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Ronda

By Amy Adejokun Amy Adejokun Section editor

Our Editorial team's advice

Built on a rocky cliff, Ronda is one of Spain's most ancient towns. Separated in two by a deep gorge, it is proud of its Puente Nuevo, a bridge built in the 18th century, suspended at a height of 328 ft. Sites of interest include the Mondragon Palace, a remarkable Arab style residence that includes a museum and the Plaza de Toros, the first Spanish arena, inaugurated in 1785. It is actually in Ronda that Pedro Romero established the rules for bullfighting.

To see

The bridge of Puente Nuevo spanning the impressive canyon that cuts the town in two. The first bull arena. Next to the bridge and overlooking the canyon, you will find a Parador de Turismo in the former town hall of Ronda.

To do

Get lost in the old towns, go shopping along the long pedestrian avenue, follow the trails that go deep in the forest down into the canyon.

pros

  • +  The exceptional site: a canyon cutting the city in two!
  • +  The bull arena is not only the oldest in Spain, but also in the world!

cons

  • -  The crowds of tourists can make the town a lot less pleasant.

To think about

Ronda is a town best explored in the mornings and the evenings, when the hoards of tourists have either not arrived yet or have already gone. For those who love their thrills, you can do the via ferrata on the canyon walls, or go canyoning or whitewater rafter in the river below.

To avoid

Even though the emptiness may be impressive, do not lean over the Roman bridge if you suffer from vertigo, not to mention that you might fall over! The same goes if you decide to follow the path down into the canyon: pay attention and be careful not to slip.

To try

Avoid the Plaza de toros de Ronda where there are numerous tasteless and overpriced tourist traps. Instead, lose yourself in the old town, where you can find a lovely little terrace to enjoy some tasty paella, gazpacho, or even the local speciality: oxtail! The set starter/main/dessert menu is only £6!

To bring back

A flamenco dress, a fan, castanets.
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