MIJAS PUEBLO & THE MIJAS COSTA
The Mijas municipality has a surface area of 148km square and is divided into three major zones: the mountains of Mijas and Alpujata; the foothills; and a 14km stretch of coast – the Mijas Costa. It contains four towns – Mijas Pueblo, La Cala de Mijas, Las Lagunas and Las Canadas; and the Costa, that stretches from the end of Fuengirola down to and including Calahonda, covers numerous urbanisations, beaches and golf courses.
This map shows the Mijas area:-
Mijas is crossed by two rivers – Las Pasadas and Ojen, which unite to form the river Fuengirola. The municipality borders with the towns of Fuengirola, Benalmadena, Alhaurin de la Torre, Alhaurin el Grande, Coin, Ojen and Marbella.
Confusingly, Fuengirola is not actually a part of the Mijas municipality even though it is engulfed by it, hence it is not shown on this particular map, but if it were it would be in the large yellow coastal area where it says Termino Municipal Fuengirola.
Mijas Pueblo, which is in the process of being declared a World Heritage Site, is a beautiful white village perched high on the Mijas mountain overlooking Fuengirola and the Mijas Costa. It often boasts itself as being the most beautiful village on the Costa del Sol and it’s easy to see why – with its antique white-washed cobbled streets full of nooks, crannies, patios and shrines, this picture-perfect village manages to conserve its tranquility and charms of the past whilst still offering its visitors an endless supply of cafes, boutiques and craft shops. Built high up on the hillside but sheltered by a mountain range and looking out towards the sea, the outskirts alone provide stunning viewpoints and photographic opportunities along its delightful cliff-edge pathway, leading you through botanical gardens and over bridges and gorges, where rock climbers can often be seen precariously clinging to the vertical drops.
Although there seems to be an endless stream of tourists, that doesn’t seem to spoil the overall calm and charm of the place. There are numerous restaurants and bars to choose from and the town has frequent festivities and fiestas, not to mention the free weekly flamenco shows on the outdoor stage in the Plaza de la Virgen de la Pena every Wednesday at noon. It is also home to an historic bullring (Plaza de Toros) built in 1900 and the tiny 17th Century shrine of La Virgen de la Pena, the patron Saint of Mijas, must be seen. It is also worth noting the village holds a festival of theatre during the first week of August, details of which can be found from the town hall.
The famous donkey taxis are also popular with visitors, although the town is not that big that you can’t cover it on foot (unless you are unable to manage a few flights of stairs and a steepish but short hill up to the Church of Nuestra Senora de la Concepcion and the coastal path), but they are a novelty none-the-less and quite amenable to being petted! The new electric Tuk Tuks also promise to take you on a breathtaking 35 minute panoramic tour.
As much as Mijas Pueblo is a little way off the coast, it is still quite attractive to holiday-makers wishing to actually stay in the village and therefore has numerous holiday accommodation possibilities. As well as many privately owned villas and apartments to be found, the town has two 4* hotels – Hotel TRH Mijas and La Ermita and two 1* hotels – Tejon and El Escudo de Mijas.
Mijas is about a 15 minute drive uphill from the coast, easily reached by various roads signposted up and down the costa, but most directly from the 210 exit off the main A7/N340 coastal motorway near Fuengirola. There’s a large multi-storey car park directly under the tourist information office (just follow the P signs as you enter the village) where parking is now only €1 for the whole day. Or there are regular buses (catch the M-122) from Fuengirola bus station – around every 30 minutes.
These photos provide a taste of what Mijas Pueblo has to offer:-
LA CALA DE MIJAS
A little further south down the A7/N340 motorway is the lovely old Spanish fishing village of La Cala de Mijas which has been growing and becoming more and more popular with tourists over the last decade. It is now a sizeable town with numerous cafes, bars, restaurants, shops, hair and beauty salons, supermarkets, diy stores, pharmacies, doctor’s surgery, schools and a couple of children’s play areas, in fact everything you’d expect in a true residential town. The centre is still home to many of its Spanish residents, whereby the surrounding (and expanding areas) are mostly where you’ll find holiday and further residential accommodation. The town holds a regular street market on the feria ground with over 100 stalls selling fresh fruit and veg, shoes, clothes and handicrafts.
La Cala, like all Spanish towns, loves to celebrate and present its regular fiestas throughout the year. They hold their annual fair from 15th to 31st July. The Virgen del Carmen (patron saint of fishermen), held on 16th July, is common across Spain and La Cala, along with many other coastal towns, physically take their procession into the sea! The May Day Sardine festival is also very popluar – the beach becomes a huge but organised barbecue where hundreds of skewers holding fresh sardines are spiked in the sand over smouldering flames. You’ll have to queue up but it’s worth waiting for your free plate full, served with bread and a wedge of lemon; then find a spot to sit and enjoy your feast! From 6th to 13th November local restaurants participate in the International Food Festival.
There are four ancient watch towers (torres) along the Mijas Costa whose function was to give notice in the presence of enemy ships to the garrisons of Fuengirola and Marbella. Torre La Cala is the most modern, built in the 19th century and now home to the town’s tourist information office. You can climb the tower for a small fee and enjoy its wonderful views of the coast.
The new coastal footpath, a 6km long boardwalk, starts in La Cala at the southern end of the beach around the Butibamba area. It is a beautiful and exhilarating, yet easy walk, stretching right down to Calahonda and taking in some stunning coastal scenery. Click here to read all about it.
In the centre of town there are a couple of small hotels, namely Hotel Carmen and Hostal Veramar and the larger Gran Hotel La Cala, Hotel Oceana and Cala Mijas Hotel provide the town’s 4* offerings. In the surrounding hills you can find the luxurious 4* golf spa resorts of Hotel La Cala Resort, Hotel Eurostars Mijas Golf & Spa, and Hotel Tamisa Golf. Click on this link for further details on these resorts and the numerous golf courses on the Mijas Costa.
The feel of the town is family orientated and people of all ages enjoy living and holidaying there.
The M-220 bus runs up and down the coast between Fuengirola and Marbella around every 30 minutes.
LAS LAGUNAS & LAS CAÑADAS
These towns neighbour eachother and are situated kind of behind Fuengirola. Because their borders are fairly indistinguishable they seem more like districts of Fuengirola rather than separate towns but they do belong to Mijas. These two areas are very much home to the locals with few tourists wandering into them. You will, however, find a good variety of shops, markets and tavernas and prices are much cheaper than the more popular touristic areas. There is a large El Corte Ingles department store, a large Carrefour and various DIY stores, as well as a few nice parks. Las Lagunas holds its annual fiesta from 1st to 15th June.
Check out the Mijas Tourist Information website to find out what’s going on in all these areas – click here
HOW TO GET TO MIJAS COSTA
BY CAR – on leaving Malaga airport, follow the A7 signs to Cadiz, then stay on the A7 following Algeciras. The motorway will split – you need to stay in the 2 right lanes, signposted A7 Algeciras, and then take whichever exit you need. As a rough guide, Fuengirola is an approximate 20 minute drive from the airport. NB: The 2 left lanes are signposted AP-7 to Marbella and Algeciras and take you onto the PEAJE (toll road) so do not follow this unless you want to bypass the Mijas Costa as you can’t get off before Marbella and will have to pay the tolls.
BY TRAIN – airport train station is across a short walkway on leaving the airport. Trains run as far as Fuengirola, around every 20-30 minutes between 5am and midnight. If you’re travelling further down the coast than Fuengirola you will need to switch to a bus – the bus station is just across the road from the train station and buses run frequently to almost anywhere, one of the busiest routes being the M-220 bus running up and down the coast every 30 minutes between Fuengirola and Marbella.
*** INSERT TRAIN AND BUS TIMETABLE HERE
BY BUS – the best way out of the airport is either by car or train but it is possible to get a bus or coach to many destinations – click here for a link to the bus network website. ***