Views for miles on an incredible day trip to Ronda Spain

Ronda day trip puente nuevo

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One look at a photo of this beautiful bridge spanning a spectacular gorge was enough to put a day trip to Ronda on our itinerary for Andalusia in southern Spain.

The bridge – the Puente Nuevo – was built in the 18th century to link Ronda’s old and new towns. It is not only beautiful but an engineering marvel.

Walking across the bridge that spans the El Tajo Gorge and taking in the views is a highlight of a day trip to Ronda.

Ronda streets - things to do on a day trip to Ronda Spain

But there is so much more to this little Andalusian town than those admittedly incredible views.

Here are our tips for making the most of your visit to Ronda, but first a little background.

Ronda, Andalusia

ronda andalucia spain

Ronda is a small city of around 40,000 in Málaga southern Spain.

Perched 750 meters above sea level, the city is divided in two by the river Guadalevin, that weaves its way through the El Tajo gorge.

The rolling hills of Sierra de Grazalema provide a dramatic back drop to the city whose history stretches back over 2,000 years.

Ronda has had many rulers, most notably the Romans and Caliphate of Córdoba, who all left their mark on the city.

Best things to do in Ronda

Honestly, you could spend a few days simply wandering the streets, stopping for a drink and taking in the views of this splendid town.

After all, Ronda inspired some of the greatest works by Ernest Hemingway (For Whom the Bell Tolls) and Orson Welles (Don Quixote) but I promised you a list of activities in Ronda, so here they are.

Best views in Ronda

puente nuevo view ronda day trip

The Spanish have a beautiful word for viewpoint – mirador. 

Now I have no idea if it is true but I suspect that Ronda was where the concept of mirador was born.

Whatever you do, don’t forget your camera.

Head straight for the Mirador de Ronda where you can take in incredible vistas of the Puente Nuevo, the rolling hills in the back grounds and the spectacular gorge below.

Then cross the Puente Nuevo bridge to admire the El Tajo gorge. Make sure to cross on both sides of the bridge because the scenery is different depending on which way you look.

On your left, after you cross the bridge, there is the Mirador de Aldehuela – named after the architect Jose Martin de Aldehuela who designed Ronda’s bullring. This is the spot for views of the northern side of El Tajo and the Old Bridge.

Hike the el Tajo gorge

El Tajo Gorge Ronda Spain

If you are feeling energetic, take the path from the Puerta de Almocábar (Arab Gate) down the gorge for spectacular views of Ronda above.

The hike is short at around 5km but bear in mind there are several steep sections on the ascent and descent.

Bridges of Ronda

Puente Viejo Ronda

Apart from the famous Puente Nuevo, there are two other bridges in Ronda worth taking a look at.

The Puente Viejo (old Bridge), is to the east of the new bridge. Now a pedestrian only bridge, it was built to span the Tajo gorge in the 16th century.

Unsurprisingly, it was Romans who first built a bridge in Ronda. The Roman Bridge or Puente San Miguel is actually the Arab bridge built on Roman foundations. It is found under the Puente Viejo near the Arab baths.

Visit the Arab Baths

Arab Baths Ronda spain

Just outside the old city walls, you can visit one of the best preserved examples of an Arabic hammam.

Built on the site of old Roman baths in the 11th or 12th century, there were three main rooms – hot, medium, and cold. Each were fed with water from the two nearby streams.

More information about visiting the baths on this website.

Relax in the Alameda del Tajo

alamedo del tajo - ronda andalucia

Built in the 1800s, the Alameda del Tajo is a beautiful shady park that leads to magnificent views of the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park.

If you are travelling with children there is a park here and a duck pond that will keep the little ones amused for a while.

Eat and drink your way around Ronda’s tapas bars and cake shops

tapas in ronda spain

When in Ronda, you must eat the local specialties.

We discovered delicious cured meats, local queso curado – hard cheese, chestnuts, honey and of course wine from the up and coming Serranía de Ronda wine route.

ronda cakes - daver

The cakes were to die for though.

It was so hard to choose from the patisserie selection and then we saw the turrón (nougat).

If you have a sweet tooth make sure you stop at Confiteria Daver – Virgen de los remedios, 6 Ronda

Explore the old city and Puerta de Almocabar

Puerta de almocabar ronda spain

Ronda’s strategic position meant that it is well fortified. The sturdy Islamic city walls and Arab Gate – Puerta de Almocabar – have stood the test of time.

Climb up to the top of the walls and walk along the ramparts for more views of the city.

Visit Casa don Bosco casa don bosco ronda spain

This well positioned house in the heart of Ronda’s old town belonged to an order of priests. While the history and interior are interesting, you pay your €2 for more amazing views across the Tajo gorge.

Address: Calle Tenorio, 20, Ronda

Ronda bullring – Plaza de Toros

I do not support bull fighting in any way shape or form so we did not visit the bullring in Ronda.

Many people do go there to admire the 18th century building, said to be one of the oldest and most beautiful bullrings in Spain.

“I have sought everywhere the city of my dreams and I have finally found it in Ronda”
– Rainer María Rilke

Where to eat in Ronda

Ronda tapas bars

As you would expect, Ronda is overflowing with tapas bars and restaurants.

When it is sunny – and it usually is in this part of the world – tables spill out onto plazas and cobbled streets. The atmosphere is festive and fun.

Old Town – Bodega San Francisco – Plaza Ruedo Alameda, 32, Ronda – buzzing place with an extensive tapas list. Try the setas – mushrooms cooked in garlic.

Near Plaza Socoro – Taberna El Almacén – Calle Virgen de los Remedios, 7, Ronda – modern tapas and local wines

Don’t forget to leave room for the cakes from Daver I mentioned earlier.

How to get to Ronda by car

roads in andalucia

Seville to Ronda

The drive from Seville to Ronda by car is one of the most beautiful in Europe if you take the scenic route through the Sierra de Grazalema.

Along the way you pass many of the famous Pueblos Blancos (white villages) and you should stop at least once along the way

We took the E-5 south towards Jerez and took exit 44 towards Lebrija/Las Cabezasto and then followed the SE-5209 and CA-5101 signs to Arcos de la Frontera. Here we took some time to walk around this stunning town with its labyrinth like streets.

arcos de la frontera andalucia

From Arcos de la Frontera take the A-384 and A-374 road towards Ronda, winding your way through the Andalusian countryside. Some of the towns along the way – Bornos, Villamartin and Zahara – are classic examples of the whitewashed Pueblos Blancos.

If you want a more direct route take the A-376 south east toward Utrera and then the A-375, A-384 and A-374 to Ronda. This route will take just under two hours.

Malaga to Ronda by car

It is an easy 1½ hour drive from Malaga to Ronda, mostly on excellent motorways.

Head west out of Malaga on the A-357 and then take the A-367 to Ronda.

Where to park in Ronda

Make sure to plan ahead for places to park in Ronda. On weekends the town is particularly busy with Spanish day trippers as well as international tourists.

Parking La Merced – Calle Carlos Cobo Gómez, 1, Ronda, Málaga – Open 07:00am – 23:00pm

We found this secure underground car park near the Alameda park and the tourist office. The spaces are small and the ramps down to each level are steep but that’s what you would expect from a city built on a cliff right?

Guided day trip to Ronda from Malaga and Seville

Ronda day trip

If you prefer to relax while someone else does the driving, here are some of the tours we considered

Seville to Ronda tour – a full day tour taking in the white villages and stopping at a winery (nice!) – click for more info

Malaga to Ronda tour – Departing from Malaga, this tour looks a little rushed but might be a good option if you are in town on a cruise – click for more info

Where to stay in Ronda (if you just can’t leave)

parador hotel ronda spain

Honestly, I wish we had scheduled some more time to explore Ronda and the Pueblos Blancos – white villages of Andalusia. But we had other plans in Malaga and a scheduled trip to the Alhambra in Granada.

If I ever go back, and I hope to one day, I would love to stay in the magnificent Parador de Ronda.

You can’t miss the hotel as you walk around the Mirador and towards the Puente Nuevo bridge. With sweeping views of the El Tajo gorge, it really seems like the best place to stay in Ronda. Click for more info and latest prices

Have you been to Ronda and admired these incredible views?

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48 thoughts on “Views for miles on an incredible day trip to Ronda Spain

  1. Esther says:

    Oh yes, Ronda is SO on my list. I have visited Analucia twice, but haven’t made it to Ronda (boo, hiss!). I am kind of thinking about Andalucia in March or April next year, maybe. Does sound like a good plan to me 😉

  2. California Globetrotter says:

    I see you slowly teasing me with all of the locations I too want to visit! A nice along road trip through Andalusia is my dream! Ronda is definitely on the list and it’s nice to learn more than just seeing the impressive bridge! #FarawayFiles

  3. Connie says:

    I adored Ronda and was so disappointed we didn’t have more time there – only stopped in for the afternoon on the way to Jerez but I will definitely be returning! #farawayfiles

  4. Tash says:

    Wow, I just want to pack my suitcase and go! I’ve been dying to get over to Spain. Will definitely be bookmarking this post. Such great insight & tips. #FarawayFiles

  5. Amanda says:

    We spent a night in Ronda on our trip to Andalucia – no regrets it was by far the highlight of the trip! The bridge, the gorge and the delicious food- you can’t go wrong! I love the photos! #FarawayFiles

  6. Annabel says:

    I have great memories of eating tapas in Ronda but didn’t get to the desserts, that certainly sounds like a reason to return. And I think I’d like to stay at the Parador too!

  7. Allison says:

    Ronda looks beautiful. You had me at the second picture of the alleyway. I would love to wander down that street and see what I find. #FarawayFiles

  8. Erin Gustafson says:

    Oh how I would love to drive from the Costa del Sol through Andalusia to Seville and definitely a stop in Ronda! I love the topography (coming from FLAT Denmark!) and the tapas and the miradors! Saving for my someday Spain road trip! LOVE this post. #FarawayFiles

  9. Catherine’s Cultural Wednesdays says:

    Mr CW and I had a spectacular parking row in that underground car park. I was finding the spaces a little tricky and there was a chorus of honking cars not appreciating my efforts. I took the only route possible …. stormed out of the car and car park leaving Mr CW to manoeuvre the car. Ronda however was worth parking hell! #FarawayFiles

    • Katy Clarke says:

      Ha ha – glad to hear we are not the only couple who clash over car parking. And I am definitely rubbish at parking with an audience. But yes, Ronda was definitely worth it!

  10. Ruth says:

    This is great! I have heard a lot about Ronda so it is good to see an in-depth guide for the town. I really want to do a road trip around Southern Spain. I have an itinerary and everything. it is a matter of having the time. #FarawayFiles

  11. Lisa says:

    I’ve actually never heard of Ronda before but all your pictures are soooo pretty! Need to look into going there! 🙂 #FarawayFiles

  12. Vanessa Brune says:

    I’d love to explore Ronda! So far, I’ve only ever been to the Spanish islands or the coast but I know that there are so many gems waiting to be discovered further inland!

  13. Usha says:

    Definitely Ronda is on my list now. Beautiful post with wonderful photos. The Arab hammam looks so wonderful. #farawayfiles

  14. Angela Vincent says:

    Ahh, beautiful Andulucia. So many things to love about this region, and such a great off season destination because of the sunshine. I have yet to visit Ronda, it looks stunning and somewhere I shall definitely add to my list #FarawayFiles

  15. Hilary says:

    ooh! I’m definitely putting this on my list for our next visit to Spain, which I think will be the next big Europe trip we take, that is if Tim has anything to say about it… I see what you mean about those incredible views and I’d love to see all that amazing architecture! The food would be nice too, yes, definitely the food! I’m in! #farawayfiles

  16. Corey | fifi + hop says:

    Oh I really didn’t know anything about Ronda until I read this post! Looks so beautiful and chill. I agree – mirador is a beautiful word. One of my faves. #farawayfiles

  17. Shelley says:

    I visited Sevilla a long, long time ago and loved it, but it looks like I should’ve spent a whole lot more time in the entire region checking out the different towns and gorgeous miradors. I had no idea they were in such easy driving distance from each other, with such amazing scenery to look at along the way. #farawayfiles

  18. Kat says:

    Wow, Katy you are certainly an expert on the Mediterranean countries – Spain and Italy! Have read a number of your posts on Spain – absolutely inspiring – I just have to find the right time to go 🙂 Love your pics too. For a place like Ronda, I’d be happy to just go for a stroll, eat or have coffee, have a siesta and come out again to walk and explore, and finally end the day with a nice meal and a glass of wine – bliss! #FarawayFiles

  19. Janet says:

    If I was anywhere nearby I would have done exactly the same thing after seeing a photo of that amazing bridge. It’s like a fairy tale. I hope I get there one day! #FarawayFiles

  20. Janis says:

    We stayed in Ronda a couple of years ago and it’s such a lovely town to discover, you’re right the view from the mirador is stunning.

  21. tracy collins says:

    Ronda looks absolutely gorgeous! Spain is one European country we have really neglected to visit much. We have always tended to head for the Spanish Islands of Majorca and Ibiza more than explore the mainland. Definitely a must see more of when we do move back to Europe! #FarawayFiles

  22. Caity says:

    Wow, I had never heard of Ronda and it looks SO beautiful! Thanks for showing me something new, and it’s definitely on my list now! #farawayfiles

  23. Trish @ Mum's Gone To says:

    We were in Seville at the same time of year in 2016 and promised ourselves we need to explore further – Cordoba and Ronda are both on our list. It’s such a great time to visit Andalusia as it’s warm but not too hot. I’ve pinned your post to remind me as there’s so much useful info – thanks Katy.

  24. Phoebe | Lou Messugo says:

    I went to Rhonda when pregnant with my first baby who is now an 18 year old uni student, I guess it’s time to go back! I have very fond memories and your photos brought them all back. #citytripping

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