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.
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.
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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 Sevilla and Marbella by our friends at Grupo Edutravel and Peter Fischer Florez.
Here are our favorite 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, sorta 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 southern 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.
360 Degrees of Breathtaking Landscape
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 May, 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.
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”).
Plaza de Torros
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 Torros.
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.
Discover Hidden Stories
This is 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.
Eat Tapas in Ronda, too.
As if ancient bridges, sunflower fields, sunsets, mountains, and architecture weren’t enough, make sure you do a tapas hop for as many nights as you’re staying in Ronda. Start on Calle Nueva with Tragata.
Have questions? Or have you been to Ronda before? We’d like to hear from you either way in the comments below.
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Hey! Just wondering which winery it is you went to in the picture above – with the wine tap wall? Thanks!
It’s actually a museum / winery located within Ronda itself, operated by Bodegas la Sangra, the old winery has been transformed into a marvelous museum that you can visit. It’s called the Centro Integral del Vino de Ronda :).
You don’t mention the 21 bodegas (only the museum) there are some seriously good wines in the D.O. Serranía de Ronda, many of them organic and you can have wine tastings at the foot of the Puente Nuevo, in a C16th monastery, in a vast, hilltop bodega or tiny, intimate biodynamic producers. Just to name a few.
Very good of you to note this Lucy! We were actually planning on a separate post focusing the special Serranía de Ronda wine route. Stay tuned!