Ronda, Local Weather, White Villages and Natural Parks
Hike + Bike are based in the historic town of Ronda in the heart of the Andalucian mountains. All around the town is an unspoilt landscape of mountain sierras filled with diverse flora and wildlife, thick forests of cork oak and expanses of native Spanish fir. In the white villages and isolated farms which are scattered throughout the area, rural spanish life continues much as it has done for centuries. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a holiday in the great outdoors - you can choose to be adventurous with challenging activities or simply enjoy the relaxing pace of Andalucian life.
Ronda is the town which lies at the heart of the mountainous region known as the Serrania de Ronda. The town sits on top of a dramatic gorge which divides the oldest part of the city from the new. It retains architecture from its Roman, Arabic, Jewish and Christian past. The spectacular New Bridge (“Puente Nuevo”) which spans the gorge is the major sight of the city, although its name is a slight misnomer, as it is hardly "new" any more.....building commenced in 1751 and took until 1793 to complete!
The bullring (“Plaza de toros”) is the oldest functioning one in Spain and there are many museums, churches and beautiful old buildings to visit. Take a walk along the city wall or through the tiny streets and alleys which wind their way through the town, leading you to spectacular viewing points overlooking the gorge and valley, to open plazas or simply to a hidden bar or restaurant. Festivals and celebrations take place throughout the year, the highlights being the September Feria, with a Bullfighters’ Parade and lively street-life or May's Ronda Romantica, which celebrates the region's romantic era of bandits, gypsies and senoritas.
The town has an excellent selection of bars, restaurants and cafes, so you will never be short of places to eat, drink or simply watch the world go by over leisurely tapas and a beer. During the summer months, much of life takes place outdoors and there is always something to see and do.
Read more about things to see in Ronda here.
Local Climate & Weather
300+ days of sunshine a year
The weather conditions in Andalucia and the Serrania de Ronda are extremely good, as it has the most yearly hours of sunshine in all of Europe.See local and (fairly) accurate and reliable 14 day weather forecast.
The best cycling and walking weather is in spring, from March to June and again in autumn, from September to November. You can be active outdoors pretty much throughout the day at this time. At the beginning of the spring and end of autumn, the area’s mountain altitude can cause some chilly early morning weather, so you need a long-sleeved top and wind-proof jacket, but it soon warms up. We came to Ronda for the first time in March and the fabulous weather hooked us for good! The wild flowers in Spring also make this a fabulous time to visit this area.
If you are planning to cycle or walk in the hottest months of July and August, you need to start off early (though we recognise you are on holiday, so not TOO early!) and finish by around 2pm. Morning conditions are usually ideal for walking/cycling - there’s often a light morning breeze and the sun is just above the southern mountain ranges, which provides a lot of shade. With an early finish, a post-ride dip in the pool provides welcome refreshment before you settle down in the shade as the heat picks up through the afternoon. Even after 5pm temperatures remain amazingly hot and you will appreciate the benefit of a swimming pool at that time.
In the high summer there is often a cooler mountain breeze in the evening which refreshes the air, so you can sit for hours and relax. It stays warm and light till very late, so you still have plenty of time to enjoy the beautiful mountain views or watch the nightlife pick up in Ronda's town centre.
The winter, from December to February, can often be ideal for biking on the roads or tracks, with sunshine, beautiful clear skies and usually very little wind. There may be a chill in the air, so long-sleeves and a wind/waterproof jacket are recommended especially for the long downhills. Be prepared for cold evenings and night times. The weather can be changeable and you may experience the odd day of rain but it is unusual for the rain or grey skies to persist for too long.
Altogether, you will enjoy the best weather and riding conditions in Europe throughout the year.
Average Temperature per month ˚C Average days of rain per month
Andalucia is the most southerly of Spain’s “autonomous communities” and justly famous for its mountain ranges, scenery, culture, history and beaches, spread along 500 miles of coast. It boasts several famous and beautiful cities, all within easy reach of Hike + Bike's base in Ronda: Seville, the home of flamenco, Jerez, famous for sherry production, Granada, with its moorish past and Alhambra Palace and even Malaga, which has a lot more to offer than just the airport gateway to the Costa del Sol.
The landscape varies enormously throughout the region but much of the inland area, away from the coast, remains unspoilt and offer vast expanses of open countryside, acres of olive groves and small, isolated mountain communities.
Andalucia is famous for its white villages or "pueblos blancos". With a population of 36,000 Ronda itself is still classed as a pueblo blanco, though many of the smaller villages have less than 500 inhabitants. The villages are dotted throughout the mountains, visible for miles around and providing a landmark to head for when walking, riding or hiking. Many of these villages were founded by Berber tribes who settled in the area during the eight centuries of Moorish presence, when the constant threat of attack led them to chose sites which were high up in the mountains and easy to defend. For the modern age, the main benefit of these locations is truly wonderful views and the fact that few concessions have been made to ‘mainstream' tourism. These are villages that seem to demand that you slow down a pace or two.
The Andalucian Sierras and Natural Parks
Sierra de Grazalema was the first area in Andalucia to be declared a protected Natural Park and lies directly to the west of Ronda. It is filled with spectacular limestone cliffs and jagged peaks, gorges, chasms, faults and caves, underground rivers and deep canyons. The flora is enormously diverse, with thick forests of cork oak and Spanish fir (pinsapo). The forests are the habitat of mountain goat, red deer and wild boar. The area is dotted with charming white andalucian villages, including Grazalema, Zahara de la Sierra and Villaluenga de Roasario.
Sierra de las Nieves This is the mountain range and natural park which lies to the east of Ronda and stretches right down to the Costa del Sol. It is rocky and mountainous and has been largely impossible to cultivate, so it remains as it was in the 19th century, quiet and unspoilt with just a few driveable tracks and very little human habitation. As its name suggests, its peaks can be snow covered in winter. Walking here is fairly challenging because of the abrupt changes of height and the park includes the high peak of Mount Torrecilla, a worthwhile climb up to 1,919m, with fantastic views from the top.