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Ronda is in the Andalucian region of Southern Spain, prized as being the area that offers the best of the country. The scenery is beautiful here and the climate is purely Mediterranean; hot summers and mild winters with soil that is ideal for growing the fruit and vegetable that this part of the world is known for.
The nearest airport is Malaga, about 93 kilometres from Ronda. Flights to Malaga fly direct from most of the major European centres, with the rest connecting from Madrid and Barcelona. Intra- Spain and international trains run to Malaga station, with coach shuttles available for transfer if you either don’t have a car or prefer not to hire one.
There is a relatively low number of expats in Ronda, although this is relative thanks to Andalucia´s high popularity with expats, especially those retiring to Spain or living the ´halfpat´ life of six months in Spain and six months elsewhere. Online noticeboards like Ronda Today (http://www.rondatoday.com/) help tourists and locals stay in touch with news and events in Ronda, and the site is in English.
Although there are a few expats in Ronda, there are no international school options. The closest are in Malaga and Marbella, which are simply too far unless your family is considering boarding school. The best option may be a Spanish private school, which will teach the Spanish curriculum but is likely to offer at least some classes in English.
Ronda is one of the more expensive towns in Spain, thanks to its popularity with tourists and the taxi prices reflect this (usually around ten to twenty per cent higher than Malaga). This is not a price increase across the board though, only for foreigners, so it will pay to check prices with the locals, and learn the language quickly. The bus services are pretty good, considering that Spanish township public transport tends to be scarce, with services running seven days a week and more buses laid on in summer. After about midnight, a night service will run. This is more expensive than an average bus but better value than a cab if you have blown your budget at one of the local bars.
Spanish driving is lackadaisical at best and dangerous at worst. This is a broad generalisation, but nonetheless it pays to be extremely alert when you first drive in your new country. Indicators are used only about 70 per cent of the time, and pedestrian signals are often considered to be guidelines rather than rules. Keep your eyes open.
In much the same way that taxis, food and even vet bills will be higher for foreigners than for locals in Ronda, so too is the housing. This is not as true as it was in the midst of the housing industry bubble though, so you may not need to be so vigilant when renting or buying a home. Renting a two bedroom apartment about 1 km from the centre of Ronda will set you back around 350 Euro per month.
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