The Puente Nuevo spans the canyon through which the Guadalevín River runs.

Amongst the whitewashed walls of Ronda, Spain

In En-Route, Europe, Our Journeys, Spain, Trip-Types, World Travel by JanisLeave a Comment

Discover its bridges, baths & bullring.

Gary and I were recently reminiscing about our 2014 Spanish road trip, which we embarked upon from the UK. This was our first road trip around Spain. However, there was more to come in 2016, as we had created an ever-growing list of other places we wanted to visit.

Amongst the whitewashed walls of Ronda, Spain

We’d planned a circular route from Santander (where the ferry disembarked) heading south, visiting the delights of Toledo, Granada, Ronda, Jerez, Seville & Salamanca.

However, it was Ronda I wanted to tell you more about, as this charming little town nestled in the Andalusian hills, has so much to offer.

Not one, nor two, but three

Bridges that is, yes Ronda has three bridges spanning the Guadalevín River and the Tajo canyon. The oldest is Puente Arabe “Moorish Bridge”, which is at the bottom of the canyon & next to the Arab Baths.

The Arab Bridge, Ronda, Spain

From the Moorish Bridge, you can look up and see Puente Viejo “Old Bridge” which was built in 1616 and is the middle of the three.

The old bridge, Ronda, Spain

Then at the top of the gorge is Puente Nuevo “New Bridge”, although it isn’t really that new as it was completed in 1793.

The Puente Nuevo, Ronda, Spain

The Puente Nuevo is the tallest of the bridges, standing 120 metres (390ft) above the canyon floor. The views from here are rather impressive, you can see for miles across the Andalusian countryside.

The view from Puente Nuevo or the New Bridge, Ronda, Spain

Did you Know?

Ernest Hemingway’s novel, “For Whom the Bell Tolls” is allegedly based on the accounts of killings that took place in Ronda at the cliffs of El Tajo, during the Spanish Civil War.
 

Quick Dip

Just by the Moorish Bridge are the ancient Arab baths, and form a rich part of Ronda’s history. The baths are built partially underground and consist of three main rooms, which would have been maintained at different temperatures, cold, warm and hot.

The baths are wonderfully preserved, and you can see that the main bathing room has a vaulted ceiling, supported by a series of horseshoe brick arches, with skylights above.

The Arab Baths, Ronda, Spain

Part of Spain’s culture

Certainly, not to everyone’s taste and is often controversial; however, Plaza de Toros de Ronda holds a strong part of Ronda’s and Spain’s history and culture.

The Bull statue outside the Bullring, Ronda, Spain

Gary and I were curious to find out a bit more about this tradition, so decided to visit the bullring & its museum. It was built in 1785 and has the feel of a gladiatorial colosseum about it. The arena itself is a diameter of 66 metres (217ft) and weirdly feels a lot bigger once you are inside.

The Bullring, Ronda, Spain

There weren’t many restrictions within the bullring (other than interacting with the bulls themselves), you were free to step onto the ochre-coloured sand of the arena or wander around the edge and take in the full scale of the amphitheatre.

The bullring from the terraces, Ronda, Spain

It was interesting to discover more about Ronda’s bullfighting history and particularly the generations of bullfighters that it produced, within the same two local families, the Romero and the Ordóñez.

The statue to Cayetano Ordóñez, Ronda, Spain

Visiting Ronda?

Then take a detour to the ancient Roman Amphitheatre of Acinipo, the 2,000-year-old remains are free to visit, and you get to share the views with the local sheep.

Mirador

Just beyond Plaza de Toros is the attractive gardens of Alameda del Tajo, families young and old can be found here promenading along the paths, taking shade from the evening sun.

A statue to the Dames Goyesca, Ronda, Spain

However, the view not to be missed within the gardens is from the Mirador de Ronda.

Mirador de Ronda, Ronda, Spain

It has some spectacular views across the hillside, and you almost feel like you are teetering over the deep valley below.

The view from the Mirador de Ronda, Ronda, Spain

Ronda’s Plazas

What Gary and I particularly love about Spain, are its wonderful plazas. Just sitting and soaking up the atmosphere in the mosaic-tiled squares, or enjoying the local tipples and tapas.

The fountain and Plaza del Socorro, Ronda, Spain

Ronda has some lovely plaza’s, and our favourite was Plaza Duquesa de Parcent for a spot of lunch. Or for the evening bustle of family life, take a stroll to Plaza de Socorro.

Relaxing in Plaza Duquesa de Parcent, Ronda, Spain

Accommodation

Our accommodation for the two nights we were in Ronda, was at the luxury Parador de Ronda. It was an excellent hotel, with views overlooking the Andalusian countryside and an unrivalled view of Puente Nuevo.

The Parador de Ronda across the gorge, Ronda, Spain

You’ll struggle to better this hotel for location, and it also has underground parking.

Why not?

Embark on a road trip adventure from your own doorstep, and discover Spain’s hidden delights at your pace. It is so easy to hop onto a Brittany Ferry and let them take the strain, while you sail down to the north coast of Spain. All the while dreaming of tapas and sunshine.  

Or why not fly in and discover Spain’s picturesque countryside or even visit the windmills on the plains of La Mancha. You can do it all on a road trip, SIXT car hire cover all budgets and allow you to pick up and drop off at different destinations.

Inspired to visit Ronda?

Inspired to walk in the footsteps of Hemingway?

Why not check out the latest deals on Booking.Com?

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Amongst the whitewashed walls of Ronda, Spain

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Have You?

Discovered this Spanish gem? or are you planning your own road trip? we’d love to hear you stories.

About the Author

Janis

Janis, the co-founder of Our World for You, was born in London and raised in Kent and the Isle of Wight. Along with Gary her partner, they have been travelling part time since 1995. In 2016, they decided that enough was enough with the 9 to 5, so armed with the knowledge and experience that they had gained on their adventures, that they wanted to inspire others to travel the world near and far.

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