RONDA, SPAIN – A PICTURE PERFECT WHITE VILLAGE OF ANDALUSIA

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.

White houses on the cliff in Ronda, Spain.
White houses of Ronda high on the cliff.

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.

What to do in Ronda Spain. Another great view from Puente Nuevo.
The views make Ronda unique.

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.

Tile mural in Ronda, Spain.
Ceramic tile mural – Los Viajeros Románticos  of Ronda, Spain
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.

A car parking on the patio in Ronda Spain.
Do not park if you see the curb painted in any color or design.

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.

Charming architecture in Ronda, Spain.
Charming architecture in Ronda, Spain.

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.

Colorful ceramic souvenirs in Ronda, Spain.
I loved Ronda’s colorful ceramic souvenirs.

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.

Puente Nuevo in Ronda at night.
Puente Nuevo in Ronda, night view.

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.

Real Maestranza de Caballería, Ronda Spain.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.

Hiking trailing into the gorge in Ronda, Sapain.
Take a hike into the canyon for the best views of Ronda.

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.

Patio in Ronda Spain. Winery.
Before I noticed the wine tasting sign, I noticed this charming patio.

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. 

Bodegas la Sangre de Ronda winery .
Bodegas la Sangre de Ronda winery – the best wine tasting ever!

Visit Alameda del Tajo Gardens

This fantastic little park overlooks the edge of the cliff near the bridge. It features beautiful mature trees, well-manicured gardens, fountains, and breathtaking vistas. You can count on street performers there. 

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!

Streets of Ronda. Iglesia de Santa Maria la Mayor - church.
Iglesia (church) de Santa Maria la Mayor in Ronda, Spain.

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.

White houses of Ronda.
White houses of 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.

Wine bottles in Ronda, Spain.
Try local wines during your visit to Ronda.

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What to see in Italy 

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