A perfect day in Ronda
Updated: Jan 23
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If you are planning on staying with us for a week in 2023, a one hour drive away from the coast will bring you to beautiful Ronda where you can immerse yourself in Spanish history and scenery for the day. Book our place on Airbnb, find a cheap flight and enjoy a week in the sun! An hour drive from the coast, drive up the winding mountain road into back-country scenery and discover the spectacular site of Ronda. Take warmer clothes and hiking shoes, the weather is frequently quite a bit cooler in this region. The town of Ronda has an unremarkable modern part of town, so don't be disappointed when you arrive in the commercial district and doesn't look like anything special. The jaw-dropping old town built on the cliffs, just across the bridge. There are also a few very interesting things to see in the countryside nearby, such as the Cuevo del Gato natural rock pool, the Pileta caves (maybe worth a separate trip), and the amazing village of Setenil de las Bodegas, the town with houses built under the rock cliff.
The easiest place to park is in the modern part of town, in a paying parking garage for example the Onepark "Parking Ronda" near the Plaza del Socorro. From there, it is easy to find the Bullring and the start of our walking tour.
Put the following points into your map application to do a self-guided walking tour around the main sights and views of the town within a few hours, depending on if you stop to visit the palaces churches, museums and gardens...
Plaza de Toros - the tour starts at the bullring plaza
Alameda del Tajo park - walk to the edge of the park for beautiful views over the river gorge and countryside
Puente Nuevo, - spectacular bridge linking old and new Ronda, the symbol of the town
Casa y jardines del Rey Moro. - Moorish castle and gardens, but the most intriguing is the arabian "water mine", 200 steps down to the turquoise waters of the river, if you are feeling athletic and sure-footed it is unusual and interesting!
Puente Viejo - Cross the "old bridge" to get over to the other side of the city for breathtaking views of the Puente Nuevo and the river gorge.
Jardines de Cuenca o de la Mina - great view from these gardens over the Puente Nuevo from different viewing areas.
Puerta de la Cijara - Discover the arab influenced architecture with the moorish double-door and the fortified walls in this area of town, also with lovely views, and have a look at the San Sebastian minaret in the moorish theme..
Strolling around the little streets and parks in this area you will come to the most beautiful church in Ronda, Iglesia de Santa Maria.
The Mondragon Palace is also worth a visit to complete your day immersed in moorish and Spanish history.
Lunch in Ronda is highly recommended, you will find country food, game, rabbit and goat on the menus, quite a different offering from the beachside chiringuitos down on the coast.
Ronda countryside curiosities
Ronda countryside has caves, rivers, waterfalls and white villages around the Grazalema national park.
The countryside west of Ronda gets more than average rainfall for the region and has steep hills and valleys cloaked in oak trees. It creates a completely different atmosphere than the pine forests found in other areas of the coast. The leaves turn red in autumn and are beautiful to see. This loop takes you past Ronda without going into the city walls, to the natural river pool of Cueva del Gato, and then a long winding drive through the white villages of There are many curiosities, river hikes, and waterfalls to discover in the area, here we will name just a few.
Setenil de las Bodegas
A bit beyond Ronda in the countryside you will find the amazing white village of Setenil de las Bodegas with it's houses built under an impressive overhanging cliffs. Instagram photo opportunity not to be missed!
Cueva de la Pileta
Prehistoric caves: Cueva de la Pileta
First is the Cueva de la Pileta, with amazingly well preserved prehistoric drawings on the walls. This cave was found by a farmer in 1905 and still sits on the family's property. The family still organize visits themselves - bring a jacket and sturdy shoes for the wet and slippery path. You can book ahead on their website and then plan today's drive around your visit time. CUEVAS DE LA PILETA 29370 Benaoján, Málaga, Benaoján, 29370
Cueva del Gato
If you want to spend a bit more time, we recommend driving down to the Cueva del Gato area, to see the beautiful river pool with turquoise water and maybe go for a swim in the refreshing river water.
Near cueva del gato, along the national road, you'll find lots of family inns offering basic lodging and simple country meals for unbelievably low prices.
There is a restaurant / auberge hotel right along the road at the entrance to this spot where you can have a meal on the beautiful terrace, or at any of the country hostels you will find along this road; they put out their menus on a chalkboard along the main road. Don't hesitate to park and enter! People are very friendly and prices are amazingly reasonable.Across from Cueva del Gato there are several country inns offering incredible lunch menus for 9 euros (3 courses including drinks and coffee).
If you like nature and hiking, a nice short walk goes from the Benaojan train station to the Jimera de Libar train station along the river. It's a well marked, mostly flat (but sometimes stony) path that takes about 2 hours out and 2 hours back. You can have a nice lunch or drink near either of the train stations, and you could walk one way and take the train back or vice versa (check train schedules on RENFE web site, only 2 trains per day one in the morning one in the evening).
This fabulous day exploring Ronda and it's countryside can be part of your holiday with us!