For an unforgettable holiday experience, take an excursion from Club La Costa World to Ronda, one of Andalucía’s oldest and most beautiful cities…
Excursions are available entirely by coach or by coach and modern train, traversing a single track line built over 100 years ago which passes through spectacular scenery and with Victorian stations along the way, as it connects Algeciras on the coast with mountain-surrounded Ronda at 750m above sea level.
Ronda has been inhabited by Romans, Visigoths and Arabs. Its period of Islamic rule came to an end in 1485 when it was conquered by the Marquis of Cadiz; much of the city’s architecture was then adapted for Christian purposes, or rebuilt in new areas of the town.
Running through the city is the Guadalevin River, which divides Ronda in two, and forms the famous 100m deep gorge known as El Tajo. This canyon separates Ronda’s old and new towns.
Crossing the gorge, and considered to be some of Ronda’s most impressive sights, are the three bridges: Puente Romano (Roman); Viejo (Old); and Nuevo (New) – the last being completed in 1793, and standing 120 metres above the ground.
The bullring at Ronda is the oldest in Spain, and was built in 1784 by José Martin de Aldehuela, the same architect responsible for the Puente Nuevo. Once a year, the unique and historical ‘Corrida Goyesca’ bullfight takes place here. Fashion designer Giorgio Armani declared that his design of the bullfighting costume ‘Goyesco’ was created with this event in mind.
Arab Baths (Baños Árabes) still remain below the city, dating back to the 13th and 14th centuries.
Ronda’s charm and beauty is recorded in many places across world literature, including works by Ernest Hemingway and Orson Welles, both of whom spent many months in the old part of the town known as La Ciudad. Ronda was the inspiration for Hemingway’s ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls’, a fictional account of the murder of Nationalist sympathisers by Republicans in the Spanish Civil War. The ashes of Orson Welles, who avowed that Spain and Ronda inspired much of his work, were scattered in a Ronda bullring.
The train trip to Ronda (returning by coach) operates on Mondays and the bus only trip on Thursdays – this excursion includes a visit to the Wine Cellar and Museum ‘La Sangre de Ronda’, housed in a building in use 1000 years ago, with tapas and free wine tasting. Alternatively, bus passengers may choose to go on to ‘Reservatauro’, 15 minutes’ drive from the town at Finca Dehesa de Don Bosco, for an insight into the rearing of fighting bulls and the breeding of pure Andalusian horses.