Parador Ronda, Spain

The four-star Parador Ronda occupies an absolutely awesome location. It sits right on the edge of one of the deepest gorges in Spain – the “Tajo.” The views are stunning. If you aren’t timid of heights, walk out across the puente nuevo – the “new bridge” (that was built in 1761!?) just outside the Parador grounds, and you can look straight down 500 ft. to the river below! There are scenic footpaths through the Parador gardens and grounds that will lead you to lookouts with incredible vistas.The Ronda Parador building is the former town hall. It has a very modern appearance inside, presents the traveler with every amenity, and all of it in very good taste. The Parador of Ronda is famous for the quality of the service they provide, and for the attentiveness of the staff.Ronda itself is a fascinating city with an equally fascinating history. A moorish stronghold for centuries, it later became essentially a haven for bandits. They would loot the surrounding countryside and then return to their nearly impregnable location in Ronda and dare the authorities to try and get them out.Modern bullfighting was invented here, and Ronda’s bullring is said to be the oldest in Spain. Wander the old town to your hearts content. You’ll get pleasantly lost – a few times – but it’s great fun exploring and you’re never far from the way back.From here, you could drive out to some of Spain’s most typical “white villages” – Setenil, Grazalema, Gaucin, Olvera, Ubrique, Zahara de la Sierra, – and many others – each a dazzling drop of ancient culture in these rugged sierras.Interesting excursions from the Parador:– The Baños Arabe: these public baths which were already in use in the 13th century – are still functioning!- Plaza de Toros: this is reputed to be the oldest bullring in Spain. There is also a fine museum dedicated to the history of bullfighting there.- Casa del Rey Moro (House of the Moorish King): Parts of this are now closed, but an unusual walk will take you down 365 steps – through a kind of ‘mine’ – to the river below. This is how the city accessed the water during times of siege.Interesting day trips include:– The Parque de Grazalema: Wildly beautiful natural surroundings amidst the rugged mountains of the area. Lots of great hiking opportunities.- A drive in any direction will bring you to wonderful “white villages” so typical of this part of Andalucia. Stop and walk around. Have a glass of wine and a tapa on the main plaza – this is as close as you’ll get to what Spain was like 3 or 4 centuries ago.- Drive down to the little town of Gaucin – called, “the balcony of Europe,” because of the views you can have there. On a clear day, you can see across the straits of Gibraltar all the way to Africa!- The Costa Del Sol is near enough for a day trip. Estepona is nice, and a bit less built up than the towns and cities further along the coast.The Parador of Ronda is a wonderful place to stay while touring around the south of Spain. It has a fascinating history that is still alive today, and the ruggedly beautiful mountains form an incomparable backdrop for a visit that will fulfill many travelers’ vision of Spain.For more on all of Spain’s wonderful Paradors, go to:

Spain ParadorsFor more information, and images of Parador Ronda, click here:

Parador Ronda

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