Mijas lies just west of Malaga and is split into two distinct areas. Mijas Pueblo is the popular, picturesque white village which lies 420 metres above sea level in the foothills of the Sierra de Mijas mountains. It attracts an enormous amount of day trippers all year round from the holiday resorts of the Costa del Sol. Views over the Mediterranean from the village are quite spectacular.
In contrast there’s a 12km coastal strip known as Mijas Costa which encompasses enormous tourist and residential developments including Calahonda. La Cala de Mijas is the centre of this stretch of coastline which has attracted a large number of foreign residents. In spite of some hideous overdevelopment, La Cala retains traces of its Andalucian heritage and is well worth a visit if you’re staying in the area. Its streets markets on Wednesdays and Saturdays are popular with visitors.
Mijas Pueblo has long been attracting foreign residents attracted by its cobbled streets and quaint, old Spain 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).
Quaint can only last so long after a place has been discovered and 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. Take a 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 half day excursions sold in travel agencies in the resorts. Many of these tourists attend a bullfight at the bullring which is more than 100 years old. Just look out for posters in the resorts promoting any events and offering transport.
In contrast Mijas Costa is a smart resort of sun worshippers attracted by 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 up market residential areas, all categories of hotels, first class golf courses and amusements such as water parks. A popular day out for tourists and locals on Sundays between October and May is a day at the races with regular meetings attracting sizeable crowds. Check the Hipodromo Costa del Sol for race schedules.
Recommended Places to Stay
Located in the picturesque town of Mijas Pueblo 5 km from the coast, the luxurious Mijas Hotel has terraces with stunning views. There’s an Andalucian ambience to the hotel thanks to the stylish use of traditional patios and fountains set amongst native orange trees. The outdoor pool is a superb place to unwind and in the evening there’s no need to go further than the in house restaurant which has a fabulous terrace with wonderful sea views.
If you’d prefer to stay nearer the beach then take a look at the Hotel Ona Campanario which is situated in Calahonda on the Mijas Costa stretch of coastline. This mini-resort offers a range of two and three bedroom apartments which are well equipped for holidaymakers. The apartments have four swimming pools and a gym as well as easy access to the bars and restaurants of Calahonda.