Walking Tour of Ronda, Spain

     Ronda is one of Spain’s Pueblas Blancas (white villages), a group of old, towns with white-washed homes in the Andalusia section of the country. This town is located in a fairly mountainous section of the country and is only accessible via several roads. It is a charming place, quiet and scenic, and should be given several days for an adequate exploration. The following walking tour takes in the majority of sights and can be done in a half day.
     Begin at the Plaza de Espana, next to the New Bridge, the symbol of the city, built in the 18th century to span the Tajo gorge, created by the Guadalevin River. Travel south across the bridge into the Old Town and take a left on Santo Domingo which leads to the House of the Moorish King, an 18th century palace. Continue on Santo Domingo to reach the Old Bridge and the Arab Bridge beyond. You can proceed past the bridge and to the right to see the Felipe V Gate, and beyond it, the Arab Baths. Retrace steps back to Santo Domingo and take a left onto Marques de Salvatierra. The palace of the same name is right on the corner to your left. Check out the unusual statues on the facade as well as the wrought-iron balconies.
    Continue south on Marques de Salvatierra passing the Minaret San Sebastian on the left. The road eventually leads to Santa Maria la Mayor Church. Its minaret is one of the few sections remaining from what used to be the principal mosque of the city. Walk to the right of the church (as you approached it), under the archway and then right on Manuel Montero to Mondragon Palace, constructed in 1314 and once the residence of kings and governors.
    If time permits, walk back down Manuel Montero and continue past the Town Hall (Ayuntamiento) and along the ancient walls of the city on Imagenes. Detour to the left to see the Church of the Holy Spirit and several other city gates, Puerto Almocabar and Puerto de Carlos V. Get back onto Imagenes and follow it southward to its end, then bear right onto the Camino al Fondo del Tajo, which winds along the gorge. Before returning to the Old Town, follow this path into the heart of the gorge for fantastic views of the New Bridge from below. When the path returns to Tenorino, take a left to return to the New Bridge and continue beyond the Parador to Ronda’s bullring, Plaza de Toros. Stop in to look at Spain’s oldest and perhaps most charming arena and browse through the bullfight museum to learn of the achievements of Pedro Romero and other famous matadors.
    If there is not enough time to descend into the gorge, then exit Mondragon Palace and turn left, following this road which becomes Tenorino and returns to the starting point.


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