It took a while to decide to add a night in Ronda to our southern Spain trip, but I’m so glad we did. We figured it would be a nice addition to Sevilla. Ronda is located in the hills of Andalucia, one of the famous towns of white houses perched on the hillside. It’s got decent public transport, so we were able to catch a relatively quick train from Malaga to Ronda after grabbing some quick tapas outside the Malaga train station. (Lots of places, even main attractions, don’t take cards, so make sure you’ve got Euros).
Flights to Malaga were cheaper than flying to Seville, and from Manchester you can’t get a direct flight to Seville, so the choice to fly to Malaga instead was easy. The high speed train was easy and comfortable, and the middle distance train was not a disappointment either.
Upon arrival in Ronda, we checked into our hotel, the Hotel Enfrente Arte, which feels like a cross between a hotel and a modern art museum. It’s got a free bar with beer, wine, an espresso machine and soft drinks that you can access all the time and lots of excellent patios and porches hidden away with views of the surrounding countryside. The breakfast was epic, with many of the fruits and herbs coming from the hotel garden, and the chef chatted to us as he cooked us delicious chorizo and eggs. I’ve never stayed any place quite like it.
We spent the afternoon wandering around the gorge that runs through the town, stopping for photos and to read informational signs around the city. We also paid €5 to climb lots of slippery steps down to the river bottom in the old Mine and hanging gardens. I wouldn’t recommend it, even though their claim to fame is that Michelle Obama did it too (she doesn’t look particularly excited in the photo they have of her).
It is worth hiking down the trail by the new bridge for excellent views of it, especially at sunset. It starts at Plaza de Maria Auxiliadora, and is easy to find.
After freshening up and drinking some free wine at the hotel, we headed to Old Town for some tapas and wine. We wandered down Calle Nueva to three tapas bars for food, and a fourth for a Malaga dessert wine. We visited Tragata, Nueva 13 and Bar El Lechuguita and weren’t disappointed by anything except maybe the local lager. From the local sheep cheese to potato salad and Iberian acorn fed ham, the local delicacies were delicious.
The main attraction in Ronda besides the bridge is the bull ring. Ronda is (and has been for a long time) famous for bull fights. While I’m not a supporter of killing animals for sport, it’s an important part of the culture, and the history and museum are very interesting. The audioguide explains the history of bull fighting and the procedures for the event as you walk through the bull pens, horse stables (it’s also a famous riding school) and wander around the bull ring. The museum talks about local matadors who are heroes of the town and there’s an interesting exhibit on the history of guns.
After finishing our tour of the museum, we grabbed a picnic lunch and hheaded to our direct Amarillohtny ft bus toSevilla. ( Los Amarillos busses are greatlyjy for city to city transport, but their website isn’t that helpful and only posts bus times for the week ahead. It’s also worth noting that our bus left a half hour late and we sat in said unairconditioned bus for a half hour while our driver had a snack in the café).