The beautiful little city just as beautiful as Madrid but with fewer tourists

Madrid is known for its elegant boulevards, art, culture and vibrancy, but there is another city in Spain which some say is just as appealing, but without the crowds.

The Spanish capital was the most visited city destination in the country last year with 8.6 million overnight visitors, beating Barcelona, Sevilla, Palma and Benidorm, according to Statista.

In contrast, Ronda saw more than 163,000 foreign tourists visit this beautiful city in southern Spain’s popular Malaga province, according to figures from the Instituto Nacional de Estadistica.

The historic city perched on top of a plateau is famous for its stunning views from dramatic escarpments and El Tajo gorge through which the Guadalevín river flows.

El Tajo also divides the city, but the Puento Nuevo bridge which spans the 390ft chasm and was completed in 1793.

READ MORE Discovery of 7,000 bones uncovers the dark history of Europe’s animal sacrifices describes Ronda as one of the region’s loveliest towns with plenty to see beyond the Puento Nuevo.

The travel guide recommends a slew of sites to tempt travellers, including the Convento de Santo Domingo, Palacio del Marqués de Salvatierra and Baños de los Arabes.

Food lovers have plenty of options in Ronda as well, with michelin starred restaurants, tapas bars and other top notch eateries.

For tapas, Michelin starred Bardal is known for its “exquisitely presented” dishes using local ingredients and “cutting-edge” techniques.

Méson El Coto Alto boasts a “wonderful terrace” and serves traditional mediterranean and Andalucian food.

In the historic heart of the city and with “unrivalled” views of the Ronda bridge, Casa Santa Pola serves fresh, traditional food.

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Accommodation-wise, there is also plenty of choice to suit varied budgets, from the high end Arie de Ronda and Hotel Catalonia Ronda to the Hotel Ronda Valley.

B&B Yanes Ronda is 500 metres from Plaza de Espana and less than a mile from Iglesia de Santa María la Mayor.

Boabdil Guesthouse features a patio and roof top terrace while Arunda Luxury Boutique Hotel only caters to adults, with a fitness centre, garden and terrace.

Boabdil Guesthouse features a patio and roof top terrace while Arunda Luxury Boutique Hotel only caters to adults, with a fitness centre, garden and terrace.

Hostal San Cayetano in Sevilla Street is 250 metres from Ronda’s bullring and within walking distance of El Tajo.

According to, most people visit Ronda by car or bus from the Costa del Sol via San Pedro de Alcántara on the A-376.

The route through the Sierra Bermeja mountains is said to be dramatic with the peaks attracting low cloud and even snow in winter.

A gentler route from Malaga city follows the A-357, passing the villages of Ardales, Carratraca and Cuevas de Becerra.

Alternatively, there is a more westerly route from Sabanillas and Manilva west of Estepona, taking the A-377 via Casares and Gaucín to Ronda.

There are daily train connections from Algeciras, Granada, Málaga and Sevilla with the last three involving changes at Bobadilla.

A “spectacular” train journey from Algeciras and San Roque to Ronda can also be taken and follows the plunging valley of the River Guadiaro.

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