Top 10 Things to See and Do in Ronda, Malaga

jackmac34, pixabay
jackmac34, pixabay
Mark Nayler

Steeped in dark myths and bullfighting folklore, whilst boasting one of the most extraordinary locations in Spain, it is small wonder that Ronda has become Andalusia’s third most visited town. With its world-famous New Bridge and bullring, as well as the hidden corners of the gorge on top of which it perches, Ronda will not disappoint.

New Bridge

One of southern Spain’s most famous attractions, Ronda’s epic Puente Nuevo, or New Bridge, spans the 328-feet-deep El Tajo gorge, linking El Mercadillo (The Little Market), the newer part of town, with La Ciudad (The Town), the old Moorish quarter. Completed in 1793, it took some forty years and the lives of 50 construction workers to build. For just 2.50 euros you can visit the museum in a little stone-walled cavern in the middle of the bridge, which was used as a prison throughout the 19th century and during Spain’s Civil War of 1936-39. It is also said, that during the Civil War both Republican and Nationalist prisoners whose luck had run out were thrown from the bridge to their deaths. For a searing fictionalisation of a massacre which it is said was loosley-based on events in Ronda, see Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls.

Ronda´s “New Bridge” at night; Encarni Novillo

1. Bullring


Opened in 1785, Ronda’s stately bullring is now used just once a year for the exclusive annual bullfight of the town’s September Feria. It was on the pale sands of this historic arena that a new kind of bullfighting was forged by Francisco Romero in the 18th century. Romero introduced the now-iconic red cape, known as the muleta, and faced the bull on foot, whereas before matadors had performed on horseback. Outside the arena are statues of Antonio Ordonez, another important Ronda bullfighter (see below) and of a life-size fighting bull, which better enables you to understand how hard it must be to keep still when one of these half-ton animals is running at you. There are several daily tours of the bullring and you can learn more about the controversial spectacle that takes place within it, at the excellent museum.

Plaza de Toros de Ronda, 15 Calle Virgen de la Paz, Ronda, Spain, 0034 952 87 41 32

Ronda´s historic bullring; pixabay | © PatternPictures / Pixabay

3. La Casa del Rey Moro (Moorish Palace)

Ronda’s so-called House of the Moorish King was in fact built in the eighteenth century, long after the the town fell to the Christians in 1485. It sits atop El Tajo gorge on the old Moorish side of town and, although the palace is closed to the public, you can still walk down the steep stone staircase of the Water Mine – which actually does date from the city’s time under Muslim rule – all the way to the bottom of El Tajo. During Ronda’s Moorish occupation, it was to this perilous staircase that Christian slaves are said to have been chained in order to pass containers of water up to the town from the river Guadalevin. The neck-craning views of Puente Neuvo from the bottom of the gorge are well worth the 300-step trek back to the top.

Casa del Rey Moro, 9 Calle Cuesta de Santo Domingo, Ronda, Spain, 0034 952 18 71 19

Ronda´s “Water Mine” Matt Blackwell, flickr

Walking in El Tajo

Either side of Puente Neuvo there are scenic walking routes to the bottom of El Tajo canyon. On the side of the old town, a little country path takes you down the hillside and under the great bridge itself, via some slightly hairy sections that resemble a much lower but less well-maintained version of Malaga’s terrifying Caminito del Rey. On the side of the newer part of town, a better-maintained pathway takes you across one of the quaint older bridges that New Bridge was meant to improve upon, and back up the other side of the gorge past the Casa del Rey Moro. Both of these undemanding walks provide an abundance of spots from which to contemplate the untamed beauty of Ronda’s location.

One of the pathways leading down into Ronda´s “El Tajo” gorge; Encarni Novillo

Old and New Town

El Tajo canyon not only rendered necessary Ronda’s most iconic attraction, it also divides the town into two separate halves, each with its own style and atmosphere. La Ciudad – or The Town – is the original Moorish part and weaves around one central Street, Calle Armiñan, south of Puente Nuevo. The best time to explore this ancient barrio (Ronda was under Muslim dominion from 712 to 1485) is in the evening or at night, when the coach-loads of tourists are in their restaurants or hotels on the other side of the canyon. On the northern cliffs of El Tajo is the more commercial part of town, known as El Mercadillo – or The Little Market – it was developed after the Arabs were expelled towards the end of the fifteenth century. The heart of modern-day Ronda has retained all of the beauty and charm of Andalusia’s gorgeous ‘white villages’, even if its Plaza España is now home to a Macdonalds.

4. Baños Arabes (Arabic Baths)

Despite the fact they were in continual use for some 600 years, Ronda’s 10th and 11th century Arabic baths are among the best-preserved in Spain (along with those in Granada). Though their working parts are no longer in existence, it is not hard to imagine the busy social life that unfolded within these cool, domed rooms, the ceilings of which are attractively studded with star-shaped vents for light and ventilation. They were situated outside the old city walls, near to one of Ronda’s original bridges, the Puente Arabe.

Baños Arabes, 11 Calle Molino de Alarcón, Ronda, Spain, 0034 952 18 71 19

Ronda´s Arabic baths are mong the best-preserved in Spain; Bobo Boom, flickr

5. Eat and drink


The locals of Ronda love to eat, drink and socialise as much as any of their Andalusian neighbours, meaning there is a huge choice of places to take refreshment in between exploring El Tajo or learning about the bulls. A delicious regional speciality is spicy Rondeño chorizo – bite-sized little paprika-infused sausages, served with the usual carb-fest of crispy fries and chunky bread. One of the best and most reasonably-priced places near the bullring and Puente Neuvo is La Alacena, which is popular with both locals and visitors alike. Their evening tapas menu serves little plates of delicious Andalusian classics for about four euros a pop and, from the main menu, the stewed bull tail is exquisite.

Restaurant La Alacena, 3 Calle Nueva, Ronda, Spain, 0034 952 16 14 79

Traditional Andalusian tapas bars abound in Ronda ArminFlickr, flickr

Coño Balconies

The pathway that runs from Ronda’s bullring and along the cliff-edge to Paseo Ernest Hemingway and Puente Nuevo contains a number of viewing points that are hilariously called ‘Balcons Coños’ in Spanish. These balconies jut out over the cliffside and provide straight-down views that will make even the least vertigo-suffering of visitors shudder. In their colourful way, therefore, the Spanish are liable to exclaim, “Coño!” (the sense of which is “sh*t!”, the literal meaning of which is much ruder) upon looking down for the first time. These vertiginous platforms feel much sturdier than they look when viewed from a distance, especially if there are a number of (cursing) visitors crammed onto them.

Bird watching

If you can bring yourself to inch onto one of the precipitous balconies overhanging El Tajo canyon, they provide a perfect spot from which to try and catch sight of some of the area’s beautiful airborne wildlife. The gorge that splits Ronda in two is ideal hunting and nesting ground for its many species of bird, among which are eagles, kestrels, falcons and the menacing Griffon Vulture, which has a giant 9-metre wingspan. Ronda’s clifftop location allows you to feel part of these magnificent birds’ natural habitat in a way you rarely can at less stomach-churning heights.

“El Tajo” gorge is home to many beautiful species of birds; Encarni Novillo
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

Edit article