Malaga is a southern Spain metropolis on Costa del Sol’s Mediterranean coast. One hundred kilometers west is Ronda, a small city perched on the edge of Tajo Gorge. Ronda is one of the oldest and most beautiful cities in the country, complete with stunning ancient architecture, rock caves, and Andalusia’s most famous pueblos blancos (white villages).
A day trip from Malaga to Ronda is the perfect excuse to get out of Spain’s 6th largest city and discover the mountainous countryside and fascinating history of Malaga province.
There are two ways to visit Ronda from Malaga: take a bus or take a train. Self-drive is possible, however, some patches of the roads are quite windy and might be considered a bit too far off the beaten path. We suggest leaving the navigation to the professionals.
Hopping on a bus from Malaga to Ronda is super easy. ALSA bus company has buses running every day, 7 days a week. The cost for a round trip ticket is USD 32* and takes about 3 hours. The winding roads and rugged terrain make for a very scenic and enjoyable drive.
The Malaga Bus Station is centrally located in the city and offers a bus service to the airport as well as many domestic and a few international trips. It’s also next to the train station. Inside there are cafes, shops, and outside is a 24-hour taxi stand.
- Go Euro is a great resource to buy bus tickets online. Tickets can be canceled or amended without charge up to 48 hours prior to the trip. You cannot cancel or change the ticket less than 2 hours before departure without losing the entire cost of the ticket.
- If you’re not in a rush, hop a bus from Malaga to Fuengirola. This route will take you through some breathtakingly cool multi-colored mountain ranges. From Fuengirola you can hop another bus to Ronda. The detour will only add an additional hour to your trip.
Train is a faster way to travel than bus, however you’ll miss out on some of the gorgeous natural scenery privy only to the bus route. The journey takes just under 2 hours and a round-trip ticket is roughly USD 29*. The trains are modern with toilets, refreshments, power outlets and air conditioning.
The Estacion Maria Zambrano (train station) is conveniently located in the city center, right next to the bus station. It’s connected to the airport, 9km away, via another train.
- You can book tickets up to 3 months in advance and will save a few bucks by doing so.
- Renfe trains are the fastest and cheapest.
- The earliest train from Malaga to Ronda leaves at 06:45. The latest leaves at 18:20.
- Not every trip is direct (you may have to change trains), but there is usually one direct train per day.
Letting a local do the driving is recommended when traveling from Malaga to Ronda. As mentioned above, the roads have many twists and turns as well as occasional bumpy terrain. Plus, most tour operators have multilingual guides and can give you lots of interesting details about the sites along the way.
Ronda boasts many amazing sights and interesting things to do. Hit all the major hot-spots with a guided Malaga to Ronda day trip.
Like the tour we suggested above, a typical 9-hour day trip departs from a central meeting point in Malaga. The itinerary should include: the puente nuevo, the ancient bridge built over the gorge; plaza de toros, the oldest bullfighting arena in the world; a tour of a local winery and free time to wander around.
Making the trip from Malaga to Ronda is a must do. There are fewer and fewer things that are authentic when traveling these days, however the journey from Malaga to reach the historic little city of Ronda — which seems like it still exists in ancient times —is a pleasant reminder that some things are still unspoiled.
For ideas on other short trips from Malaga, go through our list of amazing day trips from Malaga.
*Note: Prices are as of March 2018.