Southern Spain is an absolutely beautiful area of the country. Drenched in sunshine, with tasty tapas and magnificent mountains all around, it makes for a great choice of a holiday destination. Marbella and Malaga are two of the best known cities in the area, but venturing a little further north brings you to the slightly less touristy and much less boozy Ronda. Whilst staying in Ronda, there are some lovely and interesting places to visit nearby, including a day trip to Acinipo and Setenil de las Bodegas.
Setenil de las Bodegas
A short 20 minute car journey out of Ronda and you’ll arrive at Setenil – a town known for its whitewashed houses built into the surrounding cliffs overhanging the Rio Guadalporcun. Some of the streets are even roofed with rock, with dwellings (some now converted to be restaurants, shops and bars) on either side. It’s such a unique place and definitely worth exploring.
Streets enclosed by rocks, and views out over the houses
In addition, the town’s hilltop castle was once an Arab fortress, and the Torreón del Homenaje tower offers views of the town and countryside. Also in the town is a museum which traces the cultural and natural history of Setenil. It’s the perfect place to spend a morning exploring, eat some delicious lunch in one of the lovely squares and then head on to the next stop.
A short car journey away from Setenil lies Acinipo. This incredible town is also known as ‘Roman Ronda’ and was founded over 2,000 years ago by retired Roman soldiers. It still houses the Roman theatre, which incredibly is used to this day.
Some historians believe the Acinipo was created after the Battle of Munda, fought between Julius Caesar’s armies and the army of Pompey’s two sons – after the latter’s main forces were defeated in Greece. Tens of thousands of Romans were killed on both sides, and it is believed that Acinipo was created for retired veterans of Caesar’s legions. Some Spanish historians state that Munda is the Roman name for Ronda.
Visiting the site is interesting and informative and definitely worth a couple of hours of your time. If you still do have a bit of time left in your day, then finish off your day with a visit to an ancient cave.
La Pileta Cave
A few kilometres from Ronda lies one of the most spectacular cave systems in Spain, and in the mouth of one, several galleries of cave paintings that are 30,000 years old. 30,000 – that means they were created by paleolithic people of Ronda before the last great ice age.
Incredibly, they have survived, and best of all, the caves are open to the public with a local tour guide to explain the significance of the artwork. You aren’t allowed to take photos of the art for obvious reasons, but here are some from the guidebook so you can see how amazing they are.
Thank you for reading – I hope you’ve found this post interesting and a good option for something to do if you’re ever in southern Spain! Stay safe and happy travelling everyone.