Ronda la Vieja – Old Ronda – the beloved land of Julius Caesar.
Andalusia is full of historical sites. Among them a well known town named Ronda, and a less famous place “Ronda la Vieja, which means the Old Ronda – really worth a visit. You can get there following road from Ronda to Sevilla, on your way you will turn to the right following the direction “Acinipo” (road MA-7402).
Ancient ruins on the top of the hill. Acinipo is where the past meet the present. It’s a calm and beautiful place. Constructed as a residence for Roman soldiers, it still has this special atmosphere of leisure and luxury. On the top of the hill you can find the remains of authentic Roman monuments, theatre or Roman baths.
You can enjoy an amazing panorama. The hill is surrounded by mountains and fields which color depends on the season. In summer it’s yellow, in spring and autumn is green, in winter it can even be white. The most interesting and stunning part of the theatre is the amphitheatre. Take a walk up the hill if you want to see the whole picture. It’s a perfect place to understand the old roman phrase:” bread and circuses”.
After Acinipo stay on the same road and than follow the sign Setenil de las Bodegas.
You’ll find yourself in a typical Andalusian white town (pueblo blanco) with typical streets and typical white walls, the only unusual details are roofs. They are made of rocks. The entire city became part of a mountain forming its unique architecture and protecting inhabitants from sun, wind, rain or even snow. It gives warmth during the winter and freshness during the summer. This is a very good example of people not trying to change or correct the nature and, in return, getting protection and architecture that attracts the tourists from all over the world.
Apart from the unique architecture, Setenil de las Bodegas is famous for its wines (“Bodega” means wine cellar in Spanish). And a good wine is accompanied by a good food. All the production is local and ecological – from Andalusia with love.
Two main streets of Setenil are “calle del Sol” (the Sun street) and “calle Cuevas de la Sombra” (the Shadow Cave street) – full of bars, restaurants and small shops selling local products and wine.This is where you find our favourite shop where we buy delicious local food and wine –“La Cueva del Iberico”.Often you can find an owner Daniel, who is very nice and delicate.He also own a farm and the vineyard of our loving wines “7mil Pasos”& “Xaldenil”.”It’s my love to the Nature and certain lifestyle” – he explains.
Local people are very nice and gentle.They seem to love their land and care about traditions.
Setenil is also famous for its bread which you can buy every morning at the local bakery on the central street “calle del Principe del Rey” near the church. In this area, Plaza de Andalucia, there are also few nice restaurants where you can have your lunch, breakfast or a cup of coffee. We recommend family restaurant “Casa Palmero” . Homemade food from local products. It will not disappoint you!
Our recommendation is to park the car outside of town, just before the enter road and go by feet enjoying the atmosphere of the tiny hilly streets.
By the way the origin of the name “Setenil” is Roman Latin “Septem nihil” – which means “7 times nothing”:)
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On your way back to Ronda you can also visit an Orthodox Christian Church following the sign “Santuario Ortodoxo” on the road. It’s a beautiful place with a special ambience. Church is open every Sunday from the 9.30 a.m. till late afternoon.
Ronda la Vieja – it’s a place of cherished farms and vineyards.
This is an area where you will find many wine growers and where you can taste their production and “tapas” – small Spanish meals.
One of the most known and visited places is “CHINCHILLA bodega Doña Felisa”. It is a family business, well organised and innovative. This bodega is surrounded by spectacular landscape with hills and view to “ Acenipo” just on the front. Unbelievable, but Ronda la Vieja was already used by the Romans in 100 c.b.c. as a wine production area.In fact, ancient fossils found on this land are currently exhibited here, in CHINCHILA’s museum.
“The climate here is ideal for wine, that is for sure” – Gema, the owner of bodega started this business with her husband in 1999. This couple was among the first enthusiasts who started to revive this almost forgotten traditions. The decay of winemaking started many centuries ago as local people started to convert their vineries into olive groves.
The varieties grown here today are Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Chardonnay and, of course, Spanish Tempranillo. The owners of the vineyard arrange tours with tapas and wine tasting where you can learn about the tools and the process of winemaking.
It is very possible that you’ll wish to stay in the area “Ronda la Vieja” for some more days to enjoy and visite other jewels of this part of Andalusia. And in this case there are many “bodegas” that can offer you an accommodation with simply , lovely countryside ambience.
One of these bodegas named GARCÍA HIDALGO Bodega can provide you with room, delicious food and wine testing. If you miss homemade food and peaceful atmosphere call Finca GARCÍA HIDALGO, 622 879 005 or visit their web-page.
If you prefer a hotel, we can recommend you Don Benito. It is located by the road and it has swimming pool and restaurant. Despite of it’s proximity to the road Don Benito is very calm place and just on the road, to Ronda la Vieja direction. Highly recommended.
There are some more sophisticated hotels in the area as well, for example Hotel de la Higuera where you can stay for a couple of days or even celebrate an anniversary or wedding. The food and service are of the highest quality, and your photos will be most wonderful.
Ronda la Vieja is a special area not only for Spanish people, but for tourists from all over the world.