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.

The town of Ronda is split by the El Tajo gorge, which is spanned by the Puente Nuevo, a medieval bridge that used to house the town jail. The view from the town out to the surrounding countryside is stunning, and it is easy to imagine the dramatic events in the town’s history unfolding against this backdrop.

Andalucia has been fought over for generations and Ronda has seen invasions by the Moors of North Africa as well as massacres during the Spanish Civil War. The tiny ancient bullring in the centre of town even witnessed the birth of modern bullfighting. Prior to this, bulls were only fought by noblemen on horseback.

Some of the best views of Ronda are from the surrounding countryside. You can either drive to the foot of the gorge and make the short hike up to view the Puente Nuevo from ground level, or keep going to the low ridge of hills facing the town. From here, Ronda looks like a narrow strip of white with a golden glow at sunset.

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.

Don't make the mistake of trying to drive to the top of Casares, unless you have a very small car and rock-steady nerves.

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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