Things to do (and see) in Ronda
Ronda is one of the most beautiful and visited! towns in Andalusia. Close to Malaga (1h:30), this town offers magnificent panoramas over the whole valley. the town is divided in two by the Guadalevin river, it’s famous for the Puente Nuevo (New Bridge), the bridge linking the 2 sides by a 400 ft deep gorge.
A single day is enough to discover all the must-see attractions and points of interest.
Here is our Top 10 things to do and see in Ronda, with an itinerary to visit Ronda in 1 day.
These are the best places to visit while you are in Ronda:
1. Plaza de Toros de Ronda
I suggest you start your visit to Ronda at the bull ring (in Spanish, Plaza de Toros), one of the oldest arenas in Spain, it was opened in 1785 and it was dessigned by the same architect who built the Puente Nuevo (“New Bridge” in english), it can host 5,000 spectators. Ronda’s stately bullring is now used just once a year for the exclusive annual bullfight of the town’s September Feria. Ronda is known to be the birthplace of bullfighting.
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
2. Ronda Viewpoint
From the Plaza de Toros, take the Paseo Blas Infante walk to the edge of the cliff. The pathway that runs from Ronda’s bullring and along the cliff-edge to Paseo Ernest Hemingway and Puente Nuevo contains a number of viewing points that are hilariously called ‘Balcon del Coño’ in Spanish. These balconies jut out over the cliffside and provide straight-down views that will make even the least vertigo-suffering of visitors shudder.
3. The Puento Nuevo
Continue on your way you will finally see the Puento Nuevo (New Bridge), One of southern Spain’s most famous attractions. You should definitely cross the bridge for a picture stop at the Aldehuela viewpoint.
Completed in 1793, it took some forty years and the lives of 50 construction workers to build, the Puento Nuevo links El Mercadillo (The Little Market), the newer part of town, with La Ciudad (The Town), the old Moorish quarter. This spectacular bridge is nearly 400 feet high. The original bridge was built on a single arch structure, after 6 years that original bridge colapsed, it was later replaced with the actual one having 3 arches as its main structure.
To have the most beautiful view on the bridge and take the perfect picture, follow the Calle Tenorio until you reach the Plaza de Maria Auxiliadora. A path will take you down to the first viewpoint .
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!
4. La Casa del Rey Moro (Moorish Palace)
Ronda’s so-called House of the Moorish King was in fact built in the eighteenth century, long after the the town fell to the Christians in 1485. It sits atop El Tajo gorge on the old Moorish side of town and, although the palace is closed to the public, you can still walk down the steep stone staircase of the Water Mine all the way to the bottom of El Tajo. During Ronda’s Moorish occupation, it was to this perilous staircase that Christian slaves are said to have been chained in order to pass containers of water up to the town from the river Guadalevin. The neck-craning views of Puente Nuevo from the bottom of the gorge are well worth the 300-step trek back to the top.
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!
5. New Town & Old Town
El Tajo canyon not only rendered necessary Ronda’s most iconic attraction, it also divides the town into two separate parts, each with its own style and atmosphere. La Ciudad – or The Town – is the original Moorish part and weaves around one central Street, Calle Armiñan, south of Puente Nuevo (New Bridge). On the northern cliffs of El Tajo is the more commercial part of town, known as El Mercadillo – or The Little Market – it was developed after the Arabs were expelled towards the end of the fifteenth century. The heart of modern-day Ronda has retained all of the beauty and charm of Andalusia’s gorgeous ‘white villages’.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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…
Want to spend a day in Ronda from Malaga or Marbella? in Costa Excursions we offer a day trip to Ronda where you will enjoy the best of what this town has to offer.