Know Ronda!Things to do in Ronda in one day. Visiting the Roman town Acinipo and Ronda.
16 January 2022
What is this page about
If you are traveling in Andalusia, Ronda is definitely a must-see place. Ronda is famous for being a town on the rock, perfectly integrating with nature. Visiting Ronda is not only about visiting the town itself, but also it is about a journey into history, where the ancient Romans were inhabiting these lands (not only them). So, if you have only one day for a visit of this amazing place, and you travel by car, I’ll tell you how to spend a great time on the Ronda´s lands!
Briefly about history of Ronda
Ronda’s history is impressive, as the town belonged to many different nations over the centuries, and we can witness it today.
According to archeological findings, the surroundings of Ronda were already inhabited during the Neolithic period. In the VI century BC, Ronda was inhabited by the Celts, who called this place Arunda. Later the Phoenicians settled the neighboring village and named it Acinipo. Later Arunda was conquered by the Greeks and was renamed as Runda.
The present Ronda was founded by the Romans as a result of the Second Punic war (the war between Rome and Carthage). In the V century, with the collapse of the Roman Empire, the town was taken by the Suebians.
In 713 the present Ronda gave up without a fight to the Muslim leader Zaide Ben Kesadi El Sebseki. The town receives its new name Izn-Rand Onda (castle city). The Islamic period of Ronda ended when on May 22, 1485, King Fernando el Católico conquered it after a long siege.
If you are traveling by car, then you will easily reach the Roman city called Acinipo contemplating beautiful Spanish landscapes on the way. It is about 25 minutes driving from Ronda. The entrance is free, unlikely you will meet crowds of tourists (although buses with private tours are going there), so you can feel spirit of history in a peaceful environment. You can read more about Acinipo here.
The route includes: 1) prehistoric huts, IX-VIII centuries BC, 2) Domus, 3) Roman theater, 4) panoramic view point and 5) Roman baths.
Wineries of Ronda
After visiting Acinipo, we stopped on the way to Ronda in a German winery F. Schatz. The place itself is absolutely beautiful, we took a nice walk around the area while we were waiting for a wine presentation (usually, by appointment only). It was October and the weather was sunny and warm. The presentation is given in Spanish and English. Degustation of five types of red wine costs 10 euros per person, and you can buy a bottle of wine (from 18 euros). During the degustation, every wine tasted good. At home, a rough German-style wine didn’t seem so tasty anymore and it was hard to drink (after soft Spanish wines). Briefly about history of this place: 40 years ago, a German man who fell in love with Spain decided to move here, bought a land, built up that land and planted grapes that he brought from his native Germany. Yes, there is a big difference between grapes. However, it was an interesting experience to taste wine here.
I can recommend you a few wineries on the way from Acinipo to Ronda.
- Bodega F. Schatz
Produces wines from the following grape varieties: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Lemberger, Tempranillo, Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Black Muscat.
- Bodega Joaquin Fernandez
The history of this place begins with the winemaking tradition of Puente Genil, Cordoba, where the owner of the winery, Joaquín Fernandez, was born. He decided to follow winemaking traditions of his family and established his winery in the lands of Ronda. Local climatic conditions and soil fertility are the best fit for grapes´ growing and wellbeing. 36.000 liters or 50.000 bottles of organic wines are produced here annually. Grape varieties: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Garnacha.
- Bodega Doña Felisa
This family-owned winery has been producing wines with love to its wines and to the land of Ronda since 1999. The winery offers a large selection of wines of all types at an affordable price. Grape varieties: Chardonnay, Sauvignon blanc, Muscat of Alexandria, Tempranillo, Tintilla de Rota, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon. You can not only taste wines here, but also spend a night for 160 euros (includes a bottle of wine). What a nice romantic gift for someone!
- Badman wines
Good wines from a bad man. The winery produces signature wines created by two young and experienced enologists in order to offer something new and fresh in the lands of Ronda. The wines of this winery are a product of the highest quality: elegant, modern and expressive, combined with an innovative design. Six grape varieties: Chardonnay, Syrah, Petit Verdot, Merlot, Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon.
The new bridge of Ronda
The new bridge of Ronda (el puente nuevo) is the symbol and the main distinguishing feature of the town in all guidebooks. The bridge is really impressive, it fits so harmoniously into the rocky environment. If you want to take beautiful photos, I recommend you to take a walk to the scenic viewpoint. However, this architecture masterpiece does not have such a beautiful history.
There is a chamber above the central arch of the bridge that was used for various purposes, including as a prison. During the civil war of 1936–1939, the prison was used as a torture chamber for captured opponents. Some prisoners were killed by throwing them out of the window to the bottom of the ravine.
The construction of the first bridge began in 1735 – it was the first attempt to close the gap between rocks at such height. Architects José Garcia and Juan Camacho built the bridge with a single arch. The bridge was built quickly and poorly, and it collapsed in 1741, killing 50 people. The construction of the New Bridge was completed in 1793.
Museums of ronda
We did not have much time to visit the town, so we decided to go to the Lara´s museum – an unusual and interesting museum of the collector Juan Antonio Lara, who dedicated his whole life to collecting rare objects of different areas. I highly recommend you to visit this museum. Entrance 4 euros.
Another museum that certainly deserves attention is the Museum of the History of Ronda in the Mondragon Palace. You can get familiar with the origins of Ronda from prehistoric times here, antiquity and the Middle Ages (Arabic exhibits).
If you have time, you can visit the House of the Moorish King as well, the house itself is closed to the public and you can only visit the gardens (12 euros). You can also visit the ruins of the Arab baths of the XIII century, although, according to reviews, the place is not worth a visit, as it is small and only takes five minutes, although the route is accompanied with an informative video of how the baths functioned during this period. You can also contemplate the baths from outside.
Where to eat in Ronda
- Mesón Carmen la de Ronda
Excellent restaurant recommended by guides and guests. Offers a high quality homemade Spanish food and a good service. A place where you can appreciate a traditional dish – oxtail.
- Restaurante Casa Luciano
Spanish homemade quality food. Offers a three-course menu for 15 euros.
- Mesón El Sacristán
Offers traditional and local dishes from Ronda. Wide selection of meat as well as seafood dishes.