Ronda review: What to do on the Costa del Sol, Spain

It’s easy to see why the Costa del Sol is such a big draw for British visitors every year. With a beautiful coastline of over 150 kilometers, delicious food, history and 325 days of sunshine a year, this southern Spanish destination ticks almost every holiday box.

We have settled in the Wyndham Grand Costa del Sol resort in Mijas, located between Malaga and Marbella. It’s an ideally located place to explore the Andalusia region – and what there is to discover.

We took a day trip through the mountains to Ronda, one of the oldest and most beautiful cities in Spain. Ernest Hemingway spent time here and the dramatic El Tajo Gorge is said to have been the inspiration for his novel For Whom The Bell Tolls.

Don’t miss a visit to the beautiful city of Ronda(Image: Getty Images)

Spend time at the Puente Nuevo Bridge, where you’ll get spectacular views of the gorge 110 meters below, or wander the cluttered streets to get a good sense of Ronda’s Moorish past. There are beautiful churches, shops selling curiosities and even orange trees with fruit scattered along the sidewalks.

We stopped for lunch at Azahar, a sunlit restaurant with stunning views. Here Andalusian and Mediterranean cuisine come together with a very modern twist. My salad of avocado, mango, jalapeños and yogurt was simply divine. I paired it with a glass of local rosé wine from Ronda, and it was hard to tear myself away from such a serene environment.

Next was a trip to the beautiful mountain village of Mijas Pueblo. It is a lovely place to visit, especially in the late afternoon, with fantastic views over the coastline. As the sun sets, the Costa del Sol begins to sparkle as the lights come on. We could even see Gibraltar in the distance.

Sit and watch the world go by in Mijas(Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Gift shops sell brightly colored local ceramics, including traditional garlic graters – both beautiful and useful.

The Wyndham is perfectly located for local transport, with easy access to buses, taxis and a nearby train station. The resort can also arrange excursions – the Ronda trip costs 60 euros (about £51).

The rooms at Wyndham Grand Costa del Sol

After a day of touring the mountains it was time to put our feet up at the resort. There are levels of accommodation to suit every budget and you can choose self-catering, bed and breakfast or half board.

We stayed in the Santa Cruz Suites, self-contained apartments with everything you need to make you feel at home, including a fully equipped kitchen, power shower and spa bath. We even had our own hot tub. There was something very decadent about relaxing in the bubbles with a glass of Fanta Limon – a must on any Spanish holiday – while looking out over the Mediterranean.

The rooms are spacious and well equipped(Image: Wyndham Grand Costa del Sol)

The food at Wyndham Grand Costa del Sol

You won’t be short of anything on site: an affordable store offers all the necessities, but also snacks.

We dined mainly at Safari, an amazing restaurant serving traditional Spanish dishes, including an absolutely incredible vegetarian paella, as well as burgers and pasta. It’s also a good place for breakfast, with a buffet choice and full English or avocado on toast. I loved sitting there in the morning with a cup of coffee, overlooking the pool and palm trees.

There’s also Mediterraneo for adult dining, the family-friendly Zac’s restaurant and bar with American-style snacks, Cascades for milkshakes, Sam’s Pantry for pies and a pizza delivery spot.

Enjoy traditional Spanish dishes such as paella(Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

If you’re celebrating a special occasion, the Grand Lounge offers afternoon tea that would give any posh restaurant a run for its money. We had scones with jam, delicate sandwiches, carrot cake and chocolate eclairs, all washed down with tea and a glass of local cava for 35 euros.

There is entertainment on site every evening, so after a day out you can kick off your shoes and no one has to be the designated driver. It’s all within walking distance and if you’re tired there’s a fun mini train that runs around the resort – great fun for kids, big and small.

The activities at Wyndham Grand Costa del Sol

If you fancy more of an active holiday, there’s plenty to do: tennis courts, swimming pools, games room, jogging trails, kids club, teens club, pilates, aqua fitness, all included in the room rate. The beach is just a 10-minute walk away.

There is also a small gym in the wellness center and a good choice of massages, from a Swedish holistic massage for 25 euros to a full body with algae wrap and bamboo sticks for 125 euros.

We made the most of the beautiful location by practicing yoga outside in the sun. And what’s better for mindfulness than a blue sky, swaying palm trees and a view of the sea? Bliss.

The hotel’s swimming pool is an oasis of peace(Image: Wyndham Grand Costa del Sol)

How do you book Wyndham Grand Costa del Sol?

Rooms only in a Premium Plus One Bedroom Suite with Hot Tub in Santa Cruz starts from 231 euros (approximately £198) per night. For more information, visit Wyndham Grand Costa del Sol or travel booking sites such as Trip Advisor or