Planning a Ronda day trip from Seville or Málaga is an excellent idea if you want to see a classic Andalucían town but don’t have a lot of time. Ronda is famous for its impressive bull ring and imposing Puente Nuevo (New Bridge), but it is also simply a charming town in Andalucía that is very much worth exploring.
Located roughly equidistant between both Seville and Málaga, the town of Ronda also makes for an excellent day trip destination from either city. Whether you want to go via organised tour or independently, you’re sure to quickly fall for this historic, whitewashed town in the south of Spain.
So if you’re planning a day trip to Ronda and want to know how to get there and what to see once you’ve arrived, this is the guide for you.
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Seville to Ronda Day Trip
Ronda is located about 130 kilometres from Seville and it is easily reachable as a day trip from the Andalucían capital. Whether you want to go on an organised tour or want to get there on your own, you’ve got plenty of options.
By Organised Tour
Those who would rather take the guesswork out of planning their day in Ronda from Seville will benefit from going on an organised tour. This way, all you need to do is kick back and let a guide take you to and from Seville while giving you all of the historical context needed for a visit to Ronda.
If an organised tour is what you’re after, then this full-day tour from Seville may be a good choice for you. It includes transport to and from Seville, a guided tour of Ronda along with some stops in a couple of smaller Pueblos Blancos – Andalucía’s famed white villages.
Alternatively, this full-day excursion from Seville includes hotel pick-up and drop-off in Seville, a guided tour of Ronda, stops in some Pueblos Blancos and even a wine tasting!
Independent travellers who want to visit Ronda in one day via public transport will have a much easier time of it if they take the bus. There are a number of direct buses that go to and from Ronda daily and the journey time is around 2 hours. You can view schedules here.
This is a much quicker and more convenient option than taking the train and can work out to be a fair bit more affordable, as well.
The Ronda bus station is located quite close to the train station and is only about a 10-minute walk from the city centre. This means that you can begin exploring as soon as you alight in Ronda!
If you’d like to reach Ronda from Seville independently, then the train is an option, but it may not be the best choice. There are no direct trains between Seville and Ronda and you will need to make a switch in order to reach the town (generally in Córdoba or Antequera).
Even if you’re alright with making a change, the journey time is not favourable for just a day trip. Because of how timetables work out, it will take around three hours to get to the destination, meaning that if you opt to travel by train, you will be spending around six hours in transit for the day.
If you do end up going by train, the main train station in Ronda is located only about 10 minutes walking from the Plaza de Toros, which is the first stop on our Ronda itinerary.
If you want the utmost flexibility, then driving to Ronda is your best bet. While you certainly don’t need a car when exploring the city centre (this is absolutely best done on foot), it is incredibly convenient to drive from Seville to Ronda and park in a garage for your day trip.
The drive from Seville to Ronda is about two hours and it’s a pretty direct route on a well-maintained highway.
There are also plenty of affordable car parks in Ronda itself. For instance, the Martínez garage is situated close to the train station (about 10 minutes from the city centre) and it costs €1.70/hour to park there.
Driving to Ronda can also be a great option if you want to get an early start and beat the crowds. You will also have the flexibility to make a few stops in between should you wish – such as to the Pueblos Blancos of Grazalema or Zahara de la Sierra.
Málaga to Ronda Day Trip
As the crow flies, Málaga is located a little bit closer to Ronda than Seville and it also makes for an excellent base in which to go for a day trip. If you’re spending time on the Costa del Sol and want to see a bit more of inland Southern Spain, then heading to Ronda from Málaga is a great option.
By Organised Tour
If you’re looking for the easiest possible option for your day trip to Ronda, then an organised tour is the best option for you! There are lots of options from Málaga to choose from and you don’t need to worry yourself with excessive planning or with working out bus or train timetables.
If you’re looking for a great option, then consider this full-day tour from Málaga. This includes transport to and from Málaga, a walking tour of Ronda with a qualified tour guide and a visit to the lovely village of Setenil de las Bodegas.
If you want the easiest route to get to Ronda by public transport, then consider taking the bus. There are a number of different direct buses from Málaga that will get you to Ronda in about 2 hours. You can view schedules here.
While it can definitely be a bit less comfortable than the train, buses are both more frequent and more convenient so you can have a bit more flexibility during your day trip.
Much like in Seville, Ronda isn’t as easily accessible by train from Málaga. There are no direct trains between the two cities and you will need to switch in Antequera in order to reach Ronda.
Unlike in Seville, the journey time is only around 2 hours, so even with the change, it can still be a viable transport option if you prefer to travel by train. It is advisable to book your tickets in advance as the trains can book out quickly – especially in high season.
Like with Seville, the absolute easiest and most flexible way to visit Ronda as a day trip from Málaga is to go by your own vehicle. The drive from Málaga to Ronda is about 1.5 hours and the road is very straightforward and well-maintained.
Driving to the village of Ronda yourself allows you to make some stops along the way, as well. For instance, you could easily tack on this olive farm tour and tasting to your day trip.
One Day in Ronda Itinerary
Now that we’ve covered how to get to this lovely Andalucían town, it’s time to cover all of the best things to do in Ronda.
You can easily visit all of these attractions on your own, self-guided tour, however, you may find it to be a good idea to book a guided walking tour to get more context of what you’re visiting. If this interests you, then this small-group walking tour is an excellent option.
Plaza de Toros
The first and one of the most iconic stops on any Ronda itinerary is definitely the Plaza de Toros. Home to Ronda’s bull ring, you can use this as a great jumping-off point for exploring all this lovely whitewashed town has to offer.
The bull ring is unmissable – it’s a massive, round white structure that still serves as an active bullfighting ring today. Though the concept of bullfighting is quite controversial in Spain and it’s even banned in some regions (such as Catalonia), it is still in practice in Andalucía and an undeniable part of the culture.
If you’re interested in learning more about the history of this particular ring and of bullfighting in general, you can also tour the bullring museum. Entry is €9 per person and €10.50 if you’d like an audio guide.
Next to the Plaza de Toros is a small park called Alameda del Tajo where you can venture to a gazebo and lovely viewpoint over the countryside of Ronda. It’s a great place to enjoy the nature and stunning views surrounding the town before venturing into the old town proper.
The next stop on your day trip itinerary is arguably the town’s most iconic – the Puente Nuevo.
Literally translating to “new bridge”, this structure passes over the imposing 120-metre-deep El Tajo gorge over the Guadelevín River. The gorge itself is absolutely (mind the pun) gorgeous, however, the bridge itself is nothing short of breathtaking.
Completed in the late 18th Century, it is the newest of Ronda’s three bridges and also the largest, acting as the main access point into the town.
There are a couple of beautiful viewpoints on either side of the bridge (search for Mirador de Ronda or Puente Nuevo Viewpoint) where you can get a good vantage point. You will also need to walk across it to reach the other sites.
You can also pay to climb some steps down to get another viewpoint of the bridge, but this isn’t altogether necessary as there are plenty of free-to-access viewpoints that can save you your hard-earned cash.
Visit one of Ronda’s Many Museums
Once you’ve strolled across the Puente Nuevo, you’ll be properly in the old town. One of the first places you’ll encounter here is the Museo Lara, which is a private collection of various antiquities and oddities that can be very interesting to visit.
If you want to get more of an idea about Ronda’s history, you could also opt to visit the Casa Museo don Bosco. This house museum showcases the history and culture of Ronda and the surrounding region and is one of the top attractions in the city.
Iglesia de Santa María la Mayor
Of course, no visit to any Spanish city is complete without visiting a spectacular church or cathedral and Ronda is no different. The Iglesia de Santa María la Mayor is Ronda’s most spectacular place of worship and it is a great place to tack onto your day trip itinerary.
Like many churches in this region of Spain, this structure began its life as a mosque while Ronda was under Moorish rule.
Today, however, it is a Catholic church that you can visit and enjoy both the stunning architecture and the peaceful interior.
If you want to learn even more about Moorish history in Ronda, then make your way over to the Mondragón Palace after visiting the Iglesia de Santa María la Mayor.
This 14th Century palace now acts as a museum where you can learn about the life and customs of the ruling class in the 1300s in Ronda.
This is an interesting place to visit and, though small, it’s filled with gardens and gives an insight into the opulent lifestyle during those times.
Puerta de Almocábar
Winding your way along Ronda’s whitewashed narrow streets to the end of the old town, you will eventually reach the Puerta de Almocábar. This is an incredible stone gate dating back to the 13th Century that once acted as an entrance into the walled old city.
Today, the gate is a testament to the antiquity of this small Spanish town and it is reminiscent of the gates you can see in towns all over Spain, such as in Ávila.
There are still a number of Ronda’s old city walls standing and it can be a great idea to enjoy these, but that will have to wait for our next stop.
Murallas de Ronda Walk
Making your way back through the Puerta de Almocábar and in the direction of the Puente Nuevo, you will reach a fork in the road that allows you to walk along the base of the old city walls – or the Murallas de Ronda.
There is a cobbled pathway (you will see signposts directing you toward the Baños Arabes or Arab Baths) and make sure to follow this, as you will not only get wonderful views of Ronda from below, but you can also get some tranquillity and views of the surrounding, bucolic countryside.
It’s about a five-minute walk along the base of the walls until you reach the Arab Baths, which can be another interesting cultural site to visit if you’d like. Just a bit further from the baths, you will also reach the Puente Viejo, or old bridge.
This bridge, despite its name, is actually the second-oldest in Ronda and dates back to the 16th Century. It is a pedestrianised bridge and, though not as stunning nor as iconic as the Puente Nuevo, it is still very much worth seeing.
You will see a stepped pathway leading up back to the Old Town from here. Follow that and make another stop before leaving the historic centre of Ronda – the Casa del Rey Moro, or the House of the Moorish King.
This is yet another historic house museum that can provide more context to your one day in Ronda.
Experience Ronda’s Bar Culture
It’s likely you’ve worked up quite the appetite after all of this exploration and, fortunately, there are lots of great places to eat in Ronda – especially if you want to experience some Andalucían tapas culture.
There are plenty of tourist-focused restaurants in the old town and close to the Plaza de Toros, however, we would suggest venturing a bit away from the tourist centre to find some more local-focused bars to eat at.
If you’re wandering back to the train or bus station or the car park, this is a great time to make a stop or two, have a drink and grab a bite to eat. We can personally recommend stopping at Bodega San Francisco, which serves up typical fare at good prices.
If you’re wondering what to do in Ronda for one day, then the above suggestions are an excellent way to structure your day trip to this historic and beautiful town in Andalucía. Whether you visit from Málaga or Seville, you’re sure to fall in love with beautiful Ronda.
Are you planning to visit Ronda on a day trip to Ronda? Have any questions about this itinerary? Let us know in the comments!