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downundergal Ronda - A travel report by Kerrie
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Ronda,  Spain - flag Spain
9026 readers

downundergal's travel reports

Remarkable Ronda

  14 votes
Page: 1 2 3 4
The town of Ronda is a citadel perched atop a steep, dramatic escarpment and boasts some of the most jaw dropping spectacular views you could hope to see!

New bridge
New bridge
Ronda has a long history is charming and pretty and offers plenty to keep you busy. It is also great place to base yourself with a good choice of accommodation, restaurants and easy access to some scenic drives in the surrounding area.

Ronda is dissected in two by the El Tajo gorge and joined by the iconic 18th century “New Bridge” . The New Bridge was started in 1751 and it took over forty years to complete and spans a gorge of about a 100 metres deep. It certainly induces vertigo looking over the edge through the iron railings.

If you are entering from the south there is the well preserved Almocabar city wall and gate from the 13th century with the Church of the Holy Ghost standing steadfastly behind.

You would not visit Ronda and not visit the Plaza del Toros and the museum attached.

We also wandered in to the House of the Giant – not really knowing what to expect there were no giants in sight but it is actually a well preserved Nasrid (Nazari) Palace from the 13th to 15th centuries. It boasted a pretty courtyard with shaded verandahs.

There is also a Museum of Banditry but we decided not to go in.
The church of the Merced is also another nice photo opportunity as are the locals doing what they do.

Favourite spots:
View from the escarpment
View from the escarpment
For me it was the location of the city that made it really special. No matter how many times you see it you are drawn back again and again to the cliff edge and those stupendous views.

Within the Alameda Park that runs along the edge of the escarpment there is a long walkway along the length of the cliff edge so you see more than one vista. When you finally tear yourself away you can start on the other sights.

What's really great:
El Toro
El Toro
Wandering through the maze of streets you will come across many of the town’s attractions.

Ronda lays claim to being the birthplace of bullfighting and it’s Plaza de Toros dates back to 1785. At the entrance there stands a particularly handsome and proud statue of “el toro”. You can wander around the amphitheatre that makes up the ring, through all the stalls and back areas and there is also an interesting museum. The museum holds many sets of elaborate costumes from the past famous bullfighters. The seating is divided into two levels and is graced with slender sandstone pillars with the wooden partitions in yellow and red stripes. When there aren’t any bullfights happening the bullring is as pretty picture as a picture. Entry is 10 euro per person.

Be warned all the attractions costs about 4-10 euros to go in. So if you are on a budget you may need to decide what you wish to see as it soon mounts up as there are many museums to choose from.

Looking through the shooting gaps.
Looking through the shooting gaps.
There are some scenic drives through the surrounding countryside of rolling hills and many white washed villages so if you don’t have a car it may be worthwhile hiring one for a day of touring.

My partner’s favourite was definitely Olvera about 30 kms from Ronda. You see it long before you arrive – that’s how we found it - it literally drew us from a distance. Since we had been in Spain he wanted to visit a “real” castle so he finally received his wish.
Clustered below the castle is the village of white houses cascading down the hillside.We ended up driving on and up a narrow, steep and winding road to the castle. We parked just below and trudged up a cobble stoned street to the entry.

What a discovery! It has been perfectly restored and was open to the public for a small 2 euro entry and offered a beautifully restored castle complete with turrets and shooting gaps offering a vantage point for the approaching enemy & marvellous vistas of the never ending olive groves. cont'd

Plaza del Toros
Plaza del Toros
We chose the Hotel Arunda II for the simple reason it offered off street parking. Mind you if we had seen just how tight the parking was we might have opted for elsewhere. We were only in a little car and even with the side mirrors pulled in we had about 2cm spare on each side of the car. Close!
The rooms were plain and nothing to write home about, timber beds and tiled floors but very uninspiring and the bathroom could have done with a really good bleaching. The actual restaurant within the hotel was closed so they were utilizing another little room. The rate of 50 euro plus 6 for parking included a breakfast of café and pan.

La Merced
La Merced
If you wanted to browse there is a long pedestrian mall in the main section of the town, not at all touristy more for your general local shopping but with a very cosmopolitan feel.

There was the ubiquitous café on the next corner to the hotel. They served some great typical tapas of olives, cheese and so on and they also served lovely cold cerveza for the afternoon too. This we know from experience as it turned into our local during our stay.

Buildings on the edge of the escarpment.
Buildings on the edge of the escarpment.
As usual I was searching out my vegetable fix so we opted for our normal choice of Chinese. We found the New World – lovely and fresh food without all being fried. The food was good, giant spring rolls (again) nice fresh asparagus and my veggie cravings were satisfied once again.
It is the same all over Spain; all the Chinese restaurants are absolutely huge and beautifully decorated but are always so nearly empty with no more than one or two tables occupied and you always have to ask for chopsticks (!) as you are automatically given a fork. It seems a real surprise to the waiters. These restaurateurs were lovely people; at the end of our meal they came over with some Chinese wine or liqueur I am not sure exactly what it was but it was served in tiny china cups that resembled small egg cups and a presented a beautiful balsa fan as a gift.

Other recommendations:
Within the castle at Olvera there were lots of steps but well worth the effort. Within the main section there was a small interesting museum with many antique weapons on display including crossbows, knives, swords and grappling hooks. There were recreations of attackers scaling the walls with the defender at the top and even a full size replica horse that you can climb on and pretend to be a legend yourself. We only passed through so did not explore the town but it appeared as neat as a pin.

The other town that stood out for us was Setenil due to the fact that many houses in the town have been built into the caves and cliff face. It is a cute little town but very stressful driving through as the streets are super narrow and there is absolutely nowhere to stop. This is one spot you really need to find somewhere to park outside the town and explore on foot but we were a bit short on time and did not have time to do so.

Published on Friday October 5th, 2007

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Thu, Jan 10 2008 - 08:19 PM rating by bootlegga

Very nice!

Mon, Oct 15 2007 - 01:47 AM rating by bineba

Great report with equally great photos. I really like your style of writing. I visited Ronda several years back, but only got to spend a few hours there.

Mon, Oct 15 2007 - 01:44 AM rating by magsalex

Great report and pics on an amazing location.

Fri, Oct 12 2007 - 10:44 AM rating by kiwijen

Enjoyed reading your article - sounds as if you were served moutai, which is probably the most famous Chinese liquor, or baijiu. It is a very strong alcoholic drink and usually drunk in one gulp following the toast gam bai. I'm sure you felt its effects quite quickly!

Thu, Oct 11 2007 - 08:22 AM rating by zrusseff

Never heard of Ronda, Spain - it is so full of history and the buildings retained their story. I love it. You are an AWESOME writer - not be be redundant, but you write really well. Thanks for sharing your treasures!

Tue, Oct 09 2007 - 09:10 PM rating by shalini_md

A good read with really nice pictures. I liked the picture of the New Bridge the most. It gives a very good idea of the vertigo inducing height you mention :-)

Sun, Oct 07 2007 - 02:37 AM rating by mistybleu

An excellent read, with some impressive pictures.

Sat, Oct 06 2007 - 07:15 PM rating by rangutan

A very interesting place - perfectly presented!

Sat, Oct 06 2007 - 04:28 AM rating by ravinderkumarsi

well I heard a lot about spain ,this report gives a lot of info ,well written and very well presented here in form of report

Sat, Oct 06 2007 - 02:53 AM rating by davidx

Very informative - and I shall have to go to Andalucia for a 9th time to see Olvera and Sentenil!

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