TOP THINGS
TO DO & SEE in Ronda, Spain

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What You Can’t Miss

You travel to Ronda to see the colossal New Bridge. It alone is worth the journey. You can admire the bridge from a handful of viewpoints including from one of the many restaurants perched on the cliff side. Ronda oozes with charm and has enough to keep you occupied for a full day. Don’t forget to visit Ronda’s famous bullring and check out the Arab baths which are some of the best preserved in all of Spain.

Top Things to Do

1

NEW BRIDGE & TAJO GORGE

Ronda's impressive New Bridge seen from the bottom of the gorge, Spain
New Bridge seen from the bottom of the gorge - Ronda

The striking New Bridge looks like something you would expect to find at the entrance to some fantasy kingdom in Game of Thrones or Lord of the Rings. To say it looks “sturdy” or “heavy-duty” would be an understatement. But this brute of a bridge came about at least partly because of the failures of the first bridge. In 1741, only 6 years after its construction, the weak single-arc bridge came crashing down into the gorge below, killing 50 people.

The response was to build a new bridge and make sure that it could withstand the weight from passing traffic. When work began on the new mammoth structure, a sophisticated set of pulleys and lifting equipment had to be developed to lift the quarried stones from the gorge below. In 1793, the 98m tall bridge was opened, 34 years after its construction began.

The New Bridge and the Tajo gorge are Ronda’s main attractions. There are many great vantage points to view the bridge and the surroundings. Here are some of our favorite spots:

It is also possible to enjoy fantastic views of the bridge from this view point at the bottom of the gorge. To get there, you have two options:

  • The quickest path starts at the Plaza de María Auxiliadora and zig-zags rapidly to the bottom of the gorge.
  • The other option is to drive or walk through the Moorish old town and then stay to the right once you leave the walled city through the Almocábar Gate.
Green countryside around Ronda, Spain
Green countryside around Ronda

If you like to hike, then it’s also possible to walk the entire outside perimeter of the walled town. It takes about 40 - 60 min one way. Start at the Cuenca Gardens and continue down to the Arab baths. From there, stay on the road (Calle Molino de Alarcón) until reaching the Almocábar Gate. Then, follow Calle del Prado which becomes Carretera de los Molinos in the last stretch. If hiking is your thing, then we really recommend to do the entire perimeter – it’s simply beautiful. You will have the opportunity to enjoy great views of Ronda and the green hillside landscapes that surround it while listening to the birds singing and the cow bells in the background.

2

ROYAL SCHOOL OF CAVALRY (BULLRING)

Inside one of the oldest bullrings in the world – Ronda, Spain
Entering the bullring in Ronda

Founded in 1572, the Real Maestranza de Caballería (Royal Calvary School) de Ronda is the oldest in Spain. Calvary schools were created by the nobility under the order of King Phillip II. These schools could be defined as “nobility clubs,” which had the job to prepare the horses for battle. For training the horses, they often used bulls which ended up developing into what we now call bullfighting.

Ronda is the birthplace of modern bullfighting and home to one of the oldest bullrings in Spain. Inside the Royal School of Calvary (8€ entrance fee) you will be able to see the bullring, bullpen and horse stables. In addition, there is a museum where you can learn how the calvary and bullfighting impacted Spain’s history and culture. Regardless of your position on bullfighting, we highly recommend a visit.

Ronda's bullring in Spain
Bullring detail – Ronda

Besides the bullring and museum, Ronda’s Maestranza still runs an equestrian school. It is possible to see Spanish thoroughbred horses when you visit and if you are lucky, they might even be training. If you are interested in seeing an actual bullfight, then you will probably find it very difficult since there is only one fight per year (go to Seville for bullfights). It happens at the beginning of September during Ronda’s largest fiesta, the Feria de Pedro Romero.

3

CUENCA GARDEN & OLD BRIDGE

Crossing the old bridge in Ronda, Spain
Crossing the Old Bridge in Ronda

The Cuenca Garden (Jardines de Cuenca) is a delightful small garden located right in the edge of the cliff. It offers a wonderful full view of Ronda’s famous bridge all the way down to the Tajo gorge below. At the Cuenca Garden you will find yourself surrounded by a beautiful collection of roses. There are over 60 different varieties in this small garden.

If you have the time, make sure to visit the Jardines de Cuenca at sunset, when the views of the bridge are some of the best. Entrance to the Jardines de Cuenca is free and it is open from 9:30 am until 9:30 pm (until 6:30 pm in winter).

At the end of the Cuenca Garden you will find the old bridge which dates back to the 1300’s. It’s a beautiful setting and only steps away from the Arab Baths, found right below.

4

ARAB BATHS

Inside the medieval Arab Baths of Ronda – Spain
Arab Baths – Ronda

Ronda’s Arab baths (3.5€ entrance fee) are some of the best preserved in Spain. Dating back to the 13th and 14th centuries, pretty much everything here is original because they were actually buried underground until about a century ago.

Ronda’s Arab baths are divided in three main areas (cold, warm and hot) that can be visited today. The rooms are pretty much intact and feature beautiful horseshoe arches, brick and stone work.

Inside of the baths, there is a short video with interesting information about the baths and how they worked. Among other things, it explains how horses powered a wheel that would transport the water from the river to the baths.

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