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Ronda: Travel Notes

The picture postcard image of Ronda retains a romantic flavor despite its being very much on the tourist map. Artists, writers and thinkers from all over the world have lived there and fallen for her spectacular scenery. A few recommendations of things to do in a small city built straddling a gorge.


By:  Thea Delavault
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Eat Drink Live music Sleep Shop Sports and spas Museums and galleries Theatre and dance Cinema Transport Green zones Escapes

 

EventsFind out what’s on! Check out our events guide for Andalusia.
Small city in the mountains of Malaga
Essential: explore its hidden nooks and crannies far from the tourist trail
The weather:

Ronda is dominated by the number three. The city itself is surrounded by three splendid natural parks: Sierra de las Nieves, Sierra de Grazalema and Parque de los Alcornocales. Three bridges cross the Tajo, an enormous gorge that slices the city in two, and connect the old town with the new as well as the Roman with the Islamic.

Built 120 metres above the Guadalevín River the Puente Nuevo is the newest of the three (built in 1751) and is understandably the main attraction in the city. As you look out and take in the breathtaking view, remember that prisoners were thrown off this bridge during the Spanish Civil War. If you suffer from vertigo, it’s probably best not to look over the edge. If you feel like a brief escape from the well trodden tourist trail, you can get an alternative perspective of the Puente Nuevo by walking down from the Plaza de San Francisco into the Valle de los Molinos (Valley of windmills).

The Bullring (C/ Virgen de la Paz, 15) dates back to 1785 and is the oldest in Spain. The birthplace of famed bullfighter Pedro Romero, these days it is only open as a tourist attraction. It is however resurrected twice a year during the Corrida Goyesca in September and the annual exhibition of carriages. Don’t forget to take a walk along the Alameda del Tajo, designed in the 19th century, under the shadow of its hundred year old acacias, pine trees and cedars.

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To delve deeper into the history of Ronda, the gardens of the Casa del Rey Moro is a good place to start. A laberintic palace built in the 18th century, the gardens were designed by Jean Claude Nicolas Forestier. However its principal highlight is la Mina; 365 steps carved into the rock by the Moors that lead you down to the bottom of the gorge and that were used by Islamic troops to defend the city against the Christians. The Baños Árabes (Arab Public Baths) offer visitors a dip into the Islamic era within the San Miguel quarter. Built in the 13th and 14th centuries, they are the best preserved public baths in the area.

 

Tertulia recommends


 Eat

Classic tapas
El Lechugita, 10 €
C/ Los Remedios, 35

Classic tapas
Faustino, 15 €
C/ Santa Cecilia, 4
952876746

Local cuisine
Casa María, 35 €
C/ Ruedo Alameda, 27
952876212

Need to impress
Tragabuches, 90 €
C/ Jose Aparicio, 1
952190291, tragabuches.com

Everyone is talking about it
Tragatapas, 25 €
C/ Nueva, 11
952877209

Something different
Confitería Daver, 7 €
C/ Los Remedios
952877163
confiteriadaver.es

 Drink

A few pints
Cervecería Quino
C/ Nueva 11

Wine bar
Bodega La Esquina
C/ Los Remedios, 24

Everyone is talking about it
7 Budas
C/ Maestro de Obras Diaz Machuca, s/n
sietebudas.com


 Live music

Jazz
Siete de Copas
Paseo de Blas Infante, s/n
952876097

A little of everything
Los Caireles
C/ Ronda 10, Arriate (10 minutes from Ronda)
952165199

 Sleep

Cosy and central
A la Vera de los Baños, 100€
C/ San Miguel, s/n
952879143, alaveradelosbanos.com

Great atmosphere
Hotel Reina Victoria, 80€
C/ Doctor Fleming 25
952871240, husa.es

Historic
San Gabriel, 90€
Marques de Montezuma, 19
952190392, hotelsangabriel.com

Fashionable
Hotel En frente Arte, 95€
C/ Real, 40
952879088, enfrentearte.com

Design-hotel
Fuente de la Higuera, 180€
C/ Partido de los Frontones, s/n
952114355, hotellafuente.com

Parador
Parador de Ronda, 180€
Plaza de España
952877500

 Shop

Something for kids
El Pensamiento
C/ Espinel, 16
952872193, elpensamiento.com

Street market
C/ Jaén
Times: Every Sunday in the recinto ferial by the stadium from 09:00 to 14:00.
* In Spring there is a street market for ecological products in the parque de San Rafael.

 Skyline

Plaza de toros y Museo taurino
The Holy Grail for bullfighting aficionados.
C/ Virgen de la Paz, 15
952871539, rmcr.org

Puente Nuevo
Take in the spectacular view from this bridge that straddles the famed gorge. To find out more check out the Centro de interpretación del Puente Nuevo.
Plaza de España, s/n

 Sports and spas

Getting sweaty
Wellness Center Makkawy
Avda. de José Luis Ortiz Massaguer, 4
952878872, wellnessronda.com

Relax
Herbolario Santa Ana
C/ Padre Mariano Soubiron, s/n
952190871

Be adventurous
Pangea Central
Pasaje Cayetano, 10
952873496

Be adventurous
Askari Race Resort
Carretera Ronda - Campillos, Km 30.5
952187171, ascari.net

 Museums and galleries

Contemporary
La Paleta
Carretera Espinel, 40
952875856

Classical
Baños árabes
C/ Virgen de la Paz 13
952875132, turismoderonda.es

New talent
Sala de Exposiciones Unicaja - Ronda
C/ Pedro Romero, 4
952138615

Joaquín Peinado
Museo Peinado
Plaza del Gigante, s/n
952871585, museojoaquinpeinado.com

Gastronomic
Museo del Vino de Ronda
C/ Gonzalez Campos, 2
952879735, museodelvinoderonda.com

Customs and crafts
Museo del Bandolero
C/ Armiñán, 65
952877785

Customs and crafts
Real Maestranza de Caballería de Ronda
C/ Virgen de la Paz, 15
952871539

 Theatre and dance

A little of everything
Teatro Municipal Vicente Espinel
Alameda del Tajo, s/n
952877821

 Cinema

Mainstream
Multicines Ronda
C/ Lauría, 58
952190918

 Transport

Taxi
Plaza del Carmen Abela s/n
952872316

Bike rental
Cycle Ronda
C/Serrato 3
952877814, cycleronda.com

 Green zones

Alameda del Tajo
A park filled with ancient trees overlooking some of the best views of the surrounding landscape.

 Escapes

Once the tourist trail becomes too much, I'm normally left with the sensation of “now what?” A visit within the legendary Serranía de Ronda mountain range will be a great respite. A nice walk is from Ronda to Montejaque village via the Roman track or from Est. Benaojan to Est. Jimera via the Guadiaro River (then take the train back to Benaojan after the trek). There are also fantastic walks within the Natural Park of Sierra de las Nieves, declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO, whose main attraction is the “pinsapo” (Spanish fir), as this is the only place in Europe where it can be found.

Known for its prehistoric wall paintings and engravings the Cueva de la Pileta near Benaojan, 13 kms from Ronda, offers guided visits (only by appointment 952167343) and is one of the most well preserved caves in Andalusia. The Roman and prehistoric remains of the town of Acinipo (Ronda la Vieja) are also worth a visit.

Surrounded by cork trees and holm oaks the Algaba de Ronda (on the Ronda-Algeciras road Kilometre 4.5) is a must for nature lovers. Founded by a small group of ecologists and prehistoric experts, this pioneering project includes a Neolithic village. It is the perfect location for conferences and groups wanting an experience of total immersion in nature (they have accommodation and catering). The mountains around Ronda offer all types of adventure sports, from canoeing on the lake at Zahara de la Sierra, caving and climbing (Pangea Central). If your passion is driving, the controversial Askari resort offers guests a wide range of cars (sports cars, single seaters, Benetton-F1's and GTs) and a great track experience.

Besides the local cuisine, something you've got to try on any trip to Ronda is the excellent wine. Ronda has been working at their vineyards for decades to produce wines that benefit from the altitude, temperature and rich soil. Most vineyards in the area offer wine tours in and around Ronda to teach visitors about the winemaking process and give them the chance to taste it too!.

 

Useful contacts


Town Hall
Plaza de la Duquesa de Parcent
952873240, ronda.es

Malaga University
Avda. Cervantes, 2
952131000, uma.es

La Serrania General Hospital
Ctra. El Burgo, 1
952871540

Emergency Medical Attention
Espinillos s/n
952875882

Fire
952871958

Post office
Virgen de la Paz, 20
952872557

Local police
092

Ecologists in Action
952190537 y 952870738

24-hour pharmacy
C/ Setenil, 10
952872780

Video



Getting there?


By air
El aeropuerto más cercano es el de Málaga (90Km)
902400500, aena.es

By bus
Compañía Portillo
Plaza Concepción García Redondo, 2
952872260 ó 902143144, Horario en ctsa-portillo.com

By train
Avda de Andalucía, s/n
952871673, renfe.com/


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Bibliography


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1 comment

Pon tu propia imagen con Gravatar
El 27 May 2009 a las 6:19 PM, Isabel Cabeza Galán dijo...

Un artículo 10. Súper completo y acertado. Conozco mucho de los sitios que mencionáis y estoy totalmente de acuerdo. Los que no conozco aún iré a visitarlos. Gracias por toda la información. Un saludo y que siga Tertulia Andaluza para arriba.



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