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This is a wonderful tour! The scenery up the mountain and the El Tajo Gorge were amazing. Our group really enjoyed the stop at the local winery, where the wine tasting was "on tap", pour what you want and drink what you can in 15 min! We really enjoyed seeing the Plaza de Toros bullring and its museum, so that we could learn more about this part of Spanish culture. We had a chance for photos in the bullring which was fun! The tour description says it's a 90 min bus ride, but they picked us up in Malaga at 7:00 AM and stopped at about 20 hotels, inching along the coast, and arriving in Ronda at 11:15 am. Since we did not want a 4 hour return bus ride, we left the tour at 3 pm and paid for a public bus to take us from Ronda to Malaga in 90 min.
i took this tour with Julia Travel company. First Ronda is a lovely city and El Tajo gorge/the new bridge is a work of wonder by nature and mankind. i really enjoyed the bullring, lot of history and culture. i'm ok with the wine tasting, i can do without. overall, the gorge is the highlight, amazing gorge formation, the valley below and the surrounding mountains are like paintings. highly recommend the location. the tour itself is ok. first, pick up and drop off, i stayed in Malaga so i was the 1st one to be picked up and last to be dropped off. since it is the low season, the bus has to stop and all the hotels on the coasts to pick up clients, long story short, it took 3hrs and 45 minutes each way. i got picked up at 6:50am and arrived in Ronda around 10:40am, we got the tour of the bull ring for almost 1hr 30mins including walking time, stop at the new bridge for 30 including walking time just to snap some photos and on to the wine tasting. after the wine tasting which is a round 1:40pm, we have until 3:15 to explore, take lunch if desire and find out own way back to the bus station. on the way back we stopped at Marbella for 35 minutes which is not enough time to explore and Marbella was not on the itinerary. i got back to Malaga around 7:15. i asked some locals and all said it should only take 1hr 30 minutes at most to travel from Malaga to Ronda 1 way. so a round trip of around 2hrs 30mins to 3hrs had become almost 8hrs ride on the bus.
so Ronda is highly recommended. the tour would change a few thing myself if i go next time. 1st, i'd take a smaller tour, it's very time consuming to manage a tour of 50-60 people. once the tour get smaller, the travel time should be shortened in 1/3 or 1/2 so clients would have additional 2-3 hrs to explore Ronda. second, i would take Marbella off the list and rather add that 35-40 minutes back to the exploring time in Ronda, simply because we don't have enough time in Ronda and spending 35-40 minutes in Marbella doesn't serve any purpose. Marbella has much more to offer and deserve much more attention than 35 minutes. third, keep the wine tasting but let people know that the tour end here, clients can skip the wine tasting if desire and explore Ronda on their own, since some people might not drink wine and rather do sight seeing. forth, the guide spent a lot of time curated on the bullring but offer no knowledge about Ronda, the history of the bridge or gorge which is the main attraction of the tour. so overall, i enjoyed Ronda and would rate the tour company 3 out of 5 stars.
We were very disappointed by this tour. Although the approximate time of the tour was 11 hours, we were back to our hotel within 10 hours - 1-1/2 of which were spent in Seville on the bus picking up and dropping off people on the tour and another 1-1/2 hours waiting at Zahara de las Sierras for the 3 or 4 members of our tour group who had signed up for the option tour.
We did not see many of the things promoted in the trip description.
Things we did: Bull ring, New Bridge and El Tajo gorge, Juan Bosco house, Church of Santa Mari
Things we did not do: take a stroll through the 19th-century gardens in Alameda del Tajo and soak in the wonderful views, immerse yourself in Spanish wine culture with a tour of the Wine Museum of Ronda. Learn about Ronda’s long history of wine making, several beautiful bridges, enjoy free time to explore Ronda on your own before returning to Seville, visit Sierra de Grazalema, the first natural park in Andalusia brimming with diverse flora and fauna. See why the park is famous for its spectacularly rugged limestone landscape of cliffs, gullies, caves and gorges.
After the tour ending about 2:30 pm we had time for lunch and then headed back for the bus which departed at 4:00 pm - approximately 4-1/2 hours after arriving. The tour of the wine museum was simply a visit to a wine tasting bar where we were given no information, but little plastic cups to taste wine from taps in barrels in the wall. Simply adding another hour in the town for us to view the other bridges or do some shopping would have made the trip so much better.
This trip was much too expensive for what one got. My recommendation is to simply book ALSA bus tickets to and from Ronda and do it on for own for a fraction of the price. The Viator bus stops at the bus station in Ronda.
Our guide was not good, he only took us around Ronda, no El Tajo Gorge and wine tasting .
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