Where We Be
Ronda is without a doubt one of the best small
towns in all of Spain. Located in the beautiful
Andalusia region of southern Spain, its white
buildings perch precariously atop high cliffs.
Promenades with balconies wrap around the
deep El Tajo gorge, offering spectacular views
of the surrounding countryside. An imposing
stone bridge known as Puente Nuevo (which
actually dates back some 250 years) adds even
more drama to the setting.
We quickly came to regret only having two
days here and talked about how we could have
made this a base for exploring the rest of
Andalusia. That said, a day or two is enough to
see the key sights -- including the oldest
bullring in Spain! Also worth a visit are the
Arab Baths far below the city, dating back to
the 13th century. Wherever you go, whether
you're looking up or down or sideways, your
eyes will feast on the most amazing scenery.
|Ronda really should be on your must-see list for Spain
|This dramatic stone bridge is the Puente Nuevo. Only in a place
like Spain would a "new bridge" date back to the late 1700s!
|It's worth every bit of effort walking down and up again for views like these
|Then there's the flat paths and promenades that work their way
around the gorge, offering eye-popping scenery at every turn
|Here you can see folks perched on one of the miradors
|From these balconies you can marvel at the Andalusian countryside,
which is probably much greener than you might have expected for Spain
|The "backyard" view isn't bad either! The
building at the bottom right is the Arab Baths.
|The Arab Baths date from the 13th century and are the best conserved in
the entire Iberian peninsula. The star-shaped roof openings provided light.
|This fortress-like structure in the old part of town is the Church
of Espiritu Santo, built right into the original fortified walls of the city
|The fortified Moorish walls and city gates once made Ronda impregnable
|This picturesque square in the new town is Plaza Parquesa
de Parcent, the perfect place to unwind after a good wander
|Be sure to cross the Puente Nuevo into the old town to visit fine sites
like the church of Santa Maria la Mayor with its double galleried front
|Then there's the bullring -- the oldest in Spain, built in 1785
|Statues outside the ring pay tribute to some of the greatest matadors of all time
|Ronda's Plaza de Toros is not only the oldest but also
one of the most picturesque and famous in Spain
|Admission isn't cheap at €7 per person (plus €1.50 for the audio tour),
but if you've come this far you might as well have a look around
|Little touches of art decorate the protective fences inside the bullring, and a
museum on premises provides posters and paraphernalia from bullfights past
|On Sunday afternoon we happened upon the Pasarela Romantica,
an annual festival in which locals dress up in historical period costumes
|The stars of the show were definitely the kids!
|Watching them walk down the runway was simply too cute
|Not sure who looks happier, the kids or the adults watching them
|What a fun festival to stumble upon before leaving for our train for Granada
|New town (still pretty old) is where you'll find most
of the hotels, including the Arunda II where we stayed
|My first visit to Ronda was some thirty years ago in college, and for thirty years I've
been telling Robin she had to see it. Now she has -- and loves it as much as I do.
|This flat Paseo is perfect for an evening stroll
|The Cuenca Gardens form a series of
terraces with even more views to die for