Excursion to Ronda

Make a family day trip to Ronda to visit one of the oldest bullrings in Spain, enjoy the beautiful scenery, and taste the local cuisine of this charming village located only 45 minutes from Marbella.

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Ronda is a spectacular little city located on top of a massive rocky outcrop straddling a steep limestone cliff. This town was one of the last Moorish bastions which ultimately fell to the Christians in 1485. Most of the historic sites are located in south side of town where you will find a classic Moorish pueblo blanco (white village) featuring cobblestone alleys, wrought-iron window grills, and dazzling whitewash buildings. One of the oldest bullrings in Spain is located right in the center of town called El Mercadillo. The kids will surely love to enter the bullring´s museum which displays busts of the bravest bullfighting bulls and memorabilia from famous past performances.

How to get there: From Marbella head towards San Pedro de Alcantara on the N340. Exit on your right at the first streetlight which indicates the road to Ronda. Continue up through the mountains following road signs to the city.
Take the bus and other options.

Major sites:
Plaza de Toros (bullring)
Puente Nuevo (New Bridge)
Palacio Mondragon
Casa del Rey Moro
Mirador El Campillo (viewpoint)
Convento de Santo Domingo (headquarters of the Inquisition)

Tourist Information: Plaza de España, 1
Tel: +34 95 287 1272
Market day: Sunday
Would you like to hike from Marbella to Ronda?

MarbellaFamilyFun grade: 8.0

Son's evaluation: Grade:

Daughter's evaluation: Grade:

Mom's evaluation: This is a beautiful city to visit and makes a nice quick getaway as it´s only 45 minutes away from Marbella. The catch is that it´s a very windy road all the way up so if your children get car sick make sure you have plenty of plastic bags in the car or have them wear seasick wristbands. One suggestion is to make several pit-stops on the way to take photos of the fabulous views once you reach the top of the mountain overlooking Marbella. There are several roadside cafes to stop into if your child needs a break.

Once you get to this charming village I suggest you park in the underground parking located right in the middle of the city. Your kids will wind up doing a bit of walking, so getting as central as possible is key. Bring strollers if you have little ones as they´ll surely get tired.

The first place to hit is the old bullring located in El Mercadillo not far from the Parador Hotel, which hangs off the cliff. You can´t miss it. You could easily spend about 45 minutes gazing at all the bullfight memorabilia and walking through the middle of the bullring taking photos pretending you´re in a bullfight. Believe me, we all do it.

Then take a walk towards the Parador Hotel (you may even want to step in to gaze at the beautiful architecture, have a coffee or look out the window that looks out onto the cliff) where you have the Puente Nuevo, which is an 18th century mind-boggling bridge that hangs 100 meters (330 ft) over the deep Tajo gorge and joins old and new Ronda. This is a great spot to take photos as the views are really impressionable. Hang on to your kids though as you get vertigo just looking down.

Continue on towards the old part of town to stroll around visiting the museums, palaces and just getting lost in the dreamy Spanish architecture with its orange trees dotting all the streets. You will find plenty of little cafes and souvenir shops along the way in case the kids need a break. Even if your kids are a bit whiny and don´t want to go into a palace, try and encourage them as they are never really large and they will eventually get distracted looking at all the objects. These palaces have spectacular viewpoints and make great photo-ops.

Ronda is not a big city and doesn´t have a whole lot of sites, so you don´t need to plan a lot in advance or load up on information guides. You can get a simple map from the information center to guide you through the town. Ronda is quite simple and you can´t really get lost.

If you are visiting in summer, make sure you slather on plenty of sunscreen and drink lots of water as it gets much hotter inland. If you are visiting in the winter dress extra warm as it´s much much cooler here in the mountains than in Marbella. It can snow in Ronda, so bring extra padding and gloves as the kids might want to stop and touch the snow on the way up. I always find it quite amazing living in a place where you can spend winter having a gorgeous lunch on the beach wading in the water and yet get in the car and drive just 30 minutes and you are in the snow. Grade: 8.0

Dad's evaluation: Get ready to discover another aspect of Andalucia: the charm of the cities and villages of the interior of the province. It is a different feeling and ambiance than on the coast. The setting in Ronda, on top of a cliff, is breathtaking. It used to be a hiding place for bandits and counterfeiters in the 19th century. You could easily imagine the scene in the mountains in Carmen, Bizet's opera, taking place close by. You are here at the core of Andalucia with its traditions, history and the oldest bull ring in Spain. Grade: 8.0

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