"Cascada de Ronda"

Ronda / Andalusia Region, Malaga, Spain

About “Cascada de Ronda”


Hiking Distance: 3km round trip
Suggested Time: 1 hour

Date first visited: 2015-05-23
Date last visited: 2015-05-24

Waterfall Latitude: 36.74031
Waterfall Longitude: -5.16629

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“Cascada de Ronda” (or the Ronda Waterfall) was the name that I’m dubbing this attractive waterfall.

A distinguishing feature of this waterfall was that it was where the Río Guadalevín (Deep River) tumbled some 25m or so beneath the impressive Puente Nuevo (New Bridge) spanning the Tajo Gorge in the old town of Ronda.

Ronda_048_05232015 - Cascada de Ronda, the Puente Nuevo (New Bridge), and the Tajo Gorge
Cascada de Ronda, the Puente Nuevo (New Bridge), and the Tajo Gorge

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 above was merely my attempt at capturing the grandeur of the falls and the gorge.

Meanwhile numerous people before managed to capture the same thing and produced and immortalized them in one form or another in the form of post cards, calendars, photos on the web, etc.

The Puente Nuevo that towered over the waterfall linked the old town of Ronda with the new town though it wasn’t the only bridge spanning the deep and narrow gorge.

Ronda_027_05232015 - Looking downstream from around the Puente Nuevo towards the New Town of Ronda and the cliffs holding it up above the Tajo Gorge
Looking downstream from around the Puente Nuevo towards the New Town of Ronda and the cliffs holding it up above the Tajo Gorge

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.

Experiencing the “Cascada de Ronda”

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.

Ronda_020_05232015 - Looking alongside the Puente Nuevo towards the New Town in the late afternoon
Looking alongside the Puente Nuevo towards the New Town in the late afternoon

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 wide 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 further adding a little more ambience to the scene (naturally for a propina or tip).

On the far side of the plaza were steps that led us down into the Tajo Gorge itself.

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”.

Ronda_028_05232015 - Descending from the Plaza del Campillo into the Tajo Gorge and the views of the Cascada de Ronda
Descending from the Plaza del Campillo into the Tajo Gorge and the 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 called la Puerta de los Molinos (the Door of the mills) and la Puerta del Viento (or the Door of the Wind).

I took one of these archways (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.

Ronda_221_05232015 - One of the old archways that I noticed in the Tajo Gorge while I was exploring the area around the Cascada de Ronda
One of the old archways that I noticed in the Tajo Gorge while I was exploring the area around the Cascada de Ronda

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.

That said, given the number of spider webs that brushed my face, I’d imagine that not many people go down here.

Anyways, you can’t see the “Cascada de Ronda” 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 waterfall.

Ronda_243_05232015 - Looking down into the valley from the Puente Nuevo above the Cascada de Ronda
Looking down into the valley from the Puente Nuevo above 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.

A Natural Arch near the “Cascada de Ronda”

A pleasant surprise for making the effort to go far down into the Tajo Gorge from the Plaza del Campillo was that there was a natural arch sighting.

I noticed it 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.

Ronda_217_05232015 - Looking across the Tajo Gorge at a natural arch that I didn't expect to see nearby the Cascada de Ronda
Looking across the Tajo Gorge at a natural arch that I didn’t expect to see nearby the Cascada de Ronda

However, as you can see from the photo above, the natural arch was legitimate.

Authorities

“Cascada de Ronda” resides in the Andalucian town of Ronda in the Malaga Province of Spain. It is administered by town of Ronda. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their Ronda Tourism Board website.

Ronda_004_05232015 - The church fronting the car park by the Plaza Duquesa in the Old Town of Ronda
Ronda_022_05232015 - 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 Ronda
Ronda_023_05232015 - One of the narrow streets in the Old Town of Ronda as we went exploring and looking for the Cascada de Ronda
Ronda_024_05232015 - Looking along the cliffs lining the Old Town of Ronda with the New Town in the distance
Ronda_095_05232015 - Julie checking out the Mirador del Campillo while Tahia was walking around the Plaza del Campillo
Ronda_178_05232015 - 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 rainy
Ronda_093_05232015 - 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 side
Ronda_031_05232015 - Julie and Tahia descending along the Camino de los Molinos into the Tajo Gorge
Ronda_039_05232015 - Our first look at the Ronda Waterfall fronting the New Bridge with some intermediate cascades further downstream
Ronda_074_05232015 - Looking further downstream from the Tajo Gorge while hiking down to a frontal look of the Cascada de Ronda
Ronda_083_05232015 - Looking even further downstream towards the pastures and fields further below the Tajo Gorge
Ronda_085_05232015 - Julie and Tahia heading back up to the Plaza del Campillo and the Old Town of Ronda after having had their fill of the Cascada de Ronda
Ronda_087_05232015 - Context of the ascending trail with the buildings atop the cliffs at the Old Town of Ronda
Ronda_098_05232015 - Another look across the Tajo Gorge from the Old Town as we started to head towards the New Town of Ronda for dinner
Ronda_105_05232015 - This is what it looks like walking across the Puente Nuevo towards the New Town of Ronda
Ronda_107_05232015 - Looking over the Tajo Gorge towards its stream and valley below from the Puente Nuevo in Ronda
Ronda_108_05232015 - Precipitous view looking down alongside the Puente Nuevo just as we were about to cross the bridge
Ronda_122_05232015 - Looking upstream from the Puente Nuevo towards the Puente Viejo and some buildings clinging to the vertical cliffs of Ronda
Ronda_128_05232015 - It looked like it was possible to dine or have a drink beneath the Puente Nuevo overlooking the Tajo Gorge down below
Ronda_129_05232015 - Context of the buildings of the New Town of Ronda clinging to the Tajo Gorge just upstream of the Cascada de Ronda
Ronda_179_05232015 - Next morning, I got an early start and descended back down into the Tajo Gorge for another go at experiencing the Cascada de Ronda
Ronda_181_05232015 - 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 Campillo
Ronda_186_05232015 - Contextual view of 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
Ronda_188_05232015 - View of the Ronda Waterfall from further down in the Tajo Gorge
Ronda_195_05232015 - Closer examination of the impressive Ronda Waterfall and Puente Nuevo above it in the early morning hours
Ronda_202_05232015 - The somewhat rough and overgrown trail beneath the Murallas de la Albacara leading me somewhere even deeper into the Tajo Gorge
Ronda_210_05232015 - Another look towards the Cascada de Ronda in the early morning with rain threatening
Ronda_211_05232015 - 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)
Ronda_239_05232015 - Another look upstream into the Tajo Gorge from the Puente Nuevo
Ronda_252_05232015 - Looking back towards the Tajo Gorge from the overlooks at the New Town of Ronda near the historical bullring

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We stayed in the Old Town of Ronda so we were able to walk to the “Cascada de Ronda”.

This pretty much involved walking 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.

Ronda_003_05232015 - The public car park near the Plaza Duquesa in the Old Town of Ronda
The public car park near the Plaza Duquesa in the Old Town of Ronda

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.

Ronda_009_05232015 - The church at the Plaza de Duquesa in the Old Town of Ronda
The church at the Plaza de Duquesa in the Old Town of Ronda

The parking was on the far southern side right behind some church next to the Ayuntamiento (town hall).

If you’re not staying in the 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.

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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Tagged with: ronda, malaga, andalusia, spain, waterfall, andalucia, new bridge, puente nuevo, guadalevin, maria auxiliadora, tajo, campillo, albacara



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