Road trip to Ronda – Setenil de las Bodegas and Júzcar

Ronda is about 100 km from Fuengirola. Take the A7 motorway towards Marbella and you will see a sign for Ronda. Follow the mountain road, Ronda is about 800 metres above sea level. It is a fantastically narrow and curvy road with railings so even though it is a steep road, it never feels uncomfortable. MC riders gather on weekends and “pull the iron” in the hairpin curves, worth the trip just that. Halfway up to Ronda you should stop at the motorbike café and look at all the cool motorbikes.

The MC café on the way up to Ronda

Ronda is the most famous of ‘los pueblos blancos’, the white villages, a number of Arab villages scattered between Málaga, Algeciras and Seville. About 40,000 people live in Ronda but it is visited by 75,000 tourists daily during the high season. The surroundings are breathtaking, and the drive up and the views alone are worth the trip.

Ronda is one of Spain’s oldest cities and is located in a very mountainous area 800 metres above sea level. The city is divided by a 120 metre deep ravine, el Tajo, formed by the river Guadalevín. Three bridges cross the gorge, a Roman one built more than 2,000 years ago, a Moorish one called Puente Arabe and one that was started in 1751 and only completed in 1793. It is called Puente Nuevo.

Ernest Hemingway is one of the many artists and writers who spent time in Ronda and his novel “For Whom the Bell Tolls” is said to be inspired by the murders carried out by the Republicans by throwing their opponents off the cliffs of El Tajo.

Setenil de las Bodegas

Continue about 20 km from Ronda and you will reach Setenil de las bodegas.
Here a small community has been built into the mountain. It is a dramatic place in Andalusia. The village is fully adapted to the hilly landscape. Walk along the streets and suddenly you find yourself in the heart of the mountain.

The blue village of Júzcar or smurf village

On the way up to Ronda or on the way down, whichever you prefer, you can visit Júzcar, located in the heart of the Serranía de Ronda and in the natural area of the Genal Valley. All its houses and buildings are completely painted blue. In 2011, Sony Picture chose to promote its film ‘The Smurfs’ and Júzcar was transformed from one of the white villages to the only blue village in Spain. The inhabitants themselves voted on whether they wanted to keep their houses blue or go back to white, and the result was a resounding ‘yes’ for Smurf blue!

More about Ronda, the fantastic mountain city →

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