The beautiful and historic town of Ronda is one of the oldest towns in Spain and is one of the genuine Andalucian treasures that is accessible to tourists visiting the Costa del Sol.
The town sits nestled in the Serrania de Ronda mountain range, 60 kilometres up a winding mountain road from Marbella. It stands at an altitude of 739 metres and has is one of the most
visited towns in Andalucia.
Located around the region are also a number of remains from the Roman period, the most important of which is the archaeological site at the Roman town of Acinipo.
However Ronda’s cultural heritage very much lies with the era of its Moorish occupation. Under the Moors, Ronda was a important city and their heritage has stuck over the centures, in the buildings, monuments, traditions and gastronomy.
Because of its location, sat on top of a soaring cliff top, Ronda was one of the last Moorish towns to fall during the re-conquest by the Catholic monarchs.
Ronda, the Capital City of the surrounding landscape of "La Serrania” is a prime tourist destination and can often become engulfed with group tours; but the town is much better explored on your own, finding your way around the pretty narrow cobbled centre and stopping to take in the magnificent views to the surrounding sierra.
The town is easily explored on foot with the first stop normally being the 18th century Puente
Nuevo (New Bridge) which sits across the 100m chasm of the El Tajo Gorge where the Rio Gaudelvin runs below.
As Ronda is the birthplace of modern bullfighting many people also head to the bull ring to see where some of the most famous fights of all have taken place. In the old cobbled quarter of
town, you can visit the old 16th century covent, which has been converted into an interesting art museum.
Other attractions include the Casa de Don Bosco, which is a handsome town mansion owned by one of Ronda’s titled families. The Palacio Mondragón, which was modernised rather poorly
during the sixties, but there are still some beautiful gardens to enjoy. The restored Arab Baths are said to be the best preserved in Europe and the beautiful La Casa del Ray Moro with its water mine and garden is a delightful stop-off.
The wonderful Plaza Duquesa de Parcent with its convent and two churches is a beautiful spot to sit down and take in the historic atmosphere that exudes from Ronda.
Ronda cuisine is inspired by its mountainous location, and is based on rustic, flavoursome and warming dishes such as soups of tomato, or bean and lentils soup, scrambled eggs served with
legumes, asparagus and mushrooms.
"Migas" is a traditional dish made from fried breadcrumbs, served with chorizo, peppers and
other ingredients can be added. Typical stews using snails, rabbit ("conejo a la rondeña"), partridge ("perdices al estilo de la serrania) and oxtail are all delicious local specialities.
Ronda is home to one of the most famous restaurants in Andalucia, the Michelin star Tragabuches, and it doesn’t stop there as there are many excellent restaurants in the town, from
the expensive to the cheap and cheerful. However, there is one thing to say about eating out in Ronda, you have to eat Spanish. If you miss your pizzas, or British food, then head back down to the Coast. When in Ronda, eat like an Andaluz!
Due to its mountain location, Ronda has a distinctly different climate to the rest of the coastal region of the Costa del Sol. Enclosed by the mountains keeps the town relatively tolerable during the summer, but cold and grey and wet during the winter.