Rhonda, Costa Del Sol
First thing I have to say about Ronda is that I have been twice now and on one occasion most of the shops where shut and the second time all of the shops where shut. I know in Spain that they have Siesta but Ronda is one of the many places that stick to the Siesta rigidly.
However Ronda is one of the most scenic places in Spain, so it is well worth visiting.
Situated in the Andalucia region of Spain, close to the Costa Del Sol, Marbella and Malaga and if your on holiday in the region then there are many trips to Rhonda organized by either your hotel or your tour company. Last time we went with Viva Andalucia, a local tour company who have a tour which takes you from your resort to Algeciras where you embark via train through the countryside up to Ronda. The railway was opened in 1890 and was built by British engineer, John Morrison so that the English who lived in Gibraltar could travel into the Campso, Rhonda and to Granada. This is a great way to travel to Rhonda.
Once you arrive at Ronda railway station its about a 10 minute walk into the town centre and its all downhill, however the streets are usually crowded with parked cars and the pavement is super slim so be careful of traffic.
Driving to Rhonda
Driving to Ronda is easy and if you´re in the Malaga area then get on the N340 and follow this road to Puerto Banus and look out for signs for San Pedro de Alcantara. As you approach San Pedro, Ronda is sign posted on a right turn. If you end up in San Pedro you´ve traveled too far.
Once on the Ronda road just follow it all the way to Ronda, the town centre is sign posted once you get close by. Careful though this road is very twisty and there is no room for error as there are huge drops at the side of the road.
Once in the centre the town is laid out on a grid system so finding your way around is easy. If you go by car then the main car park is located in the town square, underground, so even driving to Rhonda it´s easy to get around.
If you’re on a tour your tour guide should supply you with a map, however the tourist information offices are sign posted around the town.
Tourist Information Offices:
Plaza de Blas Infante, s/n 29400, Ronda, Tlf: 952 18 71 19, Fax: 952 18 71 47
Plaza de España, 1., 29400 Ronda. Tel: +34 952 871272
Ayuntamento, Puente Nuevo s/n, 29400, Ronda, Tel: +34 952 873240
A clickable street map can be found here: http://www.turismoderonda.es/ronda/callejero/eng/callejero_ppal.asp
What does Rhonda have to offer?
So what does Rhonda have to offer?
Well for a start Rhonda is best know for its gorge, known as El Tajo which separates the medieval from the 18th Century part of the town. Rhonda is built on a Plato which towers above the surrounding area. The El Tajo gorge is bridged in two locations, the new bridge “Puente Nuevo” being the most spectacular and you can look down to see the River Guadalevín below. A truly spectacular view. This leads round the hotel, Parador de Ronda to the Mirador which is a beautiful park which is surrounded by flower beds and scenic views of the surrounding plato.
There are tours which can take you down to the bottom of the gorge at a charge of around 5 euros per person. I would recommend this as the view from the bottom is equally as breath taking as the view from the top.
Ronda is also home to Spain’s oldest and largest bullring and when events aren’t taking place visitors can enter and walk round the bullring as well as the museum which is home to items from Spanish bullfighting as well as items on Spain’s most famous bullfighters.
Other places to see in Ronda are the Arab walls and City gates located about 10 minutes walk from the new bridge. This was the one of the older entrances to the city and is called by its Arab name “Al-maqabir“, which translates as “cemetery” as this was also the entrance to the cemetery which is near by.
Another place I have visited is the Arab public baths which have been at Ronda since the 13-14th century and are located in the old Arab quarter of the city called “San Miguel Quarter” on the Arroyo de las Culebras River. This is not just an old public baths but is a truly amazing building with some beautiful brickwork which has little glass stars shaped into the roof. A warning though if you can´t walk up and down stairs you might find the baths hard going.
There is loads to see and do in Ronda but as mentioned if your going to visit then plan to arrive in the morning as the only thing you may find open at siesta time is the bullring and there isn´t enough to keep you occupied for very long at the bullring museum.