If you find yourself in the fortunate situation of being able to spend a week or more in Ronda, you're in for a treat. Set amidst spectacular scenery in Malaga Province, this picturesque town is…
Estepona is an attractive coastal town, with golden, sandy beaches stretching 21 km from east to west. While it’s fast becoming a tourist hot spot, it’s still not quite as popular as Malaga or Marbella – which is all part of its charm. Beaches are spacious, you won’t have to fight for a lounger, and there’s always room at a local chiringuito for a quick cerveza (beer) or a cocktail.
Whether you’re looking for a secluded cove, a beach with watersports, a beach-side daybed or even a nudist beach, Estepona beaches offer something for everyone. And if you fancy a stroll, the beach promenade runs all the way to Marbella.
Playa del Saladillo
Just a 15-minute drive away from Estepona town centre, Playa del Saladillo is the perfect family day out, with a long sandy beach for playing games and building sandcastles, facilities such as toilets and showers, and even a place to hire jet skis. For a bite to eat head to Pepe’s Chiringuito, a local favourite or for something a little more indulgent, try La Antigua, set slightly away from the beach.
Location: Playa de El Saladillo Estepona, 29680
If you’re looking for a more quiet, urban beach – even in summer – Playa Guadalmansa offers just that. A long, thin beach, about a 10-minute drive from central Estepona, with a mixture of sand and a little stone, it’s ideal for long walks or relaxing with a book. Barraka Beach Club is at the east end of the beach, and has day beds, should you wish to be a little closer to refreshments.
Location: Playa de Playabella – Guadalmansa Estepona, 29680
Restaurant tip: Barrakabeach.com
Playa de Guadalmina
If you want to embrace a little local culture on your trip to the beach, visit Playa de Guadalmina, famous for its Roman ruins known as Las Bóvedas, an archaeological site sitting next to the beach from the 3rd century AD, and a defensive watchtower from the 16th century. A popular site, this isn’t the quietest beach but there are plenty of facilities and a few chiringuitos like Senora Beach, or head into the urbanisation behind the beach where you’ll find Restaurant PlayaBella.
Location: Guadalmina Beach Marbella, 29670
Restaurant tip: Restauranteplayabella.com
Playa Arroyo de las Cañas – Playa del Velerín
This 1km beach is one of the quietest to the east of Estepona, as there’s only one chiringuito. Hotels such as Andalucia Beach are at the far end of the beach, so often it’s only hotel guests who you’ll see in this area. Towards the west end, Playa del Velerin, there’s a nice chiringuito (Chiringuito Torre Velerín), with tables on the sand and a few beds, too. There’s also another watchtower, from the 16th if you wanted to take a stroll to the look-out point.
Location: Arroyo las Cañas Beach – Velerin, Estepona, 29680
Playa del Castor
Similar to Playa del Velerín, this is a more secluded, urban beach, with just one place to grab a bite to each or drink – Dominion Beach. There are no water sports and only a few facilities but it’s ideal if you want to escape the crowds for a little while and relax in the sunshine.
Location: Playa del Castor, Estepona, 29680
Playa del Padrón
Playa del Padrón used to be incredibly popular, with its blue flag-rated beach, soft sand, and the shopping centre and cafés of Laguna Beach. Unfortunately, Laguna Beach burnt down in a fire a few years ago, but the council is working to bring it back by the end of 2023. That said, there are still a few beach clubs and several elegant hotels nearby, such as Spíler Beach Club and the Kempinski 5-star hotel, which bring plenty of visitors.
Location: Playa de El Padrón Estepona, 29689
Playa de Punta Plata
In the eastern part of Estepona, Punta de la Plata is a long, narrow beach with a mix of stones and dark sand. Even though there’s a large urbanisation behind the beach, it’s relatively quiet and a great place to watch the many cyclists and runners enjoying the new boardwalk. Plata Beach Restaurante is a lovely place for lunch or dinner, or if you walk a little further, Wild Cafe is a very popular brunch and lunch spot, with lots of healthy and vegan options, too.
Location: Playa de Punta de la Plata Estepona, 29689
Restaurant tip: Wildrestaurante.com
Playa de la Rada
One of Estepona’s busiest beaches, expect fun for the whole family, from watersports to playgrounds, and long, sandy beaches. This iconic beach has many chiringuitos and beach clubs, with plenty of daybeds and atmosphere, too. A few favourites are Palm Beach and El Madero. If you want to get away from the beach, you’re right by the town centre too, which has a brilliant restaurant scene, with places like Restaurant el Pescador offering views of the promenade and incredibly fresh seafood.
Location: Playa de la Rada Estepona, 29689
Playa del Cristo
A small, sandy blue flag-rated cove, to the west of Estepona Port, Playa del Cristo is popular with locals and tourists alike. The waters are warm, it’s slightly protected from the wind, and there’s plenty of parking, too. For a quick bite to eat, visit Lolailo Beach Bar or head to the port, where there are plenty of restaurants to choose from, whether you fancy Spanish, French, Italian or Asian Cuisine. If you walk to the far west of the beach you’ll reach Playa Seghers, which is often quieter and there’s a fun restaurant/bar overlooking the sea called Restaurante Ancla Sea Bridge.
Location: Playa de El Cristo Estepona, 29680
Playa de Guadalobón
Another narrow, dark sand/stoney beach, Playa de Guadalobón stretches out west, and is the back garden to many of the guests who live in the apartments closeby. Quite out of the way, it never gets too busy, although you’ll have to walk to another beach for refreshments.
Location: Arroyo Vaquero Beach, Guadalobón Estepona, 29680
Playa de Costa Natura
One of the first naturist beaches on the Costa del Sol, and the only one in Estepona, Playa de Costa Natura is a small, private nudist beach. You can wear clothes if you like but be aware that many people don’t. It’s a very relaxed atmosphere, and certainly an experience.
Location: Carretera de Cádiz Km 151, 29680 Estepona
Playa de Arroyo Vaquero
This wide stretch of sand, located just in front of the Vaquero stream, is bathed by rocky waters that are popular for snorkelling and scuba diving. The beach itself is a little rocky but there are watersports available, as well as the popular Nido Estepona beach club, where you can grab a bed by the pool, overlooking the sea.
Location: Playa de Arroyo Vaquero, 29680 Estepona
Restaurant tip: Nidoplayaestepona.com
Playa Bahía Dorada
The quiet Bahía Dorada Beach is a tranquil spot, loved by locals and tourists who want to escape the busier beaches. The rocky seabed is great for snorkelling and there’s enough sand you can find a comfortable spot to relax, too. Again, you’ll need to bring some snacks along with you as there aren’t any chiringuitos around, although there are a few hotels.
Location: Playa Bahía Dorada, 29680 Estepona
Playa de la Galera
Although Estepona’s westernmost beaches, it’s still very popular with tourists and locals who want a little more seclusion – there’s also a lot of space if you have children who want to run around. While mostly sandy, the beach is peppered with a few rocks, but if you walk along a bit, you’ll find a soft spot to set up camp. As before, a packed lunch is required as there aren’t any bars and cafes, with just apartments and a few hotels behind the beach.
Location: Playa de La Galera Estepona, 29693
Estepona is a coastal town full of character and history, with flower-lined streets and a beautiful old town, which you can wander around in for hours. Check out our guides to Estepona restaurants and top things to do in Estepona.
Array (  => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 244982 [post_author] => 4 [post_date] => 2023-11-30 13:47:18 [post_date_gmt] => 2023-11-30 13:47:18 [post_content] => If you find yourself in the fortunate situation of being able to spend a week or more in Ronda, you're in for a treat. Set amidst spectacular scenery in Malaga Province, this picturesque town is known for its iconic eighteenth bridge, which arches over the plummeting El Tajo gorge beneath, and offers fabulous restaurants and wealth of historical sites. Discover why Ronda is Andalucia's third most-visited destination with our ultimate guide to Malaga's most scenic town, with a full list of the best things to do in Ronda. Ready? Grab your sunglasses and let’s go exploring.
The 3 top must-sees in Ronda
1. El Tajo de RondaNo trip to Ronda would be complete without witnessing the captivating beauty of El Tajo, the gorge that divides the city into two parts: the ancient Moorish Old Town and the modern new town. The canyon and its surrounding valleys are best viewed from the Puente Nuevo, or New Bridge, a masterpiece of Romanesque architecture that spans the Guadalevir river. El Tajo de Ronda is not only a natural wonder, but also a cultural and literary treasure, providing the inspiration for Earnest Hemingway’s novel ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls’. Top tip: Stay at our beautiful pedigree townhouse Casa Amaia and enjoy your own private views of El Tajo gorge. 2. The Old City If you want to discover the true essence of Ronda, then the Old City is a must. Known as La Ciudad, this part of the town extends South of the famous Puente Nuevo Bridge. Featuring cobbled streets, charming squares and examples of Moorish architecture, this area is perfect for a morning of aimless wandering taking in the sites. Top tip: To get the best out of your visit to the Old City, visit early in the morning or later in the evening when the streets are quieter away from day-trippers, and the temperature is a little cooler.
3. Plaza de Toros (& royal cavalry of Ronda)Completed in 1785, Ronda’s bullring was declared a National Heritate Site in 1993. Known locally as the Real Maestranza de Caballería, its the oldest and one of the most attractive in Spain. This unique bullring offers a fascinating glimpse into Spain's (often controversial) heritage of bullfighting and equestrian arts. Nowadays, the Plaza de Toros is mostly a museum and cultural centre, and it continues to house the Royal Riding School teaching professional dressage. It is used only for its original purpose during the spectacular September Goyesca bullfights and annual festival, in which the townsfolk dress in the manner of Goya's portraits of 18th century life in Spain. Where is Plaza de Toros? C. Virgen de la Paz, 15, 29400 Ronda. When to visit? 10:00 – 18:00 November to February, 10:00 – 19:00 March to October. Partially closed early September for the Goyesca festival Website: Royal Cavalry and Bullring of Ronda
- Castillo del Laurel: Explore the historic Castillo del Laurel, a captivating fortress with a fascinating past.
- Puerta de Almocabar: Step through Puerta de Almocabar, a medieval gateway to Ronda's enchanting Old Town.
- Murallas del Carmen: Discover the ancient city walls, Murallas del Carmen, that once protected Ronda.
- Fuente de los Ocho Caños: Charming eight-spout 18th century fountain.
- Plaza España: Revel in the lively ambiance of Plaza España, a bustling square at the heart of Ronda.
- Plaza del Socorro: Enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of Plaza del Socorro, a central square surrounded by cafes and shops.
- Plaza Duquesa de Parcent: Experience the elegance of Plaza Duquesa de Parcent, a picturesque square renowned for its tranquil atmosphere.
- Talleres de Granados Somera: Explore the artisan workshops at Talleres de Granados Somera.
- Ernest Hemingway Sculpture/Orson Welles Sculpture/Hemingway/Welles Tour: Tap into Ronda's literary history with sculptures and tours dedicated to Hemingway and Orson Welles.
- LA Organic: Savour exquisite organic products at LA Organic, a boutique offering a taste of Andalusian luxury.
The 4 best viewpoints in Ronda
Mirador Puente Nuevo de Ronda New BridgeFor a truly unforgettable experience, take a short walk down a steep but well paved path from Plaza de Maria to a viewpoint approximately halfway down the gorge, where you will be treated to incredible views of the New Bridge. Consider visiting with a local guide who’ll not only provide some fascinating insights but also have transport waiting at the bottom to whisk you back to the town, sparing you the tiring hike back. Where is Puento Nuevo? C. Tenorio, 20, 29400 Ronda, Málaga
Alameda del TajoLocated next to the bullring, this 19th century park culminates in a sheer drop (don’t worry, there are railings!). From here you can enjoy expansive westward views of the neighbouring Grazalema Natural Park, the highest peaks of which are often snow-capped in winter. For an extra special visual treat, visit in Autumn when the park comes alive with a rich tapestry of colours. Where is Alameda del Tajo? P.º Blas Infante, 1, 29400 Ronda, Málaga
PUENTE VIEJOOne of the two original - and much lower - crossings that Puente Nuevo was designed to replace, Ronda’s “Old Bridge” dates from the early seventeenth century and offers views of the canyon and the rolling farmland south of town. Where is Puente Viejo? C. Real, 2, 29400 Ronda, Málaga
JARDINES DE CUENCANamed after Cuenca, a hilltop town halfway between Madrid and Valencia with which Ronda is twinned, these gardens consist of a series of terraces pinned to the edge of the gorge. Follow them all the way down - lingering in the colourful rose garden on the way - and you’ll end up on Puente Viejo. Where are Jardines de Cuenca? C. Escolleras, 1, 29400 Ronda, Málaga
some other incredible views in Ronda
- Paseo de los Ingleses
- Mirador de Aldehuela
- Calle La Bola
- Mirador de Ronda
must-visit Ronda Museums
1. Palacio de MondragónA firm favourite with The Luxury Villa Collection team, the Palacio de Mondragón is is one of Ronda’s finest remaining instances of Arabic architecture and dates back to the 14th century. Key features include tranquil inner courtyards, intricate tile mosaics and cliffside gardens. There’s also a museum housing Roman and Moorish relics. Where is Palacio de Mondragón? Plaza Mondragón, s/n, 29400 Ronda Opening times: Monday to Friday 10:00 - 13:45 and 15:00 – 18:00, Saturday and Sunday 10:00 -15:00. Website: Palacio de Mondragón
2. Arab Baths Archaeological SiteTucked away in the old Jewish quarter, Ronda’s Arab baths date back to the 13th and 15th centuries and are considered the best preserved in Spain. The Arab Baths served both a practical and spiritual purpose for the Moors, and although buried by floods over time, the three rooms with star-shaped skylights have been meticulously restored to their original splendour. Where are the Arab Baths? C/ Molino de Alarcón, Ronda, 29400 Opening times: Tuesday to Friday 09:30 – 19:00, Saturday 10:00 – 14:00 and 15:00 – 18:00, Sunday 10:00 – 15:00, Monday 10:00 – 14:00 and 15:00 – 18:00. Website: Ronda’s Arab baths
3. La Casa del Rey MoroAnother favourite of ours is the enchanting Casa del Rey Moro, an incredible 18th century palace with Moorish-style gardens. Its pièce de résistance is the 14th century 'water mine' ingeniously carved into the solid rock. Descend 300 winding steps through intriguing caverns and emerge by the babbling river at the foot of the gorge. Make sure you take water, though, as there’s only one way back up! Where is La Casa del Rey Moro? C. Cta. de Santo Domingo, 9, 29400 Ronda Opening times: 10:00 – 21:30 May to September, 10:00 – 20:00 October to April. Website: Casa del Rey Moro
4. Reservatauro RondaOwned and run by local bullfighter Rafael Tejada, this vast bull- and horse-breeding ranch is situated a ten-minute drive outside the town. Guided 4X4 tours take visitors through the countryside, enabling glimpses of the magnificent fighting bull in its natural habitat. You can even round off a visit with lunch and a wine tasting. Where is Reservatauro Ronda? Carr. Ronda Campillos, km 34, 29400, Málaga Opening times: Open every day 10.00 – 18.00 Website: Reservatauro Ronda
Other Ronda museums to explore
- Centro de interpretacion del puento nuevo
- Palacio de Salvatierra
- Casa del Gigante
- Museo de Carruaje de Ronda
- Museo Lara
- Casa Museo Don Bosco
3 best places to eat in RondaWhichever restaurant you choose in Ronda, we can say with confidence that you’re unlikely to be disappointed! However, we've picked out 3 of the best restaurants in Ronda:
1. BardalIn this incredible Michelin-starred restaurant, Chef Benito Gómez crafts creative dishes inspired by local traditions. Two tasting menus, with 16 or 19 courses, offer wine pairings and a tempting trolley of Andalusian cheeses before a sumptuous dessert. Where is Bardal? C. José Aparicio, 1, 29400 Ronda Website: Restaurantebardal.com
2. TragataBoasting an eclectic decor with mismatched seating and quirky lighting, Tragata’s menu seamlessly blends Asian, Moroccan and Spanish flavours, offering imaginative twists on traditional dishes. With its lively ambience and modern vibe, this is a real favourite of ours. Where is Tragata? Calle Nueva, 4, 29400 Ronda; Telephone: +34 952 87 72 09; Website: Tragata.com
3. Restaurante AzaharLocated in Hotel Catalonia Reina Victoria, this top fine-dining spot with stunning views across the mountains and gorge offers exquisite, high quality dishes presented in a fresh and innovative style Where is Restaurant Azahar? Calle Jerez 25, Ronda 29400 Website: ebocarestaurants.com/en/restaurants/azahar/ For more top tips on where to eat in Ronda, take a look at our Guide to Ronda’s best restaurants and tapas bars.
Churches in RondaRonda’s churches stand as magnificent symbols of the town’s diverse history and spiritual legacy. Here is a selection of some of the finest:
- Iglesia de Santa Maria la Mayor: a majestic mosque turned catholic church showcasing stunning Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance architecture.
- Nuestra Señora del Socorro: a charming 20th century parish church located on one of Ronda’s beautiful plazas. The current structure was built in the 1950s to replace the original 18th century church, which was destroyed during the Spanish Civil War.
- Iglesia de Padre Jesús: 17th century catholic church renowned for its baroque style architectural beauty. Notable features include a Gothic arched entrance, Renaissance-style bell tower and an ornate image of Jesus which is paraded through the town every year on Holy Thursday.
- Minaret of San Sebastian: a historical monument with Moorish origins, offering a glimpse into Ronda's diverse heritage.. Once attached to one of Moorish Ronda’s several mosques, this small tower was later converted into a bell tower for the San Sebastian church, which was destroyed in the 1600s
best places to visit near RONDAIt’s not just the town of Ronda itself which is worthy of a visit. The surrounding countryside is jam-packed with areas of outstanding natural beauty and sites of historic interest. See below for our pick of the best:
Parque Nacional Sierra de las NievesOnly a 15-minute outside Ronda, this natural park is home to Andalusia’s most elaborate system of underground caves, along with 2,000-metre-high mountains and sulphurous water baths. Fauna includes 120 species of bird and the largest spider on Continental Europe
Parque Natural Sierra de GrazalemaOn the other side of Ronda from Las Nieves is another natural park, home to a scattering of white villages – or Pubelos Blancos – dotted amongst the oak forests and mountains. Atlantic storms make this the rainiest spot on the Iberian Peninsula.
Cueva del GatoFound near the village of Benaoján in the Grazalema Natural Park, this is the southern entrance to a network of underground chambers, lakes and caves. Its clear, cool waters make for a perfect summer swimming spot. Where is Cueva del Gato? MA-7401 Km 3 Carretera de, 29370 Benaoján, Málaga
Cueva de la PiletaSituated just south of the Cueva del Gato, this cave was discovered in 1905 by a local resident. Visit the interior to see Neolithic remains and Palaeolithic wall art representing animals such as horses, fish, goats, bulls and bison. Where is Cueva de la Pileta? Cueva de la Pileta Parking, 29370 Benaoján, Málaga
The Ruins of AcinipoSituated a half-hour drive north of Ronda, the ruins of the Roman town of Acinipo feature one of the best-preserved amiptheatres in Andalusia: you can still a section of tiered seating, the orchestra pit and actors’ changing rooms. Where are the Ruins of Acipino? MA-8406, s/n, 29400 Ronda, Málaga
13 unforgettable experiences in rondaWe know many of our guests love to dig deeper into the culture, history and nature of our Spanish destinations. That’s why we've curated some exclusive, unforgettable activities designed to make your stay in Ronda truly memorable. Here are 13 of the most amazing experiences we can organise for your private group:
- Access to the main events of the Ronda Romántica (May) and the Corrida Goyesca (August-September) de Ronda, or a private guide to show you around.
- Private tours following the footsteps of Hemingway and Orson Welles in Ronda and around the pueblos blancos (whitewashed villages of the Serrania de Ronda).
- Closed tour of the Real Maestranza (bullring) and private access to other places of interest around Ronda.
- Romantic private dining at a selection of local beauty spots.
- Advance reservations at the Michelin-starred Bardal and Tragata or have a local Michelin-grade chef cook up a feast for you and your guests in the comfort and privacy of your luxury villa.
- Spectacular horse riding trails through the woodland of the Serranía de Ronda.
- Bookings at Ascari race course for the ultimate VIP Ascari experience - perfect for motorsport enthusiasts.
- Meditation in the Cueva de Pileta – open-eyed meditation sessions that take place in complete darkness.
- Visits to the makers of international award-winning goats cheese, ‘Queso Payoyo’ produced in Ronda
- Private wine tastings in some of the area’s finest boutique wineries followed by a gourmet lunch with the winemakers themselves
- Tasting of Jamon de Castañas – fine cured ham made from very rare breed, chestnut-fed pigs.
- Workshops with local artisans including seagrass weaving or ceramics.
- Outdoor sports around Montejaque, Benaoján and Grazalema, such as hiking, cycling, mountain climbing, river walking and wild swimming.