One day isn’t much to visit a whole city. However, even in such a short period of time, it is possible to get a good idea of what Ronda is all about; that is, if you know how to pace the different stages of your journey through town. If you are planning to visit Ronda in one day, this guide is just for you.
If you decide to get to the city by bus, you’ll start your adventure in the very heart of the city’s modern district. The first thing you should do from there is walk down the modern quarter’s central avenue, known as La Bola. On your way down this bustling thoroughfare, you’ll come across the multiple restaurants, bars and shops that form Ronda’s main commercial area.
La Bola opens directly onto the park of the Alameda del Tajo, which was designed at the beginning of the XIX century A.D. The park boasts some of the city’s most stunning viewpoints. Moreover, this timbered promenade borders Spain’s oldest bullring.
Next up on our programme to visit Ronda in one day, you’ll want to get to La Plaza de España—just a few minutes away from the Alameda del Tajo—where you’ll find a monument that has come to be recognised as one of Ronda’s most important landmarks: El Puente Nuevo (The New Bridge). This impressive 330-foot structure, looms over the Guadalevín River and was built during the XVIII Century A.D. in order to connect both parts of the city.
In crossing the gorge of El Tajo, you will enter the old town’s medina. This wonderful medieval district was built on top of a steep cliff and holds wealth of Ancient Roman, Moorish, and Christian history.
At this point, you’ll probably be getting a tad hungry or will want to take a moment to sit back and appreciate the bright Andalusian weather, comfortably settled at the terrace of a restaurant. If that is the case, you should follow the city walls until reaching the famous Barrio San Francisco. This is the ideal spot to find a place to eat a typical Spanish breakfast, some tapas, or something a bit more substantial; before hiking down La Hoya del Tajo to enjoy the nature and beauty of Ronda’s breath-taking panorama.
The next logical thing to do after this brief escapade to the country would be to go on a guided tour to discover the region’s culinary heritage, or to further explore Ronda’s cultural centre.
If you opt for the latter alternative, it would be wise to make the best out of your stroll amid the historic centre’s whitewashed façades.
For instance, you should not miss the opportunity of visiting the Joaquín Peinado Museum, where some of Pablo Picasso’s paintings are on display. The ruins of Ronda’s Arabian Baths, near one of the old town’s entrances should also not be overlooked. And while you’re at it, you should check out the Palace of Mondragón, at the centre of the Moorish fortress, to further your knowledge of the place’s delightful architecture.
If you still have some time to kill after this already tight schedule, and if your heart still yearns to unearth a few more of the medina’s secrets, you should head to La Casa del Rey Moro (aka. The House of the Moorish King). This would be the ideal conclusion of your programme to visit Ronda in one day. But be warned, you’ll have to climb down 230 steps, directly carved into the mountain’s slope. The descent begins in lush hanging gardens and ends up at the bottom of the Water Mine, which, in times past, was constantly buzzing with the hard toil of the slaves in charge of ferrying water up to the king’s apartments.
If in the end, you have managed to visit all these places: congratulations! You will have succeeded on your mission of seeing Ronda in one day. You will also have acquired a clearer picture of what it is like to live in Andalusia. It will, perhaps, prompt you to extend your stay in this lovely White Village: there is nothing better than to fully experience a location through the prism of slow tourism, learning how to appreciate its true charm as does a native.
– Written by @ArthurBoureau