Guide to Mijas, Spain; Mijas travel guide
Located in southern Spain the amazing village of Mijas is one of the best examples of the pueblo’s blancos of Andalucia with its quaint whitewashed houses and narrow streets set in a background of pine forest. Pueblo’s balncos (white villages) are villages or towns where all of the buildings and houses are painted white and have brown or red tiled roofs. The pine forest backdrop gives these buildings a striking appearance. They are usually found in the north province of Cádiz and Málaga in the south of Spain. The entire village has spectacular views of the coast as well as the Mediterranean being over 400 metres above sea level and it is possible to see a large part of the Costa del Sol that includes the Mijas Costa around 10 kilometres away.
There are two parts to Mijas there is the traditional charming old village of Mijas Pueblo with its whitewashed buildings and large balcony displays of colourful bright blooms. It is fairly close to the beaches of Fuengirola and its castle which now lies in ruins, however you can still see its remnants. Picture postcard views can be found in the village and tourists are delighted with their holiday snaps.
Then there is modern Mijas Costa or La Cala, which is located south between Fuengirola and Marbella. This is where the holiday makers flock to with its golden sandy beaches which hold the coveted Blue Flag status, numerous golf courses and upmarket holiday homes. The boardwalk runs along the vast beach with cafes and beach bars (chiringuitos). During the busy summer months you can listen to concerts held at the Torre Vieja Watchtower dating from the 16th century. Plus you can visit the markets held twice a week on Saturdays and Wednesdays for all your fresh produce, souvenirs and trinkets at the El Baratillo street market.
The Historic City
The Tartessos civilization hail from this region in southern Spain and where known for their brains and wealth, they traded here with the Phoenicians, Greek sailors and Carthaginian who visited this region. The Sierra de Mijas Mountains were the big draw for their minerals and marble from the quarries was highly sought after and can be found in artwork and statues in many cities across Spain and in Italy too.
The Tertessians established this village and was eventually used as a fortress by the Romans. In the 15th century, the Christian military settled in Mijas. Not too much is known about these people and some historians consider this civilization a complete and utter mystery. Today the narrow cobbled streets are used by the popular donkey-drawn taxis and it is recommended that you make use of them to take a tour of the village and take in the amazing sites of the historic buildings and delightful scenery.
A Popular Tourist Destination
Mijas happens to be a renowned destination for tourists with its modest population swelling in the summer months as the influx of tourists wishing to sample the old style laid back Andalucian way of life. There are several craft shops, bars and restaurants catering for the needs of the tourists. You can visit Mijas and sample its traditional way of life which is calm and relaxed or head to the touristy area with its beaches, sports facilities and upbeat nightlife (it’s not buzzing) it’s a nice mix of entertainment for all ages, suitable for couples, families and friends.
When you explore the village you must visit the Moorish and Roman ruins and the museum of miniatures called El Carromato de Max which is utterly amazing. Over 50 countries exhibit in this museum and you can see works on a grain of rice and a pinhead, the technique used is mind blowing. The Inmaculada Church which is one of the most decorated and beautiful churches in Mijas and the Shrine of Calvario which was built early in the 18th century, which everyone says the shrine appears to “float” above Mijas on the mountain keeping watch over this lovely village.
Another must see is the bullring of Plaza de Toros. The open air theatre is an ideal location to watch a performance. Plaza de Toros of Mijas is a historical monument, museum and show arena, it was built in 1900 and is oval in design. You can visit the ring and the museum where they have displays of matador outfits and posters of past performances from different years. You also have a panoramic view of the bay and coast. Each Sunday there are shows and bullfights, if you see on the billboard, Sin Picadores, this means they do not kill or hurt the bull during the show. After the show there is a Flamenco show and an Andalusian horse show. The afternoon shows take around 2 hours in total and make a pleasant afternoon out in the sunshine.
The shrine of Santuario de la Virgen de la Pena (the patron saint of Mijas) has been constructed out of solid rocks which were excavated by a Carmelite Monk. It is a tribute to the patron saint of Mijas and it is said that a vision of the Virgin appeared on the site in 1586 between the walls of the castle. When Spain was ruled by Muslims the shrine was hidden away for safe keeping. However legend has it, sightings were frequently seen of the Virgin in southern Spain and one story which is often recited is the story of Juan and Asunción. They were two young shepherds who saw a white dove on the tower of the Castillo which transformed into the Virgin. The festival is celebrated on the 8th September with a procession of the Patron Saint of Mijas who is taken to her peaceful sanctuary and this site is visited by tourists and weddings are held there.
The Iglesia de Santa Ana hermitage is in the Santana district of Mijas and was constructed in the 18th century, also a worth visiting site is the Church of San Sebastian with its prominent façade is a beautiful 17th century church which is small but incredibly ornate.
Parks and Gardens
There are several other viewing points around the village too, and one of the most amazing vistas is at the Muralla Gardens, which offers spectacular views of the neighbouring countryside garden, that bloom all year. They are located on the cliff top on the walls of the fortress and offer spectacular views of the mountains, beaches and the coast. The gardens have shady areas so you are able to stroll around them and admire the natural beauty anytime of the day. One other superb view point, is the must see, Mijas Valley and its surroundings from the Hermitage El Puerto, which was built early in the 16th century by the Mercedarian Monks on the hillside overlooking the village
How to get to Mijas
Getting to Mijas from London is a 2 hours and 45 minutes non-stop flight to Malaga Airport which is the closest airport to Mijas. From the airport to the resort of Mijas is just a 23 minutes car ride around 27.4 km away. It’s a short haul flight which makes it superb for summer holidays and long weekend breaks.
The climate in Mijas is semi tropical with hot and dry summers and mild winters. The coolest temperature is 15°C in January and the hottest is 29°C in August.
Mijas offers you the best of both worlds traditional and charming and modern with beaches, sports and nightlife. Why not invest there?