Ronda Romantica

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Ronda wound up being everything we hoped for in a four-week stay. As I said in my Ronda: We’re Home post, we chose it because the elevation meant it was a bit cooler in June and July than most of Spain. This proved to be true throughout the four weeks and we were able to take walks and activities during all parts of the day. We ended up not doing any day trips because we were pretty focused on work but we found plenty to do and enjoy in Ronda. Here are a few of the highlights.

Dining (and Drinks!) Out

We had some truly wonderful meals in Ronda, including another trip back to the seafood restaurant I referenced in the We’re Home post. Our second best meal was at a restaurant overlooking the Tejo Gorge called Albacara. The food was good but the views were spectacular. 

Another memorable meal was in the oldest part of town at a unique restaurant called Casa Maria. It was another no menu situation, they just brought the courses being served that night. But everything was delicious and it was a great excuse to explore the older neighborhood.

We also really learned to love tapas during our time in Ronda. We especially enjoyed a couple of corner restaurants that had a definite locals vibe – Bodega San Francisco and Bar Antonio. But we tried many other places too and all were good.

The photos above don’t even scratch the surface of the many tapas we tried! And we had some nice beers and drinks out, especially enjoying the Alameda Park kiosk and Terraza del Rey Moro along the gorge. 

Cultural Activities

A must do activity in Spain, especially Andalucia, is to see a flamenco show. Early in our stay we got tickets to Ronda Flamenca in a historic building on the main square. All three performers (dancer, singer, and Spanish guitar player) were extremely talented and we enjoyed the experience a lot. 

Soon after our arrival we saw posters for Ronda Music Week, which culminated in an opera music performance by three tenors and the Malaga symphony at the old bull ring. Since we had no interest in visiting the bull ring for any other reason (though there is a museum there), it was a great opportunity to experience a non-violent event in a very unique structure. It was a beautiful evening and the tenor performances were fantastic.

Interesting History

Ronda is home to several interesting historic buildings and museums. One of our first visits was to the Museo Lara, a display of a private collection of antique items. It was interesting and fun and pretty quirky.

We also visited the Banos de Arabes (Arab Bath) ruins, which were very interesting to see. We’d seen bathhouse remains among Roman ruins but the Arab type is quite different. The museum included an interesting animated video explaining how they worked.

And, we visited Mondragon Palace, a large 14th-century home which houses the Ronda city museum with a very good archeology exhibit. The house itself is beautiful with lots of architectural detail that reflected the Moorish influence in Ronda.

And we visited the “interpretive center” inside the famous Puente Nuevo. It was small and the exhibits were just slideshows, but it was interesting to see the old photos, and cool to be inside the bridge since it’s located inside the room in the middle section of the bridge you can see in the photos. There were other museums we could have visited, but these four were enough for us. 

Long Walks with Views

Of course, our favorite activity remains hiking and walking, and Ronda’s views made every hike and walk extremely enjoyable. I did take a short, slow tumble down a steep hill on our long hike into the gorge and around to the northern side of Ronda. I scraped up my left arm and left leg pretty well, but falling is nothing new to me (clumsy) and it healed up nicely. And boy did the beer and tapas at the end of that hike taste good! 

We also really enjoyed doing an audio tour of Ronda using an app called Voice Map. The tour offered a great introduction to the city and we learned all sorts of interesting historic details about many of the buildings and streets we’d noticed on prior walks. I definitely recommend it for the beginning of a visit to Ronda to get to know the town. 

Summary

There’s a mural in Ronda celebrating the Viajeros Romanticos, the 19th century travelers who fell in love with Ronda on their tours of the European continent. Count us among them. Ronda was a beautiful town and we loved our time there.

Airbnb Review – We stayed for four weeks and couldn’t ask for a more comfortable apartment or a better location. So easy to walk to all the main attractions but also out to the more residential part of town with larger parks and supermarkets. There is also a great mini-market, gourmet shops, and large fruteria within a block of the apartment, plus tons of restaurants nearby. We especially loved the seafood restaurant up the block, but all of the tapas and restaurant recommendations from the hosts were excellent. The wifi was reliable and fast enough for streaming and video calls, the kitchen was very well equipped, and the apartment is even larger than it appears in the photos. Very nicely decorated and the AC worked well in the bedroom and living room. Excellent communication from the hosts. We especially appreciated that a cleaner came weekly during our stay. Great hosts and amazingly comfortable apartment. 

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