I have been to many spectacular places in my lifetime. Still, I’ve not been anywhere quite as fantastical as Ronda, Spain. Situated among the dramatic cliffs of the El Tajo Gorge, Ronda has a deep history, a plethora of restaurants and shops, and storybook views and it is a perfect place to spend a night in.
My husband and I were first drawn to Ronda after seeing pictures of the famed Puente Nuevo (meaning “New Bridge”) while creating a bucket list for Spain before we moved here. Its medieval look and conspicuous height evoked a feeling of awe, so we decided to spend a night in Ronda to view it and immerse ourselves in the city.
After we completed a breathtaking drive through the Andalucían countryside from our town, we navigated the spaghetti-thin streets of the city to find the Don Miguel hotel. This 4-star hotel is built into the gorge’s cliffside next to Puente Nuevo, so they have rooms with balconies available to view the bridge to the right and the depths below. We went ahead and splurged on one of these rooms and are ecstatic that we did.
It’s hard to pick a specific word to describe the sensation of soaking in a view like this because there were so many emotions coursing through me when I saw it for the first time. Gratitude, awe, and bewilderment all mixed together and presented themselves as a contented smile on my face as my eyes fluttered over the ancient bridge, whimsical valley, and dark depths of the 120-meter gorge below. I felt as if I were in a million-dollar painting.
After we settled into our room and took some pictures on the balcony, we spent the rest of the evening walking around the city and checking out the sights. We discovered a famed bullfighting ring, a park with views of the valley, narrow streets bustling with people, and a cliffside path to get a stunning vantage point of the bridge. We were lucky enough to hit the cliffside path during the golden hour, which made for some awesome pictures. We ate dinner at the hotel restaurant with outdoor seating overlooking the gorge. Although I was still full from the lunch we had earlier, I nibbled on a goat cheese and tomato salad while my husband munched on a huge steak that was tender and nicely charred. Although we had to call it quits early due to the cold chill the night brought, we bought some bottles of wine from a local jamón shop to enjoy in the room while we overlooked the glowing bridge.
The following day, we quickly grabbed some “café con leches” and a light breakfast before heading off to check out the remains of an 800-year-old Arab bath house. It was a miraculous wonder in architecture and technology. Due to its preservation, you could imagine what it must have been like to use it 800 years ago. My favorite part was seeing the aqueduct because ancient innovation has always fascinated me.
After this, we trekked up a cliffside park with more views before hitting the road and heading home. Ronda has undoubtedly left an impression on both my husband and my heart, and I can’t recommend it enough as one of Spain’s more obscure gems. Like most towns in Spain, Ronda has a relaxing and pleasant charm where time becomes obsolete. You are forced to stay in the present, so we truly enjoyed our short trip going with the flow and seeing where the day took us.