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Travel tip: Spain, Ronda is really worth a visit.

Ronda is an exciting city with an exciting history, just a ninety minute drive from Marbella. Ronda is perhaps best known for its dramatic location on the edge of a deep gorge. Here you will get some good travel tips and "must-see" experiences if you want to make the trip up here. This is certainly a positive recommendation that I am sure you will appreciate. My visit was at the end of March, with great temperatures and not too many tourists.

(text and photo Ingar Næss)

The iconic Puente Nuevo bridge

Important tip:

To find the old town, the easiest way is to search for "parking ronda" on the map function on your phone, with that search you are within the city walls! There are also parking facilities here. It is not far to walk to the sights.

Recommendation: If you have time, stay overnight so that you have enough time to experience all the sights!


Here is my "Must-See" tip you must see in Ronda.

Puente Nuevo!

Spanning the El Tajo gorge, this impressive bridge is an iconic symbol of the city. It was built in the 18th century and offers spectacular views of the gorge and the surrounding landscape. I have to be completely honest, I never thought this canyon was as spectacular as it actually is in reality. When you stand and look down, hold on to your mobile, it's far down. The most spectacular side is probably the one facing east. There is also a museum that shows the history of this great building. The museum is located inside the bridge and offers an insight into the bridge's fascinating history and construction. The exhibition is spread over several levels and highlights the complex construction process from 1759 to 1793, as well as the bridge's important role in Ronda's development. You can further explore historical details and dramatic narratives related to the bridge's past, including its time as a prison and place of execution. You also get a unique view of the gorge and the surrounding landscape, which makes the visit a different experience.


If you want to read a bit about the history of this unique bridge, click on the arrow/link in the section below here:

Puente Nuevo, meaning "New Bridge" in Spanish , is one of the most striking and recognizable architectural landmarks in Ronda, a historic city in southern Spain.



The City

La Ciudad, or the old town of Ronda, is the heart of the city's history and charm. This part of the city dates back to the time of the Moors in Spain, and many of the structures and streets reflect this rich historical heritage. Click on the arrow/link below to read about the history of this town which stretches back to the 7th century.



La Ciudad is located on the eastern side of the El Tajo gorge , which is dramatically divided by the Puente Nuevo, the bridge that links the old quarter to the newer part of the city.


Plaza de Toros

Few people know this part of the story. Plaza de Toros is one of the oldest and most venerable bullrings in Spain. Even if you are not a fan of bullfighting, this museum is interesting to explore to learn a bit about the history of bullfighting and the architecture of the building. To read about the exciting change from horse and lance, to the matadors' foot fight against the red-robed bulls. Click and read the story below



Here in this arena the idea of the red cloak was born . This historic arena was built in 1785 by the architect José Martin de Aldehuela, who was also behind the construction of the Puente Nuevo, another iconic landmark in Ronda. Click on the arrow to read more.


Baños Arabes

The Baños Árabes in Ronda are a fascinating part of the city's rich Muslim heritage. These Arab baths, dating back to the 13th and 14th centuries, are among the best preserved examples of their kind in Spain. Located in the city's old Jewish quarter, they represent an important aspect of daily life in the Muslim period.

The construction of the baths reflects traditional Islamic architecture, with typical elements such as arched ceilings, star-shaped openings for light, and water systems designed to ensure cleanliness and hygienic care.


These baths served not only hygienic purposes, but were also social gathering places where people from different walks of life could meet and exchange news. Today, this is a valuable window to the past and offers a testimony to the cultural and architectural richness that characterized Al-Andalus, Muslim Spain.

Unfortunately, we did not have time to visit this wonderful historical facility.


Jardines de Cuenca

Hanging gardens that offer stunning views of the gorge and the city. A perfect place for a quiet afternoon walk.


The Jardines de Cuenca, or Cuenca Gardens, are hanging gardens that cling to the sides of the El Tajo gorge in Ronda. These terraced gardens, laid out along the gorge's edge, offer visitors a unique opportunity to wander through lush greenery while enjoying spectacular views of both the gorge and the city. The gardens are named after the city of Cuenca, due to the resemblance to its famous hanging houses. Designed to create an area for recreation and enjoyment, Jardines de Cuenca offers a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city and is the ideal place for a leisurely afternoon stroll, admiring the natural beauty and impressive architecture for which Ronda is famous.


Experiences in Ronda

Wine routes

Ronda is famous for its vineyards. Consider taking a wine route to visit local bodegas and taste the region's wines. With its fertile soil and ideal climate, has experienced a renaissance in wine production and is now known for its quality vineyards. The city's wine routes offer a unique opportunity to explore this rich wine culture by visiting local bodegas. Guests can learn about the production process, from growing grapes to winemaking, and of course taste the selection of wines that reflect the region's unique terroir. These tours not only provide insight into the art behind winemaking, but also offer the chance to enjoy the beautiful countryside that surrounds Ronda, making a wine route a must-do experience for wine lovers and anyone looking to delve deeper into Andalucía's gastronomic heritage. Find a good guide.


Hiking

Recommend the trip near the gorge.

Ronda is surrounded by beautiful nature, and exploring this on foot can provide a pleasant experience. The city is privileged with several hiking trails that wind around the dramatic gorge El Tajo and extend into the nearby natural parks.


These trails offer a varied landscape, from steep cliff vistas to forests and quiet riverbanks. Whether you're a seasoned hiker or just looking for a peaceful afternoon stroll, Ronda's trails will fulfill your desires.


Local gastronomy and pleasant accommodation.

To fully experience Ronda's charm, consider an overnight stay at one of the charming hotels that give a sense of the city's history and culture. Waking up to the view of the surrounding mountains or the deep gorge is an experience in itself.

There are several hotels that offer you this experience.


When it comes to food, you'll find some fantastic eateries that offer views of Puente Nuevo and the gorge as a bonus.


Restaurante Arrabal

We chose this restaurant and we highly recommend it. Here you can enjoy local gastronomy with a fantastic view that almost takes your breath away.

Try regional specialties such as rabo de toro (oxtail soup), accompanied by a glass of local wine, for an authentic taste of Andalucía.

We chose a simple paella with squid and king prawns, absolutely lovely flavours, recommended.


Welcome to Restaurante Arrabal.

Ronda is more than just a stopover; it is a destination that deserves your full attention. Whether you are fascinated by history, culture, gastronomy, or just the sheer beauty of nature, Ronda will exceed your expectations. So, add this historical gem to your "bucket list" and prepare for an experience that will enrich your trip and leave lasting memories.


The itinerary from Elvira to Ronda

There are mainly two routes you can take from Elvira and Marbella to Ronda by car, and both offer great experiences: Coastal route via Marbella

We chose this route. If you are not familiar, both Marbella and Puerto Banús are pleasant stops for a coffee by the marina, or to explore the old parts of Marbella. (also read articles from the old town in Marbella and several great restaurants )

It is a nice road, but with a number of bends and the drive from Porto Bandus is about an hour, at a leisurely pace. Don't stress and follow the average measurement, which is a couple of places, both ways.

The inland route via Coin and Alozaina

This route goes through the Andalusian hinterland and offers a more rural experience with beautiful scenery and smaller villages along the way. Perfect for those who want to experience the Andalusian countryside.

Each route has its own charm, so you can choose to take one up and the other down to maximize the experiences of the trip. Remember to check local conditions and attractions that may be seasonal or have special opening hours.



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