Visit the feast of architectural treasures that stand on either side of a spectacular gorge in this hilltop town in Andalusia.
Famous for bullfighting, historic architecture and breathtaking views, Ronda is a popular destination for a visit when touring Andalusia. First settled in the Neolithic Age, the town has passed through the hands of the Celts, Romans and Moors, with each culture leaving an influence on the striking townscape. Appreciate Ronda’s setting in the Serranía de Ronda region, surrounded by dramatic escarpments, river valleys and rolling hills.
Start your discovery of Ronda at Puente Nuevo, an 18th-century bridge connecting the Moorish old town, La Ciudad, with the new town, El Mercadillo. Gaze over the town’s rooftops and down the craggy ravines of the 394-foot-deep (120-meter) El Tajo Gorge. Paths lead down from the bridge into the heart of the gorge and to riverside trails.
Walk south from Puente Nuevo and explore La Ciudad’s atmospheric streets. Find picturesque squares, including Plaza Duquesa de Parcent, decorated by monuments such as the Church of Santa Maria la Mayor. See displays about Ronda’s history at Mondragón Palace and an Aladdin’s cave of curious exhibits at Museo Lara. Gaze up at Puerta de Almocábar, the one-time gateway to an ancient castle, and tour the well-preserved Arab Baths.
North of Puente Nuevo is Plaza de España, El Mercadillo’s main square. Ernest Hemingway brought international fame to the square by describing it in his novel For Whom the Bell Tolls. Visit Plaza de Toros, one of Spain’s most revered bullrings, and browse bullfighting memorabilia at the Ronda Bullring Museum. Enjoy additional memorable views from Mirador de Aldehuela and Cuenca Gardens.
Browse the antique shops, boutiques, bookstores and fashion outlets on Carretera Espinel, known locally as La Bola. Dine on delicious tapas, sample Andalusian wines and watch a flamenco show at the bars and restaurants around Plaza Carmen Abela.
Reach Ronda by flying to Malagá International Airport and catching a bus or renting a car from there. Alternatively, get here from Algeciras via a train journey, which travels through splendid mountain scenery and along the El Tajo Gorge.