in Costa del Sol/ Area Guide/ Ronda
Ronda is one of Andalucia's loveliest towns, steeped
in history. It stands on a towering plateau in the mountains of Malaga
Province, and is famous through Spain for the plunging river gorge
which divides the medieval from the 18th century parts of the town.
This gorge is known as El Tajo - The Cliff and is spanned by
a stone bridge, which once housed a prison. Visitors love to peer down
into the gorge, to see the waters of the River Guadalevín.
Ronda is also famous for its bullring, the oldest, and the most beautiful
one in Spain; the arena itself is also the country's largest. When
there are no fights, the bullring is open to visitors, and has a fascinating
museum with many mementos of Spain's most renowned bullfighters.
Ronda is located 50 km - 1 hour's drive - from San Pedro de
Alcantara on the Coast. The road winds up through the mountains of
the Sierra Bermeja, and then descends into the Serrania de Ronda and
the town itself. One of the most charming and fascinating towns in
Andalucia, it is very popular with day-trippers from the Costa del
Sol, and has a wide range of cafés and restaurants. However,
it retains all of its traditional charm and languid atmosphere.
Ronda stands on a mighty promontory, or outcropping, which made it
impregnable to the Christian armies until the very last years of the
Reconquest. This plateau is slashed into two main quarters by a deep
cleft in the rock, spanned by the 18th century Puente Nuevo or "New
Bridge", which is the chief landmark for all itineraries. Modern
(largely built in the 18th century) Ronda is the quarter to the North
of the gorge, called El Mercadillo, with the Plaza de España,
the site of Ronda's recently built Parador, the spectacular walkway
along the river gorge with superb views of the countryside below.
This walkway leads to Ronda's lovely "Mirador", with colourful
flower beds and a railing for sightseers to lean against as they gaze
into the distance. Just behind the charming "Mirador" is
Ronda's famous bullring, one of the most beautiful and ancient arenas
in Spain, made famous in the 18th century by a local bullfighter, the
legendary Pedro Romero, who killed over 5,000 bulls during his career.
You can visit the arena and its fascinating bullfighting museum.
You can walk from the Plaza de España and the bullring up the
Calle Nueva, Ronda's pedestrian shopping district, where some of the
shops still retain their traditional appearance and style.
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