Ronda is a city in Spain’s Malaga province in Andalusia that’s set grandly on a mountain top. This town has its roots closely related to the Moorish. Expect to find overarching landscapes and panoramic views all over Ronda’s mountains. Despite being a growing town, Ronda retains much of its historic charm, especially in its old town.
Since hopping on the bus to Ronda, it felt like we were on a quest. We bought a Ronda pass for SGD 7.70, which allowed us to visit a number of galleries and attractions. Thus began our quest to hunt for recommended places around the town of Ronda.
Weather in Ronda
Since Ronda is perched on a hilltop, winds were strong. We underestimated the wind conditions and wore less than what was suitable for the gusty winds. Those winds were so harsh, they literally sent chills down our spines.
What to See in Ronda
1. Puente Nuevo (New Bridge)
The most iconic landmark of Ronda. The newest and largest of three bridges that span the 120-metre-deep chasm that carries the Guadalevín River and divides the city of Ronda between the old and new. Taking some 42 years to complete, the bridge dates to 1751.
2. Mina Secreta (Secret Mine)
The Muslim King built this secret military structure when Ronda used to occupy a strategic position. It was rumoured to house hidden palaces and bathing chambers for queens. The mine is reached by wide steps carved in a zigzag pattern out of the rock and covered by an ingenious system of overlapping vaults. With its innovative engineering and architectural solutions for overcoming the 80m-drop between the town and the river, the mine is an extraordinarily well-preserved and unique structure in Ronda. Guess what we found right at the bottom of the mine?
An untouched, crystal clear stream of turquoise waters!
3. Jardin de Forestier (Garden of Forestier)
It’s at the entrance of the Secret Mine. For 2€, you get to see both the garden and the secret mine. Garden was just a tiny one, unimpressive. We kept looking for a stairway that led to a deeper part of the garden but no, heh, there wasn’t any. Alhambra & Generalife in Granada, Spain is by far the best garden I’ve ever seen.
4. Mondragon Palace
This palace is a heavily renovated and part-modernised remnants of what once was the palace of the Moorish ruler Abbel Mallek, or Abomelic, son of the king of Morocco. The best feature, however, is the remaining water gardens, the miniature relatives of the Generalife at Granada.
5. Arab Baths
A Muslim adaptation of the ancient Roman baths.
6. Visit to an old wine cellar
Streets of Ronda
The streets of Ronda is the best representation of old beauty. Despite the facade of buildings looking worn out, it still retains that aged European architecture, making roaming around the streets such a delight.
The town’s most visited street is Espinel, located opposite the bullring. Known as ‘La Bola’ by the locals, it is favourited for its old-fashioned shops and shopping.
Old Ronda, La Ciudad, is another area where the cobbled streets are occupied by handsome town mansions, some still occupied by Ronda’s upper class families.
This comes as no surprise to Europeans, but cigarette boxes can actually be bought off a vending machine! We found one in Ronda while exploring the streets. Prices of these cigarette packets are in €.
Coming from a country where cigarettes and alcohol are heavily taxed, these packets are jaw-dropping cheap. 😮
Directions to Ronda
Depending on where you come from/ want to go to, this website provides handy information on buses to and from Ronda.
Expenses: Seville-Ronda 2-way by bus: 58.50 € Ronda Tourism pass: 11.60 €
7 April 2015, Tuesday