If you’re visiting the Costa del Sol, a trip to the northeast part of the province is an absolute must. Seeing the stunning white town of Ronda counts as one of the best experiences in Andalusia, which is why it features in all our Road Trips. To help you make the most of this lovely spot, we’ve put together a list of nine amazing things to do in Ronda.
But first, some practicalities to ensure your visit is a success.
Getting to Ronda from the coast
From Marbella: our Road Trips suggest you make your trip in a clockwise direction from Malaga, so if you’re following one of these, you’ll travel to Ronda from Marbella. It’s certainly a dramatic drive – be prepared for a succession of hairpin bends as you weave your way up more than 1,000m from the Mediterranean.
But the scenery makes the slightly hair-raising drive more than worth it. If there’s more than one driver in your party, share the load so that everyone gets a chance to take in the views.
From Malaga: this is another very scenic route without so many bends. A large part of the ride follows the Hurón River valley with mountains on either side. Look out for Teba Castle standing tall to the north. Caminito del Rey gorge walk is an easy side trip on this route.
When to go
Ronda has a more extreme climate than the Costa del Sol, so expect hotter days in summer and colder ones in winter. It regularly snows on the mountains around the town, making a pretty backdrop. But despite the bigger differences in temperature, Ronda enjoys just as much sunshine.
See the three bridges
First on our list of simply amazing things to do in Ronda are the town’s trio of bridges that straddle the Guadalevin River as it slices its way through the gorge.
Puente Nuevo – the ‘new bridge’ is the most famous and offers the best views of the gorge, 120m below. It isn’t actually new at all since it was finished in 1793 after 42 years of construction. You can get a good view of the bridge from the museum under the bridge (see below) or if you walk down into the gorge.
Puente Viejo – the ‘old bridge’ does live up to its name and dates back to at least Moorish times. It isn’t as spectacular as the new bridge but still has lovely views and hardly any traffic, so it’s much quieter.
Puente Romano – the ‘Roman bridge’ has Moorish origins, so it’s also known as the Puente Árabe. It’s the smallest of the trio and the one nearest the river bed. You can see it on the way to or from the Arab Baths (see below).
Visit the Puente Nuevo Museum
Clinging to the gorge below the Puente Nuevo is this museum. Small in size but big in content, it tells the history of the bridge’s construction, a challenging feat for the time and 50 workmen lost their lives during the work. It was also a prison during the Civil War – imagine being locked in here with the river roaring below.
Discover the Arab Baths
Almost at river level, you’ll find the hammam, one of the best preserved in Spain. They date back to the 13th century and consist of three main rooms with cold, warm and hot baths. The detail of the typical horseshoe arches and star-shaped apertures in the ceiling give these baths their quintessentially Moorish hallmark.
Step out and down into the gardens
The exteriors at the Casa del Rey Moro have recently been restored and visitors can once again visit the gardens and walk down to the river. Be prepared for one of the most strenuous things to do in Malaga because it’s a steep climb down (and up again) with 300 steps from start to finish! Catch your breath at the Sala de Secretos whispering chamber on your way.
Marvel at the best views
The vistas from the Puente Nuevo into the gorge are, of course, stunning, but we think those of the surrounding scenery are even more spectacular. To get the best vantage point of the fabulous Ronda views, head for:
- The viewing point at the far end of the Alameda del Tajo park.
- The gardens at the Hotel Catalonia Reina Victoria.
Go back to Roman times
The ruins of the ancient Roman city of Acinipo lie to the northwest of the town and also have stunning views of the mountains. The theatre with a capacity for 1,000 spectators is the highlight and you can also wander around the remains of villas and streets.
Treat yourself Michelin style
And to one of the most substantial tasting menus anywhere on the Costa del Sol. Chef Benito Gómez at the helm of Restaurante Bardal has two Michelin stars and his menus have 18 or 21 courses, including amuse-bouches and petits fours. You can pair both with wine and even try a selection of Andalusian cheeses.
Taste the wine
Wines from Ronda are rising stars on the Spanish wine scene, so be sure to visit a bodega or two while you’re in town. Our Malaga Wine Costa del Sol Road Trip has all the info and you can also read our Malaga Wine guide.
Listen to the guitar
Why not include a musical soiree among your things to do in Ronda and enjoy a Spanish guitar concert? They take place Monday to Saturday at 7pm in the atmospheric Casa Museo Don Bosco. More information about Ronda Guitar Music here.
There are, of course, plenty of other things to do in Ronda, so be sure to stay overnight in the town. That extra time will give you the chance to see more and experience Ronda by night when its main monuments are floodlit, giving the streets and square an extra romantic atmosphere.
All our Costa del Sol Road Trips include Ronda as one of the stops and come packed with suggestions depending on your chosen theme. We’ve even themed the accommodation and restaurants to suit your interests.