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  • Writer's pictureDanae Bianco

What to do in Ronda, the most beautiful town in Southern Spain

Updated: Apr 21

Ronda was love at first sight!


Built on the edge of the cliffs of the Guadalevín River canyon, which runs through the town center, Ronda is filled with white houses that seem to dangerously balance on the cliff edges, challenging the vertigo of its residents and visitors alike.


It's punctuated by churches that blend architectural influences, reminding you that the Arab world is right there.


Considered one of the "white towns" (pueblos blancos) of Andalusia, Ronda was the first city we visited on our 10-day trip through Andalusia in southern Spain, which also included Granada, Córdoba, and Seville.


Photo of the city of Ronda, Spain, with low white buildings built on the edge of the cliffs of the Guadalevín River canyon.
Ronda, Spain
 

In this post, you will find:

 

Map of the southern region of Spain and Portugal, with a pin marking where Ronda is located, near Málaga and Marbella.
Ronda is right there at the red pin.

Where Ronda is located and how to get there


Ronda is located in the province of Málaga, in the region of Andalucia, southern Spain. It's close to important cities in the region like Seville and Málaga, and also a short distance from Gibraltar.


We included Ronda in our 10-day road trip through Andalucia. We rented a car in Seville and drove straight to Ronda, which is about 130 km away and easily covered in 1 hour and 45 minutes by car. After that, we drove from Ronda to Granada, which is 180 km away and takes about 2 hours by car.


There are several parking lots in the town, but remember that due to its historic charm, the streets can be narrow and challenging for parking, especially in the central area. If you're, like us, on a road trip, look for accommodation that offers parking.


The roads in the region are great, mostly dual-carriageway, well-maintained, well-signposted, and toll-free. Drive on the right side of the road (like in the USA). We didn't encounter any issues or problems during our entire trip.


Ronda has a bus station that connects the city to other important cities in Andalusia like Seville, Granada, and Málaga. The bus company operating in the region is Avanza Grupo, and tickets can be purchased online. I like using the Rome2Rio website to research public transportation routes and identify the names and links of the line operators.


Puente Nueva, em Ronda, Espanha, Ponte estreita em pedra sobre um cânio profundo
Puente Nueva

What to do in Ronda, Spain


First and foremost, I need to tell you that Ronda is a city to be enjoyed at a leisurely pace. Of course, you can visit it on a day trip or just make a quick stop and continue on to other destinations in the region. However, if you can, reserve at least a full day to enjoy the city. You won't regret it, I'm sure of that.


The postcard view of Ronda is the Puente Nueva ("New Bridge"), the bridge that crosses the Guadalevín River canyon, right in the center of the city. It's a beautiful bridge in a jaw-dropping geographical location.


Despite its name, the Puente Nueva was completed in 1793 and represented an impressive architectural feat at the time.


But the most beautiful photos of the bridge you will get from a distance, from some of the various viewpoints (or lookouts) in the city.


While in Ronda, make sure to walk around and visit as many viewpoints as you can. It's simple, easy, and free! Start by walking along the streets that follow the edges of the canyon, I guarantee there will be several strategic stops for photos, coffee, and ice cream. This integration between the city and the canyon is something unique, which alone makes the visit to the city worthwhile.


Some of the viewpoints we visited, all easy to reach from the Puente Nueva, include: Mirador de Ronda, Mirador Puente Nuevo, Mirador de Aves, Mirador de los Viajeros Romanticos, Mirador de Maria Auxiliadora, Mirador del Viento, and Mirador La Hoya del Tajo (this last one was the only one we drove to, but you can walk from the center, it's about a 1km walk).


The best viewpoints for photos of the Puente Nuevo are Mirador La Hoya del Tajo and Mirador Puente Nuevo.


In addition to the Puente Nueva, there is the Puente Vieja (old bridge), much smaller and less imposing, but no less beautiful. It was completed in 1616 and only allows pedestrian passage.


Church of Santa María la Mayor, in Ronda, Spain.
Iglesia Santa Maria la Mayor

As expected, there are several churches in the town, and it's worth visiting at least some of them - even if you're not religious, these churches are beautiful and rich in history.


  • Church of Santa María la Mayor: located in the heart of Ronda's historic center, it's one of the most important in the city. Built on the remains of an old mosque, it combines Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque styles in its architecture.

  • Church of Nuestra Señora del Socorro: situated near Plaza del Socorro, this Baroque church is known for its impressive facade and beautiful interiors. It's worth climbing the bell tower for a beautiful panoramic view of the city.

  • Church of Padre Jesús: this small church, located near the Puente Nueva, is famous for housing the image of Padre Jesús Nazareno, which is venerated during Holy Week in Ronda.

  • Church of la Merced: built in the 16th century, its interior is beautiful.

  • Church of San Sebastián: one of the oldest churches in Ronda, also from the 16th century, located near the Puente Vieja.

It's also worth visiting the Plaza de Toros de Ronda, located in the central region, near the Puente Nueva.


The Mondragón Palace, close to the Church of Santa María la Mayor, is a beautiful historic house with gorgeous gardens that houses the Ronda Municipal Museum. It tells the history of the city and is worth a few minutes of your visit - we had a gorgeous time walking around the garden, escaping from the heat on a hot summer afternoon.


In conclusion, Ronda is a place that invites you to wander for hours through its alleys, enjoying the landscape, whether of the canyon or the valley, the architecture, the numerous churches, and historical buildings. It's a great alternative to escape the crowds of tourists that flock to southern Spain at any time of the year.



Where to stay in Ronda


Ronda is a small city, and I recommend staying in the central region. It's a pleasant city to walk around; you can do all the sightseeing on foot, enjoy the bars, restaurants, and shops – our car stayed in the garage the entire time, we only used it on the day we were leaving when we went to Mirador La Hoya del Tajo on our way to Granada.


We stayed in a very good Airbnb in the central area of town (unfortunately, it's no longer listed for rent), but if you prefer staying in hotels or guesthouses, there's no shortage of options – if I could choose, they would be:



If you don't want to stay overnight (but I strongly advise staying at least one night), you can visit Ronda as a day tour from Seville or Granada.


Check hotel availability and rates here:



Where to eat in Ronda


Ronda offers a variety of local and Mediterranean cuisine in general. We found the prices reasonable by European standards, a bit lower than what we found in other cities during our trip through Andalusia.


We had lunch at Mesón Carmen de la Ronda, near Plaza Duquesa de Parcent, and sat at tables set up in the square; it was delightful. In the evening, we dined at Michelangelo Pizza, near Plaza del Socorro, one of the best pizzas we had on the trip.




Detailed itinerary of our trip to Spain


In this map, you'll find everything we did on our 10-day trip through Southern Spain, which included Ronda, Granada, Seville, and Córdoba.


On the map below, click on the marked points to see details of each place; zoom in on the map if necessary, drag it to one side or the other. The map has different layers, with different colors, one for each area we visited. You can choose which layers to view by selecting them in the corresponding checkbox. The blue line is the route we took by car.


In the top left corner icon, you can access the map menu, with all the layers and legends, and if you want to save it to your Google Maps account, just click on the star next to the map's name. To access it on your phone or computer, open Google Maps, tap on the menu button, go to "My Places," select "Maps," and you'll find this map listed among your saved maps.



In this post, I explain how to use Google MyMaps to plan a trip. It's a very useful tool, definitely worth getting to know!


 

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Pin para Pinterest. Imagem de Ronda, com casas brancas a beira de um precipício (canion do Rio Gadelevin). Escrito: Ronda, como visitar a cidade mais linda do sul da Espanha. www.danae-explore.com

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