Things to do in Ronda
Ronda is one of the beautiful ‘Pueblos Blancos’ in Spain’s southern region of Andalusia. While it is a relatively small town, it’s rapidly growing in popularity amongst tourists.
This is because of its jaw-dropping landscapes, such as the 100-meter gorge and stunning surrounding countryside. However, it also has a rich history of Moorish and Christian rule, leaving lots to discover.
1. Walk Over Puente Nuevo (New Bridge)
Puente Nuevo is the number one thing to do in Ronda and the icon of the town. This 18th-century bridge, the ‘newest’ of the three, hangs high over the 100-meter-deep Tajo gorge. This gorge is also home to the mighty Guadelevín river which divides the town.
The main reason to visit Puente Nuevo is for the awesome views. However, above the middle arch in the bridge, you’ll also see a solid column that was priorly used as a prison! These days, you can visit these chambers for a small exhibition.
The Best Viewpoints
There are four interesting viewpoints to admire the bridge from. Firstly, you can walk down a few stairs and follow a sand path for about 10 minutes for a stunning lower-angle viewpoint (here is the location). You’ll also be able to spot the beautiful waterfall below the bridge from this spot.
Additionally, you can take a look from the Jardines De Cuenca or the viewing platform Mirador de Aldehuela.
Lastly, you can visit the bottom of the valley, close to the waterfall, and look up at the bridge from the pools.
Please Note: If you’d like to visit the waterfall, please be aware that it’s not the most straightforward descent and is best done with a climbing tour. However, if you decide to go by yourself, head through Albergue Los Molinos restaurant for the best access.
2. Jardines De Cuenca
Right next to one of the cliff sides, high on the ledges of the Tajo gorge, you’ll find the Jardines de Cuenca (Cuenca Gardens). The gardens were dedicated to Ronda’s twin city Cuenca since both share similarities in their geographical layout. Walk through the beautiful rose gardens, taking in the fantastic views of all three bridges and the valley below.
Opening Times: Everyday from 8 AM to 10 PM.
3. Arco de Felipe V
Located right next to the Jardines de Cuenca stands the Arco de Felipe V, a stone arch that’s part of the town walls of Ronda, Spain. From here, you pass into the La Ciudad district, the most beautiful part of the town that offers impressive views over the surrounding landscape.
The arch took its name from Felipe V, the first Bourbon king of Spain. This was because he helped rebuild the Spanish economy after the War of Succession in the 18th century.
4. La Casa del Rey Moro: One of the Best Things to do in Ronda
On the other cliffside, opposite the Jardines de Cuenca, stands a beautiful house overlooking the valley: the House of the Moorish King. Discover the surrounding grounds, made up of hanging gardens with a couple of fountains.
Try to also spot some of the free-roaming peacocks! This is one of the best things to do in Ronda, Spain, and a must-see on your Andalusia road trip.
Despite the name, this storied palace was never actually home to a Moorish king. In fact, the only genuine relic the house has from the Moorish occupation is a 14th-century underground water mine. You can also go and visit this!
5. Mondragón Palace
Hidden in another building overlooking the valley stands a Moorish palace and garden. Legend has it that this building was the residence of King Abomelic, son of the Sultan of Morocco Abul Asan. He was also the king who built the underground water mine.
These days, it’s converted into a municipal museum, where you can learn about Ronda’s local history, archeology, and prehistoric findings.
Opening Times: Tuesday – Friday from 9.30 AM – 8 PM. Saturday & Monday from 10 AM – 2 PM (reopens from 3 PM – 6 PM). On Sunday, open from 10 AM – 3 PM.
6. Fuente de la Duquesa de Parcent
Plaza de la Duquesa de Parcent, a square in Ronda, Spain, is the perfect spot to sit and relax during your day full of sightseeing. The leafy square has a courtyard and a beautiful fountain to listen to while you watch the locals walk by.
This part of Ronda is located in the old town, the La Ciudad district. You will also find many of the main monuments and museums here.
7. Mirador de Ronda & Alameda del Tajo
If you’re looking to take in the sights of the town from above, there are two viewpoints you can visit. The first is Mirador de Ronda, which offers some fantastic vistas of the gorge, the mountains, and Puente Nuevo.
The second is Alameda, right next to the famous Plaza de Toros. Here you’ll find a wonderful tree-lined promenade and garden where many families gather in the summer.
Both viewpoints are perched on the edge of the Tajo Gorge, and seeing the town views from here is one of the best things to do in Ronda.
8. The Arab Baths of Ronda (Baños Árabes)
The Arab Baths are a fascinating thermal complex from the Muslim period in Ronda. The construction of these baths dates back to the 13th and 14th centuries and is one of the best-preserved in Spain. Discover the different bathrooms, enjoying every intricate detail of this fascinating piece of history. This is a top thing to do in Ronda and a must-see on your Andalusia road trip.
9. Plaza de Toros de Ronda
One of the reasons tourists visit Ronda is because it’s home to the oldest stone bullring in all of Spain. Bullfighting plays a big part in the history of Andalusia, and by visiting Plaza de Toros, you get a small glimpse of what this sport meant for the town back in the day. Not only is it a grand building, but it’s an excellent place to learn more about the Real Maestranza De Caballería, the oldest order of horsemanship.
However, even though this sport was important historically, we recommend that you don’t watch a bullfight as this is a bad example of wildlife tourism.
Did you know: although this bullring might not be the largest in the world (5000 seats), it does have the largest Rueda (the circle of sand in the middle), which has a diameter of 66 meters!
10. Puerta de Almocábar & Iglesia del Espíritu Santo
Enter Ronda through one of the 13th-century town gates: Puerta de Almocabar. Located on the southern side of the town, these walls and the gate are one of the most impressive remains of history in Ronda.
The name comes from the Moorish word ‘Al Maqabir’, meaning cemetery. Traditionally, Moorish cemeteries were built outside of the town walls. Because of this, the gate was one of the main entrances to the town and led through to what is currently known as Iglesia del Espiritu Santo (the Church of the Holy Spirit).
11. Go Shopping
After seeing some of the town’s monuments, treat yourself to some retail therapy! One of the best things to do in Ronda is to go shopping on the main street ‘Carrera Espinel’. Here you’ll find lots of bigger stores and local boutique shops.
One of our favorite shops sits right next to the restaurant Las Maravillas and sells lots of linen clothing for affordable prices.
Best Cafes and Restaurants in Ronda
Ronda won’t disappoint when it comes to food! Many delicious restaurants and tapas bars are located all around town that serve the very best of authentic Andalusian cuisine. Some of our favorites were:
- Las Maravillas (Tapas)
- Il Forno a Legna (Italian)
- Churrería Alba (Best churros in town)
Where to Stay in Ronda
If you choose to stay overnight in Ronda, there are plenty of accommodation options to choose from. As the gorge is one of the main draws for visitors, you’ll find many of the hotels located on the cliff’s edge with beautiful views over the countryside. However, you can also find more centrally located apartments and villas.
How to Visit Ronda
Ronda is about a 2-hour drive from Seville or Malaga, making it a good option on your road trip in Andalusia. Alternatively, spend the night to see a different side of the town, when it’s peaceful and quieter in the evenings.
Driving is the best way to visit Ronda as it allows you to see other places outside the town too, such as the coast and regions like Cadiz.
The town is relatively small, and one of the best things to do is to explore it on foot. If you’re driving, there’re lots of parking areas in Ronda that are all close to the center.
Best Time to Visit
Instead, choose to visit during the late spring or early fall. This is when temperatures are cooler, and it’s easier to explore.