Think of Malaga and you are likely to imagine high-rise buildings and all night parties. However, Mijas proves that Málaga can also be so much more. Only half an hour drive away from the ever popular Marbella, Mijas manages to create a peaceful world all of its own. Located close to the mountains known as Sierra de Mijas, it is easy to see why thousands are drawn here year after year after year.
Explore the warmth of the Spanish sunshine in the old town, known as Mijas Pueblo. After wandering down the winding streets enclosed by the whitewashed walls, you can visit the Casa Museo of Mijas. A popular folk museum, Casa Museo of Mijas transports you through time to showcase the age-old agricultural lives and customs of the Mijas residents. Make your way to the Plaza de Toros and admire a view that stretches right out to the sea from the town’s very own bullring. A popular local tradition that you can learn all about at the nearby matador museum.
Another Mijas tradition is flamenco dancing. Visit the main square, Plaza Virgen de la Pena, on Wednesdays at noon to feel the heat of the rhythm with a free flamenco show.
La Cala de Mijas
Located at the heart of the Costa del Sol, La Cala de Mijas is a sandy beach haven. Not far from the tourist centre of Fuengirola, this coastal resort was once a fishing village but is now well known for its beautiful, soft golden sands. As the town is heavily influenced by the large British ex-pat community living hand in hand with the local Spanish, you are unlikely to need to remember the Spanish for ‘bucket and spade’ when shopping for your beach accessories.
For a slice of the town’s history, the Moorish Tower overlooking the sea is worth visiting.
Sierra de Mijas
Those looking to explore this striking, wild landscape can hike to the top of Pico de Mijas. We recommend heading tackling these rocky ranges in the cooler months as the climb can be challenging for beginners. However, if you do manage to hike your way up all 1150m above sea level it’s worth it. If you aren’t able to conquer those heights, trust us it’s the kind of view that has you picking up your jaw from the floor. On a particularly clear day, you may even catch a glimpse beyond to Morocco. Be sure to visit the local tourist office first to discover the route that’s right for you.
No matter whether you are a perfect putter or don’t know your iron from your wedge, you are sure to find a course suitable for you. Many excellent courses have taken advantage of the diverse Mijas landscape, making golf a very popular hobby for tourists and locals alike. The warm Andalusian climate ensures easy play all year round.
In Mijas, they take nothing more serious than celebrating, with many events associated with Spain’s Catholic traditions.
Those visiting earlier the year can enjoy the fancy dress carnival that marks the beginning of Lent on Shrove Tuesday. The Holy Week at Easter, known as Semana Santa, is marked by daily parades of decorative floats. The festive atmosphere is spread throughout Mijas, with houses draped in colourful flags. The longest night of the year in June, San Juan, is seen as the beginning of summer. Along the coast, this is the only night when fires are allowed to be lit. In addition to fireworks displays, this lively festival of light is the perfect way to welcome summer. The rest of the summer months see music, theatre and dance take centre stage, with several festivals and performances in venues throughout the area, including the Mijas Open Air Theatre. Basically, in Mijas you’re never short of a party.
Virgen de la Peña
Perfect for those who want to experience the ‘real’ Mijas. Located in a concealed grotto not far from the centre of Mijas Pueblo is a shrine dedicated to Our Lady the Virgin of the Rock. The accompanying legend is that this well-preserved shrine survived centuries of being hidden in the rock, and was only discovered by two young shepherds, who had been led there by a pigeon. Every September there is a festival of the patron saint of Mijas when the image of the Virgen de la Peña is carried from this peaceful sanctuary down to the town where it receives a floral tribute.
In La Cala de Mijas you can find a home from home for British tourists, as a walk down the promenade will reveal menus proudly presenting all-day English breakfasts, bangers and mash and even Sunday roasts. Those looking to try something more homegrown will find many restaurants serving popular tapas dishes such as patatas bravas. Andalusian’s boast that their Jamón Ibérico, a dry-cured ham that is only made from Iberian pigs, is the best in the world.
Whether you choose to take a stroll through the surrounding pine forests or head out for a day at the beach, Mijas provides an irresistible mix of culture and leisure.
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