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Malaga, Ronda, Granada - Trip report

Bucharest
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Malaga, Ronda, Granada – Trip report

Hello everyone,

This is a much delayed report of a trip in August 2013 when I spent 6 days in Andalucia, visiting Ronda, Granada and Malaga. Solo female traveller, aged 52, my trip was both cultural and shopping-dedicated.

I flew the local low-cost airline, Blue Air, to/from Malaga airport and I moved around by public transport, since I do not have a driving licence. For this trip I used buses and there were convenient and comfortable.

I booked single rooms in Ronda, at Hotel Arunda II in Ronda (2 nights) and Hostal Tilos in Malaga, for 3 nights. Separate reviews are here:

tripadvisor.com/…CHECK_RATES_CONT

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Since many solo female travellers ask this question, I would say that I felt very safe during my entire trip, even late in the evening, I walked everywhere without feeling threatened or even uncomfortable. People were nice – not anyone did speak English but I understand a bit of Spanish and my Italian worked better than the English. So I could make myself understood and got information anytime I asked (and I ask a lot since I am not very good with orientation),

The highlight of my trip was Ronda, but I liked Malaga and enjoyed my day trip in Granada. It was a pleasant trip and I use this opportunity to thank everyone that I met during my stay there and who helped me – there were many!

Since I tend to write long reports, I will split it in separate posts for each day, to make it more manageable. And if my phrases seem strange from time to time, I apologise but I am not a native English speaker.

Alia

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Costa del Sol, Spain
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Hotel Arunda II
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Ronda, Spain
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Bucharest
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1. Re: Malaga, Ronda, Granada – Trip report

DAY 1, Monday, August 26, 2013 – Bucharest to Ronda

This was mostly a day spent in various means of public transport. Changing two buses from my house to the airport, cheking in at Otopeni and landing in Malaga, later than the scheduled hour (6:30 pm instead of 5:45 pm). From Malga airport I took the train to Maria Zambrano and then went to the bus station (nearby) to take the Los Amarillos bus to Ronda (10.60 euros). I did not catch the 7 pm bus, but I was in the one at 8 pm and reached Ronda bus station at 9:45 pm.

It took me 5 minutes to reach the hotel Arunda II, I got my single where I left my suitcase and – with the map I got from a very nice receptionist (that spoke English) I started exploring the city. I passed through the lively Plaza del Soccoro, lined with taverns and bars, made a detour to the bullring and then reached the New Bridge, to which I was dreaming since I decided to visit Ronda. And this is a really fantastic site, never got tired of looking at it, day or night, from every angle possible.

I continued towards the Old city, with its winding streets, and while my steps did not have a precise direction I realized that Ronda will become one of my favourite cities. I was so happy to be there, and I could not wait for the morning to explore it on daylight. Therefore, after a couple of hours of going around on the streets, I returned at midnight to my hotel for a good night sleep, with the promise of a beautiful day in front of me.

More tomorrow and the next days, it takes a lot of time to browse through all the memories of a trip.

Alia

Edited: 19 February 2014, 06:30
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2. Re: Malaga, Ronda, Granada – Trip report

Alia:

I have been to Ronda many times in the last nine years since I cam to live in Malaga. I have always enjoyed the sights there. Most people are enchanted when they see the town. It is one of the best white towns to visit in Andalucía.

Do not worry about your English. We will all understand it.

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Adelaide, Australia
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3. Re: Malaga, Ronda, Granada – Trip report

Alia, loved your previous Spanish trip report.... Looking forward to this one.....

Erith, Kent
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for Mijas, Sitio de Calahonda
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4. Re: Malaga, Ronda, Granada – Trip report

Alia, English may be your 2nd language but it is perfect! I'm so glad you had such a great time in Andalucia. We love the area and visit Ronda most times we visit the coast. I look forward to the rest of your reports. Can I just say, that you should do a blog as you write so well and descriptively, I'm sure it would be read by many people.

CJB

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5. Re: Malaga, Ronda, Granada – Trip report

I am a big fan of Ronda as well. Looking forward to the rest of the report.

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6. Re: Malaga, Ronda, Granada – Trip report

DAY 2, Tuesday, August 27, 2013 – Ronda

I woke up early, curious to discover Ronda. At 7:30 am I was already walking, passing in front of the beautiful La Merced Church (that I did not found open), then continuing through the small but beautiful Alameda park, with a small and delightful fountain with a bonze angel and its splendid views over the valley.

I crossed the new bridge and took the road down, towards the river, happy to find another early couple, of Japanese tourists, that took some pictures of myself in front of the monumental bridge. Then I took the small road along the water, passed under the bridge and continuing until its end, taking literally hundreds of pictures... it was so fabulous.

It took an effort to leave the bridge, but after a couple of hours I climbed up and spent some time on Calle Espinel, browsing the shops and taking advantage of the summer sales, then in Piazza Soccoro and around the Bullring, to take pictures during daylight.

At noon I was crossing again the New Bridge to explore the sites of the Old town. The Bono turistico (10 euros) is convenient, it gives you access to several main sites and a choices of secondary ones.

The first was Casa del Rey Moro – the house itself is under renovation but the gardens, although need of a bit more care, are nice and with nice views of the gorge.

After some more walking around the narrow street with its delightful white houses, old fountains at the corners and flowers everywhere, I entered the imposing Iglesia de Santa Maria la Mayor, a beautiful church with a gilded wooden altar and an interesting wood choir.

Followed Casa del Gigante, a Spanish building with Moorish influence; it houses a small museum, not very interesting but the architecture is worth a view, with its internal courtyards lined with columns and tiles and fountains.

From all the sites in Ronda, the one that most deserves an interior visit is however Casa de Don Bosco. Some beautiful interiors, with Moorish tiles and preserving the original furniture can be visited, but the best of the best are the very well kept gardens, overlooking the gorge and with views to the New Bridge. The gardens are smaller than others in Andalucía, but really nice, with so many perfect-pictures details, such as the marble stairs bordered with flower pots, the frogs fountain, the tiled benches and the covered terrace with cacti. You can spend hours there without being bored, discovering, everywhere you turn your eyes another delightful detail.

I visited also Lara Museum, housing a collection of ... almost everything: statues, fans, decorations, microscopes, weighting systems, photographic cameras, carriages, typing machines, optic systems, watches, miniature trains, maps, torture instruments ... it seems that the owners did like to collect very different objects.

I continued exploring the city, it is something that you can do for hours since it is so beautiful. I toured the old walls, crossed on the Old bridge and returned back on the Roman bridge, again splendid views, entered also the Ruined Arab Baths and continued with no special plan, stopping from time to time for a coffee, some churros or another bite to eat not especially because I was hungry but because the places were so nice that they deserved a short stop, to soak in the atmosphere.

I can’t even remember what I ate for dinner, nor the name of the place, but it was one with a terrace overlooking the gorge, illuminated at night. I just remember the views ...

Ronda is wonderful, it should be on the list of anyone visiting Andalucia. A peaceful place to spend some hours or some days ...

I returned in my hotel room at midnight, very happy with my day but intended on packing – my stay in Ronda was at its end and the next morning I had to leave for Malaga.

Alia

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Erith, Kent
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7. Re: Malaga, Ronda, Granada – Trip report

Lovely report again Alia. I'm not very good with heights but one of the things I love to do when I'm in Ronda is to stand on the bridge and look over the other side (not the Parador side). There on one of the patios of a house that is built into the rock,is a black and white cow! Yes, its a sculpture, but every visit I make a point of looking out for it and taking a picture! It looks so obscure, a cow on a patio overlooking that huge gorge but it always makes me smile.

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8. Re: Malaga, Ronda, Granada – Trip report

Alia, lovely to read your report, so few of them about Ronda. It is definitely on my itinerary.

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9. Re: Malaga, Ronda, Granada – Trip report

When the railway line was completed around the turn of the 19th C a hotel was built in Ronda and called Reina Victoria. Not so far to reach from the station and with magnificent views over the cliff towards the west. The "garrison" in Gibraltar would use the twin hotel in Algeciras called Reina Cristina for socials and use the train up to Ronda for fresh air. The Paseo de los Ingleses or English Walk was constructed with an access door leading out of the Victoria hotel along the top edge of the cliff (tajo) all the way to the "new" bridge for lovely viewpoints. Whenever I go to Ronda I try to use this walk especially if up early morning when the sun is shining on those distant hills. The door from the Victoria hotel is now sealed so sadly if staying at this nice hotel you would need to join the walk perhaps from Alameda park.

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10. Re: Malaga, Ronda, Granada – Trip report

DAY 3, Wednesday, August 28, 2013 – Malaga

I woke up early and I took the 7 am bus to Malaga (1:45 min, 10.60 euros). If possible I prefer to travel either early in the morning or late at night, as to use most of the daylight time in the places I visit, when museums, sites and shops are open.

It took a bit of asking around but I found the nearby Hostal Tilos and I was received by a quite energetic owner, who did not consider even storing my luggage before being paid in full for all my stay there. As for seeing the room ... no way, it will be ready later in the day, this is the rule and no flexibility! I won’t insist on this, more on the hostal in my separate review.

This first day I intended to dedicate to shopping, so I spent the morning hours in the Larios and Vialia shopping centres, all at short distance from my hotel. I often plan trips during the winter/summer sales, to take advantage of both the opportunities for shopping and to see new places.

After being finally allowed in my room I left the luggage there and – using a “Tarjeta 10” card for 10 bus trips in Malaga, bought from the tobacco shop near the hostel, I took the bus to the city centre.

Every time when I spend time shopping there is a fight inside me, I ask myself if that time could not be spent better seeing the sites. It did not happen in Malaga, since the main shopping street, Calle Larios, is also one of the best sites of the city. Lined with majestic buildings, nicely renovated, paved with marble, covered to be shadowed and decorated differently every day, Calle Larios is a place to spend time and also a paradise for shoppers; there is something there for every pocket. And I did shop ... but not only. Attracted by what I could see around the corners, I browsed also the old city, in an orientation walk, since I intended to spend a day also visiting the sites.

If during the day I ate mostly pastries (delicious and cheap) and stopped just for coffee when I was too tired, I took a table on one of the side streets near Calle Larios for a proper dinner. I don’t remember the name of the place but it was opposite a very beautiful Moorish style building. The food was excellent also, I had a gazpatcho and a Malaguese Salad (with code and potatoes), both delicious, for 11 euros.

After a walk to the sea shore, to spend some time near the sea under the moonlight, I left the city centre just in time to catch one of the last buses towards the train station and once in my room I finally opened my suitcase, to store the clothes for the next days but also to pack all the tings bought during the day.

Thank you all for your comments and for the information, I walked the path from Alameda park but I did not know its story; neither I noticed the cow, but I will look for it next time for sure!

Alia

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