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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. This hilltop, by a deep gorge, has been inhabited since the Palaeolithic age. The ancient inhabitants have left their marks too, in well preserved 25,000 year old cave paintings. Our pick of the best places to stay in Ronda offer a good choice for both those who want to stay in the centre of town and those who prefer to be a bit more rural.
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, 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 also has 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. Going even further back in time 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.
What not to miss:
- Admire the epic views over the El Tajo gorge from the impressive Puente Nuevo.
- Visit the museum at one of Spain's oldest bullrings, Real Maestranza.
- Wander through the well preserved Arabic baths.
- Take a wine tour and sample the produce of the season.
As the town is such a historic place many of the best places to stay in Ronda are booked quickly so plan ahead.
Best places to stay in Ronda
For a mini-break
- Book a room at Los Castanos. Just outside Ronda, this is the perfect spot for a relaxed break. Come here for a wonderful home from home feel, accompanied by excellent service from the owners. This is one of the best places to stay in Ronda for those wanting to explore the town and also make the most of the beautiful countryside and traditional Andalucian villages.
- For a traditional gentleman's townhouse feel, book Hotel San Gabriel. The furniture is big and Spanish and there's a lot of brocade, walnut and art. The Hotel San Gabriel is seconds away from the bridge over the gorge, so a great spot for admiring the view.
- If you're looking for a relaxing spot, La Fuente de la Higuera will hit the spot. This charming building was once an olive mill. The graceful gardens which make this such a peaceful place to stay were added later. The decor is simple and elegant, the food is excellent and the staff are attentive but invisible.
- Finca Naranja is a remote B&B with peaceful views of the surrounding hills. Find Bali inspired rooms and suites in splashes of orange and turquoise. Self-catering kitchenettes are great for families and there's a lovely pool too.
- Looking for somewhere relaxed to lay your head while you explore the local area? One of the best places to stay in Ronda is Enfrente Arte. Surrounded by historic buildings and expansive views, this is bohemian and friendly. Ideal if you're looking for a home rather than a hotel. It's also great value with prices starting at only €80 per night B&B..
- Just below the old town, right by the Arab baths is Alavera de los Banos. The decor is vibrant and rustic and there's a pool, library and lovely garden. Perfect for whiling away the busiest, hottest part of the day.
For a rural escape
- Nestled between olive trees and vineyards, the 18th century olive mill, Molino del Arco, has maintained much of its original architecture. The rooms are a clever of mix of traditional with a fresh contemporary finish.
- Cortijo Las Piletas is a lovely white farmhouse surrounded by sunflower fields in a nature park. Find charmingly sunny bedrooms, a swimming pool, an excellent table d'hote and lunch time picnics.
For a boutique stay
Aire de Ronda is a charming boutique B&B in the heart of Ronda with original fittings. Rooms are bright and modern, with wooden floors, air conditioning, wifi and a lovely garden courtyard.
For an apartment or villa
- If you've decided that a self catering property would be more suitable for your holiday, then we recommend you visit our online booking partner Booking.com where they have a wide selection for all tastes and budgets.
- Fly to either is Málaga-Costa del Sol Airport or Gibraltar International Airport both 109km from the town. Ronda also has direct train connections to Algeciras, Antequera, Córdoba and even Madrid although services are limited.
- Best time to visit - Ronda is a year round destination although be prepared for some very cold days in the mountains during the winter months. Spring tends to be mild and dry whilst summer temperatures are usually very pleasant.
- If you plan to hire a car, we recommend you visit our online partner Holiday Autos for the best prices.
Still not sure?
Best Hotels in Ronda
La Fuente de la Higuera 11 rooms from $225Ronda, Malaga, Andalucía
Converted olive mill with beautiful gardens. Chic white washed bedrooms boast balconies with stunning views, some have enormous copper baths. Terrace restaurant serves food using local produce. Ideal for completely unwinding.Romantic Break - Muslin draped beds, private terraces, copper baths and utterly delicious cuisine served under a canopy of stars.Total relaxation - Spend your days lounging by the pool, wandering the gardens or being massaged in the privacy of your room!Birdwatching - Head out hiking and try to spot the eagles, vultures and other birds that inhabit the mountainsSights nearby - Visit the bridge, the Arab baths and the Mondragón Place in nearby Ronda.Recommended by - Mr & Mrs Smith, I Escape, Sawdays
Los Castanos 7 rooms from $126Cartajima, Malaga, Andalucía
Cosy and intimate boutique hotel in centre of traditional white washed village. Charming interiors, airy rooms, great attention to detail. Log fires in the winter, extensive library. Perfect for a relaxed break.Country Escape - A small secluded white village, nestled in the mountains and Chestnut forests, wonderful walking and laid back atmosphere.Birdwatching - A great spot for birdwatching simply from the hotel rooftop or out in the valley.Sights nearby - Check out nearby Ronda, with Arab Baths, great bars and Spains oldest bullring.Restrictions on children - Allows children over 12Recommended by - I Escape, Sawdays
Molino Del Santo 18 rooms from $134Benaojan, Andalucía
Comfortable family hotel, a restored olive mill in a stunning location. Shaded gardens, flowering terraces, with pool and garden restaurant. Pretty traditional bedrooms with white washed walls and wooden beams. Good organic local food. Ideally located to to explore the local area.Total relaxation - Phenomanal walking, solar-heated pool under the dappled shade of fig trees and top notch Organic Spanish cuisine.Great walks - Set in a National Park there are endless walking routes right from the door, plus the hotel will pack a lunch.Birdwatching - Be sure to bring your binoculars, Ronda mountains play host to a large variety of birds.Sights nearby - Filled with Roman and Arabic architecture Ronda is just 15 minutes from the hotel.Recommended by - Sawdays, Fodors
Enfrente Arte 12 rooms from $91Ronda
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.Local exploringViews - Great views from hotelLess £TownRecommended by - I Escape
Aire de Ronda 3 rooms from $86Ronda
Charming boutique B&B in the heart of pretty historic Andalusian town Ronda with original fittings including a grand 17th century door. Rooms are bright and modern, with wooden floors, air conditioning, wifi and a lovely garden courtyard. Idyllic churches and bullfighting in town.Sights nearby - 14th century Arab baths in townLocal markets - Good for local colour.Great walks - Good for walkers.Hideaway - Tranquil and intimate.
Molino del Arco 19 rooms from $88Ronda
Nestled between olive trees and vineyards, this 18th century olive mill has maintained much of its original architecture. The rooms are a clever of mix of traditional with a fresh contemporary finish. Sunbathe by the pool, explore Ronda, and taste the delicious local cuisine, with much grown on siteSights nearby - Ronda is very close or further afield you can discover the beautiful white villagesSwimming Pool - Large outdoor poolLocal markets - Good for local colour.Secluded setting - For escaping.Recommended by - Sawdays
Cortijo Las Piletas 8 rooms from $103Ronda
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.FamiliesViews - Great views from hotelValue chicGroupsRecommended by - Sawdays
Finca Naranja 2 rooms from $159Ronda
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.FamiliesSights nearby - Roman theatre of Acinipo. Just 15 mins drive from RondaViews - Great views over the Valley of Ronda la ViejaGreat walks - Stunning trails of the Grazalema Park.Recommended by - Mr & Mrs Smith, I Escape
Alavera de los Banos 11 rooms from $97Ronda
Stunning views, intimate interiors, and a calm ambience just below Ronda old town. Vibrant decor and rustic character in true Spanish style. Small library, lovely garden, and pool with wonderful views. Indulgent breakfasts. Ideal for completely unwinding.Hideaway - Peaceful and romantic escape with views of the Mediaeval town and mountains from the pool and gardens.Sights nearby - Just across the road from the former Moorish Baths, a fine example of 13th century Islamic architecture.Great walks - The hotel is located in Ronda’s former Jewish Quarter, wander the narrow streets and explore.Birdwatching - Serranía de Ronda is excellent for birdwatching, bring your binoculars.Recommended by - Fodors
Hotel San Gabriel 22 rooms from $75Ronda
Characterful 18th-century family home hotel in the heart of old Ronda. Traditionally decorated rooms in classic Spanish style, full of art and antiques. Small private cinema adds sparkle. The breakfasts are excellent. Ideal for an authentic stay.Value chic - A quaint 18th century townhouse, with stylish interiors, warm welcoming atmosphere and buckets of charm- at a reasonable price.Local exploring - Nestled in the heart of medieval Ronda, the perfect base for exploring the streets and absorbing the culture.Sights nearby - Walk across Ronda's famous gorge and visit Spain's oldest bullring and the attached museum.Full of characterRecommended by - I Escape