Parador de Ronda
The Ronda Parador is an interesting mix of old and new architecture, offering views of the busy, picturesque Plaza de España on one side, and the breath-taking gorge on the other. The building is adjacent to the 18th-century Puente Nuevo bridge. This hotel is an excellent, convenient base for exploring Ronda.
The views from the terrace of Ronda’s Parador, of the Puente Nuevo and the surrounding countryside, are extremely impressive. It's a great spot to enjoy with a drink and a tapa, contemplating your lofty position on the edge of the 120-metre deep Tajo Gorge, before heading out to explore the rest of this historic city.
What is it like?
Although the building is historic, the conversion dates from 1994, and its interior design and decoration are contemporary in style. Each of the comfortable rooms, decorated in sophisticated shades of amber yellow and olive green and with a wooden floor, has its own balcony with views over the gorge or down to the plain below. There is a garden, a seasonal outdoor swimming pool, and a gift shop. TVs are equipped with ChromeCast.
The restaurant, El Manzel, is well-known for its excellent local and regional cuisine, with a menu helpfully grouped by region. El Manzel offers chilled dishes like ajoblanco and porra, as well as hearty mountain fare: meat stews, migas, roast kid, partridge pâté; you can also try Payoyo goat's cheese, made in this area. Some dishes, such as stewed bull's tail, have links to bullfighting, an important part of the culture of Ronda.
Indeed, those who are interested in bullfighting will enjoy the collection of taurine-themed art, with over 100 pieces (while for those who are less enamoured, you have been warned!). Styles take in Romanticism, Goya, expressions, pop culture and geometric abstraction.
What is its history?
This is one of the many historic Paradors in Andalucia, and around Spain (Jaen and Granada are also especially notable): guests have the chance to stay in buildings which formerly housed the Ronda Ayuntamiento, or Town Hall, and mercado de abastos (food market). The former, also known as the Casa Consistorial, still has its beautiful white-and-yellow facade, complete with clock and cornices, and pretty arcade.
What is there to do?
For summer-time visitors, a dip in the outdoor swimming pool, set spectacularly on the edge of the gorge, is highly recommended.
In the town, as well as the gorge, you can see the bullring, where the famous Goyesca festival featuring magnificent costumes is held in September, as well as palaces and Arab baths.
The pretty pueblos blancos (white villages) of Cadiz are worth visiting, as well as the Roman town of Acinipo and La Pileta Cave. Other possibilities are wineries - the area is well-known for its wines; olive oil and goat farms; and a bullfighting theme park, Reservatauro, owned by Rafael Tejada.
For nature-lovers, birdwatchers, hikers and cyclists, the Sierra de Las Nieves National Park, and the Natural Parks of Sierra de Grazalema and Los Alcornocales (across Cadiz and Malaga provinces) are full of delights.
Book Parador Jaen
Plaza de España, Ronda