Ronda bridge painted by David Bomberg

Ronda the “city of dreams”

Ronda “the city of dreams” is one of Spain’s most visited cities. It is a little city, more of a big town really and famous for the impressive Puente Nuevo (new bridge) that spans the gorge that seperates the old town from the new town. The Real Maestranza bullring is oe of the oldest in Spain and is where modern bullfighting was conceived. the many beautiful churches, museums, wonderful coffee shops and tapas bars are all within a short 30 minute walk.

As well as being blessed with some of Spain’s most impressive nature and historic monuments, so too are Ronda hotels special, not least because several offer views of the Tajo gorge from their windows, or views of the mountains surrounding the city. As one of the most visited cities in Spain, Ronda has a fantastic selection of hotels, hostels, guesthouses, and self-catered accommodation guaranteed to suit all tastes.

Our four star hotels include the Parador, Molino del Arco, Reina Victoria, Montelirio, Maestranza, Acinipo, Don Benito, and Hotel San Gabriel.

Famous visitors to Ronda the “city of dreams”

When you visit Ronda you join great names like Orson Welles, Earnest Hemingway, Rainer Rilke, James Joyce, Jorge Luis Borges, Madonna and Jamie Oliver who have all enjoyed their time in Ronda.

A small city perched on a seemingly precarious platform of rock, an impregnable fortress only defeated in battle through trickery, and during the reconquest with modern (for the era) rock blasting cannon. Ronda is the biggest city in northern Malaga province, and the closest city to many of the smaller villages in Cadiz province, making Ronda an ideal base for exploring the Serrania.

At a height of 723m in the Ronda mountains, the city has a cooler year round temperature than the coast, making life in Ronda altogether more agreeable than some other Andalucían cities. Ronda is also the perfect base to explore other cities such as Sevilla, Granada, Córdoba, Jerez de la Frontera, Cadiz, Antequera, or Malaga.

The Serranía de Ronda

Within a few kilometres of Ronda are some of the most visited Pueblos Blancos, the famous white villages of Andalucia, Setenil de las Bodegas, Grazalema, Gaucín, Juzcar, Benalauria, Montejaque, Teba, Cortes de la Frontera, Igualeja, the list goes on…

Sunflowers in the serranía de Ronda
Sunflowers in the serranía de Ronda

Ronda is also very close to three protected natural parques, the Sierra de Grazalema, Los Alcornocales and the Sierra de las Nieves. The Serranía is also home to pre-historic cave paintings at Benaojan, Neolithic dolmens at Montecorto, and of course, the ruined Roman city of Acinipo.

The ruined Roman city of Acinipo
The ruined Roman city of Acinipo

Scenery and Wildlife

The countryside of the Serranía is described as unique. Many endemic species make their home here, Abies pinsapo (the Spanish fir tree), the last examples of these fir trees, living fossils that grew in the Tertiary period and still exist today.

There are more than 30 different species of orchids that flower here, beginning in January with most peaking during the spring. Many can be easily seen at the road and path sides.

The Mediterranean scrub consists mainly of wild Olive, Retama, Lentisc, Phlomis, Quercus coccifera, Genista, Oleander, Rhamnus and Cistus. Woods and forests are made up of pine trees and evergreen oaks including the important cork oak Quercus suber.

Large soaring birds, if seen in a group, are likely to be Griffon vultures. There is a large breeding colony in Garganta Verde. Eagles seen are Booted, Short-toed, Bonelli’s or Golden. There are also several Egyptian vultures breeding in the park. Other birds to look out for are Red billed chough, Lesser kestrel, Hoopoe, Bee-eater, Black-wheatear, Blue rock thrush, Rock thrush and Woodchat shrike.

Griffon Vulture - Garganta Verde in the Sierra de Grazalema
Griffon Vulture – Garganta Verde in the Sierra de Grazalema

Mammals are mainly nocturnal but wild mountain goats can be seen whilst walking in gigher ground. (Often near the roads in colder months.) Red deer, Fox, Hare Egyptian mongoose, Stone martin, Genet and Wild Boar are more difficult to see.

There are around 80 butterflies on the wing during the summer months and the Two–tailed pasha, Cardinal, Cleopatra, Spanish Swallowtail, Large Tortoiseshell and Marsh fritillary are some of the largest and more easily seen.

For more information about Ronda the “city of dreams” take a look at…..

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