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The town was ruined...

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posts: 7
reviews: 51
The town was ruined...

...by the smell. The 'new bridge' (which actually dates back to 1793) lies high over a very small river, and the town's sewage outlet flows right into the river at this point. The stench pervades most of the city.

Montreal, Canada
posts: 240
1. Re: The town was ruined...

Come on, it wasnt that bad. I was there for 3 days end of July. I stayed at the parador and had lunch and dinner every day on the terraces above the river. It is a little annoying but you get used to it and you only smell the sulpher when you are close by. The beauty of the town well compensates. Still worth every minute.

Eastbourne, UK
posts: 667
reviews: 14
2. Re: The town was ruined...

Blimey - I thought we had just gone on a bad day!! When we were last in Ronda last October I couldn't believe how much it stank right along the walkway from the bridge and along to the viewing points. It was pretty unbearable at the extreme end by the stream. Definitely not sulphur but either a dead animal or more likely sewage!! It certainly cut short our stay overlooking the gorge and we made tracks into the town.

Sad really as Ronda is a beautiful and historic town but we left with the overwhelming thought "but what a smelly place"

Clare Ireland
posts: 3
reviews: 1
3. Re: The town was ruined...

we stayed in ronda for eight days from 1st September 2005. While the town and surrounding coutryside are indeed beautiful, this was spoilt by the stench from the Gorge, especially near the new bridge.

All along the gorge, the colour and appearance of the water suggested that it had long been poluted by sewerage.

This is a very serious concern for Hotel owners not to say other establishments along the gorge who are dependant on this view for their business. Ronda Town Officials, please get your act together or you are in danger of destroying the very lifeblood of the tourist industry.

posts: 1
4. Re: The town was ruined...

Hi, I'm a travel journalist who has lived in Ronda for six years in a small house on the edge of the gorge and watched successive left and right governments ignore the smell from the sewage flowing through the Tajo while spending money on cosmetic adornments such as statues and prettifying the town centre. But they don't seem too bothered to mend a sewage plant; maybe because these folks live outside town in their expensive villas.

Some hotels here (not least the state-owned Parador) have actually started petitions about the problem, not least because they're losing income when guests check out because of the smell.

But despite it, and when the rains have come the gorge gets a good washdown, it is still an extraordinary place to visit, or, indeed, live. The worst smell is probably that of dodgy local politicians of any political shade.

John Gill, Ronda.

Phoenix, AZ
posts: 33
reviews: 8
5. Re: The town was ruined...

I just read this and was very disappointed. I had read that the Parador was spectaular, in fact someone wrote, work over time, or whatever it takes to stay there. Now, I'm thinking that we'll pass on the expense and the experience. We are going in late Feb, early March, and chance that the cooler weather will make the smell less noticible. We are traveling with another couple and I don't want to recommend a destination and have everyone heaving!

ronda, spain
posts: 1
6. Re: The town was ruined...

Don't let the smell - which gets washed away by the winter rains - put you off visiting Ronda. I've lived on the edge of the Tajo gorge for six years and find it only a height-of-summer problem. It does remain a problem, but the authorities have said they're going to remedy it - some time...

Paradores are terrible hotels, anyway - I've written a guidebook and other travel journalism about Andaluc��a, including for Cond�� Nast - and you would be better advised to Google for traveller-friendly Spanish hotels wherever you are going, as you will always find better, cheaper and more authentic Spanish places to stay. In Ronda, Google for Alavera de Los Ba��os, San Gabriel, El Polo, or, just outside town, Fuente de la Higuera, El Juncal or La Cazalla, all of whom have English-speaking staff if you don't speak Spanish. Avoid the Reina Victoria at all costs.

John Gill


Madison, Wisconsin
Destination Expert
for Madrid
posts: 7,695
reviews: 19
7. Re: The town was ruined...

I visited Ronda last Jan, and there was no smell. Believe me if there were, I would have noticed. But if this smell occurs at any season, it should be a cause of concern for the entire community.

Worthing, United...
posts: 2,521
reviews: 33
8. Re: The town was ruined...

Disagree about Paradors. We have always found them to be excellent, can't think what problem you have found with them? Most are great value and in good locations, spotless rooms, friendly staff and good furnishings, what more can one ask of a Hotel?

posts: 72
9. Re: The town was ruined...

I certainly wouldn't describe the paradors as "terrible" - most of them are in quite stunning buildings, carefully converted. However we have learnt never to eat in the restaurant if it can be avoided, our experience is that the food is overpriced and poor quality.

We stay in Paradors quite often because of the 35% discount for over 60s - this makes them good value. This applies to some of the Paradors some of the time - you need to check the calendar.

We stayed in the one in Ronda in May a few years ago and didn't notice any smell. However when we went down to the river it was pretty bad. Que lastima.

Clare Ireland
posts: 3
reviews: 1
10. Re: The town was ruined...

I would also like to stress that the Parador system is marvelous and on the whole, centres of excellence. Yes, in some Paradores the food, with the exception of wonderful breakfasts is not too great and very expensive but this is an apportunity to stay in historic buildings or centres with marvelous views.

Spain has every reason to be proud of their Paradores.