22 Oct, 2010 @ 09:00
2 mins read

My perfect home

By Irene Ortiz

IF you want to get away from the rat-race and you like spectacular scenery and unspoilt mountain towns, then Ronda could be for you.

Since moving here a few years ago, I have really got into the huge range of things to do, as well as the superb food.

On top of this, people are more friendly and welcoming than any other place I have visited in Spain.

Perched high on a ridge surrounded by some of the most spectacular scenery in Spain, Ronda has a magical charm and a rich and diverse history.

The city is 739m above sea level and has a population of approx. 40.000 inhabitants known as Rondeños.

It is a setting which has inspired poets and writers for years, notably Ernest Hemingway and Orson Welles.

They both fell in love with the town as they immersed themselves in the art of bullfighting,
and Hemingway based part of his famous book For Whom the Bell Tolls here.

The city – and I call it a city, as that is what the local Spaniards call it – is perhaps most famous for its amazing bridge

El Puente Nuevo (the new Bridge). It is the soul of the city and spans the breathtaking 100m deep gorge and river.

The gorge divides the city into two parts; the older, Moorish quarter and the newer section of the town.

Wander the streets at your own pace and take in the magnificent architecture, sit for a while in one of the many delightful little squares and just breathe in the atmosphere.

You might take a horse-drawn carriage and clip clop around the main tourist sights or if you are feeling a little more energetic take a guided walking tour.

Nearby, there is a huge variety of activities available, including, bird-watching, ballooning, climbing, horse-riding, paragliding and a host of other country pursuits.

The lifestyle in Ronda is, what I would call, traditional, but with the cost of living and property prices much lower than on the Costas.

The city has all the amenities but is not so big as to lose its charm and personality.

Join the local Rondenos and visit historic Calle la Bola where everyone goes shopping. A pedestrianised street, here you will find everything from antiques to clothes.

While the weather is slightly cooler in winter and the nights can be cold, it still has a much better temperature than in northern Spain.

Average temperatures range from 13 degrees in December to 31 degrees in August.

Best of all, if you are thinking of making the move to Ronda, right now property prices are very competitive – it’s a buyers’ market!

There are many bargains to be had. Country houses and fincas have seen some huge reductions in price and scattered around the nearby Serrania are a number of ‘palacetes’ or ‘palaces’, which would make wonderful Bed and Breakfast-style hotels or great family homes.

Ronda has a diverse culture and foreign residents from many different parts of the world have made it their home.

You have to speak Spanish and enjoy a different sort of culture to the coast, but the rewards are many.


Jon Clarke (Publisher & Editor)

Jon Clarke is a Londoner who worked at the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday as an investigative journalist before moving permanently to Spain in 2003 where he helped set up the Olive Press. He is the author of three books; Costa Killer, Dining Secrets of Andalucia and My Search for Madeleine.

Do you have a story? Contact newsdesk@theolivepress.es


  1. I have friends in Ronda and they are all unemployed and some are close to losing their homes. It is quite boring reading these, frankly, silly articles by people who artificially talk up an area because it benefits their company.

    The reality of living anywhere rural, like Ronda, is that it is extremely hard work and it is very isolated. Despite what the article says, Ronda can be a very quiet place and there is not a massive amount to do. There is only so much ‘ballooning’ one can do, Irene lol. The food is superb? Well, not really. There are a few very good restaurants and one Michelin starred restaurant (unless that French bloke is there too now, or did he go bankrupt again). If you eat there, then yes, but the the other restaurants serve the same as any other place in Andalucia – meat and chips basically.

    I like Ronda and visit it often. By all means buy a holiday home if you a retiree and have a nest egg, but if you are an expat who is coming to live here to work and earn a proper living, you may as well jump in the Gorge…

  2. Lol.You use any chance to knock Spain that you can ‘like a rat up a drain pipe’.My wife and I lived in Ronda and went to wonderful restaurants,the cultural events,cinema and much more.Irene and Thorwald of Serrania Services we know very well,who are hard working decent honest people,who love Spain and are well integrated into Spanish society.Snide remarks about ballooning and how bad every thing is in Spain, is in your unpleasant world.Ronda is a great place next, time you are there with ‘friends’ LOL. Go to the Gorge and………you would be doing Spain a favour..VIVA ESPANIA !!!!

  3. Calm down Schofield. Are you really telling expat families to move to Ronda to come and live and work? lol, of course not. The families I know who live in Ronda (one Spanish and one German family) have to drive an hour down to the coast to get work, and now regret moving there. It is a big pull; visually impressive etc, but not the most practical place to live if you need to commute.

    Of course there are decent hardworking people in Ronda; I did not say that there were not such people. Of course Irene and Thorwald are hardworking, who said they weren’t?

    Anyway, Ronda can’t be that good if you moved away, otherwise you’d still be there, lol.

  4. Fred
    I don’t know you and you do not know me. I have been coming to Andalusia for more than 30 years and my family lives here. I do, therefore, feel qualified to make educated comments and have some knowledge of life in this area my article was not meant to be boring or silly it is a pity you feel this way. I speak the language fluently and include many local Spanish people in my circle of friends. It is a great life here in Ronda if it suits your criteria, if you enjoy the countryside, if you are retired or self-employed – Ronda is a favourite venue of writers, artists and photographers. Ronda is quiet, traditional and beautiful. Don’t expect to find a local job and don’t expect to find the same kind of life-style as on the coast or back home in the UK!
    I don’t know or want to know where you live but where ever it is I wish you well. Enjoy Spain that is why we are here!
    Irene Ortiz
    La Serrania Services, Inmobiliaria Real Estate,

  5. Speaking the language fluently is not some panacea for living and working in Spain – far from it. I know many multilingual people who cannot even get a job picking up litter, let alone a ‘proper job’ (or proper training for a job, for that matter.)

    Are you really young professional families to move to Ronda to come and live and work, because it’s a buyers market? I know many Spanish families who all want to move to the coast, and only the coast, simply because it has more prospects and more life generally.

    If you are a retiree and have a nest egg, and want to purchase a retirement home or a holiday home to do a spot of painting and writing, and putting your feet up, then Ronda’s perfect. If you are a young professional person, move to the coast. That’s the simple criteria for chosing a home location.

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