Ronda, Spain is the most impressive example of the famous whitewashed towns (Pueblos Blancos) of Andalusia. If you only have time to visit one of them, go to Ronda! Surrounded by pristine mountain scenery, the town delivers thrilling views of the dramatic landscape over a deep canyon. The old section impresses with the narrow streets among whitewashed buildings and its main attraction, Puente Nuevo bridge. Come for a day or stay for a week to appreciate all it has to offer. In this post, you will learn how to visit and what to do in Ronda, Spain.
Ronda, Spain – A Picture Perfect White Village of Andalusia
My two-week trip to Southern Spain included most of the area’s top attractions, including my favorite Seville and Nerja. Initially, Ronda did not score high on the list of must-sees in the region. Its location, quite far from the main route of my itinerary, did not help its ranking. But I wanted to experience at least one of Andalusia’s charming white villages, and in the end, Ronda became a clear winner.
How to get to Ronda, Spain
Driving to Ronda
Renting a car is the best way to access this relatively remote region of Andalusia. I suggest taking route A-397 if approaching from the coastal area in the south. With every twist and turn, you will be climbing higher into the mountains for one spectacular view after another.
Remember, when renting a car in Spain, you will need to have an international driver’s license. Although car rental companies may accept your domestic state driver’s license, Spain police require you to carry one.
Parking in Ronda
Parking in Ronda is almost impossible. Pay attention! If a curb is painted with any color, you are not allowed to park there. Do not drive into the city center in the hope of finding a space. Some hotels provide parking garages, but they are hard to find and even harder to maneuver. Here is where to park in Ronda, Spain.
Excursion to Ronda from other parts of Andalusia
If you do not have a car or you are afraid of driving in the mountains, consider taking a bus tour to Ronda. Most tourists arrive from major cities like Seville, Malaga, and Granada. Of course, you will be paying more for convenience, and you will only have a few hours to explore, but it is still worth it.
Bus service to Ronda
You can get to Ronda by bus from Seville, Malaga, Marbella, Cadiz, Algeciras, and Fuengirola.
Trains to Ronda
With two trains per day, you can travel directly to Ronda from Madrid. There are decent connections to larger cities in Andalucía with both Cordoba and Malaga less than two hours away by train.
How long to stay in Ronda, Spain
Ronda is very compact, so you can see its major attractions in a few hours, but you should not rush through it. Spend time wandering its narrow streets lined with wonderful coffee shops, tapas bars, and restaurants. For the best experience, stay at least one night. If time is not an issue, there is enough to do in Ronda for a week or longer.
What to do in Ronda, Spain
Take a walk to Puente Nuevo
The Puente Nuevo in Ronda (new bridge) connects two parts of the city known as El Mercadillo and La Ciudad, which are separated by the El Tajo Gorge. The bridge and spectacular views from it make Ronda stand out from other white villages of Andalusia.
Visit Plaza de Toros in Ronda (bullfighting ring)
Because of Ronda’s small size and isolated location, the ring does not host as many bullfights as other larger venues in Andalusia, Seville for example. The Ronda Bullring was inaugurated in 1785. Today it is one of the most emblematic sites of bullfighting. In 1993 it was declared a Bien de Interés Cultural (BIC) (Heritage of Cultural Interest). Underneath the bullring’s seats lies the Bullfighting Museum. You can also learn there about the aristocracy of the Real Maestranza equestrian school, one of the oldest and most prestigious in Europe.
Plaza de Toros in Ronda, Spain.
Hike El Tajo Gorge
This hiking trail delivers the best views of the town and the Puente Nuevo. You can easily see it from the bridge, but finding the beginning of the trail requires wandering around Ronda’s narrow streets and even asking for directions. But once you are on it, you will enjoy its every turn. No need to go to the very bottom of the gorge to appreciate the views and find photo opportunities.
Visit a winery
Bodegas la Sangre de Ronda winery
I had no idea that Ronda had a long winemaking history until I stumbled upon this winery. Its charming patio triggered my attention first, and then I noticed it was a winery too! I did not need any more convincing to walk in and check it out. For a few Euros, you can visit a small winemaking museum and taste the wines.
We were the only two guests at the time of our visit ( a rainy day in November). After the tour of the museum, the guide gave us glasses and left us unattended among barrels of wine! I guess she figured that the old folks could not do much damage. Wrong!
Here you will find ten top wineries in Ronda, Spain.
Visit Alameda del Tajo Gardens
Stroll the streets of Ronda
Ronda’s narrow streets impress with interesting architecture, museums, churches, and charming restaurants. Shops offered linens, clothing, ceramics, and leather goods at reasonable prices. Take frequent brakes to try local cuisine!
Take a longer hike around Ronda
Ronda’s stunning location calls to explore nature around dit. I did not have enough time to truly hike but judging by the views, it must be very rewarding. Here are six best walks around Ronda, Spain.
Hotels in Ronda
Since parking in Ronda is difficult, choose your hotel wisely. If you are arriving by car, make sure that your hotel offers parking spaces. Lodging slightly outside of town offers better parking and bigger hotel rooms. If you do not have a car, stay centrally to be able to walk to all major attractions. Most hotels in Ronda are small but inexpensive and charming. Here are the best hotels in Ronda.
Hotel Maestranza, Ronda
I decided on the Hotel Maestranza. I loved its central location close to major attractions and the fact that it provided parking. It was the right choice. The hotel’s staff was very helpful. The rooms were clean and inviting.
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