Are you planning to visit the romantic mountain top city of Ronda in the beautiful Andalusian region of Spain?
You are in for a treat! Here are my suggested top and best things to do in Ronda, Spain!
Ronda is a classically romantic city located on the mountain regions of Andalusia. It has some of the most amazing heritages and cultural landmarks in Europe.
No wonder that Ronda has been mentioned in various classic romantic novels and poems. The city has been a popular place for the writers and artists.
- History of Ronda, Spain
- How to Get to Ronda, Spain?
- Here are some of our suggestions on the best things to do in Ronda for a romantic weekend!
Are you in a hurry?
Here’s our recommended tour that will take you around Ronda. You can check it out here. Scroll down if you want to know more about the best things to do in Ronda for a romantic weekend trip.
History of Ronda, Spain
Ronda was actually settled by the Celtiberians in the 6th Century BC when it was called as “Arunda”. Later on, the Phoenicians settled Acinipo or Old Ronda, around 20 km to the east. The existing town is known to have Roman origins and was built actually as a fortification in the Second Punic War from 218 to 201 BC.
During the Julius Caesar period, it had earned the city status. When Roman Empire was collapsed, Suebi initially occupied Ronda and then by the Visigoths, who ruled until 713 AD when the Arabs invaded Ronda. Later on, the Moors rename it as the Castle of Rundah or Hisn Ar-Rundah.
Ronda was among of the last Islamic outposts in Andalusia in 1485. The Spanish drove out the rest of the Muslim colonizer eventually.
Ronda stretched north on the gorge in El Mercadillo town and Puente Nuevo (New Bridge) was finished in 1793 that connects both areas.
How to Get to Ronda, Spain?
Getting to Ronda is very easy and accessible from the most parts of Costa del Sol Region and the rest of main cities in Andalusia.
Distance from Marbella to Ronda Spain
You have an option to take Portillo Avanza bus from Marbella to Ronda, which is around 63 km via A-397. The overall journey takes hardly 1 hour.
Bus from Seville to Ronda Spain
You can take bus service by Los Amarillos from Seville to Ronda. The buses depart every day from Prado de San Sebastian bus station and the journey takes up to 2 to 2 ½ hours.
Bus from Malaga to Ronda Spain
Bus from Ronda to Malaga is a bit cheaper than the train at just €11. However, it still offers direct service to Ronda gorge. Autobuses Los Amarillos run many buses every day from Malaga to Ronda. The bus routes between Ronda and Malaga are virtually similar to that of the train, but the bus goes through winding paths across the valleys along A-367 to A-357 before going to the valley past Cartama and Ardales.
If you want to explore Spain a little more, you can hop the bus to Fuengirola from Malaga and then to Ronda, which drives through vivid mountain ranges. Even though it takes up to 40 minutes more time, it is still worth if you love the awesome and natural landscapes.
Here are some of our suggestions on the best things to do in Ronda for a romantic weekend!
1. Puente Nuevo (The New Bridge)
The Puente Nuevo or The New Bridge is the largest and most recent of three bridges spanning over 390 ft. (120m) deep chasm, which carries Guadalevin River and divides Ronda city in the southern region of Spain. The bridge was master planned by a well-known architect, Jose Martin de Aldehuela, who died in 1802 in Malaga, and chief builder behind the construction was Juan Antonio, Diaz Machuca.
The construction of The New Bridge was started in the year 1759 and was built in 34 years. On the central arch, there is a chamber used for different purposes, including a prison. Both sides were used prison allegedly as a torture chamber during the civil war (1936-1939) for the opponents who were captured and some of them were killed by throwing them off the windows to the rocks at El Tajo gorge.
The access to the chamber was a square building, which was once used as a guardhouse. Now, it houses an exhibition, which describes the construction and history of the building.
In 1735, the previous bridge was built and was first attempt to cover the gorge in such height and was finished by architects Juan Camacho and Jose Garcia with a single arch design. Sadly, this bridge was poorly and quickly built and the whole bridge was collapsed in 1741 and caused the death of 50 individuals.
2. The Bullring of the Royal Cavalry of Ronda
The bullring of Ronda is one of the most beautiful and oldest across Spain. Officially opened on May 1785, built in neoclassical style and it has the main entrance to the unique stonework. The tiers of stands are split into two different superimposed levels with 68 arches and smooth stone columns.
Arabian tiles were used to cover the saddle roof. This 60m diameter ring can serve up to 14000 people. EU citizens can enter the Bullring and its museum for free.
3. Cueva del Gato
Also known as the cat’s cave, the Cueva Del Gato in Ronda is among the paradisical pools of the river that is often found deeper into the Andalusian countryside. Unlike a lot of river pools, accessing the Cueva del Gato is very simple. You can easily drive to the park and river along it. You do not have to walk much to reach there. However, it can get crowded on weekends in the summer months.
Here, you will find crystal clear, very clean and extremely cold water. However, it is a great picnic spot and you can chill out after sightseeing in the morning. It is known as one of the most amazing cave complexes of Andalusia and the best things to do in Ronda.
You can get here through two entry points – one to the south in cat’s cave and other to the north in Hundidero. The Cueva del Gata might have been named after its cat-like looks. The mouth of this cave is supposed to look like a cat’s face.
4. Mirador de Ronda
Mirador de Ronda is one of the most well-known viewpoints in Ronda for a good reason. The gorge of Puente Nuevo and its surrounding countryside can easily be seen from here. The viewpoint has been named after the famous architect Jose Martin de Aldehuela. He also built the Puente Nuevo bullring and finished the cathedral of Malaga among other projects. You can also explore the Balcon del Coño viewpoint.
5. Casa Don Bosco
Built-in modernist style, Casa Don Bosco was built at the beginning of 20th century and is located in Old Ronda, Calle Tenorio. It belonged to one of the rich families of Ronda and was donated to Salesian Order. It served as a refuge for the sick and elderly. In 1931, it was announced as a historical monument. The house is overlooking the gorge and has a fantastic view of Puente Nuevo, a visit to Casa Don Bosco is one of the best things to do in Ronda.
6. Visit the Viajeros Romantico Plaza
It is worth saying that Spanish hilly town of Ronda has finally managed to melt the stony heart of cynics. The Viajeros Romantico Plaza or the Romantic Travelers Plaza is a 19th-century complex loved by the tourists in Ronda. Ronda has been mentioned in various classic poems, songs and novels. Many writers and poets fell in love and inspired by the beauty of Ronda.
7. Puente Viejo
Also known as Old Bridge, the Puente Viejo is the smallest and oldest of three bridges in Ronda, spanning over 390 ft. (120m) deeply into the gorge which covers the Guadalevin River and the city of Ronda. The bridge was constructed in 1616 mainly for pedestrian use.
Built possibly on the ruins of the earlier bridge in the 16th century, it was the one link between La Ciudad and Mercadillo to travel until the Puente Nuevo was completed centuries later.
The Arco de Felipe V, the gate over the bridge from the same era, was the only entryway to La Ciudad from this part of the town and it was a major defence. On the bridge, the covered niches were also introduced during the renovation in the 18th century.
The legendary Spanish director Carlos Saura shot both surroundings and the bridge, along with the small barren chapel, which is now Arabic study centre, in the blockbuster hit Carmen (1983). The nearby Los Carlos bar is designed with stills in the film.
8. Puerta de Almocábar
The Puerta de Almocabar was built during the Muslim rule by the end of 13th century and it was the prominent gateway to the city of Ronda and Alcazaba. There are three successive doors along with two semicircular towers in this landmark, which were served for the guard as accommodation.
The Castilian troops gathered in the square on May 20, 1485, in front of Puerta de Almocabar under the rule of Marquis of Cadiz, which ended the Arab rule in Ronda as well as in the surrounding areas. It was rebuilt on the rule of Charles V and is named for being closer to Al Magabir, a Muslim cemetery. In 1961, the Puerta de Almocabar was recovered and was designed on Renaissance style and Carlos Vhas imperial shield was added to it.
9. Visit the Copper Forest in Benalauria
The Copper Forest is one of the most amazing autumn landscapes in Serrania de Ronda in the interior of Malaga province. It is actually a metaphor, which refers to the serene landscape created by nature when leaves fall from chestnut trees and it covers the hills with yellows, browns, ochres, and oranges.
The Copper Forest is solely located in the Genal Valley and is one of the three leading geographical regions along with the Guardiaro Valley and the plateau. The mountainsides covered by this forest are filled with chestnut trees, which stand out, and you can walk through them on different paths. You can embrace the breathtaking views from various strategic points and vantage points in several towns of the area.
10. El Tajo Gorge
The El Tajo Gorge is the scenic canyon cuts through the mid of Ronda. The town is split by El Tajo Gorge into El Mercadillo, which is the modern quarter, and La Ciudad, the old town of the Moorish era. Explore the scenic beauty of the gorge and hike down in the centre of the valley.
It is around 120m or 394 feet deep and 68m wide. It was formed due to the constant erosion of a river named Rio Guadalevin fed by the Sierra de las Nievas Mountains. The size of the gorge served as a natural defence during the enemy invasions. The serene Puente Nuevo connects two districts of Ronda for amazing views of this exciting landmark. Here, you can get the breathtaking vistas of deep escarpments over the river. A visit to the gorge is one of the best things to do in Ronda.
I hope that inspired you of some of the best things to do in Ronda, Spain for a romantic weekend. The classic Spanish vibes of the city will captivate you heart.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
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