Learn About the Best Things to Do in Ronda Spain This Year
During a recent visit to Spain, the Winetraveler crew discovered some of the best things to do in Ronda. Take a look at the stunning features this historic city has to offer. Questions or need a recommended tour of Ronda? Email us at [email protected].
Despite its relatively small stature (about 35,000 residents), Ronda offers travel and adventure enthusiasts a location in Spain steeped in some of the most breathtaking views one could ever hope to encounter.
The city of Ronda can be found in south central Spain – about 60 kilometers northwest of Marbella. While Ronda is a part of the Malaga province, the entire area is within one of the most picturesque Spanish regions – Andalusia (Andalucia).
It’s accessible by day trip, or you can choose to spend a few nights in the city. Private, upscale guided day trips and tours are offered from both Seville and Marbella by our friends at Grupo Edutravel and Peter Fischer Florez.
- Learn About the Best Things to Do in Ronda Spain This Year
- Best Things to Do in Ronda, through Pictures
- Frequently Asked Questions about Visiting Ronda Spain
Best Things to Do in Ronda, through Pictures
The city itself maintains a small-town vibe, with quiet sunset-stricken cobblestone streets and bustling mom-and-pop boutiques during the day. Great food, vibrant wines, and oh… did I mention it sits on top of a mountain? Well, sort of.
Ronda lies on a precipice, what remains of an ancient limestone rock formation carved in two by the Rio Guadalevín. Over time, this river carved out “El Tajo,” (meaning deep gash or cut), which is a canyon plummeting down more than 100 meters. Don’t be afraid to hike outside the city walls!
We highly recommend that you schedule a walking tour of the city with our friend Javier of Andalusian Way of Life. Get a local’s perspective of its history, cuisine and famous landmarks. You’ll also get off the beaten tourist path and have a much more immersive experience. Javier was happy to give us authentic tapas restaurant and wine bar recommendations as well which was fantastic.
Visit El Tajo
Many tourists visit Ronda as a day trip – however, I’d advise against this. Yes, Ronda is a small city, but it has a lot to offer and should be considered in any Spain itinerary.
Try planning your visit to Ronda outside of peak tourist hours and plan to stay at least a couple of nights. Between 10 am and 6 pm, daily, Ronda is flooded with tourists. If you get into Ronda in the early evening, the last of the tourists will be leaving and you’ll be able to catch a peaceful sunset with minimal distractions. Take a look at these up-scale Ronda hotels should you choose to spend a few nights.
360 Degrees of Breathtaking Landscape
Standing on the edge of Ronda, the world unfurls in a panorama that seems to stretch beyond the realms of possibility. In this elevated position, you are privy to a 360-degree view that is both expansive and utterly captivating, encapsulating the essence of Andalusia’s diverse and stunning landscapes.
To the north, the serrated ridges of the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park carve jagged silhouettes against the sky, their rocky faces shifting through a kaleidoscope of hues as the sun traces its path across the firmament. Pockets of cloud drape themselves lazily over the peaks, and at sunrise and sunset, the mountains glow with an ethereal light, seemingly ablaze with the day’s first or last rays.
As you pivot eastward, your gaze falls upon a patchwork quilt of olive groves, their silver-green leaves shimmering in the breeze. Dotting the landscape are the white-washed ‘pueblos blancos,’ or white villages, their stark white structures standing out against the vibrant backdrop of Spanish countryside. These quaint hamlets have been a staple of Andalusian life for centuries and offer a glimpse into the region’s traditional way of life.
Turning your eyes to the south, you’re met with the El Tajo gorge that plummets dramatically beneath the town, the Guadalevín River a silver ribbon winding through its base. This is an imposing testament to the power of nature, a formidable canyon that is as captivating as it is awe-inspiring. Farther in the distance, undulating hills give way to the azure of the Mediterranean Sea, hinting at the stunning coast that lies just beyond your sight.
Finally, to the west, you’re greeted with the sight of the fertile vineyards of Ronda, where rows upon rows of grapevines stretch to the horizon, their fruits destined to become the exquisite local wines that are as renowned as the view itself.
It’s a 360-degree vista that’s breathtaking in its scale and diversity, a feast for the senses that captures the soul of this captivating region in a single, panoramic sweep. A sight to be savored, much like Ronda itself.
Travel Tip: Want to get to Ronda from Madrid? Hop on Renfe’s Altaria train line from the very central Atocha station in Madrid.
Wine a little!
It comes out of the wall.
On a recent visit to Andalucia in Spring, our team had the privilege of visiting Ronda during an ideal time of year while the flowers were blooming and wine grapes were just beginning to bud. But that isn’t half of it.
Imagine taking part in activities that range from drinking wine straight from the tap of an ancient Roman winery, to climbing a castle wall to witness the most beautiful sunset drop behind the Serranía de Ronda mountain range.
Discover Hidden Stories
This is just one of the views from Puente Nuevo, which spans the canyon carved out by the Rio Guadalevín. One of the more interesting, lesser-known facts about this particular bridge is that it was used to hurl prisoners to their deaths during the Spanish Civil War. History would have it that Ernest Hemingway referenced this location in his famous book “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” based on real events that happened right here.
Apartments, restaurants, and shops line the canyon walls of “El Tajo.” You can eat at some of these restaurants along the cliff, but the majority tend to be tourist traps.
While the food certainly is not bad, you can get a better meal at a much more modest price if you wander a few blocks inward from this location (Puente Nuevo, or “New Bridge”). In fact, within just one minute from the bridge, you can find 2-star Michelin restaurant Bardal, which is not to be missed, and it’s fairly priced. Call ahead and make reservations: C. José Aparicio, 1, 29400 Ronda, Málaga, Spain: +34 951 48 98 28.
Plaza de Toros
Ronda was one of the first cities in Spain that really helped to immortalize bullfighting and turn it into an artistic sport. Spanish families here are said to have made the use of the cape a mainstay in Spanish culture. Pictured above is the Plaza de Toros.
Sunflower Fields Forever (in the Summer)
During the summer months, you can catch sunflower fields surrounding the city in full blossom. A seemingly endless epic landscape.
Eat Tapas in Ronda, too.
As though the allure of ancient bridges, sprawling sunflower fields, breathtaking sunsets, majestic mountains, and intricate architecture weren’t captivating enough, there’s another enchanting aspect of Ronda that you must not miss — its vibrant tapas scene. A stay in Ronda isn’t complete without indulging in a flavorful tapas crawl, an opportunity to experience the variety of local cuisine served in small, delightful portions.
Start your epicurean journey on Calle Nueva, one of Ronda’s bustling streets brimming with eateries. Here, you’ll find Tragata, a modern, stylish eatery that is popular with both locals and tourists. Known for its contemporary spin on traditional Spanish dishes, Tragata serves up a myriad of tapas options that blend local flavors with global influences.
From Tragata, let your taste buds guide you to the next stop on your tapas adventure. Perhaps a bustling tavern with a chalkboard menu of the day’s offerings, or a tiny hole-in-the-wall serving family recipes passed down through generations. Each location offers its unique interpretation of tapas, creating a symphony of flavors and textures that span the spectrum of Spanish cuisine.
Pair your tapas with a glass of local wine, and take your time. Tapas hopping is not about rushing from one place to another, but rather a leisurely exploration of food and culture, perfectly embodying the Spanish philosophy of ‘sobremesa,’ that is, lingering at the table after a meal, savoring the food and the company.
So, while you’re soaking up the history and vistas of Ronda, also take the time to savor the rich, gastronomic landscape that this enchanting Andalusian town offers. It’s a delectable journey that’s as satisfying as it is unforgettable.
Have questions? Or have you been to Ronda before? We’d like to hear from you either way in the comments below.
Frequently Asked Questions about Visiting Ronda Spain
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