22 May, 2017
Ronda, Andalusia, Spain.
Dramatically perched on the edge of the El Tajo canyon, Ronda is an idyllic combination of antiquated charm and breathtaking scenery. Rumoured to be the birthplace of bullfighting, the town overflows with crumbling monuments, historical gardens, wild-river swimming pools, ancient squares and Neolithic ruins. With a series of Arabic baths and lush palaces to boot, it's no wonder that Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand made this ornate landscape their home for a time. The area is also said to have been the holiday spot of choice for creatives including Orson Welles, Ernest Hemingway and George Eliot who came here seeking inspiration. Today, June sees the region plays host to UVA, a boutique music and arts festival for a cosmopolitan in-the-know crowd.
When to go?
The archaic cityscape and flowery foothills are at their best in late spring and early summer, when you'll avoid both scorching heat and autumn rain.
Who to take with you?
Someone who prefers to explore Herculean mountainous cityscapes rather than busy streets and nightclubs.
Most likely to bump into?
Far from the lad/ette holidays of nearby Malaga, you'll meet chic Spanish locals sipping wine or taking a dip in a nearby river pool.
Ronda is known for the Puente Nuevo, an 18th-century bridge between the old and new town boasting sweeping views of the gorge below. Take a stroll into the valley via the Camino de los Molinos to see the kaleidoscopic array of blossoming flowers and chestnut trees. You also won't want to miss the Plaza de Toros - though culturally controversial, the bullring is thought to be one of the oldest captivations this Andalusian tradition.
Essentials to bring with you
Sturdy shoes and a refillable water bottle - a camera goes without saying.
How to get there
Fly into Malaga or Seville then rent a car and enjoy the 90-mile road trip through the Spanish countryside.