Above the Costa del Sol in the Sierra de Ronda, this hilltop, fortress town is a very popular attraction for visitors, not least for the dramatically steep sided gorge of the River Guadalevin that runs through the centre and is up to 200 metres [615 feet] deep. The old town [La Ciudad], founded by the Romans as a settlement they called Arunda, is the southern part, beyond which is the district of San Francisco. Meanwhile the northern part is occupied by the 'new town' [Mercadillo] founded by the Catholic Monarchs after they conquered the Moors in 1485 and the two parts are linked by bridges across the gorge.
The Plaza de Toros [Bullring], built in 1785 with two tiers of arcaded galleries, is a focal point because Ronda is the home of bullfighting whence come some of the sport's most famous Matadors. Near here there are great views of the Mountains from the park of Alameda de Jose Antonio. The Alcazaba was destroyed by the French in the early 19th century, but if you head for the Arabic Arch [Arco Arabe] there are water mills and views of the waterfalls and Puente Nuevo.
From the gardens of the Casa del Rey Moro [House of the Moorish King] there are a fabulous views and a dramatic sweeping staircase hewn from the rock down to the river. Nearby is the Church of Santa Maria la Mayor that has been created out of a Mosque with four Mudejar style domes but fine renaissance stalls and Capilla. The Mihrab or prayer niche indicating the direction of Mecca remains. Needless to say there are plenty of good hotels, including a Parador, restaurants up to Michelin star status and countless Tapas Bars and cafes all around the city.