A loop walk which explores Ronda and the surrounding countryside from both the top and bottom of the escarpment.
You may like to enjoy your final day exploring Ronda at your own pace – there is certainly plenty to see and do! - but to really capture the best of the town it is important to see it from both the top and bottom of the cliffs. This loop walk clambers along their tops before descending to the foot of them, revealing an endless array of viewpoints along the way.
From the clifftops, you gaze out (perhaps nostalgically?) at the mountains you have spent the last week traversing. You’ll cross Puente Nueve (New Bridge), peering into the gorge below, to enter the historic quarter which retains much of its charm; take some time to deviate from the trail and get lost in the maze of cobbled streets here.
From the bottom of the escarpment, you can gaze up at the buildings perched precariously on the edge and admire the Guadalevín River which erupts from the Tajo Gorge in an impressive series of cascading waterfalls and rapids. From here, the Puente Nueve bridge is revealed as an astonishing piece of architecture – particularly when you learn it’s actually not so new and was built in the 18th century.
This walk captures much of Ronda’s charm. Another recommendation is to stroll the length of the pedestrianised ‘Calle Malaga’ – locals from the villages you’ve visited over the last week will come here to do their shopping and socialise with friends!
There are some exposed and unfenced edges throughout the walk; be careful and remain on the path.
There are several stretches where you must walk on the road as there is no pavement. Walk on the left side facing the oncoming traffic unless there is a sharp left bend, in which case you should cross to the outside edge to allow drivers the maximum time to see you.
Some of the path is along rocky steps; be careful as these may be slippery, especially when wet.
Sturdy hiking boots and a waterproof/wind-break layer are required. Walking poles will be a big advantage on some of the steep ascents and descents.
Ensure your phone is fully charged; if you doubt the battery will last throughout the hike, it might be beneficial to bring a power bank.
Make sure you bring enough water. It is recommended to drink 0.75 litres per 1 hour of hiking in hot weather.
Be sure to bring plenty of sun-cream and a healthy respect for the sun.
Points of Interest
Ronda Bullring and Museum
Irrespective of whether you support bullfighting, it is hard to deny the cultural impact it has had on Ronda. The Ronda Bullring was the first in Spain and continues to be the largest; constructed entirely from stone in 1784 with two levels and 136 columns, it is an architectural work of art. Bullfighting is inextricably tangled with the Real Maestranza de Caballería de Ronda, Spain’s oldest and most noble school of horsemanship, and the birthplace of modern equestrianism.
(Don’t feel anxious about visiting; it isn’t bloodthirsty or gory!)
More information available here: https://www.rondatoday.com/plaza-de-toros-bullring/
There is an irony in the name, Puente Nuevo ‘New Bridge’ when you consider that it is over 220 years old (built-in 1793)! But after all, it is the newest of the three bridges that span the El Tajo gorge in Ronda. The striking design of the bridge has made it one of Spain’s most photographed destinations.
El Tajo Gorge
The El Tajo Gorge, 68 metres at its narrowest and 120 metres at its deepest, is an unavoidable feature of Ronda as it separates different areas of the city. It has been carved out by the Guadalevín River.
The Arab Baths or Baños Arabes was the main hammam for Ronda during Moorish times and is the best-preserved example in Spain today. You can wander through this marvellous architecture and see the cold, warm and hot rooms where, 700 years ago, locals would have come to sweat out toxins, purify their body before prayer in the mosque, and generally enjoy the social occasion.
More information available here: http://www.rondatoday.com/rondas-arab-baths/
Food and Drink
There are no opportunities to buy food or drink throughout the walk so be sure to bring sufficient provisions with you.