We’ve been talking about visiting Ronda, Spain for several years now. Known for its stupendous El Tajo (Deep Cut) gorge, ridiculously photogenic Puente Nuevo (New Bridge) and many more great pueblos blancos scattered throughout the surrounding hills, it represents everything appealing about southern Spain for us. The majority of our travels end up being all about the views and, wouldn’t you know it, there just happens to be a very long list of amazing viewpoints in Ronda. Well, that sounds quite nice, I’d say.
For us, the white village touring continues! Well, technically, I think we are now into “white towns” territory, or even “white city” considering our current stop is Ronda, Spain and has something like 30,000 people. Which is why it is simpler to stick with the Spanish “pueblos blancos”, apparently a sort of catch-all for any place in Andalusia with an exceptional amount of white buildings that tourists like us can’t seem to get enough of.
We have also recently been joined here by a wandering American who seems to pop up at all the weirdest times (Antarctica, Argentina, Guatemala, Mongolia, Romania), adding a little much-needed socializing to our adventures. After a couple days of seeing the sights and testing out the beer on a wide variety of outdoor terraces, tomorrow the three of us embark on week-long road trip (more pueblos blancos, yo) around the area. So stay tuned for “Getting Looney in Andalusia”, or maybe “The Time We Took Looney for a Drive”, hmm, let’s call the name a work in progress for now…
Anyway, after having Andalusia on our travel list for way too long, we were finally ready to pull the trigger last spring – we had it all planned out, hotels, hikes, scenic train trips. Then, well, stuff happened and 2020 kind of… ended. But now it’s 2021 and we’re finally here and we made it our mission to find every great viewpoint in Ronda – bridge or valley, popular or hidden, dramatic or subtle, morning or afternoon. We even, gasp, ventured out after dark to find the best night viewpoints in Ronda. And wouldn’t you know it, we organized them all and made a comprehensive list, just for you.
There are 10 of the bridge and 14 more bonus viewpoints scattered around town, all well worth a look.
The Puente Nuevo (New Bridge) in Ronda Spain
Puente Nuevo, which means New Bridge in Spanish, is actually just one of three classic bridges in Ronda. Which is why it is called “new” even though the bridge was built over 200 years ago (in 1793 to be exact) by José Martín de Aldehuela.
El Puente Nuevo dramatically crosses the dramatic El Tajo gorge in Spain, making it one of the most famous bridges in Spain. This amazing Ronda bridge is over 100 metres tall and features an impressive single arch in the middle. The main arch is then flanked by two more, scenically placed on either side. This triple arch design has become symbolic of Ronda, Spain and El Tajo gorge.
While it is known mainly for its beauty these days, it also has a rather infamous past. During the Spanish civil war in the 1930’s it served as a prison, torture chamber and occasional launching point for prisoners thrown from the bridge to their death. Thankfully, today the action is limited to taking great photos.
Best Ronda Viewpoints Map
10 Best Puente Nuevo Ronda Viewpoints
FYI: these are not ranked by perceived quality but more by location – starting with the ones that are easily reached first.
1. Parador de Ronda
Your best up close and personal look from this Ronda bridge viewpoint. This is also the entrance to the prison/torture chamber and a good place to see this chamber of horrors from above, if that happens to be your thing. It costs just €2.50 to go inside but, imho, that price might still be a bit steep. More impressive from a distance.
2. Mirador de Aldehuela
This is the easiest and most popular New Bridge viewpoint but don’t let the crowds deter you, Puente Nuevo looks pretty spectacular from here.
3. Mirador De Cuenca
One of my personal favourite spots, the views up the gorge in the morning from the Jardines de Cuenca are pretty amazing. The sun behind you, flocks of pigeons circling, not yet surrounded by tourists, fantabulous.
4. Mirador de Puente Nuevo (Ronda Bridge Viewpoint)
The classic bridge view, there are fantastic angles all the way down this easy path from the Plaza de María Auxiliadora. If you only have time for a short jaunt down into the gorge this is definitely the spot.
5. Arco del Cristo / Arco Arabe
A bit farther down from Mirador de Puente Nuevo, this ancient arch offers a cool opportunity to frame your shots of the New Bridge.
6. Via Ferrata
This series of metal rungs and cables provides an adventurous side to your El Tajo explorations, not to mention an unusual angle for your photos. Tours go daily which will supply all the appropriate safety gear but if you’re agile and comfortable with heights you could always take the risk and give it a shot on your own. The route runs down from (or up to) the main Mirador de Puente Nuevo to a spot on the trail just past the Arco del Cristo. We personally find going up much easier…
7. Rio Guadalevin (Bottom of El Tajo)
Another thing to do if you’re feeling energetic is to clamber all the way down to the river to explore the pools and some small waterfalls. The views of Puente Nuevo, Spain aren’t as clear or expansive as from the normal spots but they are definitely unique and you’ll probably be all by yourself.
8. Bottom of Puente Nuevo
If you aren’t into the climbing/scrambling you can just stay on the main path that eventually reaches the base of the bridge. Photos from here are also interesting but not necessarily as impressive as from many of the other areas.
9. Mirador La Hoya del Tajo
Probably our favourite viewpoint of them all! A little bit farther down the hill from the Arco del Cristo (follow the steep dirt path through the small wall toward the valley). It lets you look straight up the Tajo gorge to the bridge and is truly spectacular in the early evening. You also get at least slightly away from the crowds at the higher viewpoints.
10. Our AirBnB
No, technically this isn’t really accessible to everyone. Unless you decide to stay there, of course. After opting for 3 nights in a very modern apartment in downtown Ronda, we then moved to spend 4 nights in a nice old apartment directly above the restaurant for Hotel Don Miguel, literally 30-40 metres from the emblematic New Bridge itself. It was actually kind of surreal at times being that close to one of the biggest attractions in Andalusia. Not to mention thinking about how many photos we’ll get to be in as small figures in the background drinking beer on our terrace and looking annoyingly smug. I wouldn’t call it budget, exactly, but not nearly as pricey as you might think.
You also might want to check out:
Outstanding Ronda Viewpoints That Aren’t of the Ronda Bridge Spain
These viewpoints don’t feature Puente Nuevo (blasphemy!) but still offer some pretty extraordinary photo opportunities. 14 more places to add to the list.
La Sevillana (Balcon del Coño)
A tiny ledge sticking out over the gorge near Paseo Blas Infante with great views across the gorge and around the corner to Puente Nuevo. The term Balcon del Coño actually applies to several of these overhangs, with “coño” being a slang term for a vagina. Apparently that is somehow what you feel when you stand on one and look down. I can’t say I really get it but, hey, it’s a fun name. As for La Sevillanna, in particular, it actually looks much more precarious from the other side of the gorge, making it worthy of photos in its own right.
Plaza de María Auxiliadora
Most people hurry right past here because you can’t quite see around the corner to Puente Nuevo. However, this pleasant little square gives a different perspective and the far cliffs practically glow in the late afternoon sun. There is also a great little bar just next to the square which was one of our favourite afternoon beer stops (El Campillo).
Puerta del Viento
The “Windgate” formerly protected the mills from intruders and now offers amazing views of both the gorge and the surrounding farmland. To reach it you take a left off the trail down to the Arco del Cristo. This is the most dramatic entrance point for trekkers arriving from Sierra de Grazalema National Park on the GR7 long-distance hiking trail.
Paseo de Los Ingles
All the views from this nice walking path are great, especially those near the Alameda. The start of the gorge is prominently featured, along with big views over the valley and distant hills.
Mirador Virgen del Rocio
Close to the Arch Viewpoint, the Mirador Virgen del Rocio is more well-known and developed but, in our opinion, the views aren’t actually as good. However, it does have a very captivating sculpture of the Virgen del Rocio and her weird baby, hence the name.
We actually have been calling this by the extremely creative name “Arch Viewpoint”, based on the fact it was the best place in Ronda to see the natural rock arch at the far western end of the gorge. Pretty much anywhere along the easy cliff-side path near Plaza Pruna will work.
Carretera Los Molinos
Hikers going to or coming from Benaoján (an interesting but somewhat tedious 4-hr walk) will be pleasantly surprised by the huge, open views right where the road starts to head down into the valley.
Calle Juan José de Puya
Heading over to the east side of the New Bridge, this off-the-beaten path spot is a good place to start. It is really just an intersection but it has awesome views of the Old Town. Climb up on one of the stone benches to get a little higher above the houses.
Av. de Juan Pablo II
This surprising spot is located in an uninviting area under development but is one of the only places you can see both Old and New Towns together. The light is best in the morning and you can avoid the trees a bit if you climb to the top of one of the hills.
Casa del Rey Moro
Despite the name, this was never the home of a Moorish king, having only been built in the 18th century. However, it does include fortifications left over from the Moorish Nasrid dynasty, mainly a fortified mine leading down to the river where a waterwheel was used to bring water up into the castle while under siege. There are roughly 200 steps down to the water where there are fascinating views inside the gorge (from a much different angle than most of those cliff-top shots you’ve taken so far). It costs €8 to enter.
Puente Viejo from Puente Arabe
An impressive look up at the Old Bridge from the smaller, more basic Arab bridge (also known as Puente Romano because, you know, everyone claims credit for everything around here). You can also walk down to the water for a look back up at both (with reflections on a calm day).
Puerta de Carlos V
The gate is nice enough on its own but there are also some nice views back down of the puerta with the Old Bridge and New Town in the background.
Puerta de la Cijara
Another super morning spot with city views from the walls near the original Arab gate (which is an attraction in its own right, like pretty much everything in Ronda).
Calle Senorita Cecilia
Pleasant building/street/church views on the way down to (or up from) Puente Viejo.
Now, here are a couple of walking tours that will help you hit all the best viewpoints without backtracking any more than necessary.
Ronda Viewpoint Walking Tour #1 (West)
Enjoy the views from Paseo Ingles and La Sevillana on your way to Plaza de Merced and the Alameda, then take the busy Calle Jerez north to the Mirador Virgen del Rocio and the Arch Viewpoint, continuing around to hit the Carretera Los Molinos viewpoint. Then you head down into the valley for an easy stroll before starting your tiring climb back up to the Old Town, hitting all best Puente Nuevo viewpoints along the way.
This route is best done with the late afternoon sun lighting up the gorge. Altogether it is 6 km with 230m of elevation gain/loss and will take about 2 hours if you stop to enjoy the viewpoints along the way.
Viewpoint Walking Tour #2 (East)
Start with the obvious ones – the Parador and Aldahuela – before heading down into the Old Town to Casa del Rey Moro, assuming you have the energy to tackle the 300 steps down (and back up). Then wander through Puerta de Carlos V, Puerta de la Cijara and the two “other” bridges, Puente Viejo and Puente Arabe. Once you’ve had your fill take the path up to the Jardines de Cuenca to the magnificent Mirador de Cuenca.
Now get ready for a longer walk, heading back down to the Old Bridge and heading about a kilometre east to the unattractive hills along Avenida de Juan Pablo II – worth it for views back of both Old and New Towns. Finally, you’ll make your way back up through the winding streets to Calle Juan José de Puya and Calle Cecilia.
This route is best done in the morning as the sun first makes it way over the eastern hills. And if it happens to be 5 o’clock somewhere by the time you’re done stop off for a beer or three at the popular local bar/tapas place, Lechugita to celebrate a job well done.
Three Ronda Hotels with Amazing Views
If you want to enjoy some of these stunning highlights from the comfort of your hotel here are three choices that offer amazing views.
For the entire list you can go through:
The Catalonia Ronda is all about the views. The location means the small infinity pool, hot tub and rooftop terrace have views over the oldest bullring in Spain, the square and the surrounding countryside and distant mountains.
La Escondida B&B
If you are looking for a B&B in Ronda with a view look no further than La Escondida B&B. With a seasonal swimming pool, helpful owners and amazing views over the countryside and mountains from the terrace, La Escondida is a great choice.
Parador de Ronda
The Parador de Ronda is a 4-star luxury hotel located right on Plaza de España with amazing views over the gorge and Puente Nuevo. The location really can’t be beat in the center of it all on the edge of the gorge and you can relax your room’s balcony and soak it all in.
Puente Nuevo / Ronda Bridge Viewpoints Summary
As you may have gathered, there are a lot of amazing places to take photos of an ancient Ronda bridge or justifiably famous El Tajo gorge. And just as many fabulous spots to get photos of other stuff like, you know, the valley, the other bridges and just Ronda in general. The whole place is a photographer’s dream. Happy viewpoint hunting!
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