Ronda is about 63 km from Marbella and a little over 1 hour to drive.
Ronda is situated in a very mountainous area about 750 m (2,460 ft) above mean sea level. The Guadalevín River runs through the city, dividing it in two and carving out the steep, 100-plus-meter- deep El Tajo canyon upon which the city perches. The Spanish fir (abies pinsapo) is endemic to the mountains surrounding Ronda.
The Puente Nuevo bridge in Ronda
- Three bridges, Puente Romano ("Roman Bridge", also known as the Puente San Miguel), Puente Viejo ("Old Bridge", also known as the Puente Árabe or "Arab Bridge"), and Puente Nuevo ("New Bridge"), span the canyon. The term nuevo is something of a misnomer, as the building of this bridge commenced in 1751 and took until 1793 to complete. The Puente Nuevo is the tallest of the bridges, towering 120 m (390 ft) above the canyon floor, and all three serve as some of the city's most impressive features. The former town hall, which sits next to the Puente Nuevo, is the site of a parador, and has a view of the Tajo canyon.Outside the Ronda Bullring
- The 'Corrida Goyesca' is a unique and historical bullfight that takes place once a year in Ronda in the Plaza de toros de Ronda, the oldest bullfighting ring in Spain. It was built in 1784 in the Neoclassical style by the architect José Martin de Aldehuela, who also designed the Puente Nuevo.
- The partially intact Baños árabes ("Arab baths") are found below the city and date back to the 13th and 14th centuries.Plaza del Socorro
- Plaza del Socorro is the modern political centre of Ronda, it was here that Blas Infante showed off the Andalusian flag and coat of arms for the first time in 1918. The parish church of Socorro (Parroquia de Nuestra Señora del Socorro) was only built in 1956. The building known as the Casino and Circulo de Artistas (Artists Society) is located on the north side of Ronda's Plaza del Socorro. This is a charming corner of the town where tourists enjoy their lunch, unaware that they are in the company of one of Andalucia's most famous historical venues.Palacio of the Marqués de Salvatierra
- The Palacio of the Marqués de Salvatierra opens irregularly as a small museum of Renaissance art and artefacts. The Palacio is an 18th-century renovation of an earlier 16th century building gifted to the family of Don Vasco Martín de Salvatierra by the Reyes Catolicos when they redistributed the spoils of the Reconquest. In 1994, Madonna obtained permit to shoot inside the palace of the Marquis of Salvatierra for the music video of Take a Bow.Casa del Rey Moro
- The Casa del Rey Moro is to some extent a fraud, since the house was never the home of the Moorish King. It was built in the 18th Century, when Moorish Spain was already a distant memory. Its apparently Moorish gardens are even more recent, having been designed by the French landscape gardener, Jean Claude Forestier, in 1912. But the house does incorporate one genuine and important relic of Ronda's Moorish occupation - the so-called Water Mine.
Zoo Castellar Frontera
Zoo Castellard Fontera is about 69 km from Marbella and a about 1 hour to drive.
The Castellar Zoo, an animal rescue center, is a private initiative started since 1998, which officially opened in 2002 in order to aid animals which were seized by the authorities. These animals that were the victims of the black market were mistreated and uncared. The purpose of the rescue center is to provide to these animals with better living conditions by the best carers. Several years after its commencement, the center opened its doors to the public for their enjoyment, but also to increase awareness. Gradually, with economic support, the Castellar Zoo is improving its facilities and installations for the public and animals. The center offers a second chance for the animals, and to the public an entirely different zoo, where visitors may feed the animals and interact directly with them.
Istán is at the end of the lake about 15 km from Marbella. It is a small village with open water running through the streets. When we were here in June 2017 there was an extremely nice and service friendly service in the tourist information that made us take a walk in the area, and that we do not regret. The first thing that meets you when driving to Istan does not look very exciting, but a walk in area is worth your time.
Istán is one of a number of villages of Moorish origin which owes its survival to its distance from the coast. After the Christian reconquest of the Iberian peninsula in the 15th Century, Arabs were barred from living within a league of the shoreline in order to prevent them from communicating with their kinsmen across the straits in Morocco. Istán, 15 kilometres inland, was allowed to remain while the coastal Arab settlements were depopulated and frequently destroyed.
The zoo in Fuengirola is nice for both adults and children . It is centrally located in Fuengirola city. It is not very big, but contains a surprising number of attractions. You get close to the animals and scenes are great. More info you find on there website. Further than pictures from our visit in March 2016.