If you like guaranteed sunny weather and beautiful scenery, but you don’t like the crowds that gather along the beaches of the Costa del Sol, consider vacationing in Ronda.
Located approximately 420 kilometres west of Madrid, in the Sierra region of Extremadura, Ronda welcomes its visitors with the crystal waters from its natural spring pools and offers them challenging hillside walks.
For hikers, Ronda is a little piece of paradise as it sits high on a mountaintop next to a meter-deep gorge. It is this gorge that separates new and old Ronda, a city dating back to the days of the Moors. An impressive stone bridge connects the two parts of the city and offers breathtaking views of the river and the surrounding area of hundreds of red-roofed, whitewashed houses.
Despite a limited population of about 35,000 residents, Ronda features a number of impressive hotels. The most famous of them being Parador de Ronda. In addition, the city sports numerous bed and breakfast houses and family-run restaurants, offering delectable foods and wines.
Some tourists come to Ronda to escape the hustle and bustle of Madrid, others staying on the Costa del Sol want to see something more than a crowded beach, while for others still Ronda offers them some much needed peace and quiet. Writers in particular love this quiet little city with its romantic cobblestone streets. Perhaps they hope that Ronda will do for them what it did for Ernest Hemingway when he wrote his novel ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls’.
Small as Ronda might be, it offers plenty of attractions.
Puente Nuevo, meaning new bridge, is the earlier mentioned bridge that connects old and new Ronda and is the city’s most famous landmark. The bridge took 42 years to build and was completed in 1793. If the views the bridge offers impress you, take a moment and walk down into the gorge. Look at the bridge from the ground up and relax on the valley floor strewn with flowers.
Designed by Jose Martin Aldehuela, the same architect who planned the Puente Nuevo. Built in 1785, the bullring is the oldest in Spain and holds up to 5,000 spectators.
Before homes had private bathrooms, cities had public baths. The Arab baths, located in the San Miguel Quarter of Ronda, were built while King Abomelik ruled Spain and, along with the bathhouse in Granada, are two of the best preserved. In Ronda, visitors can admire the large cauldron that used to heat the water for the baths.
Also commissioned by King Abomelik is the Mondragon Palace. Built in 1314, the palace features beautiful gardens and courtyards, romantic balconies and water features. When Ronda fell into the hands of Catholic monarchs, the palace became home to King Fernando and Queen Isabella. Today the palace is a museum showing exhibits dating back to the Megalithic period.
Duquesa de Parcent Square
A site not to be missed is the Duquesa de Parcent Square. This leafy square features numerous monuments and is home to the Santa Maria del Mayor church. It took over 200 years to build this church and combines gothic and renaissance styles.
Ronda’s Wine Route
When you’ve had your fill of history and you feel like something completely different, visit Descalzos Viejos winery. Should you want more of the same, you can go on a wine route of Ronda. The wines from this region are appreciated both locally and internationally.
Whether you want a relaxing holiday, to learn about ancient history, or to enjoy some of the best things Spain has to offer, Ronda won’t be a disappointment.
Don’t forget to book your Malaga airport transfer with Holiday Transfers when you visit!