Located in the Spanish
province of Málaga
, around 60 kilometers north of Marbella, the town of Ronda
occupies a dramatic location, atop immense, craggy stone cliffs. As if sitting on a throne above the rest of the world, the town is full of old historic sights dating back to the time of the Moors. Here are some of our top things to do and see in Ronda.
Walk Across the Famous Puente Nuevo Bridge
The Puente Nuevo Bridge is without a doubt one of the most famous sights in Ronda. Spanning the El Tajo Gorge, it’s quite a sight to behold, towering the height of the cliff faces. Taking a total of 42 years to create, construction on the bridge began in 1751 and a total of 50 workers were killed during the process. The bridge was designed by architect José Martin de Aldehuela and building work was carried out by chief builder Juan Antonio Díaz Machuca.
Puente Nuevo Bridge, Calle Armiñán, Ronda, Málaga, Spain, +34 952 18 71 19
Visit Spain’s Largest Bullring
Visit Spain’s Largest Bullring
Not only is Ronda’s Plaza del Toros the largest in Spain (in terms of the diameter of the sand circle), it’s also one of the oldest, built in the 18th century. One of the birthplaces of the Rondeño style of bullfighting, the building is also where the Real Maestranza De Caballería De Ronda is located – Spain’s oldest order of horsemanship.
Plaza de Torros de Ronda, Calle Virgen de la Paz 15, Ronda, Málaga, Spain, +34 952 874 132
Plaza de Toros de Ronda | © BKP
Marvel at the Iglesia de Santa María la Mayor
The most important church in Ronda, the Iglesia de Santa María la Mayor is built in many varying architectural styles, due to the fact that construction began in 1485 and wasn’t completed until the 17th century. Part of the church was also destroyed during an earthquake in 1580. The most fascinating aspects of the church are its Renaissance Choir and images of the Virgen del Mayor Dolor.
Parroquia Santa María la Mayor, Plaza Duquesa de Parcent, Ronda, Málaga, Spain, +34 952 87 22 46
Iglesia Santa Maria la Mayor, Ronda | © Wwal/Wikimedia Commons
Admire Plaza Duquesa de Parcent
One of the prettiest squares in Ronda and home to the Santa Maria la Mayor church, Plaza Duquesa de Parcent is an ideal shady spot for some people watching.
Plaza Duquesa de Parcent, Ronda, Málaga, Spain
Explore the Ancient Baños Arabes
During the Moorish rule of Spain, the Arabic leaders built many bathhouses all over the country, but especially in the province of Andalusia. Many of these ancient Arab bathhouses still remain today and, although not functioning, can still be explored. One of the most important and best preserved is located in Ronda. Built at the end of the 13th century, you can still see the large cauldron used for heating the water to create the steam, and the star-shaped air vents.
Baños Arabes, Calle Molino de Alarcón 11, Ronda, Málaga, Spain, +34 952 18 71 19
Arabic Baths, Ronda | © Andreas Tille/Wikimedia Commons
Visit the Palacio del Rey Moro y La Mina
Not actually the home of a Moorish king at all, the Palacio del Rey Moro wasn’t built until the 18th century, after the Christians had long regained control of Andalusia. Although the actual house is not open to the public, its wonderful gardens are. Designed by French landscape gardener Jean-Claude Forestier in 1912, they cling to the side of the cliff and are filled with fountains, flower gardens and peacocks. Its real treasure, however, can be found down many stone steps in a mine, which emerges at a cool and serene pool at the bottom of the gorge.
Palacio del Rey Moro, Calle Cuesta de Santo Domingo 9, Ronda, Málaga, Spain, +34 952 18 71 19
Palacio del Rey Moro y La Mina, Ronda | © Daniel Villafruela/Wikimedia Commons
Discover the Mondragón Palace and Museum
The remnants of the Arabic residence of the Moorish ruler Abbel Mallek, the Mondragón Palace has undergone many renovations to help restore it to its former glory. Some of the original, intricate tile work and inner courtyards still remain, as do the charming water gardens with their many fountains.
Mondragón Palace, Plaza Mondragón, Ronda, Málaga, Spain, +34 952 87 08 18