Ronda is a mountain top city in the province of Malaga Spain with the Sierra Nevada mountains. Ronda had been described by Ernest Hemingway as the most romantic place in the world. He loved Ronda so much that he used it as a setting for many of his books.
“Ronda is the place where to gso, if you are planning to travel to Spain for a honeymoon or for being with a girlfriend. The whole city and its surroundings are a romantic set.
… Nice promenades, good wine, excellent food, nothing to do…” - Hemingway
The beauty surrounding Ronda with literally take your breath away.
Ronda (Acinipo) was first declared a city by Julius Caesar in the late 4C AD. When the Moorish troops under the command of Tarik-ibn-Zeyad invaded the region, one of the first routes they followed was the old Roman one, linking Gibraltar with the Roman settlement of Acinipo.
They renamed the town to Izna-Rand-Onda - Ronda. The ruins of Acinipo actually sit about 20km outside of Ronda. If you would like to visit them take the A-376 towards Sevilla, and after 7km turn right onto MA-7402 Acinipo and Ronda la Vieja.
Without a doubt the most famous of all sites in Ronda, and one of the first things you will see when you arrive is the Puento Nuevo, "New Bridge." This bridge joins the old Moorish town and the new town.
Looking out from the bridge offers the most stunning views of the El Tajo Gorge.
In the photograph of the bridge above, you will notice a building. That building is the Parador Hotel. If you are going to spend night in Ronda, this is the place to stay. The parador offer the best views in all of Ronda. Each room has a balcony, and breakfast is included. If you can, stay in room 119, 219, 0r 319. These are the corner rooms and you will have two balconies. Trust me, when it is time for the sunset you will not regret your decision.
If you would like to capture your own photograph like the ones below, you must put on some good shoes and do a little hiking. It is not too bad, and can be done in about an hour, depending on how much you want to explore. There are some ruins you will see as well.
Arab baths in Ronda are located in old town Ronda. In Moorish times the main entrance to the Medina of Ronda was located next to the Baños Arabes. In those times the baths were outside the walls of the city, and set to the side of the main entrance gate, with a small doorway built into the city walls that connected to a passageway leading to the entrance of the baths.
The baths were used as a daily social gathering by Muslim men. A Mosque was located next to the baths. Visitors would purify and cleanse their bodies and souls. Locals and visitors alike would stop in the baths before going to the Mosque to pray. Visitors would spend several hours here; cleansing the body several times over. It was medieval Ronda’s equivalent of our nightly unwinding ritual of watching television.
As you approach the baths, you will first notice the roof of Arab Baths. The glass circles on top are the skylights, and the glass protects the chambers below from rain damage.
The first section of the baths has no roof anymore. This section used to be the reception area and changing room. In the reception there were benches for socializing and bathrooms as well.
Beside the first ruined chamber is a doorway which leads into a small room with pools at each end. This was the cold room where people could relax and cool down before entering the warm and hot rooms again.
The next room the largest of the covered chambers, the warm room where people could relax and enjoy a massage, be pampered with perfumes, or sit in a pool of slightly warm water. This room was warm but not steamy. Mats and cushions were available to use, as well as wooden benches around the walls, and several tables for massage and therapeutic treatments by trained slaves were situated next to some of the columns.
Then there is the hot room, which currently has a presentation on screen for visitors to watch and learn about the baths. This room has a pool at one end where water from the aqueduct was splashed over the hot floor creating a very humid and steamy atmosphere in the room. Kind of like a modern day sauna.
The fire room was next- this is where all the heat for the baths was generated and tunnels built into the structure allowed for the heat to move and warm the different chambers to different levels.
You can visit the baths in about 30 minutes. It really is a quick in and out but you shouldn't miss this.
Secret water mine under Casa Del Rey Moro
The mine was built in the 14th century and was hidden in the House of the Morrish King. The mine was built to protect water supplies. With the mine, it was not necessary to leave the palace to collect water. They used a water wheel with buckets and slaves would form a human chain to pass water from below, up to the palace.
The entrance to the mine is through the garden where you will start a trek down 231 steps and 60 meters below, that lead to the river.
Because it is a mine, the stairs are a bit wet in some places. Wear shoes that you don't mind getting wet, but are also supportive and not too slippery. Along the way down there are cut outs that offer cool view points.
The real treat is when you get to the bottom. You step out of the mine and are in the middle of the gorge. The only way to see this viewpoint is through the mine. The mine was also considered a secret escape because the location of the fortress cannot be seen from the Arab Bridge, which at one time was the entrance to the city.
Directly above the fortress, is the Terrace of the Conquest, where Moorish and then Christian conquerers could watch the river for signs of attack. It is below the hermit’s grotto, and is so well hidden it cannot be seen from any direction.
Ronda has a feeling of quiet exhilaration. If you like adventure there is plenty here. You can spend hours hiking and exploring ruins. If that doesn't sound like fun, Ronda is kind of a sleep town where you can walk at a slow pace and enjoy the brilliant scenery which surrounds Ronda.
Thank you for reading. Please post comments below. If you would like more information contact me at email@example.com or for a free quote visit www.enchantedmem.com.
Amara Lucci McShain
Are you a blogger that travels? If you would like to explore an opportunity to write as a guest blogger for Travel with Amara, please give me a shout out!