Ronda is set inland away from the coast in-between Benahavis and Istan, the nearest costal resort is San Pedro de Alcantara which is located on the N-340 road. The nearest golf course is 'La Quinta' with other courses close by including : La Zagaleta and Los Arqueros. The direct route from Malaga to Ronda, is to take the main Costa Del Sol road N-340 and then the Ronda road at San Pedro Alcantara, total distance 110km.
Spectacularly located on its rocky plateau 2,461 feet above sea level, Ronda sits perched like a lost city high above the Coast. A town which has inspired artists, poets and novelists, saw the birth of modern bullfighting and is the final resting place of actor Orson Welles, Ronda has a history as long and detailed as anywhere in the world.
The city is, and always has been, one of the most impregnable locations in the region and was one of the final Moorish cities to fall to the Christians in 1485. The most spectacular sight is the entrance into the city, the 18th century Puente Nuevo, which translated means 'New Bridge'. This structure stands nearly 100m high and provides a crossing point over the Tajo gorge. In its time it was a great feat of civil engineering and even today is one of the most impressive and photographed sites in this part of Spain. It isn't without its own gruesome past, though, as the architect who designed the bridge fell to his death when reaching for his hat.
The most famous building in the city has to be the Plaza de Toros, which is one of the oldest bullfighting venues in the world. It is the dream of all aspiring matadors one day to step into this arena and hear the crowd cheer 'Olé' to a successful victory. What makes the bullring so special is that it is dedicated to Pedro Romero who developed the classic Ronda style and is regarded as the father of modern bullfighting. He was born in 1754 and in his time he killed over 6,000 bulls. Every year the Corrida Goyesca is viewed by millions on television while a lucky few watch the bullfighting community's equivalent to soccer's World Cup final live. The matadors wear traditional bullfighting dress and only the best and most courageous bulls are used. The Ronda bullring also contains a wonderfully interesting museum, which should be a must for any visitor.
The Palacio de Mondragon, which is located on the Plaza de Campillo and was built by Abomelic, King of Ronda, in 1314, housed both the Moors and the catholic Monarchs Isabella and Ferdinand. There is also a minaret and Muslim prayer niche which survived from the 13th century.
The weather in Ronda is usually about 2°C cooler than the temperatures on the Coast because of its high altitude. In winter it has also been known to snow occasionally.
The restaurants and bars in Ronda fit in with the historical style of the rest of the city and offer a great deal of local specialities, such as morcilla rondea, which is a type of black pudding seasoned with cloves, peppers and cumin. Another very sought after delicacy is carne de lidia, which is taken from bulls that have fought in the corrida and is a very dark red-black colour.
There are a number of hotels and other accommodation in Ronda, but these tend to fill during the height of the tourist season. Anyone who wishes to experience the town over more than one day would be well advised to book well in advance.
Ronda is about an hour's drive from Marbella if you take the A376 road, which you can pick up in San Pedro de Alcántara. During the period of the Goyesca in September, the town is extremely busy and is clearly not designed for the huge number of visitors, which it now receives. Although younger visitors will be unlikely to fathom its appeal it should certainly be top of the list for anyone interested in Spanish culture and history.