"Cascada de Ronda"

Ronda / Andalucia Region, Malaga, Spain

Rating: 3     Difficulty: 2
Cascada de Ronda

TABLE OF CONTENTS



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INTRODUCTION

"Cascada de Ronda" (or the Ronda Waterfall) was the name that I'm dubbing this attractive waterfall, where the Río Guadalevín (Deep River) that tumbled some 25m or so beneath the impressive Puente Nuevo (New Bridge) spanning the Tajo Gorge in the old town of Ronda. I'm not even sure if this waterfall has a formal name, which is strange considering that this could very well be the signature attraction of the Andalucían town of Ronda. In fact, the photo you see at the top of this page was merely my attempt at capturing the grandeur of the falls and the gorge while numerous people before managed to capture the same thing and produced and immortalized them in one form or another whether they were on post cards, calendars, photos on the web, etc.

The Puente Nuevo that towered over the waterfall linked the old town with the new town though it wasn't the only bridge spanning the deep and narrow gorge as further to the east in the gorge were the 16th century Puente Viejo (Old Bridge) and the 11th century Puente Árabe (Arab Bridge). The New Bridge was said to have been built in the 18th century, and I noticed there were steps leading to a lower level on the New Town side of the bridge, which I'd imagine would have been the interpretive center. It was closed during our late afternoon and early morning visits.

Looking alongside the Puente Nuevo towards the New Town in the late afternoon In order to get the view that you see at the top of this page, we first had to be on the side of the Old Town side (south) of the New Bridge. We then had to get to the Plaza del Campillo (or Plaza de Maria Auxiliadora), where there was a panoramic lookout of the Tajo Gorge and the widening landscape further downstream of it. Also in the plaza was a square harboring some monuments, gardens, and benches, which was the ripe kind of environment for buskers adding a little more ambience to the scene for a propina (tip). On the far side of the plaza were steps that led us down into the gorge. After about 5-10 minutes of descending, we had our choice of spur trails and lookouts that provided the famous direct views of the "Cascada de Ronda".

Continuing further down on the steps, I managed to get far enough to a point where I started to notice old walls. Apparently, these walls were known as the Murallas de la Albacara (Walls of Albacara), which were built to protect mills (molinos) within the gorge. Along these walls, there was a pair of archways (Puerta de los Molinos or the Door of the Mills and Puerta del Viento or Door of the Wind) where I took one of them (not sure which one) further down a rough and overgrown path leading closer to the ditches or water canals and possibly to the base of the waterfall itself. I only went as far down as the water canals as it started getting too overgrown to see the waterfall anymore. However, I didn't explore much further so there could have been other hidden surprises down there, but given the number of spider webs that brushed my face, I'd imagine that not many people go down here.

A pleasant surprise for making the effort to go this far down into the Tajo Gorge from the Plaza del Campillo was that there was a natural arch across the gorge beneath the approximate location of the Paseo Blas Infante (an open area park and lookout behind the Ronda Bullring - said to be the oldest one in Spain). This tall jug handle arch didn't seem to have any fanfare or attention devoted to it in the literature, but as you can see from the photos on this page, the natural arch was legitimate.

You can't see the waterfall from anywhere else but this descending trail beneath the Plaza del Campillo. Once you're back up in the town of Ronda, you'll always be behind and above the drop of the Cascada de Ronda. And since this was a west-facing waterfall, that meant that the best light would be in the afternoon when the soft setting sun would illuminate the gorge and the New Bridge with its orangish hue on a sunny day.




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PHOTO JOURNAL

Looking over the Murallas de la Albacara (Walls of Albacara) towards a natural arch on the other side of the Tajo Gorge after descending a fair bit below the Plaza del CampilloLooking over the Murallas de la Albacara (Walls of Albacara) towards a natural arch on the other side of the Tajo Gorge after descending a fair bit below the Plaza del Campillo
This was the Ronda Bullring, which was said to be the oldest such bullring in SpainThis was the Ronda Bullring, which was said to be the oldest such bullring in Spain
Looking across the Tajo Gorge towards the New Town portion of Ronda perched atop rugged cliffs in a nearly impossibly scenic locationLooking across the Tajo Gorge towards the New Town portion of Ronda perched atop rugged cliffs in a nearly impossibly scenic location
Roughly two hours drive from Ronda was the beautiful and quintessentially Spanish city of Sevilla. Shown here is the grand Plaza de España, which very much reminded me of the Republic in Star WarsRoughly two hours drive from Ronda was the beautiful and quintessentially Spanish city of Sevilla. Shown here is the grand Plaza de España, which very much reminded me of the Republic in Star Wars
The church fronting the car park by the Plaza Duquesa in the Old Town of RondaThe church fronting the car park by the Plaza Duquesa in the Old Town of Ronda

While walking towards the Plaza del Campillo from the Puente Nuevo, we got this closer look across the Tajo Gorge at a cliff holding up the New Town of RondaWhile walking towards the Plaza del Campillo from the Puente Nuevo, we got this closer look across the Tajo Gorge at a cliff holding up the New Town

Looking along the cliffs lining the Old Town with the New Town in the distanceLooking along the cliffs lining the Old Town with the New Town in the distance

Julie checking out the Mirador del Campillo while Tahia was walking around the Plaza del CampilloJulie checking out the Mirador del Campillo while Tahia was walking around the Plaza del Campillo

This was the kind of view I was able to get from the Mirador del Campillo the following morning. Notice the bands of rain falling from the clouds in the distance.  It was amazing how quickly the weather turned from warm and sunny to rainyThis was the kind of view I was able to get from the Mirador del Campillo the following morning. Notice the bands of rain falling from the clouds in the distance. It was amazing how quickly the weather turned from warm and sunny to rainy

Descending the steps and trail leading beneath the Plaza del Campillo into the Tajo GorgeDescending the steps and trail leading beneath the Plaza del Campillo into the Tajo Gorge

Context of the Camino de los Molinos descending into the Tajo Gorge with the New Town of Ronda perched across the top of the gorge on the other sideContext of the Camino de los Molinos descending into the Tajo Gorge with the New Town perched across the top of the gorge on the other side

Julie and Tahia descending along the Camino de los Molinos into the Tajo GorgeJulie and Tahia descending along the Camino de los Molinos into the Tajo Gorge

Our first look at the Ronda Waterfall fronting the New BridgeOur first look at the Ronda Waterfall fronting the New Bridge

Julie and Tahia heading back up to the Plaza del Campillo and the Old Town of RondaJulie and Tahia heading back up to the Plaza del Campillo and the Old Town

Early in the following morning, I did a solo hike back down into the Tajo Gorge, but this time I went far enough down the gorge to get this panoramic view of a jug handle arch framing the landscape belowEarly in the following morning, I did a solo hike back down into the Tajo Gorge, but this time I went far enough down the gorge to get this panoramic view of a jug handle arch framing the landscape below

View of the Ronda Waterfall from further down in the Tajo GorgeView of the Ronda Waterfall from further down in the Tajo Gorge

Closer examination of the impressive Ronda Waterfall and Puente Nuevo above it in the early morning hoursCloser examination of the impressive Ronda Waterfall and Puente Nuevo above it in the early morning hours

The somewhat rough and overgrown trail beneath the Murallas de la Albacara leading me somewhere even deeper into the Tajo GorgeThe somewhat rough and overgrown trail beneath the Murallas de la Albacara leading me somewhere even deeper into the Tajo Gorge

Climbing back up the narrow and rough trail towards the man-made archway that was part of the Murallas de la Albacara (can't tell whether this was the Puerta de los Molinos or the Puerta del Viento)Climbing back up the narrow and rough trail towards the man-made archway that was part of the Murallas de la Albacara (can't tell whether this was the Puerta de los Molinos or the Puerta del Viento)

Last look across the Tajo Gorge towards the natural arch on the other sideLast look across the Tajo Gorge towards the natural arch on the other side

Back up amongst the Murallas de la Albacara and the two doors (can't tell which one is which) before I climbed back up into the Old Town to join the rest of the family for breakfastBack up amongst the Murallas de la Albacara and the two doors (can't tell which one is which) before I climbed back up into the Old Town to join the rest of the family for breakfast


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VIDEOS OF THE FALLS


late afternoon look at the waterfall beneath the New Bridge in the Old Andalucian Town of Ronda


Morning view of perhaps the most direct view of the falls and Puente Nuevo that I was able to get on a drizzly morning


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DRIVING DIRECTIONS

We stayed in the Old Town of Ronda so we were able to walk to the Plaza del Campillo (or Plaza de Maria Auxiliadora) from the Plaza del Gigante by going west on one of the narrow streets. From the New Bridge, it was also possible to get to Plaza del Campillo on foot aong the Calle Tenorio. Once at the plaza, we were able to descend into the gorge as described above.

We drove to Ronda after picking up our rental car in Málaga. It was about a two-hour drive along a combination of the A-7 (or AP-7, which was a toll autovía paralleling the A-7) which we took for about 69km, then the A-397 (for another 44km). Since we were staying in the Old Town and we ultimately had to park near the Plaza Duquesa, we ultimately left the A-397 at the A-6300 headed west (there was a roundabout here), then we followed the A-6300 west for about 1.6 kilometers before leaving the many-sided roundabout at the Calle Cuesta de las Imágenes (the exit after the Gate and Walls of Almocabar). We then followed the Calle Cuesta de las Imágenes until we had to turn left to get into the Plaza de Duquesa. The parking was on the far southern side right behind some church next to the Ayuntamiento (town hall).

If you're not staying in Old Town, then you'll have to find other public parking spaces in the New Town area then walk. We can't say anything more about that particular option since we didn't do that.

For further context, Ronda was 128km (about 2 hours drive) southeast of Sevilla (or Seville), 101km (about 90 minutes drive) west of Málaga, 180km (over 2 hours drive) west of Granada, 164km (about 2.5 hours drive or about 2 hours by trains) south of Córdoba, and 551km (over 5.5 hours drive) south of Madrid.




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ITINERARIES

For more information about our itineraries involving this waterfall, check out the following links.




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MAP OF THE FALLS



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TRIP REPORTS

For more information about our experiences with this waterfall, check out the following travel stories.




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TRIP PLANNING RESOURCES






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NEARBY WATERFALLS




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