Once you actually arrive, Ronda is a magnificent place to spend a few days. Dramatically situated over a deep gorge, the city is best known for its Puente Nuevo ("new bridge") that spans the valley far below. Its winding streets are lined by whitewashed houses that exude Andalusian charm, and there are stunning views around practically every corner. Needless to say, this stunning town in the province of Malaga is a must on any southern Spain itinerary.
That being said, Ronda is not the easiest place to get to in Spain. Despite being popular with travelers, it's a small town and not well-connected. Thankfully, you can take a train there from Granada, and unless you have access to a vehicle, it's pretty much the only way to get there.
How to Get to from Granada to Ronda
|Train||2 hours, 10 minutes (with transfer)||from $24||Stress-free traveling|
|Car||2 hours, 10 minutes||110 miles (177 kilometers)||Exploring the region|
Until early 2020 you could take a direct and very slow train from Granada to Ronda, but a new high-speed rail line connecting Granada and Malaga—another major city in Andalusia—replaced that route. What that means is that you can now travel from Granada to Ronda almost an hour faster than before, but it requires a change of trains in Antequera. The route has a fixed price of 21 euros, or about $24, so whether you plan the trip weeks in advance or head to Ronda on a whim, the price shouldn't change.
Granada and Ronda are both relatively small cities, and each town's train station is a short distance from the city center. If you arrive and only have a backpack or light luggage, you could easily walk from the station to the main sites. Otherwise, it's a short and inexpensive cab ride.
If you've rented a car, you can drive to Ronda from Granada in virtually the same amount of time it takes to ride the train. Even though using your own vehicle gives you the freedom to explore along the way or continue on to Seville, Ronda is located in the middle of a canyon and the drive is not easy. Also, most rental cars in Spain use manual transmissions. If you aren't comfortable driving a stick shift or using a car in a foreign country, taking the train may be your safest option.
The most affordable way to get to Ronda is to take a Blablacar, which is a ridesharing program that connects potential passengers with someone who is already driving to the destination city. You can search for cars heading from Granada to Ronda on your desired day, and in turn, the driver asks for an amount of money to help pay for gas. It's not only the cheapest way to travel, but it's also a fun way to connect with a local and meet someone new on your trip.
What to See in Ronda
Any Spaniard will tell you that Ronda is one of the most picturesque towns in the country, and once you arrive it's apparent why. The city is separated by a huge ravine, and an 18th-century bridge connects the two sides in what has to be one of the most Instagrammable spots in all of Spain. Most visitors come to Ronda to marvel at its beauty and then head off to the nearest big city, but it's worth staying a night if you have the time. Modern-day bullfighting was invented in Ronda, and the Plaza de Toros is worth visiting for its architecture alone (just make sure no bullfights are happening that day if you prefer to skip the gore). Small balconies are placed around the city as well that perilously hang out over dramatic drops. The views are unbeatable, but locals refer to them as balcones coños, in reference to the expletive you'll scream out when you look down at the plunge.