Seville to Ronda Day Trip: The Ultimate Guide
The stone bridge plunging into Ronda’s gorge is one of the most recognized sights in southern Spain. Due to its small size, taking a day trip from Seville to Ronda is feasible to do on your own without a tour. In this guide, I’ll show you the best way to take a day trip from Seville to Ronda so that you don’t waste a minute of your precious time. There’s also a Q & A section at the end of this article, so make sure to head there if you have further questions.
Wheelchair Users: Look for this blue box for details on wheelchair accessibility in Ronda.
Seville to Ronda Day Trip: Getting to Ronda
There are two ways to travel from Seville to Ronda- by car or bus.
For the sake of full transparency, technically you can travel to Ronda by train. However, I don’t recommend taking the train from Seville to Ronda, especially as a day trip. There aren’t any direct trains from Seville to Ronda, so you’d waste a lot of time at the train station.
Seville to Ronda day trip by car
Traveling from Seville to Ronda by car is by far the best option, as it will give you full flexibility with your arrival and departure times.
It takes around 1.5 – 2 hours to drive from Seville to Ronda, depending on where in Seville you start and the day of the week. That’s provided, of course, that you don’t stop and gawk and the stunning mountainous countryside along the way.
Once you arrive in Ronda, there’s an underground parking lot in Socorro Plaza. This is the heart of Ronda, on the new town side. Street parking in Ronda is also common, but much less available.
You can also opt to park on the outskirts of town, at the bottom of the gorge. A popular parking area is around the Arab Baths.
Not only does parking at the bottom of the gorge open up the possibility of having better parking options, but it will also give you amazing views. Just be prepared for a good workout walking up the stone path to town!
Wheelchair accessible parking in Ronda is sparse, but not impossible. Make sure to park on the “new town” side of Ronda since wheelchair accessibility is overall better there.
Seville to Ronda day trip by bus
If, like me, you don’t have a car, get ready to enjoy the wonderful Spanish bus experience. There’s no sarcasm here; the long-distance Spanish buses are among the nicest of the buses I’ve been on throughout the world.
Damas is the bus company that runs buses from Seville to Ronda.
The availability of bus times can vary according to the time of year, but below are the schedules usually offered.
Bus schedule: Seville to Ronda
Bus schedule: Ronda to Seville
When choosing a bus time from Ronda to Seville, make sure to calculate the travel time. Some buses depart over an hour earlier and get you to Ronda only slightly earlier than a later bus. In addition to a longer bus trip, you also run the risk of getting delayed at stops along the way.
I was impressed by how efficient the buses ran. I took the 10:00am bus from Ronda to Seville. To my surprise, we arrived in Ronda 35 minutes early! It was a Saturday morning, so this no doubt helped.
I recommend allowing at least six hours in Ronda. I took the 6:30pm bus back to Seville, which arrived right on schedule.
The Damas buses have WiFi, air conditioning, and an average amount of legroom. The round trip bus from Seville to Ronda cost 20 Euros during my March 2020 trip.
The Damas bus from Seville to Ronda is wheelchair accessible. They have a lift and spot for one wheelchair. Make sure to coordinate with Damas in advance.
Things to do in Ronda during a day trip from Seville
Horray, you’ve arrived in Ronda!
Ronda is small but packed with things to do. To get you oriented, it’s important to know that Ronda is divided between two sides- the “new town” where the bus station and majority of parking are located, and the “old town”. Both sides are beautiful and worth exploring.
I’ve put together this list of things to do in Ronda as a day trip from Seville based on the sites you’d encounter when walking from the bus station to Ronda’s famous bridge. The path I took to get to all these sites wasn’t as seamless as this article will make it seem, but based on trial and error this is the route I’d take if I were to go back again.
For reference, I was able to do everything listed here in about a six hour time frame, including about an hour lunch break.
Alameda del Tajo
This park offers the first view of the gorge, from around the side of Ronda where you won’t be able to see the bridge. Because of this, it’s the perfect place to start your visit so that you get a taste of what’s to come.
A long boardwalk runs along the edge of the gorge. There are periodic balconies that jut out slightly into the gorge, giving you even more beautiful views of the countryside surrounding Ronda.
Alameda del Tajo is wheelchair accessible, but be prepared for a combination of dirt terrain and uneven stone slabs.
Plaza de Toros
Leaving Alameda del Tajo, begin walking along Paseo Blas Infantante. You’ll soon arrive at Plaza de Toros.
This is an 18th-century bullfighting ring. The plaza is small and, especially if you’ve already seen bullfighting rings elsewhere in Spain, you probably won’t be inclined to spend much time there as you’ll surely be itching to see the bridge.
There are some restaurants, ice cream shops, and clothing stores on narrow streets that branch out from Plaza de Torros.
Plaza de Torros is wheelchair accessible. The plaza is flat and has small, round cobblestone.
Paseo Blas Infantante
Let’s get back to Paseo Blas Infantante. This pedestrian boulevard is like a continuation of Alameda del Tajo, just a narrower, less park-like version.
It won’t take you long walking down Paseo Blas Infantante before you arrive to the Ernest Hemingway sculpture. Ernest Hemingway is famous in Ronda because of his love for the town.
When you arrive at the sculpture, continue following the paseo which will lead you into another park-like area, called the Mirador de Ronda, with more views of the gorge and countryside.
Balcón del Coño
The most famous area at the Mirador de Ronda is the Balcón del Coño.
Located by a gazebo, this balcony juts out over the gorge seemingly haphazardly. It’s a great place to take photos and to have photos taken of you hovering over the gorge.
Portions of Mirador de Ronda and Balcón del Coño are barrier-free for wheelchair users. Expect cobblestone and flat, but uneven, terrain.
Paseo Hemingway is yet like another continuation of both Alameda del Tajo and Paseo Blas Infantante, with beautiful old buildings setting the backdrop instead of trees.
This boardwalk is the key for getting you to Ronda’s famous bridge by means of following the edge of the gorge. There are some steps involved with Paseo Hemingway, as you’ll cut across the public balconies of some restaurants.
After a short, scenic walk, you’ll arrive at Puente Nuevo.
Wheelchair users will need to arrive to Puente Nuevo via Plaza España, due to stairs on Paseo Hemingway.
Puente Nuevo is the reason people visit Ronda, so if you do only one thing with your day trip from Seville to Ronda, this is it. Puente Nuevo’s stone bridge sinks 390 feet into the gorge and connects the new town with the old town.
The town of Ronda has done an incredible job of offering a number of free viewpoints for visitors. There are four viewing balconies on the bridge, one at each corner.
Keep in mind that the Puente Nuevo isn’t a pedestrian bridge. There are sidewalks that line both sides of the bridge, but they’re fairly narrow, so it’ll be slow going if you’re visiting at peak travel times. Thankfully, cars were sparse the Saturday I visited, so it felt more like a pedestrian bridge.
There’s an interpretation center located inside the center of the bridge. I paid the small fee to enter, but having done so, wouldn’t recommend it. The interpretation is small and mostly vacant. Plus, the views are on par with the views you can get at the free viewpoints.
The most wheelchair accessible areas at Puente Nuevo are the viewing points, as they have iron bars going all the way to the ground for unobstructed views. Sidewalks are narrow but wide enough for wheelchair users to cross the Puente Nuevo. However, the stone wall is too high to offer views from the bridge.
Hike into the gorge
Naturally, you’re going to walk across Puente de Nuevo. When you do, you’ll be crossing from the new town, which is where all the places we’ve covered up to here are located, into the old town.
When you get to the old town, I recommend taking a right and walking down Calle Tenorio, which passes through pretty, old buildings and more viewpoints of the gorge.
It won’t be long before you arrive at Plaza de María Auxiliadora. You guessed it- you’ll get more views over the gorge here.
However, this is also where you can hike down into the gorge, getting amazing views looking up at Puente Nuevo from the river. The hiking path was closed for maintenance when I went, so I can’t comment on the experience. If you’ve been, I’d love to hear your thoughts about it in the comments section.
Plaza Duquesa de Parcent
After you’ve hiked, return back up the path and set your GPS to take you to Plaza Duquesa de Parcent. It’s a short walk and you’ll be going into town, leaving the gorge (temporarily!) behind you.
Commonly referred to simply as “Plaza Duquesa”, this is a must-see plaza on the old town side of Ronda. This is a great place to grab a bite to eat and people watch.
Plaza Duquesa is wheelchair accessible. The plaza has small, round cobblestone but is flat. It’s best for wheelchair users to drive to Plaza Duquesa to avoid rolling down narrow, cobblestone streets.
Santa María la Mayor Church
Hands down the star of Plaza Duquesa is the church of Santa María la Mayor.
I was on the fence about whether or not to pay the 4.5 Euro entrance fee to go inside, as I wanted to make the best use of my day trip from Seville to Ronda. However, the promise of views from Santa María la Mayor’s balcony made me cave in. And I’m so glad it did.
A visit to Santa María la Mayor is easily the best value I’ve ever received from a church that charges an entrance fee. The church itself is ornate and beautiful, as expected.
However, you also get to visit the underground vault, a balcony that faces Plaza Duquesa, and a separate, higher balcony that wraps most of the way around the church.
The views from the balcony are one of the best ways to see why Ronda makes the list of a “white town” in Andalucia.
You won’t see the gorge from these viewpoints, but I guarantee that you’ll be too distracted by the scenery around you to care.
Once you’ve explored Santa María la Mayor Church, head to the Almocábar Gate, which is at the far end of the old town, on the opposite side of the bridge.
On your way, you’ll get to soak in the architecture of the old town, walking downhill along its narrow, cobblestone streets.
The Almocábar Gate was originally one of two entrances used to get into Ronda. Nowadays, the gate offers a nice view of the city wall. If you’re looking to grab some cheaper food than in the walled city, there are some restaurants around this area where you can get a bite to eat.
Wheelchair users can drive to the base of the Almocábar Gate. From here, the area is flat and there’s a sidewalk you can use to explore the wall.
The Arab Baths are located at the base of Ronda’s gorge. You can walk there from the Almocábar Gate via a well-marked cobblestone path. It’ll take you around 15 minutes to walk there.
For an entrance fee, you can explore the 13th-century baths, which have impressive stone vaulted ceilings.
The Arab Baths are one of the most important historical places in Ronda. However, due to their location in the gorge, they were refreshingly less crowded than other areas of Ronda.
View Ronda’s Arab Baths prices and schedules here.
Jardines de Cuenca
Near the Arab Baths you’ll see a stone path that leads back up the gorge into town. Follow this path, crossing the Arab Bridge when you come to it, which is a mini version of the Puente Nuevo.
Congratulations, you’re now back on the new town side of Ronda!
It’ll be obvious where you’ll need to go from here, for the balconies of the Jardines de Cuenca (Cuenca Gardens) will be in plain sight, wrapping up around the gorge.
From the Cuenca Gardens, you’ll be able to enjoy different- and among the best- views of the Puente Nuevo.
Visiting the Cuenca Gardens is an excellent meet-in-the-middle kind of viewpoint for people hesitant to hike to the bottom of the gorge.
After passing through the Cuenca Gardens, you’ll emerge at the Puente Nuevo. Do your final exploring and photo taking there, then head to the Plaza España, which is basically attached to the beginning of the Puente Nuevo on the new town side.
Plaza España has tourist shops, ice cream stands, restaurants, and a number of streets branching off of it, most notably, Calle Nuevo which is the shopping area.
Plaza España and the streets branching off of it are the best areas in Ronda for wheelchair accessibility. Plaza España is the accessible entry point to Puente Nuevo.
Plaza del Socorro
As your last stop of the day, head to Plaza del Socorro. This was my favorite plaza on the new town side of Ronda.
It’s larger than the others, has a unique, asymmetrical shape, and is colorful, especially thanks to its church’s tiled roof.
Conveniently, Plaza del Socorro is where the underground parking lot is located. Therefore, whereas this is the best last stop for those taking a day trip from Seville to Ronda by bus, if you’re driving, you can easily start your visit to Ronda in the Plaza del Socorro and work backward through this list.
Plaza del Socorro offers excellent wheelchair accessibility with flat, cobblestone-free terrain.
Seville to Ronda Day Trip Q & A
Phew! You’re going to pack a lot into your Seville to Ronda day trip if you visit all the places listed here.
I imagine you still have questions, so I’ll address some here. If you still have questions after reading this post, leave me a comment and I’ll be happy to help.
Is Ronda worth visiting?
It may sound silly to include this question after writing a whole post on Ronda, but according to Google, people have their doubts. Yes, Ronda is absolutely worth visiting.
Should I spend the night in Ronda or is a day trip from Seville to Ronda enough?
You can comfortably see the highlights of Ronda as a day trip from Seville. However, I would have liked to have spent the night to revisit some of the sights in the evening and early morning before the day-trippers arrived. Spending the night is also advantageous for photography buffs who would be able to take advantage of different lighting at Puente Nuevo during sunrise and sunset.
When is the best time of year to visit Ronda?
It depends on what you’re looking for. If you’d like cooler weather and fewer crowds, it’s best to visit Ronda in the winter. Spring and fall are shoulder months where you can enjoy flowers and leaves on the trees. Summer is the hottest time of year and when Ronda receives the highest number of tourists.
Should I purchase my bus ticket in advance?
Yes, especially if you’re traveling in the high season. This way, you can secure the best bus times and not have to worry about whether or not tickets sell out. Purchasing bus tickets from Seville to Ronda in advance isn’t as much of an issue in the winter, although it’s still best practice. Neither of the buses I traveled on in the winter were completely full.
How far is the Ronda bus station from the center of town?
It’s a 10 – 15 minute walk from the Ronda bus station to the center of town, assuming that you don’t stop along the way.
Where’s the best place to sit on the bus for good views?
Both sides of the bus offer great views. However, as you get closer to Ronda, there’s a pretty mountain range that you’ll get better views of if you sit on the passenger side when traveling from Seville to Ronda. There isn’t assigned seating on the bus, so try to be among the first to line up.
Is Ronda wheelchair accessible?
As you’ve hopefully gathered from the blue notes in this article, a number of areas in Ronda are wheelchair accessible. I recommend basing yourself in the new town, since there’s less cobblestone. The area around Puente Nuevo, Plaza de Toro, and Plaza Socorro are all quite flat. Outside of these areas, it’ll be easiest for you to drive between sites so you avoid steep hills and cobblestone.
Conclusion: Seville to Ronda Day Trip
If Ronda isn’t eye candy, I don’t know what is. Taking a day trip from Seville to Ronda is an excellent option for getting out in the countryside and seeing one of Spain’s white villages.
Do you have questions about taking a day trip from Seville to Ronda? Leave a comment and I’ll be happy to help. If you’ve already visited Ronda, let’s start a chat about your experience!
Laura’s love for traveling started with a trip to Jamaica. Since then, she’s spent over five years living in Latin America and four years wandering the globe. She’s an early bird and backpacker at heart and can often be spotted with a dog or ten that she’s befriended along the way. Much of the content Laura writes on A Piece of Travel includes details on wheelchair accessibility, with the support of her brother-in-law and sister. You can learn about their accessibility endeavors here.