Ronda is one of Spain’s oldest town but stands out in my Southern Spain road trip. It’s a very small city and can all be covered in one day, unlike its neighbours Seville and Granada. It was such a romantic Spanish mountain town and was even able to melt my cynic’s stony heart with its white-washed buildings, orange trees and olive groves.
The name comes from Ronda’s position surrounded by mountains. The historic city was inhabited by the Romans and Moors and you can see their influence in the cobbled streets, old mansions and stone churches.
Ronda is just over an hour from Marbella, where my family and I were based so we rented a car and drove here. Here are a few of the spots we went to:
- Puente Nuevo
There is no question that the city’s famous bridge, the Puente Nuevo is why many people visit Ronda. Spanning across El Tajo gorge that divides Ronda, crossing the bridge and seeing it from below is the number one thing to do. The name actually translates to New Bridge, which is ironic considering that It was built in 1759 – which is “new” to Andalusian standards. The best view of the Bridge is when you get down low and look up at it so that you can fully appreciate its scale and spectacular piece of engineering.
- Old Bridge
The path on the way up took us to the entrance of the Old Bridge, otherwise known as the Arab Bridge. Ronda was taken from the Visigoths in the 8th century and ruled by the Moors until late 15th century. During the Spanish inquisition, Ronda was a refuge for Muslims who successfully defended the city initially but then were massacred by Philip II who sold the few survivors into slavery.
- Old Town
We continued walking downhill and passed an old medieval watering trough. Many of its buildings had religious shrines with various Christian saints.
Even with only one day in Ronda, i felt we covered both parts of the city well, on foot. I preferred the Old Town due to its whitewashed buildings and interesting architecture.
Do you have any questions about travelling to Ronda that I didn’t answer? Be sure to leave them in the comments, and I’ll get back to you as quickly as possible 🙂