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Ronda is a charming Andalusian town perched high atop the dramatic El Tajo gorge, which divides it into two sections connected by the iconic Puente Nuevo bridge. This newest and largest of three bridges spans the 120-meter-deep chasm that contains the Guadalevín River and divides the city of Ronda. Don’t let the word ‘nuevo’ fool you—it’s been here since 1793. Right beside the bridge, on the lip of the El Tajo Gorge, you’ll find what was the town hall and is now a 4-star Parador Hotel. The views from the outdoor terrace are simply breathtaking!

The town's historic center boasts a wealth of architectural wonders, including the magnificent Santa Maria la Mayor church, the Mondragon Palace, the Arab baths, and the Maestranza bullring. Ronda has been linked with bullfighting since 1572 when King Philip II of Spain established a royal cavalry in the town. The Feria de Pedro Romero in Ronda, held in September, is a great opportunity to see the social and cultural aspects of bullfighting, especially at the Corrida Goyesca. Visitors can also explore the Moorish quarter, where they'll discover narrow winding streets lined with whitewashed buildings and charming little plazas.

Ronda is surrounded by stunning natural landscapes, including the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park, which offers hiking trails and stunning views of the surrounding countryside. The Ronda region also boasts the lovely Pueblos Blancos, or ‘white villages,’ known for their distinctive architecture, featuring whitewashed buildings with red-tiled roofs, narrow cobblestone streets, and stunning views of the surrounding countryside. Each village has its own unique character and attractions, but some of the most popular include Grazalema and Zahara de la Sierra.

Ronda is famous for its culinary delights, including traditional Andalusian dishes such as gazpacho, pescaíto frito (fried fish), and rabo de toro (bull's tail stew). There are plenty of restaurants and tapas bars in the town center where visitors can sample the local cuisine and soak up the vibrant atmosphere.

Ronda has a storied history of bandits and outlaws. The area surrounding the city, known as the Serranía de Ronda, was a hideout for bandits during the 19th century. The most famous bandit from Ronda was José María "El Tempranillo," who became a Robin Hood-like figure, stealing from the rich and helping the poor.

Every year, Ronda celebrates a festival called Ronda Romántica, which reenacts the city's history and traditions from the Romantic era. Locals dress in period costumes, and the city recreates historical events, such as the arrival of French troops during the Peninsular War.

Some of the famous people to have visited Ronda include Ernest Hemingway, who spent time in Ronda during the 1930s and was inspired by the town's beauty and culture. He even wrote about Ronda in his novel "For Whom the Bell Tolls." Orson Welles was a frequent visitor too and even chose to be buried there after his death on the property of his friend, the famed bullfighter Antonio Ordoñez. He was enamored with the town's history and architecture, and many locals still remember him fondly.

David Rockefeller, the American businessman and philanthropist, was a frequent visitor to Ronda, and he even owned a house there. Michelle Obama, the former First Lady of the United States, visited Ronda in 2010 during a trip to Spain with her family.

There is plenty to see in the town, and nearby, there are a number of excellent olive oil producers and some very interesting boutique wineries. Ronda is part of the Sierras de Málaga Denomination of Origin (DO) and is gaining recognition for its excellent wines. Ronda is an ideal stopover between Seville (128km) and Granada (178km). It’s also a good base for touring the White Villages `pueblos blancos´ while being close to Malaga city too (100km).  


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