There’s no question Ronda’s famous bridge – el Puente Nuevo – is the reason most people head to this gorgeous Andalusian town in southern Spain.
It is, after all, one of the region’s icons and an absolutely splendid feat of architecture set in stunning surrounds.
I’m very glad to confirm it was certainly one of my Andalusian highlights and this post is here to help you discover and enjoy it too!
Because I’ll let you in on a couple of secrets – firstly most people only day trip to Ronda meaning they miss out on a lot this little town, and gorgeous bridge, has to offer.
And secondly, most people only view the bridge from above i.e. they only head into the centre of Ronda to stand on the bridge and snap the views from there.
But really, those in the know understand that the best views of the bridge actually come from hiking around it!
This post will explain all about how to visit Ronda’s famous bridge, as well as how to get the best views and snaps, including details of the top hike to enjoy!
I’ll also discuss how to get to Ronda and the bridge, when to visit, as well as where to stay and eat in this top Andalusian town.
So let’s dive in with my full travel guide to visiting Ronda in Spain and its amazing el Puente Nuevo bridge.
- How to Get to Ronda from Seville, Malaga and Granada
- Ultimate Andalusia Road Trip Itinerary
- Top 19 Things to Do in Seville
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Why Visit Ronda?
Well, why wouldn’t you visit Ronda to be honest?!
But if you’re looking for a more specific reason (and I can’t blame you!), then I have to start by saying Ronda is a very pretty historic town set in gorgeous surrounds.
Situated down in Andalusia in the south of Spain, Ronda lies to the west of this province, in between the 2 national parks of Sierra de Grazalema and the Sierra de las Nieves, as well as between the cities of Seville and Malaga.
This means no matter whether you want to road trip the countryside around – including to the nearby Sierra – or want to go out hiking in some of Andalusia’s’ most striking scenery, Ronda makes for the perfect base.
If you’re tired of busier, bigger cities in the region too, such as Granada, Malaga or Seville, then Ronda also makes for a more peaceful stay.
This is due to its smaller size and the fact that, even though it is a popular spot, there are fewer tourists in Ronda (many of the ones that are there will be Spanish) and it’s a more relaxed Andalusian spot.
Ronda is also a great spot if you want to enjoy some typical food and drink from this region, as well as view one of the most picturesque bridges in the country!
Because yeah… there’s a really famous bridge in Ronda if you hadn’t already realised!
Ronda Bridge Facts
Known as el Puente Nuevo, which translates as “the new bridge”, Ronda’s most famous structure is actually over 250 years old.
Completed in 1793, after 24 years of construction, it’s called the New Bridge because it is actually the youngest of 3 bridges that span the 120m deep gorge that divides the town of Ronda.
The gorge is called El Tajo.
The chamber you can see in the top of the bridge’s central arch was once a prison (allegedly prisoners were tortured here and then hurled into the gorge below – eek!), but now it contains an exhibition of the bridge’s history.
There was also a bridge here before el Puente Nuevo but, unfortunately, it only lasted 6 years before collapsing and tragically killing 50 people.
Thankfully the current bridge appears to have stood the test of time and offers amazing views across the valley beyond Ronda in both directions.
How to Get to Ronda & El Puente Nuevo?
The closest international airports to Ronda are in the nearby cities of Seville and Malaga.
Seville is the capital of Andalusia and Malaga is a popular tourism destination meaning both are common transport hubs.
If you’re arriving from outside Spain into Andalusia, these 2 cities are likely to be your points of entry to the country.
As always, I use Skyscanner to get the best deals on flights.
If you’re travelling from elsewhere in Spain, or from nearby countries such as Portugal and France, it’s likely you’ll arrive into Seville if you’re using buses or trains.
The large coach and rail stations of this city, plus the fact it’s the regional capital, means there’s regular overland connections from Seville to many other national and international destinations including Lisbon, Faro, Madrid and Barcelona.
To book both rail and bus travel across Europe, including between countries or within Spain, I always use Trainline.
I like how they make everything easy, with price and journey comparisons across buses and trains in English, as well as a simple and secure booking system in multiple currencies and a great e-Ticket system.
And from either Seville or Malaga, you can then get a rental car, bus, train or private transfer to Ronda.
Learn about how to make any of these journeys – as well as easy booking options for each of them – in this handy article I wrote.
Otherwise, you can also take a day trip to Ronda from Seville or from Costa Del Sol destinations such as Malaga or Marbella.
Check out these top options:
Once in the town of Ronda, it’s very easy to walk to the bridge.
Clearly visible on Google maps, just about every tourist will be heading there too, so just follow the crowds into the centre and you’ll soon see it!
How to Visit Ronda’s Bridge
The most popular spot to enjoy the bridge from is actually on top of it.
This is the option most tourists go for.
From here you can enjoy stunning views across the surrounding landscape and appreciate the dramatic clifftop position Ronda occupies.
There’s also a handy viewing platform here you can use to get a view of the other 2 bridges that span the gorge and would have connected the 2 sides of Ronda before el Puente Nuevo was constructed.
Because it’s in the heart of the town centre, as you walk to and from the bridge, you’ll also get the chance to explore more of Ronda (including both the Old and New Towns) which is why it’s easy to cover a lot of ground in just a short visit here.
In the Old Town, don’t miss the Arab Baths, the Mondragon Palace and the Jardines de Cuenca.
You can also wander through these gardens to explore el Puente Viejo – Ronda’s old bridge.
The other side of the gorge is largely dominated by Ronda’s New Town.
You might want to check out the bullring here – if that’s your thing!
Although it’s still pretty old, with some lovely architecture, the New Town is (unsurprisingly) a more modern side in general.
That said, it still has some cute squares (or plazas) where you can enjoy a caña – the late afternoon small beer the Spaniards love – as well as some great local tapas joints.
Recommended here are Bodega San Francisco – an absolute local hit, where people queue out the door and Plaza Del Socorro, which is a lovely square for a drink with a view of the unique church.
If you’d like to take a tour of Ronda with a guide, then check out this top rated option.
Hiking Around the Ronda Bridge
However, if you want the best views (and snaps) of Ronda’s iconic bridge, it really is best to do a hike in the valley below, so that you get to enjoy the views looking up at the bridge and town from below.
This is also a great way to appreciate the impressive cliff structure Ronda sits on – just how steep and tall it is.
The impression really is pretty dramatic!
There are several hikes you can enjoy around Ronda – many of which you can view free on the AllTrails app – but I decided to opt for the Molinos del Tajo.
This turned out to be an excellent option, as it really gave incredible views of the bridge from all different angles as well as the chance to have a good leg stretch and to take in the magnificence of the landscape around Ronda too.
Starting at Plaza Pruna – which has an amazing lookout (always a good omen at the beginning!) – this is a 2 hour fairly strong, circular hike, which is steep in parts.
You can also detour by walking up into the gorge below the bridge, as well as to some popular lookouts for some great snaps.
Eventually, you’ll finish by walking up into the Old Town of Ronda and then onto the bridge.
This means you really do get to see this incredible bridge from all sides, as well as finish in Ronda, where you can then sightsee across the rest of this town, as well as enjoy some delicious tapas and a drink!
When to Visit Ronda?
In my opinion, the best time to visit Ronda is during the shoulder seasons of April through June or September and October.
July and August are simply too hot in Andalusia (especially inland) – think high 30, or even 40 degrees – but the months either side of the high summer are ideal.
Lower temperatures at this time, combined with blue skies and clear weather, make hiking and getting outdoors in and around Ronda ideal.
For me, the landscapes and scenery in Ronda are the best aspects, so you certainly want to choose months to visit in which is possible to enjoy these aspects.
How to Get Around Ronda?
The centre of Ronda is really small, which means you can easily navigate it on 2 feet.
In fact, this is definitely the preferred option as much of the centre of the town is pedestrianised.
If you’re wandering further afield, such as to the national parks around or perhaps to some of the Pueblos Blancas (the pretty historic white villages dotted in the countryside near here), then you’ll probably want to rent a vehicle.
Although Ronda has some rental options, you’ll likely find the cheapest options in some of the larger cities around such as Malaga or Seville.
How Long to Spend There?
One day is really enough time to explore the centre of Ronda and to hike around the famous bridge.
However, I’d really recommend at least a couple of days in Ronda if you want to explore some of the surrounding countryside too, especially Las Pueblos Blancas, which are stunning.
During my time in Ronda, this is what we spent our second day doing, as well as hiking out in the Sierra de Grazalema and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Then of course, you might just also want to chill out and laze around by a pool if your accommodation has one!
I definitely know I enjoyed doing this – the view we had was an added bonus!
Where to Stay in Ronda?
When it comes to budget accommodation in Ronda, you’ll be hard-pressed to do better than the Hotel Andalucia Ronda.
Clean, comfortable, with great, helpful staff and only a 1 minute to the centre, there’s even free parking right nearby.
If you’d rather stay somewhere with a kitchen and self-catering options, then Apartamento Calle Nueva is hard to beat.
A 2-bed place offering incredible value for money, it gets top reviews thanks to its excellent location, spacious nature, great hosts and excellent homely comforts.
Packing Essentials for Ronda
- A sand-free beach towel
- UV sunglasses
- Good trail shoes for walking
- Bamboo activewear(hypoallergenic, temperature-regulating)
- Natural 30 SPF sunscreen
- A good insect repellent
- Thin waterproof jacket
- A Sarong
- Sony A6000 camera and / or GoPro Hero 9
Travel Insurance for Spain
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Where to Head After Ronda?
Gibraltar is another option, as are the historic spots of Cadiz and Jerez de la Frontera.
And who can forget Córdoba – the former Islamic capital in this part of Spain – it’s a must!
PIN IT TO PINTEREST!
So there you have it, my complete guide to visiting Ronda and seeing its famous bridge.
And tell me, have you visited this cute Andalusian town?
How did you get there?
Tell me all in the comments box below….