On arriving at Cabopino we knew that one of the first things we wanted to do was visit Ronda, as we had run out of time with the hire car during our trip in 2017.
This time, of course, we have the little car with us, so a few days after arriving we set off in the sunshine on our daytrip up into the mountains.
Our climb started behind Marbella so we passed some lovely looking complexes on the way, as well as a good number of villas hidden away behind high gates.
It’s quite a long way to Ronda, winding up and up and up, and round and round and round the various mountains! There are several viewpoints but we left those for the way back. It’s a very good road all the way, though that doesn’t mean I enjoyed the mountain road anymore than I usually do!
We parked up on the road just before the gates of the old town, completely by accident! So we chose to head in this way – leaving the area of town opposite the gates for another time.
Our first discovery was the Iglesia del Espiritu Santo (Church of the Holy Spirit). Fairly unassuming from the outside it’s a different story inside (entry 1 Euro each). The altar is just beautiful. You can also access the bell tower; Calv made it up there before me, which meant he got the full force of the bells going off unexpectedly! I was in a gaggle of tourists climbing the stairs at the time, but it was loud enough from there 🙂
A continuing wander through the old town took us past museums (bandits are a common theme), squares and more old churches & bell towers before we came to the Puente Nuevo which separates the old town from the ‘new’.
The bridge is truly amazing, built across the river which lies in an extremely deep gorge, so affording some spectacular views. It is possible to actually explore inside the bridge for a small fee.
We had a spot of lunch in a cafe just off the Plaza Espana (Taberna el Puente), which was not the best to be honest. We wouldn’t go again or recommend it. Not only was the meat a little strange in our burgers, but I also had the plastic from the cheese slice still attached…!!
We then had a pleasant wander around the new town taking in the various viewpoints along the way.
Passing through the square where the bullring is situated we noticed that many of the streets are named after famous western writers (Ernest Hemingway for instance), and discovered that this is due to their works helping to put this area on the tourism map.
Heading back over the bridge we walked down the hillside some way (there was a path, quite hairy in places…) but the views of the bridge were a bit special, and we were also able to see a waterfall that is not visible from above.
A final wander through the narrow old town streets brought us back to where we had started and ready for the drive back down the mountain…
We stopped at many of the viewpoints on the way back down to see spectacular views, we even pulled off at one where the road went around a hillock (I had a bad feeling about this!!) It didn’t go anywhere and was just a narrow road around the hillock! So Calv had to reverse back before he could turn round and I found it hair-raising to say the least!
We had also noticed an increased police presence in Ronda itself and they seemed to be looking for something/someone. On the way down the mountain the road up was blocked by several police vehicles and every car was being pulled in before either being searched or sent on their way. We have no idea what was going on.
Once again we didn’t see everything that the town had to offer (we missed out on the Arab baths for instance and several walks) so will most definitely be making a return visit one day 🙂 A definite recommendation 🙂
Campsite used: Camping Cabopino (click for our review)
Other visits in the area: