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Mijas is a typical Spanish white washed village clinging to the side of a mountain on the Costa Del Sol in southern Spain. It is also known as Mijas Pueblo which means hillside village and it is very picturesque. It can be seen from the seaside town of Fuengirola down on the coast. One word of warning though I would advise you to wear sun glasses as the brilliant white washed houses and buildings reflect the sun rendering you blind and you can end up with very sore eyes from squinting against the brightness.
It is quite easy to reach as there are half hourly buses from Fuengirola that run constantly throughout the day up to 10PM. The cost of a ticket is 1.5 Euro and the correct change is required for the bus.
There has been a settlement here since prehistoric times and despite the invasions by the Visigoths and the Moors it remained a close knit little community. There are all kinds of interesting things in the little village dating back to the remains of a 2nd century fort with watch towers being built along the coast that were used to alert the villagers from the constant attacks by pirates who often came ashore here.
During the last couple of centuries the main source of income was from farming and mineral mining. Even up to just after WWII the village remained isolated and most of the people lived in shacks in small holdings. They did not even have telephones in the village until the 1950's. Life was very harsh for the people who lived here getting by on the meagre money they made selling excess vegetables and olive oil.
The tourist boom!
Along the Costa del Sol tourism took off and many hotels were built along this stretch of coastline many of the villagers got jobs in the hotels which guaranteed an income and helped support the families in the village. Tourists started to ask the local workers for lifts on their donkeys when they were returning to the village from the mines. The workers made more money from the tourists giving them rides to the village than they did working in the local mines all day so they gave up working in the mines and started a donkey or Burro taxi service as it is known. The donkeys are work animals and they are well looked after and regulated and fed throughout the day. They transport tourists around the village on little carts. They look well fed and not emaciated and there are strict by laws governing their treatment.
So what is there to do and see in the village?
There are a few nice little restaurants, cafes and bars, a couple of churches and Mijas has its own small bull ring which dates from 1900. There is a lovely park with subtropical flowers along the edge of the village overlooking the seaside way down below. There are a few shops selling leather and local artisan goods. The views from here are absolutely beautiful down to the coast. There are now several hotels in the village and rental apartments and villas where you can stay. The sun on the Costa del Sol shines for around 2,920 hours per year which makes it ideal. The temperature in the village is not quite as harsh as it is down on the coast and that makes it quite pleasant all year round.
The village sports a myriad of small roads barely wide enough for cars to pass by although there is a circuit taking cars around the village. The main square is where the bus terminates, there is also a taxi stand and on the opposite side of the great square there is the Donkey taxi rank. We had a couple of lovely meals up in the village at the many cafes and restaurants and the prices were quite reasonable. The standard of cooking in some of the restaurants was really good.
There is a small grotto in the town and legend has it that in 1536 two children saw an apparition of the Virgin Mary holding a baby with a dove on her shoulder. Their father helped build the grotto and it is a place for pilgrimage. There are several art galleries with paintings for purchase painted by local artists and a couple of museums, a wine museum that holds wine tastings and another museum the miniature museum that has tiny things in it for example a grain of rice with a replica of Leonardo di Vinci's painting of the last supper on it. Once all the tourists have left following their day trip to Mijas the village returns to the sleepy mountain side village. The locals meet in the restaurants bars and cafes and the place quietens down left with the few people lucky enough to be staying in the village.
Once a week there is a flamenco show put on by the mayor of Mijas in the town square there is also a small market here once a week too. One of the things you do have to watch out for on those busy days is the inevitable pick pockets who will swipe your wallet or purse out of your bag or pocket without you even realising. You should take appropriate care of your belongings and keep an eye on each other.
Would I recommend staying in Mijas?
If you are looking for a quiet location away from the brash Costa del Sol then this is the place for you. Although it gets busy during the day time it is not too busy that you feel crowded in. There are plenty of places and bars you can sit in and chill to watch the world go by. I would definitely recommend staying here if this is your cup of tea. If you want to venture down to the coast then it is quite easily reached by the half hourly bus service. It is a nice location and ideal for a peaceful break with more or less guaranteed sunshine. It is only about half an hour from Malaga airport but if you need to get out you either need to hire a car or use the local transport which is cheap and economical. To go further afield then you need to get yourself down into Fuengirola to catch the frequent trains to Malaga or the buses that serve the local areas along the coast.
It is an ideal location for a chill out type of holiday.
Just visited Mijas on Thursday Aug 31st. Beautiful small town in the mountains about Benidorm. We hired a car for £15 with air/con (a necessity in the 90 degree heat) and it is well worth it. The best road is from Fuengirola where the road is gentle. From Benelmadena it climbs (and possibly is more scenic) but halfway up it hadn't been finished and there were quite a few potholes. The shrine to the Virgen de la Pena is well worth a visit. it is carved out of the rock and there is a lovely peaceful atmosphere inside. A lot of the hair has been removed. (see earlier opinion). Outside there are the Mijas donkeys which is enough to make you weep. They are tethered ther in baking heat with no drinking water, obviously because the authorities do not want donkey urine all over the streets. Some of the owners are cruel. i saw one slap a donkey's neck hard and then drag him to a rail and push its face into the wall. It was tethered with very little rein to move its head. Awful, really awful. There is also a plaza de toros (bull-ring) which is in regular use. The houses are all white washed and look very picturesque against the mountains. The streets are narrow ans steep. Wheelchairs and buggies will struggle in places. There is a lovely art gallery/shop with some beautiful artifacts for sale. Particular the Ebano crystal sculptures from Barcelona. Air conditioning in the shop makes it a cool respite from the heat. Lots of bars and restaurants and cheap souvenir shops which spoil it.
Mijas is in Southern Spain, and the nearest airport is Malaga...you can get the train from the airpor to Fuengirola and take either a bus or taxi to the mountaineous village of Mijas, which takes about 20 mins and costs about £10. It was built centuries ago and it has been hardly touched by tourists, although it does have its share of new apartments and hotels, they are buiilt within the architect of the area...the locals are friendly and the area is clean. there is plenty of clean restaurants, although caution has to be taken with water, salads and fish as in all foreign countries. there is the famous mijas golf club where you can hire golf club ans a tennis court. in the village the night life is taverna's serving cold sangria in the hot evening. a must to see is the little church built in the mountain....beware the walls are covered with hair from dead people....
Mijas is a town and municipality in the province of Málaga, in Andalusia, southern Spain. It is a typically Andalusian white-washed village located at a mountain side about 400 m above mean sea level, in the heart of the Costa del Sol region. There are some local history museums and many souvenir shops, Mijas also has seven golf courses (four more are under construction). Like much of this coast, it continues to grow in urban development, although at a somewhat more low-key pace. In addition, there are several places to explore the countryside from horseback.