Visit Ronda in One Day
Travel to Ronda, in the province of Malaga, and visit one of the treasures of the Route of White Villages of Andalusia.
TRAVEL GUIDE OF RONDA IN SPAIN
One of the experiences DINKtravelers around the world enjoy the most is finding common ancestors in other cultures. Sometimes, these ancestors’ heritage is seen in traditions many countries share; in languages that are spoken in several destinations but that possess different shades depending on the region; or in millenary buildings that reflect the passing of time and of different cultures in their structures.
A trip to Ronda, in Malaga, Spain, is precisely an opportunity to find elements from the Celtic period, the Roman Empire, the Arab world and Medieval Christendom. What more cultural wealth could you aspire to find in your next trip?
In fact, it doesn’t surprise us to learn that its historical center was declared a Cultural Interest Site. Add to that a surprising geography that’s characterized by an imposing cliff that seems to elevate the city’s white houses from a mouth-opening void to the blue skies, and you’ll see that if you haven’t visited Ronda yet, you’re missing a magnificent experience.
THE ROUTE OF WHITE VILLAGES
Ronda is part of the Route of White Towns in Andalusia, which gets its name from the white color that distinguishes the façades of the houses nestled in all the towns it includes; a color that they acquire after they’re painted with lime in order to keep the heat at bay. If you travel to Spain and follow this route, don’t miss the chance to enjoy the touristic attractions other towns like Alcalá del Valle offer. There you’ll have the opportunity of tasting their star gourmet product: asparagus from Alcala.
THE BEST THINGS TO SEE IN RONDA
If you love architecture that combines diverse styles, prepare to visit the Renaissance-Gothic Church of the Holy Spirit. It was King Ferdinand, husband of Isabella of Castile, who ordered it to be built in order to commemorate the reconquest of Ronda. Yet, even if the Arabs were expelled from Ronda, that didn’t erase the artistic imprint they left behind. A fine example of this can be found at the 13th century Nazari Arab Baths located in the old Jewish quarter. Also, at the St. Mary of the Incarnation’s Church you’ll find Arab elements –such as the mihrab– as well as Christian features. This is because the church was built over an ancient mosque during the times of Muslim Ronda.
Visit the baths from Monday to Friday from 10:00 to 18:00 and from 10:00 to 15:00 on weekends and holidays. Meanwhile, you can find St. Mary’s Church at Duquesa de Parcent Square. It opens from 10:00 to 20:00.
MONDRAGON PALACE AND THE PALACE OF THE MOORISH KING
If you want to have a royal experience, there are two places you must visit during your stay in Ronda. The first one is Mondragon Palace, located at the Ronda municipal Museum, whose gardens are definitely worth seeing. It was built in 1314 by king Abomelik but later it was Kings Isabella and Ferdinand who inhabited it. If you enjoy a good macabre story, then you should visit the Palace of the Moorish King, which was supposedly inhabited by king Almonated who, legend says, drank wine from the skulls of his enemies. Even though reality must have been quite different and quite less sadistic, and although recent studies indicate that this king never actually lived in the palace, you’ll have a good time walking along its gardens designed by Jean Claude Forestier, the French architect who designed Maria Luisa Park in Seville.
THE BRIDGES OF RONDA
Without doubt, the stars of Ronda, both architecturally and symbolically, are its three bridges. They cross a cliff of over 100 meters creating a landscape worthy of keeping in your memory. Each bridge represents a different culture, so they exemplify the influence each historic time left in the city. Thus, the first bridge, known as the Arab Bridge or Tannery Bridge, was built in the 14th century and, in its time, it was the only way to enter the city from the north. Our recommendation is that you visit it on the same day as you visit the Arab baths because they’re scarcely a few meters away from each other.
On the other hand, the Old Bridge possesses only one arch of approximately 10 meters in diameter and it was used to connect the city with the Mercadillo borough. People don’t know for sure whether the Romans or the Arabs built it, but they know the structure was enriched and strengthened in times of Mohamed III of Granada, whose minister was from Ronda.
Lastly, the New Bridge is a colossal 18th century structure whose foundations are anchored to the base of the cliff. It connects the borough of the Mercadillo with the City.
One thing that is evident when you visit these three works of engineering is that just like bridges connect spaces, they link cultures and, now, they allow us to imagine life in other times connecting us with the past.
RONDA WINE ROUTE
Complement your trip with a touch of enotourism when you visit the wineries located in and about the city of Ronda.
Get the best pictures of your trip to Ronda by going to the Aldehuela scenic overlook and the Balcon del Coño. From there you’ll have the best perspective to photograph the New Bridge and to enjoy a chilling sensation of void with views of the cliff.
THE MOST BEAUTIFUL TOWNS IN SPAIN
As it happens when you make a route to several destinations in one country, we know that you’ll want to return to Spain to visit many other magical towns and cities that are as inspiring as Ronda. That’s why when you find yourself on the plane back home and you start planning your next trip, take the Official Guide of The Most Beautiful Towns in Spain with you. It will give you a general idea of the towns that possess the greatest architectural, natural, historic and gastronomic wealth in the country, and they’ll give you many reasons to plan your next vacation as soon as you get home.