Mijas, that is located west of Malaga, is divided into two areas: Mijas Pueblo and Mijas Costa. Mijas Pueblo is the white village standing high up the mountain with spectacular views over the Mediterranean, while Mijas Costa refers to the coastal resort down the mountain. Mijas is only 30km from Malaga.
Mijas was founded in prehistoric times by the Tertessians and it was originally known as Tamisa by the Romans; later the name changed to Mixa and finally to the current Mijas. The Romans were replaced by the Visigoths, and then, after 714, by the Moors. At the time of emirate of Córdoba, it was conquered by Umar ibn Hafsun, remaining under the rule of Bobastro until the latter was defeated by Abd al-Rahman III. Then in 1487 Mijas resisted to the attacks of the Catholic Monarchs during the siege of Málaga; but later the inhabitants surrendered and were most sold as slaves. During the Revolt of the Comuneros it remained loyal to the Spanish crown, which gave Mijas the title of ‘Muy Leal (“Very Loyal”).
Foreign resident have been attracted to Mijas Pueblo by its cobbled streets and quaint, old Spanish ambience. In fact Saturdays are a good day to visit during the summer, when the Foreigner's Department of the local council offer free guided walks of the rural areas of the town beginning at 10am at the town hall (advance booking recommended).
Mijas Pueblo has done a good job of maintaining some of its past in spite of the large influx of daily tourists coming up the mountain to wander its ancient streets. You should try the donkey taxi from the central square for a novel way of seeing the town.
Most visitors arrive by car (park in the multi-storey just off the main square), by public bus from Torremolinos or Benalmadena or on one of the many excursions sold in travel agencies. Many of these tourists attend a bullfight at the bullring, which is more than 100 years old. To attend one look out for posters in the resorts promoting any events and also offering transport.
In contrast Mijas Costa is a smart resort that attracts tourists with its 12km of excellent beaches, water sports and tourist facilities. Tourism is geared largely to the British market who flock to the pubs, British food suppliers and Indian restaurants during their stay in 'foreign' lands.
The area is surrounded by a huge number of residential areas, all categories of hotels, first class golf courses and amusements for the whole family such as water parks. A popular day out for tourists and also for locals on Sundays between October and May is a day at the Hipodromo races with regular meetings attracting sizable crowds. Check the Hipodromo website for race schedules.
How to get there
Bus: There are regular buses from Alhaurin el Grande, Arroyo de la Miel, Benalmadena Costa, Benalmadena Pueblo, Coín, Malaga, Torremolinos and Fuengirola. Bus timetables and prices can be found here.
Car: The A-387 brings you all the way to Mijas from the Coast or from Coin and Alhaurin el Grande. From the coast, both the A-7 and AP-7 connect to the A-387.
Airports: The closest airport is Malaga, which is 25 mins by car from Mijas. Flights arriving at Malaga airport can be tracked here. Gibraltar airport does have some limited flights and is roughly 1 hour drive.
Some people visiting the Costa del Sol do arrive via the airport of Jerez, travel time by car is 2 1/2 hours.
What to do
Mijas offers many cultural and wine museums, also sports including rock climbing and visiting historical buildings such as the Mijas bullring. Many of these activities are free and can be enjoyed all year.
Within the botanical gardens of Parque Muralla, close to the bull ring and the auditorium there is a rock gorge which is professionally customized for rock climbing and bouldering. Visitors can take a walk around the park and watch the climbers practice with a beautiful view of the coast in the background. The rock climbing facilities are FREE for both professionals and amateurs!
Plaza de Toros
C/ Cuesta de la Villa, Tel : 952 485 248
The bull ring dates back to 1900, located in the center of the village, and it still is an active bullring. Bullfighting takes place exclusively during the summer months on Sundays from 18:30. The bullring is unique in its peculiar shape which cannot be found anywhere else in the world. The Spanish spectacle is opened with a traditional flamenco performance. Something you must see!
Ethnological Museum of Mijas
Plaza de la Libertad, 2, Tel : 952 590 380
The museum exhibits utensils of farming, fishing along with photographs depicting scenes from an past era, and also shows an oil mill and wine cellar. Moreover, there is a special room in the museum dedicated to paintings and photography of local artists on display. Moreover, the gallery changes regularly to give different artists the opportunity to exhibit their work there. Entrance to the museum is FREE and often accompanied by wine tasting during festivals in the village.
Mijas Museum of Minitures
Avda. del Compàs, Tel : 952 48 58 20
Museum of miniatures happens to be the most popular sightseeing destination for Asian tourists. It was created by travel adventurer and hypnotist, Professor Max, who decided to showcase over 360 pieces collected during his travels around the world. The very detailed craftsmanship can be admired, for example, on the reproduction of Leonardo Da Vinci’s famous “Last Supper” carved on a grain of rice.
Walking & hiking
Mijas has several routes in the hills directly behind the town that are clearly sign-posted from the road and throughout the trails. You can ask a free map of the routes from the local tourist office. Walks vary in time and difficulty levels. The views are really spectacular and walkers can additionally visit the local shrine which is located on one of the routes. Further away from the town toward Osanillas, Pine forest walks can be found. This area is popular for gathering wild mushrooms at the beginning of autumn.
Mijas Wine museum
C/ San Sebastian
Mijas wine museum offers wine lovers the chance to learn from professional oenologists and try wine from all denominations of origin in Spain. The wine list includes cavas, noble wines, table wines, reds and roses along with gourmet food to enhance the experience, such as flavoured salts, cream syrup, balsamic jams and olive oils. In addition, each wine is paired with a dish featuring salads, cheeses, cold meats as well as signature dishes such as ratatouille tartlets with tuna, baby habas in chinese spoons, endives with scorpion fish pie and duck thighs with Malaga sweet wine. This is definitely a high class tourist attraction that should not be missed.
Grotto of the Virgen de la Peña
To this picturesque grotto, there is attached a legend dating back to 1536 when two children, a boy and a girl (Juan & Asuncion) experienced an apparition of the Virgin with Child in her arms and a white dove on her shoulder. The legend says that the Virgin was discovered by excavating the rock by the locals. Today, this beautiful grotto is continuously visited by pilgrims from all over the world. It is a serene and peaceful place for religious contemplations.
Mijas Church of the Immaculate Conception
Built on the ruins of the original castle, the church was consecrated in 1631 and uses one of the castles towers as the bell tower. The church contains features from the Mudejar and Baroque styles. There are three naves, each separated by rounded arches, the two side naves dating back to the first half of the 17th century. It is a wonderful piece of architecture waiting to be admired by art lovers as well as any viewers sensitive to historical and cultural beauty.
Mijas Swimming Pool
There is an outdoor municipal swimming pool that is located in Osanillas, which is a small suburb on the outskirts of Mijas. The swimming pool is open during summer until 9pm and the entrance is free. It is a good alternative for those who feel less comfortable in the sea. It also has a bar and cafe in the complex, which are full with noisy locals and children during the summer.
The beautiful Park Miralla is situated on the grounds of the original fortress that once occupied this vantage point. The park features botanical gardens, an auditorium and breathtaking viewpoints of the coast that can be explored further with the available coin-operated binoculars. The main church and bullring surround the park and add to the atmosphere of this wonderful area.
Local Farmers Market
The Market offers local farmed fruit & vegetables along with fresh meat & fish and it is the best place in town to buy fresh food. You can also buy fresh bread, wine, herbs and spices and there is even a shoe repair man. Open: Monday – Saturday (8am-2pm) and it is located on C/ del Pilar.
Parque Acuatico Mijas is a fun water park offering 5 major attractions, plus a wave pool, kiddie slides and play area, lake pool, jacuzzi and mini-golf area. Located just 20 minutes from Marbella, it is a great place to cool off on a hot day. The Mijas Aquatic Park offers attractions such as Kamikaze, Adventure River, and Labyrinth Slides, which are sure to provide fast and fun entertainment for older kids, while Kiddie Slides and Lizard Island are more low key and fit for younger children. This water park also offers a rock climbing wall, mini golf, bar, self-serve restaurant, gift shop, massage services, and performance stage for live shows. (Tel: +34 952 460 404)
Official site: www.mijas.es
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