Located in the central south of Spain, Ronda is a town built across a ravine, with the ‘old town’ and ‘new town’ joined by the Puente Nuevo, an impressive sight over the Guadalevín River. Surrounded by rolling hills and farming country, it’s natural beauty makes it unsurprising that this town was a favourite destination of rich aristocrats escaping their home town industrial revolutions during the 1800s.
Those on their Grand Tours came from the same reason tourists do today: the gorge and the views.
A trip to Ronda is all about walking the ravine and soaking up the natural beauty of the countryside. So, head to a nearby deli, buy some local jambon, olives, cheese and bread and get walking!
The ravine is steep and the path is not well cut in parts, so take it slow. There is a small waterway that runs through the middle, which is pretty to look at, and the view of the bridge from below is impressive, but the real treat are the views across the hills. Part of the path leads away from the bridge in a semi circle out allowing for a wide ranging view of small farms and houses in the valley. Looking back up you can see the white walls of Ronda’s old town nestled atop the hill. All in all a stunning outlook.
Take a break for some lunch at the bottom and rehydrate before heading back up!
If you are like me the walk will tire you, so an afternoon siesta is a great recovery option. Our hotel was the Parador of Ronda, set right next to the bridge, with views over the valley. We bought a bottle of locally made Cava and enjoyed it on the balcony of our hotel room. A perfect way to enjoy the sunset.
As night falls, head out to enjoy the bridge under lamp light, glowing orange against the deepening blue skies. Head for the Old Town and pick a restaurant that takes your fancy. We struggled to find a noteworthy meal here, but that was ok, what really matters in Ronda is the views!
My husband and I have a joke when we travel; that we are mountain goats. Basically, if we see a high place (tower, hill, street, etc) we have to climb it. So from the moment we arrived in Alicante we knew what we would be doing!
Situated on the South Coast of Spain, Alicante is a favourite destination for local holiday makers and travellers from across Europe, especially France. And with it’s luxurious marina, Mediterranean seas and warm weather, it’s not hard to see why.
So our highlight day started by climbing the Santa Barbara Castle, a fortification overlooking Alicante first constructed in the 10th century. You can get to the ruins at the top via an elevator also, for those who aren’t mobile. The climb is well marked, steep and in summer – hot! But the views at the top are oh so worth it. You can see across Alicante and the surrounding coast. Beautiful. The castle ruins are also very interesting, with several free access displays of the sites history on display. Information boards are in Spanish only, so may not be as useful to all travellers. There is a small café at the top also, which sells water, cold drinks and ice drinks! Perfect after a hot climb.
After cooling down to the backdrop of a panorama, we headed back down the hill and for the beach! There is nothing quite as wonderful as a swim after exercise. The water of Alicante is naturally warm and luxurious to soak in. Many holiday goers spend their days on the beach, where you can hire beach seats and umbrellas to make your time more comfortable. The beach is very full of tourists in the summer, but people are polite and considerate so sharing space is no problem.
Lunch can be enjoyed on the esplanade, with a range of cafes and restaurants of various cuisines offering al fresco dining. Be prepared for over sized glasses of wine! We chose Italian, followed by a take away gelati and a stroll through the Marina.
After cleaning up from our active day, we headed to the beach side for a cocktail as the sun set, before heading to D’Tablas Alicante, a small but highly recommended restaurant two streets back from the beach for dinner. The restaurant is only narrow, dimly lit and warm, but buzzes with atmosphere! We got the last seats available, perched at the bar that lined the service area and a section of the kitchen, and what a spot to sit. The whole restaurant was filled with energy, the staff were efficient and polite and the food was exceptional. We enjoyed olives, warm goats cheese with honey and a local inspired paella – all delicious! I highly recommend trying this fantastic eatery.