or The Old Town, is the original Moorish part and weaves around one central Street, Calle Armiñan, south of Puente Nuevo.
Baños Arabes (Arabic Baths)
When Going back to Puente Nuevo, you can make a detour and head to Ronda’s Arab Baths, located in San Miguel district. Despite the fact they were in continual use for some 600 years, Ronda’s 10th and 11th century Arabic baths are among the best-preserved in Spain (along with those in Granada).
You can still see the boiler used to heat the water. Take a look at the ceiling and you will see the star-shaped vents directly inspired by the Alhambra of Granada and its baths.
Duchess of Parcent Square
Continue on to Duchess of Parcent Square (Plaza Duquesa de Parcent in spanish), considered as one of the most beautiful square in the city. It’s surrounded by several monuments including the city hall but the most remarkable is undoubtedly the St. Mary Major Church, which was the original mosk during the muslim domination.
The construction of this church took almost 200 years and presents a mixture of Renaissance and Gothic style. Do not hesitate to go inside to admire its Gothic style nave and columns, its 2 floors Renaissance style choir and the beautiful baroque elements.
Eat and drink
The locals of Ronda love to eat, drink and socialise as much as any of their Andalusian neighbours, meaning there is a huge choice of places to take refreshment in between exploring El Tajo or learning about the bulls. A delicious regional speciality is Rabo de Toro (Ox Tail) .
There are many restaurants to enjoy the Puente Nuevo and the gorge views, one of them is Casa Don Miguel, which is popular with both locals and visitors alike. Another recommended restaurant is Macias, very close to the bull ring arena. For tapas we recommend Restaurante Las Maravillas, located on the main shopping street (Calle la Bola)
The main shopping street known as “Calle La Bola” (the real street name is Carrera Espinel) is where you will find losts of shops and tapas bars, from clothing stores to souvenirs shops, you sure will find the perfect gift to bring back home.
It is important to note that the we don´t spell Ronda as Rhonda as many people think…
Ronda isn’t all about history and culture, it is also home to some fantastic wineries. So after visiting all the above fantastic places, why don´t relax with a glass of wine and tapas at any of the wonderful restaurants in Ronda
To help you to enjoy the amazing wines and vineyards of Ronda, here are five tips from the Costa Excursions team.
1. Do your research:
This is our list of the most recommended wineries in Ronda
2. Start with a visit the Ronda Wine Information Centre
To start your trip right, we recommend a visit to this wine museum which is in one of the most beautiful houses in Ronda’s Old Town.
3. Limit yourself to 2 bodegas in a day
The vineyards and wineries in Ronda are stunning. Visiting a few different ones is a great way to ee some different places and of course try the different wines. However, don’t try to pack in too many in one dayas it will get very tiring and you won´t appreciate it as much.
4. Enjoy some traditional food
Ronda has great food and restuarants, the food in Ronda is rich, hearty, with big portions and strong flavours. Try Rabo de Toro (Oxtail), Jabalu (wild boar) and partridge stew (perdiz).
5. Take an organised tour
It is almost impossible to get around the vineyards in Ronda without transportation, but you do not want to drink and drive, so how can you do it? With an organised tour of course. At Costa Excursions we will pick you up from your hotel or apartment in Malaga or the Coast, take you up to the best bodegas and give you a chance to visit Ronda as well.
Help me Rhonda
Ok, ok, we know by now that Help me Rhonda is a Beach Boys song, but we are sure “Ronda” will help you have a great time. Come and enjoy it with us.
“Well, Rhonda you look so fine (look so fine)
And I know it wouldn’t take much time (just 6 hours)
For you to help me Rhonda
Help me get her out of my heart”
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