'Ronda Sights' Cycling & Walking Tour
Join us on a unique Ronda experience, a walking and cycling tour which explores the town’s historic sights and the countryside which surrounds it. Professional, local guides share their knowledge, insight and love of Ronda.
Tours available in English or Spanish. Easy cycling route on hybrid bikes or e-bikes. Full Tour takes 3-4 hours.
Ronda’s Unique Clifftop Location & Long History
Ronda occupies a unique and ideal location – whether we are considering its long, historic past and its highly defendable, naturally protected clifftop position or our present-day love of character, authenticity, fresh air and rich countryside. Unlike so many beautiful towns in Spain which are marred by sprawling suburbs or by intrusive motorways encroaching close to the city centre, Ronda sits in the heart of the countryside, with quiet lanes and beautiful scenery on the doorstep of the town.
However, this seemingly ideal location has not been without its issues over the many centuries of Ronda’s habitation. From the earliest days, long, hot summers, generous winter rainfall and natural, underground water stores encouraged the natural gathering of wild animals and, later, enabled the cultivation of crops and livestock. The development of the town on the rocks above the river Guadalevín meant that it was naturally protected from invasion but, whilst the river ran directly past the town at the bottom of the cliffs and rainwater filled the nearby streams and underground stores, getting sufficient water up to the townsfolk was not a straightforward exercise. The town was high, the water was down low – how to transport water uphill?
Expansion beyond the immediate developed area of the old town or ‘casco antiguo’ on the main clifftop was also a challenge. This required the construction of multiple bridges to link the old town with the new developments to the north, including not least the major engineering challenge of spanning the 120metre deep river gorge right through the centre.
The history of Ronda and its development over the centuries makes for a fascinating story. On our Ronda Sights tour, we begin by taking our bikes on an easy ride through the surrounding landscape and then walk around the heart of the town, learning about the unique relationship that exists between town and countryside.
Cycle Tour through Ronda’s Fertile Countryside
On our bikes, within minutes of leaving the main plazas and key tourist locations, we are out in the countryside. We pass historic landmarks which relate to the provision of water to the town’s inhabitants – an aqueduct, water trough, an eight-spout fountain and the Arab Baths.
We pass agricultural land which has provided produce for the town right up to the present day – olive and walnut groves, vines and holm oak forest, rich in acorns which are used to feed the best Iberian pigs.
We ride across ancient bridges, down cobbled streets and past sections of city wall.
We re-enter the town via the the Almocábar Gate, riding up to the Plaza Duquesa de Parcent, the most important plaza in the old town. Here you leave your bikes and meet our Official Ronda Tour Guide, a native of the town, who will take you on a fascinating walking tour.
Walking Tour around Ronda’s Historic Town
On the plaza we find Ronda’s impressive Town Hall or ‘Ayuntamiento’ and learn about the role of religion, churches and convents in the town’s development. We hear of the swashbuckling acts of Ronda’s bandits and cultural heroes who gave the town its romantic reputation.
We wander through the narrow streets of the old town, past grand houses and the Mondragón Palace. We walk through the remains of the old market area and across the main Puente Nuevo bridge into the new town.
From various viewpoints on the town's perimeter we enjoy superb vistas of the countryside and learn about the famous names of the modern world who made Ronda their home and spread the word about its unique charms. We finish our tour at the bullring, one of the most iconic buildings of the town, where you say goodbye to our guide.
Now you understand why Ronda is called the ‘City of Dreams’.
For bookings, email email@example.com or call us:
English - 0034 638 873 279
Español - 0034 624 232 812
Heather Cooper, Hike + Bike 10/6/2021