Ronda is a stunning Andalucian town carved into a deep gorge. It's a must-see destination, with historic sights, spectacular views, and great restaurants.
The town's old city stretches to the south of El Tajo and is criss-crossed with narrow cobbled streets. It's dotted with sections of the old town walls, white and yellow-painted churches, tiled fountains and tucked-away cafes.
1. Puente Nuevo
Puente Nuevo, the world-famous bridge that links Ronda's Old Town with its New Town, is a must-see during your visit to this Andalusian city. It's an excellent place to enjoy the sights of the city from two breathtaking viewpoints, and is the perfect vantage point to start a walking tour of Ronda's Old and New Towns.
In addition to enjoying the views of this iconic structure, you can also explore its interior at the Centro de Interpretacion del Puente Nuevo (New Bridge Museum; 2EUR entrance fee). During your visit you'll learn about the bridge's construction and its relationship with the landscape, the city and locals.
The other side of the gorge is dominated by Ronda's New Town, which is home to some cute squares where you can enjoy a drink or bite to eat. You'll find a range of tapas bars in this area, as well as the famous Bodega San Francisco and Plaza Del Socorro.
2. Iglesia de Santa Maria la Mayor
Located in the heart of Ronda’s historic Old Town, this beautiful church is a mix of Renaissance, Gothic, and Baroque styles. It’s also a national monument and a must-see on any visit to the town.
During Moorish times, Ronda was home to many mosques and churches. The Iglesia de Santa Maria la Mayor was originally a mosque, but then converted into a church.
This quaint, Andalusian gem is an excellent place to take a break and recharge your batteries while in the Spanish city of Ronda. With a central fountain spouting water in the middle, restaurants surround the square on both sides with large, shaded patios where you can enjoy a cup of coffee or refresh yourself before heading back to explore more of this enchanting town.
3. Jardines de Cuenca
A visit to Ronda isn’t complete without visiting the stunning Jardines de Cuenca. This garden has incredible views of the gorge and cliffs from every corner.
You can walk through the garden on a winding staircase, ascending and descending, each step offering incredible views of the gorge, valley and river Guadalevin. It’s a great place to spend an hour or two.
There are also some interesting features inside the gardens, including rose gardens and an Arab bath.
The best way to see these lovely gardens is on foot or by rented car, but it’s worth a stop on your day trip to Ronda. It’s a nice way to take a break and relax after a busy day.
4. Plaza de Toros
One of Ronda’s most famous landmarks is the Plaza de Toros, which was built in 1785 and is now renowned as one of the best bullrings in Spain. It’s a large circular bullring with a diameter of 66 metres or 217ft and has two layers of seating capacity.
If you’re interested in learning more about the history of bullfighting, this is a great place to visit. It is a complex that features a museum, an arena and other attractions.
This church was originally built as a Moorish mosque but was converted to Christianity in the 15th century. Its interior has a mix of gothic, renaissance and baroque styles. You’ll find beautiful Renaissance choir stalls, as well as a Moorish mihrab (prayer niche) that is carved to show the direction of Mecca.
5. La Cuidad
One of the most popular places to visit in Ronda is La Cuidad – the medieval Moorish town that sits at the heart of the town. It's a fusion of Old World European charm and the atmosphere of a North African medina (walled city).
- As well as a beautiful cliff-top setting, it is home to a number of interesting monuments, including the Palace of San Miguel and the Banos Arabes.
- The Palace of San Miguel was a royal residence for both the Catholic Monarchs and the last Moorish ruler of Ronda. It is now a municipal museum and a great place to learn more about the town's history.
- It's also worth a stroll along the Alameda del Tajo, which is a 19th-century park that has five avenues lined with trees and overlooking the gorge. On a sunny day, it is a popular place to meet up with locals and take in the views.