I was in Spain with two friends, who suggested we should visit Ronda. At the time it didn’t seemed a good idea to go to a small town, instead of following our route from Malago to Marbella. The detour looked too much, for too little. But I gave in to the majority, so we altered our itinerary.
The day we arrived in Ronda I couldn’t see why Denise and Mark insisted we check out the city. It was a small Spanish town. More of a village, actually.
The next day we explored the town and I saw how amazing it was. Ronda is located in an impossible place! The town is sit atop two cliffs, on the sides of El Tajo canyon. The Romans chose this unlikely location for strategic reasons: it enabled them to defend the area easier.
Thanks to its location, many buildings seem to be part of the cliffs, instead of being built on top of it. Apart from the beautiful canyon and the river which flows on its bottom, 100 meters below the town’s street level, you can see the mountains around the village. Speaking of the river, it makes an amazing waterfall, which completes the enchanting image of Ronda.
The city also has an amazing history. There are three bridges, called the Roman Bridge, the Arabic Bridge and the Modern Bridge. The first two give us a clue on the local history. Romans were the first to establish themselves in the area, more than two centuries before Julius Caesar gave it the official title of city. This makes Ronda one of the oldest cities in Spain.
After the Romans, Arabs took over Ronda, so you will see lots of Arabic ruins, next to Roman ruins. One of the popular attractions in the town are the Arabic Baths, built around the 13th century. The Arabic fortress is also impressive and worth your attention.
If you are not afraid of heights, you can go to the mirador, a special look out feature, located on the edge of the cliff. This is the perfect watch-point for the sunsets. The red sun colors the white houses of Ronda, painting the town in a magnificent shade, as it disappears behind the mountains.
I mentioned there are three bridges in Ronda. The latest one, built in the 18th century, is the most impressive. It stretches across the Guadalevin river, linking two parts of the city: the old town with the new town. The original structure of the building crumbled, so you might want to think twice before crossing the Modern Bridge. However, you can admire it from Plaza de Maria Auxiliadora.
The old town is a charming Andalusian settlement, with narrow cobblestone streets and white houses. All the windows are framed by flowers, which make the city look like it just came from a Disney story. On the roads you can see horse drawn carriages and you can even ride one to explore the city. Ronda is one of those European towns where you can relax and enjoy every moment of the day.
Even if it’s very popular for a small town, Ronda is not crowded, so it’s the perfect destination for taking some time off everyone and everything.