Ronda is less than an hour’s drive from Marbella up a spectacular mountain road with lots of twists and turns. The road is famous with petrol heads, but not one for nervous drivers! You can do a private tour which includes transport, or you can even take a bus from Marbella bus station so you don’t have to worry about driving and can enjoy a few glasses of the famous local wine. There is lots to see and do in Ronda, including visiting the impressive bridge across the El Tajo gorge, one of the oldest bullrings in Spain, a stunning Old Town, archaeological treasures and a wine route. Here are our highlights.
Insider’s Tip – If you decide to take the public bus, make sure you book your return ticket when you arrive, as the buses get very busy with day-trippers in the summer.
Marvel at the Puente Nuevo Bridge
The most famous site in Ronda is the extraordinary bridge which stretches across the El Tajo Gorge. Plunging 120 feet into the gorge, this is a major feat of engineering and a proper Kodak moment! There are lots of restaurants taking advantage of the views by clinging to the side of the canyon. We’d recommending heading to one of them for a drink or a snack, they offer an unbeatable angle on the bridge for photos and you can drink in the views while resting your feet. The scale of it all makes you feel pretty small!
Take in the views
Ronda is set in beautiful countryside and there are spectacular viewpoints dotted around the bridge to enjoy the breath-taking views. There’s also a lovely park called the Alameda del Tajo where you can take a stroll and enjoy vista after vista which will make you reach for your camera!
Learn about bullfighting
Ronda is considered the birthplace of modern bullfighting and has a spectacular bullring and an interesting museum, which gives you an insight into this Andalusian sport. Whilst bullfighting is a polarising subject, there’s no doubt that these bullrings are stunning and it is plays an important role in the Spanish culture. A visit to the bullring when there’s no fight is an interesting way to find out more about it and make your own mind up.
Visit the Old Town
You should take some time to explore the beautiful Old Town, with its winding streets and white washed houses. Don’t miss the Alminar de San Sebastián, a 12th century minaret which is a reminder of the town’s Moorish past. There are many beautiful churches built on the remains of mosques from Moorish times, the most beautiful of which is Iglesia de Santa María La Mayor. There are also beautiful buildings, parks and squares all over this picturesque town, so take some time to just wander and soak up the views and atmosphere.
Insider’s Tip – There’s a lot of walking required to see all that Ronda has to offer, so wear comfortable shoes and a hat to protect you from the sun and don’t forget the water!
Take a trip back in time
History buffs will find a lot to interest them in Ronda. The Arabic Walls and city gates give you a very strong impression of Ronda’s past and the Old Town has many corners and streets which have hardly changed for hundreds of years. If you love the architecture of the Moorish period, don’t miss the 13th Century Arab Baths in the old Arab quarter of the city, which are the best preserved in Spain.
History lovers with their own transport should put two important historical sites on their itinerary as part of a day trip to Ronda. Head 20 kilometres northwest of Ronda to visit the extraordinary ruins of Acinipo, an ancient city which once had 5,000 residents. You can visit the well-preserved remains of the theatre and see the banks of seating, stage and backdrop. You can also see the Roman baths, so this is a real walk into history. To the south of Ronda you will find the Cueva de la Pileta, a stunning set of caves with wonderful Palaeolithic paintings and carvings made 20,000 years ago. They are amazing!
Visit the wineries and try the local wine
Last but not least, Ronda is growing in importance as a wine making area and you can visit many bodegas and vineyards as part of the Ronda wine route. There are some wonderful wine tours available and you can organise visits yourself, or join an organised tour to see the best places, learn about wine making from an experienced guide and enjoy the wine without worrying about driving. Check out our 5 tips for doing a wine tour in Ronda on our blog, or ask us if you’d like to organise a wine tour.
Vacation Marbella has wonderful holiday rental properties in Marbella, which make the perfect base for your next holiday. Once you have your accommodation booked, we can organise a full day visit to Ronda which includes transport from Marbella, a walking tour around the best places in Ronda with an English speaking guide, followed by a visit to a stunning bodega. Please contact us to find out more and to book your Ronda Day Trip.