Ronda: soul, history and environment

26 Apr 2024 | Areas Guide

Ronda is one of the oldest cities in Spain, especially known for its rich history, culture and impressive geography. Its peaceful atmosphere and spectacular views make it a must-see destination.



Surrounded by the Ronda mountain range, the city offers beautiful views and a unique natural environment.

Ronda enjoys a Mediterranean climate with mild winters and hot summers, but thanks to the 750 m altitude the nights in summer are very pleasant and cool, making a difference with other cities in Andalusia.

Ronda’s location makes for a peaceful getaway with easy access to the coastal towns of Marbella, Estepona and the main urban centres of Andalusia. This combination of accessibility and serenity makes Ronda an attractive place to visit as well as to live.


At almost equal distance from Seville and Malaga (100 and 120 km) it is within easy reach of both cities. Marbella is only 50 km away which makes for an easy and pleasant escape to glamour. The road with spectacular views around a bend in the road allows you to understand the unique geography of this part of Europe where you can see Gibraltar, the hills of Morocco and the bay towards Cadiz to the west and Malaga to the east.

The proximity to Marbella and other coastal towns allows you to enjoy the beaches and the Mediterranean lifestyle without having to live in the hustle and bustle of the coast.

There is a network of intercity buses connecting Marbella, Seville and Malaga.

The Renfe station connects to Algeciras and Madrid, being the Antequera station 60 km from Ronda, which links with the AVE to Madrid (in 2,40h), Barcelona (5 hours) etc… with a frequency of 5 AVE departures per day.


Ronda offers a wide range of leisure activities, from cultural to outdoor:

Outdoor activities

Thanks to its location, Ronda is an excellent starting point for hiking, cycling and adventure activities in the surrounding natural parks. The famous “101 kms” race organised by the Legion located in the city also attracts sportsmen and women from all over Europe.

Culture and Traditions

Ronda is also famous for its festivals and cultural traditions, such as the Feria de Pedro Romero, which is held in September and pays homage to the bullfighter Pedro Romero, who was born in the city. This festival includes bullfights, with the traditional Corrida Goyesca where the bullfighting atmosphere is recreated, music, dance and traditional costumes in the incomparable setting of the Plaza de la Real Maestranza de Caballería in a spectacle worth witnessing.

Maestranza de Ronda


Throughout its history, Ronda has been inhabited by Celts, Phoenicians, Romans and Arabs, each leaving their mark on the city. This is reflected in the various monuments and archaeological sites that can be visited today, such as the Arab baths, the Palace of Mondragón and the walls and gates of the ancient city.

What few people know is that it was the first place where an army was formed through horse training. The Maestranza de Caballería, created in 1573 by royal decree of Felipe II, who asked the nobility for their help in defending the territory, was a founding act that would be decisive for the history of the city, placing it in a position of authority, excellence, prestige and culture.

 Moreover, it was precisely on the basis of this act and at the behest of the nobility that it was later decided to build the bullring, which now belongs to the Real Maestranza and is a Spanish Cultural Heritage Site, as a training ground and equestrian showground where the art of horsemanship could be practised as an essential complement to the art of war assimilated from the Arabs. This is the birthplace of bullfighting itself, thanks to Pedro Romero, born in Ronda, who established the rules of the art of bullfighting which was practised in the streets and which was gradually transferred to the bullrings created as practice centres.

Thanks to all this, Ronda became a popular destination for the European nobility, as well as for the intellectual and artistic elite. From Byron, Mérimée, Gustave Doré, Davillier who wrote about the city and their attraction to it, to Rilke, Hemingway, who set his book “For Whom the Bell Tolls” in this city and Orson Welles himself, who wanted to be a bullfighter and became such a great friend of Antonio Ordoñez that when he died, his ashes were placed in the house of his dear friend.

Cultural visits

Here are some interesting places in the city:

Natural Environment

Ronda is in a privileged location, surrounded by parks and nature reserves. This makes it a perfect destination for nature lovers, with numerous hiking trails and places of natural interest nearby, such as:


Ronda’s cuisine is a reflection of Andalusian gastronomy, with influences from its history and geography. Some typical dishes and products are:

Wines of Ronda: Viticulture in the Ronda area has undergone a renaissance in recent decades, positioning itself as a prestigious wine region in Spain. The wines of Ronda are characterised by:

Wineries in Ronda

Olive Oil

Andalusia is the largest producer of olive oil in Spain and the world, and the area around Ronda contributes significantly to this production. Olive oils from this region are distinguished by:

Oil mills in Ronda

Both wine and olive oil from Ronda and the surrounding area are exceptional examples of Andalusia’s rich agricultural heritage. Participating in tastings and visits to bodegas and olive oil mills offers an excellent opportunity to explore the local culture and enjoy one of Spain’s most emblematic products.


Choosing the best area to live in Ronda depends on personal preferences, including proximity to the centre, tranquillity or access to nature:

Living in Ronda means enjoying the tranquillity of a small town with a rich cultural offer and stunning natural beauty. The community is welcoming and the quality of life is enhanced by the excellent local gastronomy, leisure activities and the beauty of its natural and urban landscapes.


Choosing as a place to live and buying a house in Ronda means opting for a more relaxed lifestyle, connected to nature and culture, without renouncing the comforts and accessibility of modern life.

The combination of its natural beauty, rich history, welcoming community, and the relative affordability of housing make Ronda an attractive option for many. Ronda continues to fascinate for its special location and for each and every one of the traces that have been left over the centuries by all those who have passed through the city leaving their mark and part of its soul.

To visit it, to stay a few hours or a few days, is a dream, but to live in Ronda is a privilege that combines history and contemplation.

Brice Benarroch Mennessons

Article by Brice Benarroch Mennessons

26 Apr 2024
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