7 Nov, 2020 @ 10:00
1 min read

Spain’s Andalucia to offer free tours of ancient Acinipo site in Ronda – but contract to outside company enrages local guides

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THE Junta has launched a series of free guided tours of the archaeological site of Acinipo in Ronda.

They form part of the Ministry of Culture’s plan to promote the important archaeological site sometimes referred to as Ronda la Vieja.

Located in the Serrania de Ronda, 20 kilometres from Ronda proper, the Roman ruins of Acinipo are one of the most important archaeological sites in Spain, named a Site of Cultural Interest (Bien de Interes Cultural) by the Junta in 2011.

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ACINIPO: Entrance arch to the theatre

Acinipo was a city that was authorised to mint money, and of great importance to the Roman world. Ptolemy and Pliny make reference to it in their writings.

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The company ArdalesTur will be responsible for three daily tours of the site programmed at 9:30, 11:00 and 12:30, with an approximate duration of one hour.

Due to current COVID-19 restrictions, the groups will be formed by a maximum of 14 people.

The activity will take place during the months of November (from Wednesday to Sunday) and December (from Thursday to Sunday).

To participate it is necessary to make a reservation by calling 643 213 427 (from 9:00 to 14:00) or by e-mailing [email protected].

The tours offer visitors the chance to visit the remains of the baths, walls, domus, Iberian dwellings and the main element of the enclave, the 2,000-seat Roman theatre dating back to the first century AD, one of the best preserved Roman theatres in Spain.

The theatre remains stand around 1,000 metres above sea level, and has far-reaching panoramic views across the region.

The enclosure is also awaiting an investment of €500,000 which was announced by the Junta in order to make various improvements and prevent areas such as the theatre’s facade from being further damaged by rainwater.

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MAIN ELEMENT: Roman theatre and stands, one of the best preserved in Spain.

The initiative of the Junta, has, however, caused indignation among local guides in Ronda who are unable to comprehend why an external company has been elected to give tours of the site.

According to local guide, Alfredo Carrasco, in no moment was he informed on the process of how the Junta was going to elect the tour company for the initiative, saying he was ‘very surprised and disappointed’ with the news.

Similarly, another local guide, Antonio Jesus Naranjo who, with more than 20 years experience, doesn’t understand how the Junta could have forgotten about the local tour companies, stating that he finds it ‘disappointing and very sad that it is not a company from Ronda’.

Considering the negative impact that the COVID-19 pandemic is having on tourism, the Junta should have ‘looked for a local alternative and with it supported local businesses’, he said.

Cristina Hodgson

Half English, half Spanish animal person. Cristina loves writing about all things fitness, travel and culture, she is also a script writer and novelist. When she's not typing away, you can find her enjoying outdoor sports somewhere off the beaten track in Andalucia. If you have a story get in touch! [email protected]

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