The charming mountaintop city of Ronda in Spain’s Málaga province is situated high above a deep gorge on the edge of an escarpment and is surrounded by breathtakingly beautiful views. The 400-foot-deep El Tajo Gorge separates the Old Town dating back to Moorish times and the circa-15th-century New Town which are connected by an ancient stone bridge spanning the gorge known as the Puente Nuevo. The small town is home to several attractions such as the legendary 18th-century Plaza de Toros bullring known, the Jardines de Cuenca, and the Baños Arabes (Arab Baths). Ronda is surrounded by lush river valleys and over 20 wineries dotted around the countryside, making it the Costa del Sol’s top wine town. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.Museo del Bandolero (Bandit Museum)
© Museo del Bandolero (Bandit Museum)
Housed in a century-old house next to Plaza Duquesa in Calle Arminan, Museo del Bandolero (Bandit Museum) is dedicated to the region’s most famous outlaws and banditry over the past centuries. Founded in 1995, the museum houses a collection of over 1,400 artifacts, books, photographs, documents, costumes, and weapons relating to bandits and outlaws living in the Serrania de Ronda and Andalusia. Visitors will learn about the life and activity of banditry and how they stole from the rich to help the poorest in the spirit of justice.
Calle Armiñán, 65, 29400 Ronda, Málaga, Spain, Phone: +34-952-87-77-85
The Puente Nuevo (New Bridge) is an 18th-century bridge that rises from the floor of the El Tajo Gorge to over 400 feet and connects the old Moorish town and the newer parts of the city, including El Mercadillo (The Little Market). Built in 1759, the bridge took 42 years to complete and cost the lives of 50 workers during construction. A small stone-walled cavern in the middle of the bridge above the main arch was once used a prison during Spain’s Civil War and now houses an exhibition about the history and the construction of the bridge. There are several viewpoints along the bridge that offer spectacular panoramic vistas of the gorge.
Calle Real, 2, 29400 Ronda, Málaga, Spain
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Built in the 16th century, Puente Viejo is the oldest and smallest of three bridges that span the 400-foot-deep El Tajo Gorge. Thought to have been built on the remnants of an earlier bridge, Puente Viejo was the only connection between Mercadillo and La Ciudad until Puente Nuevo was built years later. The gate above the bridge known as the Arco de Felipe V was the only entrance to La Ciudad during this time, making it a key defensive position. Today, the bridge currently only carries pedestrian traffic.
Calle Real, 2, 29400 Ronda, Málaga, Spain
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4.Alameda del Tajo
The Alameda del Tajo is a beautiful green park in the heart of Ronda that connects the famous Plaza de Toros with the edge of the El Tajo Gorge. The park has a central tree-lined boulevard which is surrounded by flowering gardens, pergolas woven with roses, and a beautiful Himalayan cedar, and at the Mirador de Ronda, panoramic balconies boast heart-stopping vistas over the valley and the Sierra de Grazalema mountains. The park is popular with both locals and tourists wanting a lovely spot in which to relax.
1 Paseo Blas Infante, Ronda, Spain
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5.Jardines de Cuenca - Cuenca Gardens
The Jardines de Cuenca is a beautiful public garden that winds from the Puente Viejo to the top of El Mercadillo (Little Market) or New Town. Built in 1975, the garden is named after Ronda’s sister city and is comprised of several walled terraces filled with palm trees, flower beds, cypress trees, evergreen trees, and succulents. Each terrace and a new level of the gardens boasts spectacular views of the El Tajo Gorge, the long valley, and the Río Guadalevín, as well as some of the city’s most famous landmarks like the Casa del Rey Moro and Puente Nuevo.
Calle Escolleras, 1, 29400 Ronda, Málaga, Spain
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6.Plaza de Toros de Ronda
© Günter Menzl/stock.adobe.com
The Plaza de Toros de Ronda is an ancient bullring in Ronda that was built in 1785 by architect Jose Martin Aldehuela, who also built the Puente Nuevo. The 5,000-seat bullring has a 217-foot diameter, is surrounded by a passage formed by two rings of stone, and has 136 pillars that form 68 arches. The stately bullring was once used regularly for bullfights and was the home of the Ronda School for Bullfighting, founded by one of Spain’s greatest bullfighters, Pedro Romero. Today, the bullring hosts just one bullfight a year for town’s September Feria and has a museum with guided tours.
Plaza de Toros de Ronda, 15 Calle Virgen de la Paz, Ronda, Spain, Phone: +34-952-87-41-32
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7.Real Maestranza de Caballería de Ronda
© Lia Aramburu/stock.adobe.com
The Real Maestranza de Caballería de Ronda is a museum based within the Plaza de Toros de Ronda that exhibits the history of the bullring and bullfighting in Ronda, and the history of the Real Maestranza (Institution of the Royal Cavalry Order of Ronda). Founded by the local nobility in 1573, the Real Maestranza was dedicated to the art of bullfighting, horse-riding, and chivalry. Today, the museum offers visitors an insight into the cultural history of bulls and bullfighting and features a collection of prints and paintings, engravings, lithographs, and costumes from famous bullfighters.
Plaza de Toros de Ronda, 15 Calle Virgen de la Paz, Ronda, Spain, Phone: +34-952-87-41-32
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8.Banos Arabes (Arab Baths)
The Baños Arabes (Arab Baths) is located in the old Arab quarter of the city, known as the San Miguel Quarter, and are among the best-preserved in Spain. Built in the 10th and 11th century during the reign of King Abomelik, the baths are a reflection of the town’s Moorish heritage with star-shaped roof vents for light and ventilation inspired by the Alhambra of Granada. The intricate hydraulic system drew water from the Las Culebreas stream to the complex and is still largely intact today, as well as the large cauldron used to heat the water.
Baños Arabes, 11 Calle Molino de Alarcón, Ronda, Spain, Phone: +34-952-18-71-19
9.Palacio del Rey Moro y La Mina (Palace of the Moorish King and the Water Mine)
Palacio del Rey Moro y La Mina (the Palace of the Moorish King and the Water Mine) was built in the 18th century but was never the home of the Moorish King. The palace was completely remodeled by the Duchess of Parcent in 1920 and features beautifully manicured gardens designed by French architect Jean Claude Forestier. The property is home to the Water Mine, a 14th-century relic of Ronda's Moorish occupation built by King Abomelik who used Christian captives as slave labor to cut steps into the stone walls of the gorge to bring water up from the Río Guadelevin with water skins. Originally there were 365 steps, and after restoration in 1911, there are now 300 steps that pass through several chambers, including the Sala de Secretos - Room of Secrets.
Casa del Rey Moro, 9 Calle Cuesta de Santo Domingo, Ronda, Spain, Phone: +34-952-18-71-19
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10.Parque Natural de la Sierra de Grazalema (Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park)
Parque Natural de la Sierra de Grazalema (Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park) is a natural park in the north-eastern part of the province of Cádiz that encompasses 51,695 hectares, including a complex of mountain ranges known the Sierra de Grazalema which are part of the Cordillera Subbética. The biosphere reserve is home to several interesting features, including a karstic region with large limestone caverns, towering mountain peaks including the 5,426-foot peak of Pinar (Torreón), and large colonies of vultures, including a few pairs of Egyptian vultures.
Calle Empedrada, 54, 11610 Grazalema, Cádiz, Spain, Phone: +34-956-70-97-33
11.Palacio de Mondragón (Mondragón Palace)
Palacio de Mondragón (Mondragón Palace) is a 14th-century palace built by Moorish King Abomelik that was later used as the primary residence for Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand and is now a municipal museum. Set high on a cliff overlooking the El Tajo Gorge, the museum is dedicated to the rich history of Ronda and its occupation by the Moors and the Romans with examples of coffered ceilings, original geometric tiling, and ancient tombs. The palace is surrounded by exquisitely manicured gardens and grounds with hedges, palm trees, flowering gardens, and fountains.
Plaza Mondragón, s/n, 29400 Ronda, Málaga, Spain, Phone: +34-952-87-08-18
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12.Museo Lara (Lara Museum)
© Museo Lara (Lara Museum)
Housed inside the 18th-century Casa Palacio de Los Condes de las Conquistas in the historic center of Ronda, Museo Lara (Lara Museum) houses an eclectic collection of artifacts relating to the Holy Inquisition, witchcraft, black magic, and Medieval torture. Named after its founder, Juan Antonio Lara Jurado, the museum features fascinating exhibitions of grisly-looking torture instruments, and objects involved with Black Magic, as well as lighter objects like vintage clocks, sewing machines and typewriters, scientific instruments, and cameras used in early-20th-century silent movies.
Calle Armiñán, 29, 29400 Ronda, Málaga, Spain, Phone: +34-952-87-12-63
13.Feria Goyesca de Pedro Romero
The most famous festival in Ronda is the ‘Feria Goyesca de Pedro Romero,’ an annual celebration of bullfighting that takes place during the first week of September every year. The festival celebrates the bullfighting with a bullfight that takes place in the Real Maestranza bullring on the first Saturday of the month. A large procession of horse-drawn carriages and people dressed in 18th-century Goyesque costumes moves through the streets of Ronda and is organized by Francisco Rivera Ordoñez, the grandson of the famous bullfighter, Antonio Ordoñez.
Ronda, Málaga, Spain
14.El Mercadillo (The Little Market)
© El Mercadillo (The Little Market)
El Mercadillo (The Little Market) is the new part of the ancient town, separated from the Old Town by an ancient stone bridge known as the Puente Nuevo that spans the El Tajo Gorge. El Mercadillo was established after the Christians conquered the Moors in 1485 and occupies the northern side of the gorge. The area is where most Rodeños live and features bustling streets lined with beautifully preserved whitewashed buildings in the traditional Andalusian style, dating back as early as the 16th century. The beating heart of El Mercadillo is the Mercado de Abastos where locals gather to buy fresh meat, fruit, and vegetables and exchange gossip.
Calle Jaén, 6, 29400 Ronda, Málaga, Spain
15.Puerta de Almocabar (Gateway of Almocábar)
The Old Town of Ronda is surrounded by massive ancient fortress walls with two arched stone gates – the 13th century Islamic Puerta de Almocábar and the 16th-century Puerta de Carlos V. Located next to the Plaza Ruedo de Alameda, the Puerta de Almocábar is the main gateway to the Old Town and is named after the Arabic word ‘Al-maqabir,’ meaning ‘cemetery’ which was located outside the city walls. Puerta de Almocábar is a beautiful example of traditional Islamic architecture.
Ronda, Málaga, Spain, Phone: +34-952-18-71-19
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© Casa Maria
Located just off the old Moorish quarter‘s main street, Casa Maria is a cozy and inviting eatery named after the owner that serves traditional Spanish fare in a casual, laid-back setting. The little café is always packed with locals and visitors alike flocking to dine on fresh seafood, prime meat dishes, an array of tapas, and fresh salads, and the café’s famous lemon cheesecake. All food is prepared from scratch with locally sourced ingredients and is accompanied by a selection of fine Spanish wines, sangria, craft beers, and handcrafted cocktails. Casa Maria is open for lunch and dinner, daily.
27 Plaza Ruedo Alameda, Ronda, Spain, Phone: +34-951-08-36-63
17.De Locos Tapas
© De Locos Tapas
De Locos Tapas is a quaint and quirky tapas joint in Ronda’s oldest quarter that serves Spanish classics and international dishes like Turkish-style meatballs and Russian salads. Located next to the Almocabar Gate and Church of the Holy Spirit, the small café has limited seating with just six tables and is helmed by owner and chef Guillermo who brings his wealth of culinary skills to the tables of Ronda. Tapas plates of fresh seafood, patatas bravas, grilled steak sliders, and organic vegetables, and entrées include seafood platters, steak and lamb dishes, and vegetarian options. The cuisine is paired by a selection of fine Spanish wines, sangria, craft beers, and handcrafted cocktails. De Locos Tapas is open for lunch and dinner, daily.
7 Plazuela Arquitecto Francisco Pons Sorolla, Ronda, Spain, Phone: +34-951-08-37-72
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18.Bodega San Francisco
© Bodega San Francisco
Bodega San Francisco is a popular eatery named after the old barrio of San Francisco in south Rondo that serves home-cooked Andalusian classics made with the highest quality and fresh locally sourced ingredients. The restaurant has a warm and welcoming vibe with plenty of comfortable indoor seating, big-screen televisions for playing major sports games, and an outdoor terrace for alfresco-style dining. The innovative menu features traditional Spanish dishes like slow-cooked Rabo de toro (bull’s tail) in a red wine sauce and gambas al pil-pil (spicy prawns) served with hunks of freshly baked rustic bread. Bodega San Francisco also boasts a superb wine list of easy-drinking Spanish wines, craft beers, and signature cocktails, and is open for lunch and dinner, daily.
32 Plaza Ruedo Alameda, Ronda, Spain, Phone: +34-952-87-81-62
Helmed by celebrated Catalan chef Benito Gómez, Tragatá offers an unforgettable fine-dining experience. Boasting elegant décor and beautifully dressed tables, the restaurant serves a seasonal menu of creative cuisine, ranging from tapas and sharing plates, fresh salads, hearty entrées, and traditional desserts. Blending traditional Andalusian flavors with a creative international flair, signature dishes include tapas such as pork ear with spicy sauce, marinated salmon with vanilla lime, and roasted yogurt, fried lentil stews with chorizo and foie gras, cheeked ciabatta gratin, Duck tataki with spicy rice, and hand-shucked oysters. Tragatá offers an extensive wine list featuring over 100 vintages from around the world to pair with fine cuisine, as well as craft beers and signature cocktails. Tragatá is open for lunch and dinner, daily.
4 Calle Nueva, Ronda, Spain, Phone: +34-952-87-72-09
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Located in Ronda’s charming old Moorish quarter, Almocábar is a meat eater’s paradise with a variety of beef, lamb, pork, and chicken, as well as local rabbit and partridge dishes on the menu. Named after the Islamic Puerta de Almocábar set into the city walls around the Old Town, the cozy restaurant serves a meat-heavy menu of delicacies like duck breast, sizzling steak, lamb chops, grilled partridge, rabbit stew, pig cheeks, and pork chops, some of which are cooked on a hot stone at your table. The upper level of the restaurant houses a bodega that serves a wealth of casual and high-end wines from leading local wine producers in Spain and hosts wine tastings and special dinners for groups.
5 Plaza Ruedo Alameda, Ronda, Spain, Phone: +34-952-87-59-77
21.Meson El Sacristan Restaurant
© Mesón El Sacristán Restaurant
Located next to the majestic Royal Collegiate Church of Santa María la Mayor in the heart of the historic center of Ronda, Mesón El restaurant is a casual eatery surrounded by the rich history of the ancient town. The restaurant has comfortable indoor seating and tables on the outdoor terrace overlooking the bustling square. The menu features a range of traditional Spanish and house specialties, including Presa Ibérica (pork), beef tenderloin, and grilled lamb kidneys, along with an array of tapas and small sharing plates and fresh salads. The cuisine is accompanied by a selection of fine Spanish wines, sangria, craft beers, and handcrafted cocktails, and the restaurant is open for lunch and dinner, daily.
Plaza Duquesa de Parcent, 14, 29400 Ronda, Málaga, Spain, Phone: +34-952-87-56-84
22.Restaurante Pedro Romero
© Restaurante Pedro Romero
Named after one of the greatest Spanish bullfighters of all time, Restaurante Pedro Romero is an elegant, laid-back eatery located just across the road from Ronda’s beautiful 18th-century bullring. Decorated to celebrate the controversial Spanish spectacle sport of bullfighting and the icon after which the restaurant was named, Restaurante Pedro Romero boasts mounted bull’s heads and huge bullfighting posters on its walls. The rustic menu features hearty southern Spanish classics such as roasted pork cheeks with mushrooms in mustard sauce, stewed partridges with dried fruit, rabbit confit, and slow-cooked bull’s tail, followed by homemade desserts like cheesecake. The food is accompanied by a selection of fine Spanish wines, sangria, craft beers, and handcrafted cocktails, and the restaurant is open for lunch and dinner, daily.
18 Calle Virgen de la Paz, Ronda, Spain, Phone: +34-952-87-11-10
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22 Best Things to Do in Ronda, Spain
- Museo del Bandolero (Bandit Museum), Photo: Museo del Bandolero (Bandit Museum)
- Puente Nuevo, Photo: dziewul/stock.adobe.com
- Puente Viejo, Photo: Barbara/stock.adobe.com
- Alameda del Tajo, Photo: Pedro/stock.adobe.com
- Jardines de Cuenca - Cuenca Gardens, Photo: venemama/stock.adobe.com
- Plaza de Toros de Ronda, Photo: Günter Menzl/stock.adobe.com
- Real Maestranza de Caballería de Ronda, Photo: Lia Aramburu/stock.adobe.com
- Banos Arabes (Arab Baths), Photo: joserpizarro/stock.adobe.com
- Palacio del Rey Moro y La Mina (Palace of the Moorish King and the Water Mine), Photo: arenaphotouk/stock.adobe.com
- Parque Natural de la Sierra de Grazalema (Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park), Photo: akturer/stock.adobe.com
- Palacio de Mondragón (Mondragón Palace), Photo: Reimar/stock.adobe.com
- Museo Lara (Lara Museum), Photo: Museo Lara (Lara Museum)
- Feria Goyesca de Pedro Romero, Photo: juan/stock.adobe.com
- El Mercadillo (The Little Market), Photo: El Mercadillo (The Little Market)
- Puerta de Almocabar (Gateway of Almocábar), Photo: Jordi/stock.adobe.com
- Casa Maria, Photo: Casa Maria
- De Locos Tapas, Photo: De Locos Tapas
- Bodega San Francisco, Photo: Bodega San Francisco
- Tragata, Photo: Tragatá
- Almocabar, Photo: Almocábar
- Meson El Sacristan Restaurant, Photo: Mesón El Sacristán Restaurant
- Restaurante Pedro Romero, Photo: Restaurante Pedro Romero
- Cover Photo: a_medvedkov/stock.adobe.com
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