Ronda

Nature
The wow factor for nature - does it show nature at its best? Doesn't need to be the wilder-beast migration or diving with hundreds of hammerheads. Rather make you pause as you realise just how awesome the natural world can be
7
Culture
How much does this experience showcase some of the better and finer things that us humans can offer? Sure, it can be ancient ruins and renaissance churches, but it can also be festivals or soaking up some of the great modern cities of the world
7
Fun factor/activity
Very simple - was it fun? This is usually linked in with doing some kind of activity - i mean, walking along some cliffs is nice, but paragliding from them, now that is fun. Its a vastly underrated factor in a truly great experience
5
Avoid the crowds
Big tour groups and being surrounded by loud fellow tourists can sap the life out of even the greatest of travel experiences. This score is to reflect just how much you can avoid this. But. . . The score also takes into account if the crowds actually add to the experience, such as with a party town or a bustling food market
4
World famous
How world famous is the experience?
5
unique
How hard is it to have a similar experience in other places round the world?
7
Overall Score
The highest score of nature or culture, + fun factor, + avoid the crowds, + the highest score of world famous or unique. Then turned into a score out of 100. More details at the bottom of the page
57 *What the scores mean and where do they come from
continent
Europe
country
Spain
Length of time
1 day or less
Rough cost
Obviously people have different tastes, so this will depend on those tastes, but this is a rough idea of price of the whole experience based on 2 people able to split the accommodation costs and excluding travel there and back
$ 30
Time of year visited
September
Primary Tags
Click on any of the tags to see all travel experiences with the same tag
RANKING
How this travel experience ranks compared to all the other experiences on this site
238th/359 This travel experience's ranking compared to all the other experiences on this site
Top 70% SUMMARY RATING: Worth doing

Summary

Ronda is all about the dramatic gorge and how the pretty white old town, complete with one of Spain’s oldest bull rings and sensational bridge, is built impossibly around it.  Certainly worth the day trip from the likes of Seville and Malaga as the surrounding scenery is just gorgeous and, despite it being really busy with fellow day tourists, has enough to see to not make it feel overly crowded

 

Top tip #1 – if have a car, focus instead on the drive through nearby Parque Natural Sierra de Grazalema.  Ronda is beautiful, for sure, but it is just one of many stunning white hilltop towns in this part of Andalucia.  Instead of spending 1-2 days in Ronda, enjoy it as part of a driving route from Ronda to Arcos de la Fontera.  The most beautiful part of Spain, one of the most beautiful places I’ve seen in all of Europe  and with far less tourists than in Ronda.  See the full travel entry here –Driving through the White Towns of Parque Natural Sierra Grazalema

Tip #2 – walk through the valley to the west of Ronda as part of a circular route that gives you great views of the Bridge.   Its a fairly simple route that you can start from anywhere, is around 6km / 3.75miles so takes only about 1.5 hours with only one moderately steep part, gives the best views of the gorge and allows you to wander through the vineyards for a very different feel.  Use google maps – start at the bridge- then walk through the pretty Old Town to Mirador del Viento for amazing views – then to Mirador La Hoya del Tajo for further great views – then walk through the vineyards to Mirador de los Pinos – then all the way along the ridge to the views from Hotel Catalonia Reina – and then back to the central area with the bridge

Tip #3 – or something more unusual, try the Bodega Garcia Hidalgo vineyard.  Only 5km from town, run by a local family and about as genuine a vineyard tour you can get

Tip #4 – where to stay.  We stayed at the Hotel Catalonia Reina which has sensational views of the nearby mountains and valleys from its wide garden balcony, but is a bit overpriced for the rooms you get.  I don’t think it really matters where you stay as everything is so close in Ronda

Tip #5 – where to eat.  La Abaceria Ronda did great tapas.  For drinks, give the Hotel Catalonia Reina’s outside area a go for great views and not rammed

highlights

#1 El Tajo de Ronda - the bridge that looks like something straight out of the mines of Lord of the Rings

#2 Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza - the atmospheric bull ring with its tour that gives you a great flavour of the deep history of this place

#3 Walking down the tunnels that are cut deep into the Gorge

#4 The walk through the vineyards in the nearby valley immediately to the west of Ronda

#5 The views from the Hotel Catalonia Reina and its glorious garden area

#6 Taking the walk down into the valley near the Bridge and passing the route that many travellers took on their way up to the town through the various guard posts

Experiences nearby

The below map shows experiences nearby with a colour that reflect the Overall Score of those experiences

Score Detail

Background - how many times have you asked someone what a travel experience was like and the response was "amazing" or "awesome"?  That response is nice to know, but it makes it hard to differentiate that experience compared to others.  That is exactly what these scores are trying to do - differentiate the experience by giving a score out of 10 based on 6 categories and then giving an overall experience score

This overall experience score is calculated by:  take the highest of the "Culture" or "Nature" score (1-10) + "Fun factor" (1-10) + "Avoiding the crowds" (1-10) + highest of the "Unique" or "World Famous score" (1-10).  Then convert into a score out of 100

Extra detail - the logic being that I find all of the 6 individual scores important, but I don't want to mark an experience down just because it doesn't cover both "Culture" and "Nature", or because it isn't both "World Famous" and "Unique".  Take the examples of Safari in The Serengeti and walking through Rome - they both appeal at opposite ends of the nature / culture spectrum, and you can have a fantastic time without needing to appeal to both sides.  So, their overall scores aren't penalized for their lack of one or the other, and I've done the same for "World Famous" vs "Unique".  But . . . I do think that the "Fun factor" of an experience is important, irrelevant of other factors, and so is "Avoiding the Crowds" (or where there are crowds that add to the experience).  So, both of these scores are standalone