Driving through the Serrana de Ronda, we arrived to the metropolis of Ronda. After visiting the tiny villages of Casares and Gaucin, Ronda was a bit overwhelming. Completely unaware that the day we were traveling was a huge competition day for bikers and runners.
While considered one of the white villages of Andalusia, Spain, the size of Ronda takes away from the quaintness of the smaller villages we had already visited. Considered to be the birthplace of bull-fighting, Ronda was a popular summer home for Ernest Hemingway and Orson Welles. Their writings of Ronda, its bull-fighting culture and Spanish heritage has made Ronda well-known. Names by Julius Caesar, Ronda has its roots tracing back well before 6th century BC.
One of the more popular sites within Ronda is the Puente Nuevo (or new bridge) that crosses a canyon to enter Ronda. With spectacular views into the valley below filled with olive tree orchards the bridge is a must visit.
While larger than the other white villages in Andalusia, Ronda has a flavor of its own. With white buildings with trim painted in mustard yellow, Andalusia tradition thrives.
We wandered through the downtown streets of Ronda, surrounded by small businesses and cafes.
Passing the Merced’s Convent, built in 1585, one can only be astounded by the spectacular architecture and how it has been able to stand the test of time.
Just down the street from the convent is one of Spain’s oldest bull-fighting rings. The Plaza de Toros was built in the 18th century entirely of stone. Holding a museum of Bull-fighting, this is a must see for visitors.
Our short visit was completed after a wonderful cafe lunch of traditional Spanish fare. Sitting in the shade on a plaza, gazing at “Nuestra Senora del Socorro” church. Built only in 1956, it replaces the original church which had been demolished by socialists in 1936 in the Spanish Civil War.
Ronda truly is an enjoyable small town and provides all the modern amenities that international visitors are accustomed to. But if you’re looking for a more off-the-beaten track from the tourist crowd, head down the road and stay a while in Gaucin.