The city of Ronda is built atop a gorge, and surrounded entirely by mountains. With unique hiking trails into the gorge and a rich culture throughout the city, Ronda is a must-visit Spanish town.
Wanderlost life lesson: If a city is built into a gigantic gorge that separates one part of town from the other, you absolutely, positively must go there. Especially if it’s the quiet, charming mountain town of Ronda, located in southern Spain.
But Ronda is more than just a pretty (stunning, drop-dead gorgeous, to die for) gorge. It’s also one of the oldest towns in Spain, the birthplace of bullfighting (meh, save the bulls, I want the gorge) and, interestingly, home to streets upon streets of almost Santorini-looking white buildings.
This isn’t the place to go if you want to spend hours in museums, but if you’re down for exploring a remote city, and you’re as obsessed as I am with crazy natural phenomenons like the Ronda gorge, then add this Spanish mountain town to your list!
Hike the Gorge
As you’d imagine, hiking Ronda’s gorge was my favorite Ronda activity. The hike itself is a steep, 45-minute round trip climb with a few treacheries here and there (climb wobbly stairs, walking across an unguarded beam), but those nerve-wracking moments are well worth it because you get to explore the base of this beautiful natural wonder, as the prominent Puente Nuevo Bridge towers above you.
As always, the hike down is just a smidge (OK, a lot) easier than the hike up, so make sure you’re wearing many sheddable layers and comfortable shoes.
Since we just wandered our way down into the gorge (no, seriously – we got lost and almost didn’t make it – can you imagine!!), here’s a step-by-step guide you can follow on Trip Advisor to get on the right path.
Dine Above the Gorge
OK, so you made it back up from your gorge hike, hoorah! Now it’s time to enjoy that beautiful sight in an entirely different way — while eating. #Nom.
There are several restaurants perched up above the gorge that provide outdoor seating and an unbelievable view. Now, given the location and views, these are a bit on the expensive side, but if you can’t tell, I heart gorge, so I’m willing to fork over some money to stare at it.
Few things (perhaps a gigantic gorge?) get me more excited than off-the-beaten-path beer stores with tasting rooms and passionate, beer-loving owners.
We unknowingly booked our VRBO apartment down the street from Malastrana Cervezoteca, an up-and-coming bottle and tap store in Ronda. You can just imagine our excitement stumbling upon it that first day.
Malastrana sells beer by the bottle, and also serves food and beers on tap (or in bottle) at its small, four-person bar. They have a great selection of Spanish beers you can try, and even more importantly, a fun, knowledgeable staff you can spend hours and hours chatting with … which we did.
And it led to a rough train ride the next morning. But hey, when in Ronda, imbibe like the … Rondans?
Know before you go
Many will say Ronda makes for a great day trip, but I disagree. For those traveling The Wanderlost Way (read: out-of-the-ordinary, amazing adventures!), you must spend the night here.
When the sun sets, most tourists head out, so you can explore the glowing gorge lit up along the bridge, or the old city streets shining bright under the moon.
A night spent in Ronda feels so authentically Spain, and ancient Spain at that, so don’t settle for a day trip. Spend the night under the sparkling, countryside stars and wake up to the Spanish sun rising behind Ronda’s big, beautiful mountains.