April 17, 2018 by: Diana Beach
Best Hikes in the Ronda area
The Serrania de Ronda is one of Spain´s last secrets - a little known walking destination offering hiking routes that are scenically magnificent, historically fascinating, and with a staggering diversity of flora and fauna.
The ultimate in scenic glory would have to be the Caminito del Rey a walkway that used to be the scariest in the world but has now been made safe. The extraordinary gorges and eye-watering cliffs are made accessible by the extremely safe and level boardwalk meandering through them. We have had guests who complained that it was “too safe” and “not scary enough” but others who found themselves tingling deliciously with fear. Advance tickets are required and we can help with that. Or head over to the link above and contact the official site directly.
You may have heard of El Torcal, an area of limestone shapes and shimmies near Antequera that has garnered a lot of fame and, as inevitably follows, crowds. In the Alto Genal Valley just south of Ronda, is a similar area called Los Riscos (meaning the crags) which is unknown and undiscovered except by the ardent researchers. Until recently it was inaccessible due to the danger of getting lost and wandering for ever lost in the confusing landscape. But there is now a route through some of the best bits of the ridges taking in some of the most extraordinary sculptures, discreetly signposted, and relatively benign. If you are a geocacher, we have a cache hidden up there!
Ten kilometers to the south of Ronda, on the road to the coast, is a glorious and little-known national park called Sierra de las Nieves so-called as it snows there in the winter on the high peaks. There are numerous walks through this large area of rich fauna and flora. On a recent trip we saw wild horses, wild boar with piglets, deer, wild peonies, rabbits, ibex, eagles and vultures over head and grazing Andalucian red cows. That was just on the drive in! A favourite walk is scaling the Torrecilla at 1919 metres. One goes up through a lovely pine forest, across the top with a renovated ancient ice pit, up the slope to the peak (not required) and loop back down through pinsapo forest.
My son-in-law, Simon, has recently conquered the route from Ronda to Cartajima or vice versa once and for all. Over the years people have had to abandon the attempt as they got lost or were afraid of getting lost. But Simon walked it, ran it, and documented it so we now have detailed route notes to share either from Ronda San Francisco barrio to Cartajima or vice versa. We can provide collection/delivery as required. The route climbs up to the saddle near the mountain called Almola and then drops down the other side through rough terrain along tracks carved out by the omnipresent and obliging goats. You end up in the Barrio San Francisco with its many cafes and restaurants where you can get a well-earned ice-cold cerveza!
There are many routes that wander around Ronda. Michele did one and many visitors retrace her steps - not a bad idea as she hit the high spots. But we have devised a longer and more scenically fascinating route that gives you a good hike whilst taking in the whole of the panorama of which Ronda is the centre. We start in the San Francisco barrio and circle round through the countryside with impressive views of the rocky promontory upon which Ronda perches. The route goes through the old mills and past vineyards and finally enters the old town through the ancient Arabic gates. If you still have some puff left, continue on with our tour of the old town and visit the stunning monuments that have made this pueblo blanco the busy tourist centre that it is.