Hello everyone! Two weeks ago, we took a day trip to two cities in the South of Spain: Ronda & Setenil de las Bodegas. We went with a program called We Love Spain, that does trips around the country, as well as to Morocco and Portugal. Our first stop of the day was Ronda.
This city is one of the oldest in Spain. It was first settled in 6th century BC by Celtic people but really began to grow in the 4th century (AD) when the Romans conquered it. Throughout history, Ronda was always considered a valuable location because of it’s proximity to Gibraltar and Morocco. Like many cities in the South of Spain, it saw Moorish rule for many centuries until the Catholics reconquered Spain. It wasn’t until the 18th century when Ronda’s most famous monuments were built (the New Bridge & the Bull Ring).
We started our day with a walking tour around the small city. Ronda is interesting because it sits very high in the mountains on the edge of a cliff, overlooking the countryside. (About 2,460 feet above sea level). We started our tour in the Jardines de Cuenca, a large garden area located on the ledge of the Tajo river. This area is a viewing point for the New and Old Bridges in Ronda.
After visiting the gardens, we headed back towards the center where we climbed down to a viewing area of the New Bridge (Puente Nuevo)! The walk is a little treacherous, so if you’re going to do it, it’s best to wear comfortable shoes. But the views are worth it!
After snapping some pictures and taking in the breathtaking landscapes, we climbed back up to cross Puente Nuevo (the new bridge) and went to another lookout area. Ronda is filled with some incredible views, since the city is high on a cliff, it overlooks beautiful countryside.
We ended our walking tour at the famous Bull fighting ring. Ronda is actually home to Spain’s oldest bullfighting ring (and largest). It is also said to be the birthplace of bullfighting because of the famous Romero family, who transformed the sport. For 6 euros you can tour inside, but we chose to skip this!
One of my favorite facts about this beautiful city is that Ernest Hemingway’s novel, For Whom the Bell Tolls was supposedly written about Ronda. Hemingway was an aficionado of bull fighting and spent a lot of time in the South of Spain.
There are many beautiful things to see in Ronda, but I think a day is enough to see almost everything. After a short lunch break, we got back on the bus to go to Setenil de las Bodegas. This small town only has 3,000 inhabitants. It’s unique because instead of being built on top of the cliffs (like Ronda), the houses are built into the side of the cliffs!
There were two main streets our guide took us to: Calle Sombra (AKA Shade Street, because there is rock over the road) and Calle Sol (AKA Sun Street).
We chose to sit at a table on Calle Sol (for obvious reasons) and had a drink with our friends. The weather was incredible all day…Mark even got a little sunburnt!
Visiting Ronda and Setenil was a great way to spend our Sunday. They are not far from the bigger cities in Andalusia, like Sevilla, Malaga or Granada, so they make for good day trips!
Hope you enjoy this video blog about our day in Ronda & Setenil!
Hasta Luego! Amanda