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Sunset in Ronda

by Arun Victor

· Spain,Drive

If you find yourself in Setenil de las Bodegas for any reason (and there are many), the city of Ronda is a nearby gem that is not to be missed. And vice versa. As with the rest of this region, Ronda also has a rich history, including its 18th century bullring. While we did not have the time to do proper justice to this mountaintop city, at only 30 minutes from Setenil, and well-positioned en route to our next destination, Gibraltar, Ronda made for the perfect place for an evening stop.

As someone who desires a deeper satisfaction of actually experiencing a place rather than just seeing it, a mere pitstop in Ronda did not really appeal to me at first. But an evening is all we had to spare and am glad we did! At the risk of sounding cliché, the views here were just breathtaking. Combine that with a beautiful sunset, and you have a landscape photographer’s paradise. Here’s a view of the Tajo Canyon from the towering Puente Nuevo bridge, one that my daughter aptly described as ‘gorgeous’. Pun intended.

The Tajo Canyon, seen from the Puente Nuevo bridge

Tajo Canyon

Much like Setenil, Ronda also isn’t too shy about bringing man and nature daringly close. The difference, however, is that while Setenil sets itself apart with its dwellings under a massive rock, Ronda likes to be on top. The results are stunning.

Living on the edge

Drop dead gorgeous

While several restaurants, bars, and residences occupy prime spots on one side of the Puente Nuevo bridge, across the ravine on the other side is the luxurious Parador de Ronda hotel. Its precise location is naturally enviable, in part due to the dramatic 360 degree views it affords.

Hotel Parador de Ronda (right)

Don’t miss the chance to walk down the gorge for an entirely different perspective from below. And when you do, remember to take your time on the path. Pause from time to time along the way for those Instagrammable moments.

Walk down Tajo Canyon

Views along the way

More views along the way

Once you’ve given into your compelling need to post (justifiably so), put away your phone and lose yourself here. Yes, this place exists.

And more

When you finally arrive at the bottom, turn around and face your reward - Puente Nuevo from below, in all her majesty.

Puente Nuevo

If we had more time...

On this trip, Ronda was a relaxed stop at best on our way to Gibraltar for the night. Did we get to experience everything we would have liked to in only a couple of hours? Certainly not. But my glass was indeed half-full and not half-empty, thanks to the freedom that comes with having your own car and schedule. Without that, we would not have not been able to simply get off the highway and delight in this splendor, albeit just for a short time.

So, if we had more time, what else would we have done? One thing for certain would have been going all the way to the bottom of the gorge. The point we went down to was about mid-way. Ronda also has a lot of rich history. A stroll through the old town would have also been in order. If you’re a wine enthusiast (and even if you’re not), Ronda just happens to be wine country, with several wineries and boutique countryside accommodations. All this perhaps the next time we’re in Ronda. But tonight, it was on to Gibraltar.

Leaving Ronda. Next stop - Gibraltar

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