City number five on our journey through Spain was one of my favorites – the ancient city of Ronda! As we planned our trip Dave’s cousin recommended Ronda and I am SO happy that we went! It was one of the most unique and stunning places I have ever been. The view from our AirbnB was by far the coolest view of our trip. Good thing because the interior of the apartment was mediocre at best. So at least we had a good view to make up for the dingy place.
Ronda has such a rich history that its worth looking into before you visit. One of the first things to know is that despite its small size, Ronda is popular. I read that Ronda the third most-visited destination in southern Spain. So, word to the wise a) plan early and book your hotel or Airbnb as soon as possible b) be warned that parking is not fun, especially in the summer. Several lots were full and closed. After circling small one-way streets for an hour, we finally found one.
So back to Ronda, the small city goes back to ancient Moorish times. Its two halves lie either side of the El Tajo gorge and are connected by the spectacular Puente Nuevo, “New Bridge”. We spent a full day in Ronda and felt like it was more than enough time. The best things to do in Ronda are to explore the new and old areas of the city, to walk over the Puente Nuevo, and you can hike down into the canyon. We also enjoyed the scenic walk down to the Baños Arabes (Arabic Baths). The Baths were in continual use for 600 years! They are some of the most well preserved in Spain. You can do a small tour of the baths and watch a movie about the history. Its a great afternoon activity. Along the way we also discovered a cute little outdoor spot to enjoy a cold drink and take in the view.
Another thing that Ronda is famous for is its Bullfighting ring built in late 1785. You can tour it and the attached museum. I personally find bullfighting barbaric – so we didn’t do too much looking around in the ring, but I was interested in the fact that Ronda’s bullfighting ring inspired two Hemmingway novels.
Finally, make sure you take in the sunset views from the peaks of Ronda’s walls. It was spectacular.