Trip from Marbella to Ronda, Andalucia
Ronda is famous worldwide for its dramatic cliffs and views, and for the bridge over the rio Guadalevín.
The rio Guadalevín flows at the bottom of the deep El Tajo gorge, cutting the centre of the town in half. Visitors make usually make straight for the 18th century Puente Nuevo 'new' bridge, which straddles the 100m chasm below. Views out over the Serranía de Ronda mountains are a sight to be seen and the escarpments are just breathtaking.
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Ronda boast being the birthplace of modern bullfighting. Bull fighters would fight on foot rather than on horseback. The spectacular Feria Goyesca encourages the audience and fighters to dress like those seen in Goya's sketches of life in the region. Feria Goyesca is held at the beginning of September. The Plaza de Toros (bullring) is now a museum, so you are able to stroll out into the arena to imagine the spectacle. It is also interesting to see where the bulls were kept and prepared for battle.
During May there is a three day festival , the purpose of which is to bring Ronda's history to life. You will see locals dressed in old style clothes as courtesans, nobles, bull fighters, bandits, farmers and Napoleonic soldiers wearing bandit-style headgear, brandishing guns and even firing them. Thousands of people from the nearby towns also join in the fun. The event takes place alongside the town’s May agricultural fair, which is 500 years old and Spain’s second oldest.
Ronda Romantica started in 2013 and already attracts visitors from all over the world. In addition to the parade that starts the proceedings, there are the many gastronomic and handicraft stands and impromptu bars, and the local people produce historical shows to recreate the main events of the Independence War against the French troops of Napoleon.
Pilgrimage to Virgen de la Cabeza Church
The 'romería' pilgrimage each year, held in honour of the Virgen de la Cabeza is for those wishing to see the lighter side of life in Ronda. This is a wonderful way to participate in a local tradition that dates back to the start of the 20th century.
Merced's Convent contains some religious relics, like the hand of St.Theresa of Jesus from the 17th century that according to church legend does not rot. The façade is divided into three vertical walls made of masonry and separated by brick pillasters. The front is made of stone with a semicircular decorated arch and frames over the door.
Across the bridge, Old Ronda has cobbled streets lined by beautiful town mansions. There is an an art museum which one was a cloistered 16th century convent. The old Moorish palace, built during the time when Ronda was a minor Caliphate under Córdoba in the 12th century, has exquisite miniature water gardens dating from this time.
The cobbled alley of the Mondragón leads to the tree-lined Plaza Duquesa de Parcent. Here you can view the iglesia Santa Maria de Mayor's belltower, a convent, two churches and the fabulous arched council building (Ayuntamiento).
La Casa del Rey Moro (The Moorish Kings house) - gives entrance to the Water Mine and the house's Hanging Gardens. The Water Mine is a true Moorish structure likely constructed by the Moorish King Abomelic, consisting of a series of interconnecting stairways and chambers.
It starts at the top of Ronda's cliff face and meanders down to the Guadalevin River. In earlier times the water mine not only provided water for the city but it was essential in helping the city withstand an extended attack from the outside. At the bottom of the steps is a great view of the gorge.
From our apartment, get taxi (Taxi-Sol +34 952 774488) to the bus station. Taxi-Sol are very efficient and come almost immediately. From Marbella Bus Station, Ronda bus currently leaves at 9.00, 11.00 and 11.30 in morning and returns at 16.30, 17.30 and 20.00. Check with Marbella Bus Station on +34 952 76 44 01 or +34 952 36 01 91 or +34 902 143 144. Journey time is 1 hr 25mins through varied and interesting terrain.
From the bus station in Ronda, follow the town maps towards the bridge across the gorge (down hill).
Have a nice Day
Another great trip from our apartment in Marbella