One of the most famous of Andalucia's pueblo blancos (white towns), Ronda is the oldest town in Spain. Having been established in the 9th Century BC! At that time the region was Islamic, and the old town, La Ciudad, was a garden of beautiful mosques and palaces. But this hilltop, by a deep gorge, has been inhabited since the Palaeolithic age, and the ancient inhabitants have left their marks too, in well preserved 25,000 year old cave paintings.
Ronda is positioned precariously close to the edge of the gorge. The ancient town on one side, the modern on the other, and spreading downwards.
And its romantic history has been, at times, equally precarious. Loved by Hemingway, Orson Wells, Alexandre Dumas, David Wilkie and Rainer Maria Rilke, this town has passion and spirt as well as beauty.
One of Ronda's most impressive sites was actually constructed at the very end of the 18th Century, so relatively new in local terms. It's the Puente Nuevo, an incredible bridge spanning the Tajo de Ronda, the deep local gorge. The height from top to bottom is about 100meters. And inside the bridge is a small museum. It's also worth taking a stroll along the bottom of the gorge.
One of Ronda's best seen sights is Plaza de Toros, Spain's oldest bullring, and the place where the rules of bullfighting were decided. It's also got a small museum inside.
Ronda also has a well respected wine museum, the Interpretation Centre of Ronda Wine.
La Ciudad is where many of the town's other treasures can be appreciated.
⁃ If you're interested in Ronda's Moorish history make sure you visit the restored 14th Century Arab baths, for an immersive historical experience.
⁃ If you're interested in going further back, visit the Cueva de Pileta, where the cave paintings are 25,000 years old.
⁃ If you're interested in Spanish folk history there's a bandit museum, covering the lives of the bandits and profiteers who targeted this wealthy trading town.
A uniquely laid back hotel surrounded by historic buildings in Ronda. Bohemian vibes and contemporary decoration. A home rather than a hotel with its help-yourself philosophy. Great for families and local exploring.
Stunning views, intimate interiors, and a calm ambience just below Ronda old town. Vibrant decor and rustic character, with small library, lovely garden, and pool.
Characterful 18th-century family home hotel in the heart of old Ronda. Traditionally decorated rooms, classic Spanish style, full of art and antiques. Small private cinema adds sparkle.
A lovely white farmhouse surrounded by sunflower fields in a nature park. Charmingly sunny bedrooms and one family suite, swimming pool, an excellent table d'hote and lunch time picnics. A great choice for an active family holiday and lots to explore in the natural park.
Comfortable family hotel, a restored olive mill in stunning location. Shaded gardens, flowering terraces, with pool and garden restaurant. Very pretty bedrooms, good organic food and great walks all around. Heaven.
Cartajima, Malaga, Andalucía
Cosy and intimate boutique hotel in centre of traditional white village. Charming interiors, airy rooms, great attention to detail. Log fires in the winter, extensive library. Perfect for a relaxed break.
A remote B&B with peaceful views of the surrounding hills. Bali inspired rooms and suites in splashes of orange and turquoise. Self-catering kitchenettes are great for families. Lovely pool and lots to explore in the region. Suited to honeymooners and families.
Ronda, Malaga, Andalucía
Mellow, converted olive mill with beautiful gardens. Chic bedrooms with terraces, romantic setting and interiors. Terrace restaurant, pool, library, bar, spectacular views. Charming and relaxing.