The cliff-side town of Ronda is a staple of visiting Andalusia.
It came up instantly when I google searched “best day trips from Seville” for one of our early weekends in Spain. We found one company that offered trips for 20 euros and signed up immediately.
On Saturday, we arrived in Ronda to find a partly cloudy afternoon and a lively city waiting for us to explore.
The most striking feature of Ronda just might be its surroundings. Our guided tour first took us to the viewpoints where you can look out (and down) at the view from the city. This edge of the town is an actual cliff with a 300-foot drop to a totally different landscape below.
Beyond the miles of countryside farms and estates is a wide range of mountains. I was so taken aback by the entire panoramic scene that I didn’t even notice at first how big the mountains are. Looking at this picture, it’s hard to focus on more than one thing at a time.
Some of the photos in this blog (the ones with the watermark in the bottom right) are compliments of 'We Love Spain,' the travel company that organized our trip. I would definitely recommend them!
From this spot, which is just on the other side of the bullring from the city, I got my first feel for just how far up I was. Looking to the left or the right reminded me that I am, in fact, on the edge of a cliff.
We walked along the drop off until we finally got a view of what we came here for—The Puente Nuevo! This amazing bridge spans the chasm that divides the town in two.
The name ‘Puente Nuevo’ translates to ‘New Bridge’ in English which is quite ironic considering this massive structure was completed in 1793. The previous bridge collapsed in 1741, less than 10 years after it was built.
Be careful looking over the edge—it’s dizzying! But I must admit that it has a great view of the gorge below.
Following the stream of tourists, we found the trail that takes you down into the divide to get the best pictures of the bridge from afar.
Another fun fact about the bridge: the little window that you can see in the bulk of the bridge (under where you would walk) is a space that was actually used as a prison during the Spanish Civil War from 1936-1939. I guess they didn’t have the worst view out of that window, huh?
If we would have had another day in Ronda, I would have absolutely done a hike down to the gorge. There are lots of trails that provide great vantage points.
Typical of most of our day trips, the sightseeing was followed by shopping, wandering through the streets, and eating tapas! If you’re willing to pay a few dollars more, there are some great restaurants right on the edge of town…literally.
Before we knew it, it was time to board up the bus and head to the next city of the day: Setenil de las Bodegas. I can’t wait to share all about that hidden gem in a post later this week! See you then!