Within a few minutes of arriving, Ronda, Spain catapulted itself into being one of our favorite destinations in the country.
Between the beautiful light, easy walkability, convenient location, the magnificent views, and the many things to do in Ronda, we were immediately captivated by this small Andalucian town.
Naturally divided in two by the beautiful El Tajo de Ronda Gorge, Ronda is visually stunning and offers gorgeous views from dozens of angles.
While Ronda is a popular day trip destination in southern Spain, we based ourselves there for several days and cannot recommend the experience more.
Here’s what to do in Ronda, Spain–plus what to know before you go!
The Best Things to Do in Ronda Spain
Marvel at the Puerto Nuevo from all angles.
Indisputably the top attraction in Ronda, the striking Puerto Nuevo plunges 120 meters into the El Tajo de Ronda Gorge, connecting the two sides of this naturally divided city.
Despite being earnestly named “New Bridge”, Puerto Nuevo dates to 1793–though, to be fair, that does still make it the newest of the three bridges in town!
Many of the best things to do in Ronda involve catching glimpses of this bridge from one angle or another–more on that below–and each view is lovely in its own way.
There’s also a small museum inside the former guardhouse.
Be sure to stroll across it at least once during your stay, too!
Stroll along the Alameda del Tajo.
If you’re looking for the perfect sunset spot in Ronda, look no further than the Alameda del Tajo.
This romantic, popular park includes balconies overlooking Puerto Nuevo, the gorge, and the surrounding countryside.
It’s one of those places that simply takes your breath away with its beauty, and visiting more than once during your trip to Ronda should definitely be part of your plans!
Explore the Cuenca Gardens.
Winding, curved terraces perched on the edge of the El Tajo Gorge, framed by the Puerto Viejo on one side and the Puerto Nuevo on the other: these are the Cuenca Gardens, one of the best places to visit in Ronda!
The gardens are fairly small and don’t take long to see, but be sure to stop and enjoy the varying views you get from the different levels.
Learn about local history and culture at the Plaza del Toros.
If the Puerto Nuevo is the most famous structure in Ronda, Spain, the Plaza del Toros–or bullfighting ring–is undoubtedly the second most famous.
Distasteful though the sport may be, one of the undeniable facts about Spain is that bullfighting has been part of Andalucia’s culture for hundreds of years, and a peek behind the curtain makes for an interesting attraction in Ronda.
Dating to 1785 and holding 5,000 spectators, the Plaza del Toros is no doubt an impressive building–standing in the center of it, perhaps unsurprisingly, reminded us of standing on the floor of the Colosseum in Rome.
The attached museum covers far more than simply the history of bullfighting, including the Royal Riding School that dates to 1572.
The local dynastic bullfighting Romero and Ordóñez families are also covered.
Today, one bullfight a year is held in Ronda, during the Pedro Romero Fair in September.
Pay a visit to the Arab Baths.
Considered to be the best-preserved Arab Baths on the Iberian Peninsula, Ronda’s Arab Baths are fascinating to visit–especially if you’ve already seen some of the features incorporated into a modern hammam in the area.
Dating to the 13th century, these baths were used for both practical and ritualistic reasons and were situated next to the local mosque (Muslims traditionally wash before prayer).
The baths are a compelling look into Ronda’s past, and visiting is definitely one of the best activities in Ronda!
Make your way across the Puerto Viejo.
Built in 1616, the Puerto Viejo is the second of the 3 bridges that cross the El Tajo de Ronda Gorge.
And, despite its name, it is not the oldest bridge of the three!
With a view of the Arab Bridge and the Arab Baths to one side, the Cuenca Gardens to the other, and the 16th century Carlos V Gate at one end, you can see quite a few Ronda attractions when admiring the views from the Puerto Viejo!
Check out the Bridge of San Miguel (also known as the Arab Bridge).
This tiny bridge of many names has been called the Roman Bridge, the Bridge of San Miguel, and the Arab Bridge.
But, whatever you call it, the bridge definitely has Moorish construction and is the smallest and oldest of Ronda’s 3 bridges across the Guadalevin River.
Walk through the Almocabar Gate.
Dating in part to the 13th century, this imposing stone gate is a visual reminder of the fact that for most of its history, Ronda has been incredibly focused on defense.
Today, the gate is a quick walk away from many other top activities in Ronda, and is easy to add to your list of places to visit!
Visit the Mondragon Palace.
Today, the Mondragon Palace is home to Ronda’s Municipal Museum, which explores nearly 3,000 years worth of history on this small ridge!
One of the biggest draws to the palace, though, is not exactly an exhibit in the traditional sense–it’s the beautiful courtyard that retains Moorish decor dating (in parts) to the 1300s.
With a very modest entry fee and plenty to see, it’s well worth adding the Mondragon Palace to your list of what to do in Ronda, Spain.
Marvel at the Casa del Rey Moro.
Featuring the impressive 14th century Water Mine and gorgeous hanging gardens, Casa del Rey Moro is a sight to behold in Ronda!
You can see the estate perched across the gorge from the Cuenca Gardens, but if you’d like to get a closer look, the Water Mine and gardens are both open to visitors.
The house itself is currently undergoing restorations, check their website for updates.
Wander through the El Tajo de Ronda Gorge.
As the gorge that famously divides Ronda in half and the home of the famous Puerto Nuevo, there’s no doubt that one of the best attractions in Ronda is the El Tajo de Ronda Gorge!
You can walk into the gorge from the surface of the town, or drive down into it and hike toward Puerto Nuevo from there.
Keep in mind that “hike” is a bit of an extreme word here–you can enjoy the iconic views of Puerto Nuevo from the gorge within 5-10 minutes of walking.
You don’t need to go all the way down to the floor of the gorge in order to experience the best views of Puerto Nuevo, but if you want to reach the river or are looking for a workout, you certainly can!
Fun Places to Visit Near Ronda
While there are clearly plenty of fun things to do in Ronda, one of the many benefits of staying in town is access to several easy and fun day trips.
Here are some of the most unique places to visit within a short drive of Ronda!
Setenil de las Bodegas
Overlooked by a castle that started its life as a Moorish fortress and featuring whitewashed streets, Setenil de las Bodegas is, in many ways, a charming but standard pueblo blanco… except in the ways that it’s not.
Many streets in this interesting town are built directly into the surrounding gorge, including some places where a gigantic rock overhang turns the small street into a tunnel!
The effect is as mesmerizing as it is practical: you can thank defensibility and naturally occurring air conditioning for the town’s fascinating atmosphere.
Even if you’re visiting Ronda on a day trip, you can book a tour that includes Setenil de las Bodegas as well!
Believed to date to the 9th century BCE, Acinipo was once a thriving city–but today, it is a hidden gem close to Ronda.
There are several ruins to visit here, including Roman baths and prehistoric homes, but the most visually striking ruin is no doubt the remains of the Roman forum.
Visitors can’t walk over the forum, but looking down into it is quite the sight!
You can easily combine a visit to the Acinipo Ruins with a visit to Setenil de las Bodegas, just make sure to plug both stops into your GPS so you take the correct route.
You can check the hours for Acinipo here.
Nicknamed the “Blue Village of Spain” or “Spain’s Smurf Village, Juzcar is one of the most unique-looking towns in Andalucia!
Once a standard pueblo blanco, in 2011 Sony approached the people of Juzcar about painting their town blue to promote the upcoming Smurf movie.
One thing led to another, and more than a decade later, Juzcar is still blue (and also features lots of Smurf artwork).
It’s a tiny, quiet village, but definitely a fun stop on an Andalucia road trip!
Cueva del Gato
This popular cave-slash-swimming-hole is an incredibly fun way to cool off if you’re visiting Ronda in summer!
It costs a couple of Euros to swim over the summer, so bring small bills/coins with you.
If you just want to catch a glimpse of the landscape in the off-season, there is no charge.
We loved the opportunity to enjoy a bit of nature here!
Where to Stay in Ronda, Spain
We can’t rave about our stay at Catalonia Reina Victoria enough–it may just be one of our favorite hotels we’ve ever stayed in!
Unbeatable views over the countryside (we upgraded to a terrace room, which was absolutely worth it), excellent customer service, comfortable rooms, easy parking on site, and walking distance to all the best things to do in Ronda–it’s hard to beat that!
The popular Hotel Montelirio, with views of the Puerto Nuevo, is also a great option.
Of course, since the surrounding landscape is so stunning and finding parking in the city center is fairly simple, you may want to go the complete opposite route and stay in a country hotel just outside of town!
The beautiful and well-reviewed Hotel Cortijo Las Piletas is located a 15-minute drive from Ronda, offers a pool, gorgeous views, and a bit of peace and quiet to enjoy between visiting the best Ronda attractions.
Getting To + Around Ronda
When it comes to enjoying the best activities in Ronda, the best way to get to town is easily by car.
We visited Ronda as part of an Andalucia road trip and loved the freedom of exploring destinations away from the center.
The fact that parking in Ronda is simpler than in many hilltop towns, with plenty of garages and lots to choose from, also contributes to this.
If you’re planning to road trip to Ronda, we recommend renting a small car through Discover Cars, which will allow you to compare the prices and inclusions of multiple companies at the same time and choose the best car for you from there.
However, if you’re only hoping to explore the center of Ronda, a car is far from necessary!
Trains to Ronda are infrequent and generally require at least one change along the way, but visiting by train is doable with a bit of advance planning and flexibility.
Buses tend to be simpler than trains and run regularly from popular Andalucian cities and towns.
For trains and buses, we highly recommend checking schedules and ticket prices with Omio.
Once you’re in Ronda, the center of town is extremely walkable–most of the best attractions in Ronda itself lie within a very short walk (or even within sight) of each other!
When to Visit Ronda, Spain
The best time to explore Ronda is less of a season and more of a time of day: in the early mornings, late afternoons, and evenings, when the bulk of the day-trippers either haven’t arrived or have already left.
Other than that, Ronda is a true year-round destination!
Weather-wise, summer is the least ideal time to explore the best things to do in Ronda, as the crowds are at their largest and the weather is hot.
Ronda doesn’t get nearly as scorching as nearby cities like Seville, though–August temperatures average a high of 83°F (about 28°C).
Winters are very mild, with January typically being the coldest month of the year.
Most of the photos in this Ronda blog post were snapped in February!