Ronda is one of the most iconic towns and one of the most famous places in Andalusia and in Spain. With the spectacular Puente Nuevo bridge over the deep El Tajo gorge it is a landmark place for any visitor to Spain. Here are some hidden gems and unique places in Ronda for an even more special trip to this mountaintop town!
In this blog post, you will find all the places with descriptions, photos, and locations where they can be found on Google Maps. We really loved Ronda and all it had to offer! I especially loved exploring the hidden water mill at the bottom of the gorge! Happy exploring!
1. Walk inside the gorge at La Casa del Rey Moro!
La Casa del Rey Moro is a historical site that consists of three parts – the house, the garden, and a secret water mine. The house is an 18th-century villa located on the edge of El Tajo gorge and was not available for a visit when we were there (it is under reconstruction).
The garden is hanging right above the El Tajo gorge and was designed by the French landscape painter Jean Claude Nicolas Forestier during the first half of the 20th century. The garden is not too big, however, the views over the gorge are amazing. We even saw two peacocks wandering around.
The biggest secret and definitely one of my favorite hidden gems in Ronda is the water mill. It is located inside the wall of the gorge and is accessible from Casa del Rey Moro gardens through a tunnel of steps cut inside the wall.
When you walk those hundreds of steps downhill you will exit the tunnel and walk on a small metal platform right inside the El Tajo gorge and stand just a few feet above the river. It was an amazing experience to stand there between the narrow walls of the gorge and see how high up the city actually is.
The water mill was built in the 14th century, during the Islamic period in Spain, to provide the city with water. There was a big ferris wheel that was operated by Christian slaves. Today it is not functioning anymore, however, it is one of the most unique places to visit while in Ronda.
Location: La Casa del Rey Moro
2. Jardines De Cuenca – view of the bridge and the gorge!
Jardines de Cuenca are terraced gardens hanging above the El Tajo gorge right across the gorge from Casa del Rey Moro. The gardens hide one of my favorite hidden gems in Ronda – Mirador de Cuenca.
Mirador de Cuenca is a fantastic viewpoint overlooking the gorge and the famous Puente Nuevo bridge. Most tourists walk to the viewpoints on the other side of the gorge and this place is definitely more quiet.
We visited this place in spring and there wasn’t much to see from the gardens. Plants were not in bloom yet, but I guess there would be something more to see during summertime.
The garden has working hours so definitely check that before coming here. The entrance is free. Although you have to manage some stairs, this place is very easily accessible. It definitely requires less climbing than the famous viewpoints on the other side of the bridge.
This is a great spot in case you are looking for some cool photo opportunities and unique perspectives of the Puente Nuevo bridge. This viewpoint is definitely less busy than the popular spots right in the center of the city next to the bridge.
3. Puente Viejo
Puente Viejo or Old Bridge is the little (older) brother of the famous Puente Nuevo bridge stretching over the gorge and connecting both parts of Ronda city. Although all the attention goes to Puente Nuevo bridge, this hidden gem in Ronda deserves some recognition too.
Puente Viejo is a 16th-century stone bridge with amazing views over the gorge. As you know, Ronda is located on the top of a hill. If the famous Puente Nuevo bridge connects both parts of the city at the highest point of Ronda, then this one – Puente Viejo – is located on a much lower level.
You can get the best views of Puente Viejo bridge from another stone bridge located even more downhill – Puente de las Curtidurías or Puente Romano. Don’t just admire Puente Nuevo, but definitely check out these two smaller bridges in Ronda as well!
4. Arco de Felipe V
If you visit Puente Viejo bridge then visiting the Arco de Felipe V stone arch is a must. The arch is located on the cobblestone path leading to the Puente Viejo bridge. It was built in the 18th century and served as an entrance gate to the city.
The name of the arch – Felipe V – comes from the name of the king that ruled over Spain during the period this arch was built – King Felipe V. The arch is very beautiful and distinct from both sides.
Arco de Felipe V is not only one of the most beautiful hidden gems in Ronda but also a very scenic photo spot. This monument consists of a double arch, three pointed pillars on top of it, and the royal coat of arms on one side of the gates. Definitely walk by this spot while visiting Ronda!
Location: Arco de Felipe V
5. Baños Árabes of Ronda
Baños Árabes or Arab baths in Ronda – located just a few meters away from Puente Viejo and Arco de Felipe V – is a unique archeological site showcasing a 13th-century bathhouse that was built during the Islamic period in Ronda.
At first, I was very skeptical about visiting this place just because there are Arab Baths in many places around Andalusia and I didn’t think there was anything special about them. However, these ones were really worth a visit.
Once you enter the site, you will be instructed to go inside one of the rooms in the Arab Baths to watch a 5-10 minute video. The video explains everything about the Arab Baths with illustrations and photos.
I have seen many Arab Baths around Andalusia, but these ones were the best in terms of explaining how everything worked, how it looked, and what happened in each part of the site.
Good hygiene is of high importance in Muslim culture and it was interesting to see the efforts that were taken to provide that to all the people many centuries ago. There is an entrance fee to see the Arab Baths.
Location: Baños Árabes of Ronda
6. Climb on the roof of Iglesia de Santa María la Mayor to see Ronda from above!
One of my favorite discoveries in Ronda was Iglesia de Santa María la Mayor church. It is very common that you can enter churches and cathedrals in Spain and visit them. However, the best thing about this church in Ronda is that you can climb on the roof of it and see Ronda from above!
This beautiful Renaissance and Baroque-style church was once a mosque built during the Islamic period in Spain but was redesigned as a Catholic church. There is a small entrance fee to visit the church. And definitely check the working hours before coming!
Once you enter the church look for small doors near the altar – there is a narrow staircase that will lead you upwards to the roof. The roof is one of the few places in Ronda where you can see this mountaintop city from above.
Besides, there is another secret to this place. At the top of the staircase on the roof, you will notice another door. Although it looks like it was made for children, don’t hesitate to bend over and enter them. You will be surprised with an unusual view!
After entering the small door on the rooftop you will find yourself on a tiny balcony in the inside of the church. The balcony is located right at the ceiling of the church and you will be able to see the church hallway from above.
I don’t think I have ever seen a church from this perspective! Visiting this church, climbing on the roof to see the city from above, and getting on the balcony near the ceiling of the church definitely make this one of the most unique places and hidden gems in Ronda!
Location: Iglesia de Santa María la Mayor
7. Casa Museo Don Bosco
Casa Museo Don Bosco is a unique 19th-century mansion with beautiful gardens and stunning views over the surroundings of Ronda and the famous El Tajo gorge. This aristocratic mansion was built around 1850 and today hosts different cultural events and is open for visitors of Ronda.
For a small entrance fee, you can explore the house and see how aristocrats lived about 100 years ago. The most beautiful part of this place is the garden with sculptures, balconies, and a beautiful fountain in a circular shape surrounded by benches made out of small tiles and ceramic decors.
From the balcony, you can see the surroundings of Ronda and nearby mountains as far as the eye can see. If you look to the right you will see El Tajo gorge. This is not a good place to see the Puente Nuevo bridge, but the rest of the view is totally worth it!
If you are hungry, there is a restaurant inside the premises of the mansion where you can enjoy some food and spend some more time on the balcony to enjoy the quietness and stillness of this place. It is peaceful and breathtaking!
Location: Casa Museo Don Bosco
8. Gardens and courtyards of Mondragon Palace
Mondragon Palace is the museum of Ronda housing exhibitions about local settlements and the history of Ronda since prehistoric times. Although such museums aren’t usually on my itinerary, as I’m looking for some more exciting places to visit, there are some things that make this museum extra special.
Instead of looking at bones or remains of instruments people used thousands of years ago, I was much more mesmerized by the building itself, the patio, and the garden outside. The museum is housed inside a 14th-century palace-like house and displays some stunning architectural elements.
For an entrance fee of a couple of euros, I spent most of the time admiring the building, the patios lined with arches, and the decorative garden with fountains, plants, and amazing views over the surroundings of Ronda.
This is a nice place to go if you have some time to spare in Ronda. Even if you are not into prehistoric times and the history of Ronda, it was nice to admire the interior and exterior of this place. Don’t forget to check their working hours before visiting this place!
Location: Mondragon Palace
9. Hidden guardhouse inside Puente Nuevo bridge
One of my favorite hidden gems in Ronda was the guardhouse inside Puente Nuevo bridge. I’m sure you will take some photos of the Puente Nuevo bridge from either side of it, and I’m sure you will walk across the bridge. Maybe go under it. But it is also possible to visit a guardhouse INSIDE the bridge!
The entrance to the bridge is through a small hut next to Paseo de Kazunori Yamahuchi walkway. For a small entrance fee, you can walk the stairs down to the ‘legs’ of the bridge and enter a door that will lead you through a narrow staircase to the middle part of the bridge.
There is a big hall with windows on both sides looking outside of the bridge. They will give you a new perspective of the gorge. There is an exposition in the hall to find out more about the construction of the bridge. However, don’t expect much!
Despite of the lack of information in the exposition, the experience of being inside Puente Nuevo bridge was quite cool. And imagining guards staying here centuries ago was pretty unusual. If you have some time to spare then definitely consider visiting the inside of Puente Nuevo.
10. Puerta de la Cijara
Another one of my favorite hidden gems in Ronda was Puerta de la Cijara or the Cijara gate. It is an arch-shaped gateway built inside the old defensive city walls. The gates served as one of the entrance places to the city during the Islamic period in Spain.
A beautiful cobblestone pathway leads to the gate. If you decide to take a walk around the city, then this is a great spot to include in your route. Besides, there are amazing views along the pathway overlooking the surroundings of Ronda and the city itself.
Location: Puerta de la Cijara
11. Trail along El Tajo gorge and the bottom of Puente Nuevo bridge
Here is an idea if you are looking for some adventures and want to see the famous Puente Nuevo bridge from an unusual perspective! Did you know that there is a small trail that goes along El Tajo gorge walls down to the bottom of the bridge?
You can get on this trail when you walk in the direction of Mirador Puente Nuevo de Ronda viewpoint and just before the viewpoint turn right on a trail that goes along the side of the gorge. The trail is quite easy and not steep at all. Just stay away from the edge of the cliff – there are no fences!
If you continue walking on the trail (it has a dirt/gravel surface, so closed shoes are recommended!) you will eventually reach the bottom of the Puente Nuevo bridge. At the bottom of the bridge the trail ends and you won’t get much further. Here you can admire the massive proportions of the bridge!
We visited Ronda when it was sunny and dry. However, I am pretty sure that this trail would be dangerous when it is raining. Rockfalls may happen and the trail would get slippery, so make sure to take that into mind! I wouldn’t be surprised if the local authorities closed this trail because of the weather.
Location: Trail along El Tajo gorge
More Andalusia travel inspiration!
- 19 best Instagram spots for amazing photos in Cádiz, Spain
- 11+ cool Instagram spots for the best photos in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain
- 9 best things to do in Spain’s hidden cave village, Setenil de las Bodegas
- How to visit the charming Frigiliana and all the best places to see in 1 day
- Nerja Bucket List: 9 best things to do in Nerja, Spain (in 1 day)
- 13 hidden gems and unique spots you should see in Malaga, Spain
Ronda was one of my favorite towns in Andalusia! The iconic town is standing on the top of a hill with a deep gorge – El Tajo – cutting through it and a massive bridge – Puente Nuevo – connecting both sides of the town.
I hope you enjoy your time in this iconic mountaintop spot as much as we did! And I hope you will add some of these hidden gems to your Ronda itinerary to explore this place behind the popular and usual famous spots! Happy exploring!