Ronda retains much of its historic charm, particularly it's old town. It is famous worldwide for its dramatic escarpments and views, and for the deep El Tajo gorge that carries the rio Guadalevin through its centre. Visitors go straight for the 18th century Puente Nuevo 'new' bridge, which straddles the 100m chasm below, for its suburb views over to the Serranía de Ronda mountains. A view of this bridge should not be missed, not so much for it's beauty, but for it's position and height.
Ronda is also famous as (arguably) the birthplace of modern bullfighting and as having the oldest bullring, but today, it is only used on just one occasion a year, at the spectacular Feria Goyesca. Held at the beginning of September, here fighters and some of the audience dress in the manner of Goya's sketches of life in the region. Legendary Rondeño bullfighter Pedro Romero broke away from the prevailing Jerez 'school' of horseback bullfighting in the 18th century to perform the style of bullfighting in which matadors stood their ground against the bull on foot. Now the bullring, Plaza de Toros, is a museum, and visitors can stroll out into the arena.
Ronda also holds a lovely 'romería' pilgrimage each year. For those wishing to see the lighter side of life in Ronda this is a wonderful way to participate in a local tradition that dates back to the beginning of the 20th century.
Across the bridge, where an elegant cloistered 16th century convent is now an art museum, old Ronda, La Ciudad, sidewinds off into cobbled streets hemmed by handsome town mansions, some still occupied by Ronda's titled families.
The cobbled alley to the Mondragon leads naturally on to Ronda's loveliest public space, the leafy Plaza Duquesa de Parcent, which boasts a convent, two churches, including the toy town bell tower of the iglesia Santa Maria de Mayor, and the handsome arched Ayuntamiento (local council) building. The town's pedestrianised 'high street', calle Espinel, opposite the bullring, is nicknamed 'La Bola' and is where Rondeños go for virtually everything.
Ronda's bridge is spectacular and the reason why most visitors come to the town. The best views are probably from the public gardens below, which can be accessed from either side of the bridge.