Ronda Tourist Attractions
Ronda, in the Andalusian Mountains, owes its great attraction as one of the leading tourist sights in southern Spain to its extraordinary situation. The town is built on a triangular plateau, with its apex towards the south, which rears out of a fertile plain at the foot of the Serranía de Ronda (highest point Torrecilla, 1919m/6296ft), with almost vertical rock faces on the west side, and is divided into two by the gorge of the Río Guadalevín, between 40m/130ft and 90m/295ft wide and up to 150m/490ft deep. At the southern tip of the plateau is the old town (La Ciudad), occupying the site of the Roman settlement of Arunda, with the barrio (outer district) of San Francisco below it to the south. The northern part of the plateau is occupied by the new town (Mercadillo), founded by the Catholic Monarchs after their reconquest of Ronda from the Moors in 1485. The old and the new town are linked by three bridges spanning the gorge.
Ronda was founded by the Catholic Monarchs after their reconquest of Ronda from the Moors in 1485.The northern section of the town is the new town (Mercadillo).
Carrera de Espinel
The main shopping street of the new town, where most of Ronda's shops and services are concentrated, is the Carrera de Espinel (pedestrian zone), which leads into Calle Virgen de la Paz.
Plaza de Toros
Near the junction of Carrera de Espinel and Calle Virgen de la Paz in Ronda is the Plaza de Toros (Bullring) of 1785, Spain's second oldest bullring, notable for its two tiers of arcaded galleries for the spectators. Ronda was the home of the Romero dynasty of bullfighters (Francisco, Juan and Pedro), who developed the rules of the present-day bullfight in the 18th and 19th Centuries.
Alameda de José Antonio
Calle Virgen de la Paz leads to the Alameda de José Antonio, a beautiful park with fine views from projecting spurs of rock (protected by railings) of the river gorge, here almost 200m/650ft deep, and over the plain to the mountains.
Hotel Reina Victoria
Farther north from Ronda's Alameda de José Antonio, beyond the church of La Merced, is the Hotel Reina Victoria, where the German poet Rainer Maria Rilke stayed in 1912-13. The room he occupied contains mementos of the poet, and there is a statue of him (by N. Díaz Piquero, 1966) in the hotel gardens.
Plaza de España
At the south end of Calle Virgen de la Paz in Ronda is the Plaza España, with the Ayuntamiento (Town Hall) and tourist information office.
Serranía de Ronda
Cuevas de la Pileta
C 339 (the Jerez road) crosses the river and runs northwest through beautiful scenery. In 12km/7.5mi a side road turns off on the left and goes via Montejaque to Benaoján (11km/7mi), near which are the very interesting Cuevas de la Pileta, stalactitic caves with realistic Stone Age paintings of animals, like those of Altamira but older (c. 10,000-25,000 B.C.).
Setenil, 25km/15mi north of Ronda on a secondary road, has a large Gothic church; but more interesting than this are the many dwellings hewn from the rock.
Map of Ronda Attractions