What to do for 1 day in Ronda
Ronda is one of the most beautiful and most visited villages in Andalusia. Close to Seville (1h45 by car) and Malaga (1h30), this village located on a rocky promontory dug by the erosion of the Guadalevin river offers you magnificent panoramas on all the valley.
The village can be visited very well on foot and only one day is enough to discover all the places of interest to see. It fits very easily in a circuit in Andalusia.
Here are our top 10 things to do, to visit Ronda in 1 day.
1. The arena of Ronda
I propose you to begin your circuit by the bullring of Ronda (in Spanish plaza of Toros de Ronda), one of the oldest bullring of Spain. Ronda is indeed known to be the cradle of bullfighting.
Built in 1785 by the same architect who built the Pont Neuf (which I am talking about below), it can accommodate 5,000 spectators.
One of the greatest bullfighters in Spain founded the bullfighting school of Ronda. The arena can be visited just like the bullfighting museum located in the same place.
All information is available on their official website.
Starting your visit with the bullring of Ronda , you can take the opportunity to go to the tourist office in the square just in front, and get a tourist map of the city.
2. The Mirador de Ronda
From the Arena of Ronda, take the paseo Blas Infante to go to the edge of the cliff. Start at the right side (which ends in cul de sac) and follow it to the end, you will walk along the edge of the cliff and can admire beautiful views of the valley below.
Then go back to the Mirador de Ronda. The opportunity to be a little frightened on the bridge overlooking the void and realize the exceptional situation of this village perched on the edge of its rocky promontory!
3. The New Bridge
Continue to Plaza España and you will finally see the New Bridge, the main place of interest of Ronda and the emblem of the city that is on all postcards! Crossing the bridge, on the left side you can make a stop at the viewpoint of Aldehuela.
Completed in 1793, after 42 years of construction (just that!), The Pont Neuf spans the valley and connects the old and the new city previously separated by the El tajo valley and the Guadalevin river. This spectacular bridge is almost 100 meters high.
To have the best view of the bridge and make the perfect photo, follow Calle Tenorio until you reach the Plaza de Maria Auxiliadora. A path will allow you to go down to the first point of view.
Be careful the point of view is not very secure, be careful where you put your feet and also to your camera. Every year, hundreds of devices are found in the bottom of the ravine.
You can then go down to the second point of view that will allow you to see the bridge but also the waterfall and the river that flows below. Second opportunity to make beautiful pictures.
- It is not necessary to go lower than the second point of view, it will bring you nothing more.
- Remember to hydrate yourself and take a hat or a cap because the path is in full sun and the ascent will make you sweat that, I can assure you!
4. The Mondragon Palace
The palace of Mondragon, mixing Moorish style with its patio and Renaissance for the arrangements made thereafter, was built in 1314, and later used as the main residence of the queen of Spain Isabelle and King Ferdinand during their visits to Ronda.
It now houses the Ronda Municipal museum with a permanent collection on the history of the village and examples of Roman and Arabic graves. You can also visit the palace gardens which offers a beautiful view of the old city.
Plaza Duquesa de Parcent
Then continue to the Duquesa de Parcent plaza, considered one of the most beautiful and picturesque of the city. All around are located several monuments including the town hall but the most remarkable is undoubtedly the Iglesia de Santa Maria la Mayor.
The construction of this church took almost 200 years and presents a mixture of Renaissance and Gothic style. Feel free to enter the interior to admire its Gothic style naves and columns, its 2-storey renaissance choir and finally various Baroque elements.
6. Unusual Tour: The Bandit Museum
And yes you have read, there is a bandit museum in Ronda. It is located next to Plaza Duquesa in Calle Arminan. This museum traces the history of the most famous bandolero in the region with photos, documents and anecdotes about their lives.
Among them we learn that there were bullfighters, flamenco singers and of course smugglers. These men stole the rich to help the poorest, animated by a spirit of justice. While showing generosity, they were ruthless killers.
An unusual visit that will teach you lots of things about this little known aspect of the region.
For the visit and the information, it is on the official site of the museum (in Spanish).
7. The Puerta de Almocabar and the Arab walls
Continue along Calle Arminan and Calle Cuesta de las Imagenes to Puerta de Almocabar.
Because of its geographical location, and thanks to its high walls and its doors, built during the Islamic period, Ronda was part of the impregnable cities of Andalusia.
In the Muslim era, the Puerta de Almocabar was the main entrance to the city and the largest gate. It is surrounded by two semicircular towers giving it a defense value.
You will find other parcels of walls especially in the eastern sector of the city with the door of Cijara and in the West with the walls of Albacara built to protect the mills. You can also see 2 other doors: the mill gate(Puerta de los Molinos) and the wind gate (Puerta del Viento).
8. The Arab Baths of Ronda
Going up towards the New Bridge, make a detour by the Arab baths of Ronda located in the district of San Miguel. They are the best preserved in Spain.
Built towards the end of the 13th century, their structure is reminiscent of Roman baths with a cold, warm and warm zone. Surprisingly, even today the hydraulic system is almost intact.
You can also see the boiler that was used to heat the water. Take a look at the ceiling and you will see the star-shaped vents directly inspired by the Granada Alhambra and its baths.
9. The palace of the Moorish king and the Mina
Located in Calle Cuesta de Santo Domingo, this palace was built by the Moors in the 14th century, who installed an ingenious system for pumping water.
The water catchment mine runs down the ravine to the Guadalevin River. You can also take a staircase cut from the rock of 236 steps and down 60 meters to reach a platform for a very nice view.
Going back, have a little thought for the Christian slaves who, every day, made this way to bring back water.
You can also stroll through the sumptuous palace gardens. Developed by a French architect, Jean-Claude Forestier (the same who built the Maria Luisa Park in Seville ), these terraced gardens with canals and fountains are just as beautiful as the view.
10. Plaza del Socorro
Finish your tour of the city by the Plaza del Socorro, a pretty little square surrounded by terraces of bars and restaurants. The ideal place for a refreshing break and finish this day of visit. You will enjoy a beautiful view of the Church Nuestra Senora del Socorro.
During our visit to Ronda, we parked in the underground car park of the square. This allows you to be directly in the city center, close to all places to visit.
Bonus: 2 things to do around Ronda
The wine route of Andalusia
Ronda has recently been added to the official list of the Andalusian Wine Route. Hidden in nature, many small winemakers produce excellent wines more and more appreciated both nationally and internationally.
In total about twenty establishments are registered in the wine route and some offer tours of their facilities, with of course, a tasting.
The 2 most known and visited are the Bodegas Chinchilla and Bodegas Descalzos Viejos located in a convent.
The ruins of Acinipo
20 kilometers from Ronda, Acinipo is an archaeological site. It was once the capital of the region before being abandoned in favor of Ronda.
The best preserved element of the site is its Roman theater. Its bleachers were dug directly into the rock using the natural slope. You will also be able to admire many architectural elements and the thermal baths whose excavations made it possible to update the water pipes.
The setting is very beautiful with views of the surrounding mountains and the Sierra de Grazalema.
Visit Ronda in 1 day
In 1 day in Ronda, you’ll have time to see all the places I’m talking about in this top.
For my part, I really enjoyed visiting Ronda, it’s really the ideal place for an excursion if you are in Malagaor Seville.
Once parked, you can do everything on foot and see the main places of interest in the day. And it must be said that the Pont Neuf is particularly impressive! On its own, it makes Ronda a must visit in Andalusia.
By cons, do not expect to be quiet, Ronda is really tourist with a concentration of tourists high enough square meters, especially on weekends!
The restaurants and cafes of the main squares and the historic center were not wrong, prices are quite expensive.
Feel free to go a hundred meters from the center to find a small place to eat.
Personally, we ate a sandwich at the Granier bakery , located 100 meters from the Plaza del Socorrofor prices ranging from 1.50 € to 2.50 €. And they were good and hearty!
To give you an idea, a street before the basic sandwich started at 7 €!
Where to Stay in Ronda
- Pension Ronda Sol: Located 100 meters from the bullring of the city, this pension can serve as hostel because it offers single rooms. Rooms with decoration certainly a little old but very clean and with a nice view of the patio from 17 € per night, breakfast included. The most: the unbeatable price with the breakfast which in addition is rich!
- Hotel San Francisco: Located in the historic center but quiet. Classic room, clean and comfortable from 49 € per night, breakfast in addition to 6.5 €. The most: the geographical location and the very friendly reception. Our favorite for his report benefits / prices!
- Enfrente Arte: Located 5 minutes walk from the Pont Neuf, this hotel is made for lovers of unusual and original places. Large room with very original decoration from 88 € per night, breakfast 8 €. Goodies: outdoor pool, terraces, excellent breakfast, quiet location.
- Parador de Ronda: Located 10 minutes walk from the old town of Ronda. Warm and comfortable double room with balcony with breathtaking views of the mountains from 180 € per night, breakfast included. Most: the spectacular view of the Gorges and the Pont Neuf from the hotel, the location, the comfort of the rooms, the swimming pool, the superb breakfast, the underground car park (in Ronda it is a must!). This is our recommendation for a luxury stay in Ronda.
Tourist map of Ronda
Here is a map of Ronda, with all the sights to see.
Have you ever had the chance to visit Ronda? What did you think?