Ronda is an ancient town in Andalucia, Southern Spain, and is a good base to explore the major Andalucian cities of Granada, Seville, Cordoba and Jerez. Each has their own special ambience and history and all are within reach for day long excursions. The white villages of the Serrania De Ronda offer an alternative to the hustle and bustle of the cities, where evenings and afternoons can be spent sitting in shady squares. The town is set high in the mountains directly inland from San Pedro De Alcantara on the Costa Del Sol, Ronda manages to retain much of the charm from its rich and colourful past.
Because of its location, Ronda was one of the last strongholds of the Moors, falling to the forces of Castille in 1485 just seven years before the final defeat at Granada. There are many examples of this legacy throughout the town, with Arab baths and labyrinthine passageways to the bottom of the famous gorge well worth a visit. Before this the town was a stronghold of the Romans who had a large settlement at Acinipo, now known as Ronda La Vieja, just 12 kilometres north west of the town. There are the remains of an ancient amphitheatre here set on a high plateau with spectacular views over the surrounding countryside.
Casa Del Rey Moro.
A 18th century palace built on Moorish foundations with gardens overlooking the Tajo and a stairway which has 365 steps down to the bottom of the gorge. There are galleries leading from the stairwell at various levels, which include an armoury. The Palace itself is not open to the public.
Telephone: 95 218 7200
Opening hours 10.00 am - 8.00pm.
Palacio De Mondragon.
Built in the 14th century, it is one of the architectural prizes of Ronda with original stucco works and mosaics. The Palace was reformed during the time of Ferdinand and Isabella and is where they stayed during their reign when visiting the town. There are three beautiful patios overlooking the Serrania de Ronda. It currently houses a museum and is also a lively centre for visiting students studying Spanish from all over the world. Information can be obtained about Spanish classes on 95 287 8450.
Opening hours: Mon- Fri 10.00am-7.00pm.
Sat - Sun 10.00am-3.00pm.
Definitely worth a visit, this is a fascinating remnant of Ronda’s Moorish past. It has wonderful star shaped windows and octagonal brick columns and although in ruins, there is a refurbishment being undertaken. Adjacent is the Hotel Alavera de los Baños which is open to the public for drinks, tapas and meals.
Telephone: 95 287 0818
Open: Mon-Fri 10.00am-7.00pm
Sat, Sun and Festivals 10.00am-3.00pm.
Iglesia de Santa Maria Mayor.
Situated in the Plaza Duquesa de Parcent, Ronda’s most picturesque square, this cathedral church is built on the foundations of the town mosque. It is a fascinating cornucopia of gothic, Moorish and renaissance architecture with an Arab arch covered in calligraphy and an old mihrab (prayer niche) uncovered.
Telephone: 95 287 2246
Plaza de Toros and Museum.
Ronda, being the home of traditional bullfighting has one of the oldest bullrings in Spain and incorporates a small museum of the art of the corrida. Even if bullfighting is not you favourite sporting pastime the bullfighting costumes are well worth seeing. Furthermore the bullring is, in its own right, a building of some significance, which is also currently used for open air classical concerts in the summer months.
Telephone: 95 287 4132.
Open every day: 10.00am-19.00pm
Concessions for groups and student cards.
Cueva de La Pileta
Take a drive out of Ronda, in the direction of Seville, to the pueblo of Benoajan and look for the signs immediately after the village for the caves to see some of the most stunning Paleolithic paintings of animals and fish, and walk amongst the stalactites and stalagmites. This is a great opportunity to take the children out for an exciting trip. Remember that even on the hottest days it will be cool in the caves, so take something warm.
Opening Hours: 10.00am -1.00pm & 4.00pm- 5.00pm
For those looking for a more active holiday the area of Andalucia has a wide range of activities on offer. We advise you to take out your own insurance before embarking on any activity. If you require advice or local knowledge please do not hesitate to consult our team.
Horse riding is particularly popular in the area. The earlier and later months of April, May, June ,September and October offer ideal conditions for trekking.
There are a variety of good trails and tracks that can take you through splendid countryside. Nadia , tel 00 34 607 702 621 provides insured riding excursions of two or four hours.
Walking is an absolute delight in this region and there is a great deal of comprehensive material available on the subject. It is encouraged by the local Junta de Andalucia and there are many books on the subject.
We are fortunate enough to have one of the best hang gliding companies operating in Europe just 30 minutes from Ronda called FlySpain.
The Pantano which is a large lake below the white villages of El Gastor and Zahara has opportunities to take out Kayaks on the lake at very reasonable rates. Opening times of the year can be unpredictable so its advisable to ask first.
Cycling, after football, is a national obsession Spain. Andalucia is hugely popular with this sport due to the nature of the terrain – challenging. Bikes can be hired in Ronda from cycleronda.com.
The nearest Golf Courses from Ronda are on the coast at San Pedro de Alcantara ( Taylor Woodrow Developments) about a 50 minute drive. From Gaucin, the famous Valderama Golf is the nearest.
PAINTING & PHOTOGRPAHY
Andalucia is known for its light – it can be very special indeed; the clarity is out standing and the landscapes diverse and fascinating in all directions from Ronda which ever you choose. This has to be one of the best areas in all of Europe for these arts, certainly in Spain.