Category Archives: Tourism

Come and visit Ronda and the surrounding areas, or plan your itinerary around the most popular sites, and some of the lesser known things to do. Ronda is much more than the bullring and new bridge (Puente Nuevo). There are also the Arab Baths, the Water Mine, the Mondragon Palace, and outside the city, the Cueva de la Pileta, or the Dolmen structures at Antequera. Further afield are the beaches of the Costa del Sol, Sevilla’s cathedral and palace, or Cordoba and the Mezquita. And of course for discovering the beautiful Sierra de Grazalema have a look at Wildside Holidays – Grazalema

Zahara de la Sierra, Pueblo Blanco in the Grazalema Natural Park

Nestled under the mountain that gives the village its name, Zahara de la Sierra is one of the pueblos blancos of Cadiz province, and is only 30 minutes drive from Ronda, or an hour from Jerez de la Frontera. Completely within the Grazalema Natural Park, and with the district’s largest lake at its base, as well as the beginnings of the Garganta Verde walk just outside the village, Zahara is rightly quite central to experiencing the Sierra de Cadiz.

Arriving in the village you are immediately struck by the sight of the fortress tower sitting on a narrow plateau at the top of the mountain rocks, and the white buildings wrapped around the mountain base which makes Zahara a popular village to photograph from afar with some of the best views being at the southern end of the lake on a clear blue sky day.

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El Bosque Botanical Gardens

Within the Serrania we are lucky enough to have three natural parks, Grazalema, Sierra de las Nieves, and Alcornacales, and at El Bosque, a small botanical garden “El Castillejo” devoted exclusively to the local and endemic plant species of these mountains.

Due to the Serrania being both Mediterranean and European, many of the tree species are common throughout Europe, whilst most of the shrubs are generally Mediterranean. Most of the flowers and grasses are either Mediterranean or endemic to the area. Your stroll will take you through several mini ecosystems, each with their own viewing area to sit and appreciate the surroundings.

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The White Villages (Pueblos Blancos)

If you are staying in Ronda for a few days and have a car then you will want to get out and about to explore more villages in the area. The “Pueblos Blancos” or white villages encompass the north east of Cádiz and north west of Málaga provinces and this area is saturated in history with palaeolithic cave paintings, neolithic dolmens, bronze and copper age remains, Roman roads, Visigoth fountains and Moorish towers. For the most part, these tours take us through towns created during almost 800 years of Muslim settlement. Berber tribes arrived here in around 714, coming from similar mountainous terrain in Morocco. They chose easily defended sites and built watch towers as an early warning system against attack. All of which was needed as this area was a lasting frontier between the Muslim and Christian kingdoms. You can read more and print off the 3 driving white village routes at the Grazalema Tourist Information website.

If you don’t have a car then our very good friends over at Wildside Holidays can arrange a guided tour of some of the famous white villages of the area and can pick you up and drop you back to your hotel at the end of the day. Wildside Holidays also arrange nature orientated walking tours in the nearby Sierra de Grazalema.

La Playita – The Little Beach in the Mountains

Sometimes you just want to go to the beach, but staying near Ronda means a one and a half hour drive to the coast for the closest beach, however, not too far away at Zahara de la Sierra is La Playita at Arroymolinos, a fresh water pool made into a man-made beach.

From June until mid September the little beach is open, and is only a 25 minute drive from Ronda, or 10 minutes from Zahara de la Sierra or Montecorto. Located under Monte Prieto, the views of surrounding mountains make La Playita a truly isolated place, yet just a few minutes from civilization.

Why not reserve a night or two in Beautiful Zahara de la Sierra?

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Pileta Paleolithic Cave Paintings at Benaojan

A few kilometres from Ronda, just outside the white village of Benaojan lies one of the most spectacular cave systems in Spain, and in the mouth of one, several galleries of cave paintings that are as old as 30,000 years, and were created by paleolithic people of Ronda before the last great ice age. Best of all, the caves are open to the public with a local tour guide to explain the significance of the artwork.

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Casa del Gigante

The House of the Giant, otherwise known as the Casa del Gigante in Ronda’s old city is one of the most complete examples of Nasrid architecture outside of Granada and definitely a destination that should be on your list of places to see in Ronda.

Located in a quiet plaza behind the Santa Maria La Mayor church, and directly across from the Museo Peinado, the Casa del Gigante is just 2 minutes walk from the Puente Nuevo and Plaza d’España, and not too far from the Mondragon Palace. A statue of Vincent Espinel is located directly in front of the entrance to the House of the Giant. The palace was already more than 100 years old at the time of the fall of Ronda to Ferdinand’s army in 1485 and apart from some redecorating in the 17th century is still largely complete as a Moorish building. Continue reading Casa del Gigante