February 17 – 20, 2020
We knew that Ronda wasn’t a very big town and we only planned to spend a few days here. The more we explored, the more we liked this area of Spain. Many people only do a day trip here and I’m so happy we gave it more time.
Ronda packs a powerful historical punch with origins back to prehistory. This town that was built on the top of an outcropping of rocks is also home to the Cave of Pileta, complete with Stone Age art, megalithic monuments and many Roman ruins.
Ronda grew as an agricultural region and trading town under the Muslim rule. In 1485, the conquest of the Catholic Kings brought a period of cultural and structural growth. The New Bridge and the Bullring were built during this timeframe of history.
In current history, Ernest Hemingway and Orson Wells had homes and spent a considerable amount of time in Ronda. Ernest wrote The Dangerous Summer, about his friend and local bullfighter legend Antonio Ordóñez, during his time here. The City has even erected statues for Orson and Ernest.
Arab Baths of Ronda
These Muslim baths are dated back to the 1200’s. They were used not only as latrines, but also to gather together and cleanse as per the Muslim religion. The water was brought up to the baths by a Ferris wheel system that still works today. There were hot rooms, steam rooms, cool rooms and bathing facilities. It is really quite impressive to see the size and the engineering of this large bath house.
Bulls and Bull Fighters
The Ronda Bullring is recognized as one of the oldest in Spain. It has been holding bullfights since 1785 and two important bullfighters came from Ronda. There are farms in this region that raise bulls and you can do a visit to see the farms.
Local bullfighter legend Antonio Ordóñez began his career at this bullring. He fought over 6,000 fights and was never gored. His last fight was when he was the ripe old age of 80. I have to say, “What a guy”!
A Circular Walking Route
There are many walking and hiking trails through this area from village to village. We decided to do an 8 mile circular loop. We started from our Airbnb at the top of Ronda and walked down through the South Gate and around through the countryside. We got a great view from the bottom looking back up into Ronda. Then we started the trek back up the hill to town. This area was full of waterfalls, orange trees, blooming almond trees and lots and lots of olive trees. Bring water and a bite to eat as there were not any cafes, etc through this lower walk.
A Parting Gift
On out last night in Ronda, the sky displayed an array of colors for this marvelous sunset. We smiled and took it as a sign that it was time to move on to another adventure.
Directions: We took the train from Seville to Ronda with a train change at Antequera-Santa Ana, €44pp.