The mountains, the sea, the forest; it’s quite unusual to see a place near all three landscapes, but the beautiful Andalusian town of Mijas is one such place. This town, filled with trademark whitewashed Andalusian buildings, is located on the mountainside in the heart of Costa del Sol, Malaga. It is divided into four parts: the Pueblo (town), Costa (main commercial and residential area), La Cala de Mijas (small village and resort), and Las Lagunas (suburban commercial area). While Mijas generally has mild weather, the temperature drops with increasing elevation in the mountains. During the winter, precipitation slightly increases and ice may also form. Mijas has seen a lot of wars throughout history, and has had its fair share of pirate activities. Since the 1950s, Mijas has progressed into the tourist destination that we know today.
Today, Mijas is known for its picturesque landscape, quirkiness, and traditional Spanish culture. Mijas has many faces and personalities, but a boring town it is not. While the town is a beautiful destination all year-round, it is much livelier during the summer. Read on to find out the best things to do in the beautiful town of Mijas!
1. Be charmed by the seaside village of La Cala de Mijas
If you’re looking for a postcard-worthy Spanish seaside village, La Cala de Mijas is the place. The central point of Mijas Costa, it used to be a small fishing village and has grown to a population of around 10,000. The village is full of cafes, family-run shops, and beach bars called “chiringuitos”. The street market El Baratillo, one of the many markets in Mijas, is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Vendors sell fruits, knickknacks, and many other items. In 2015, a popular coastal boardwalk was opened and has since become popular with tourists. People with disabilities may also find it easy to access. La Cala de Mijas is also a great access point to the towns Marbella and Fuengirola, with both areas a short bus ride away.
La Cala de Mijas is teeming with life and activity, especially during summer. Visitors can enjoy a whole week of festivities from July 25 where the village showcases local delicacies as well as music and dance. During July and August, locals celebrate Noches de Luna y Playa (Nights of Moon and Beach) where the promenade becomes the venue for live classical music performances and flamenco dancing.
La Cala de Mijas
Address: La Cala de Mijas, Costa del Sol, Malaga, Spain
Opening hours: All day
Getting there: There are Calahonda taxis at the centre of the town, but you can also take Bus 320 or 520 (available during summer)
2. Savor the view at the top of El Compas
One of the highest points in Mijas, El Compas is a small tavern located near the plaza and Virgen de la Peña shrine in Mijas Pueblo. It boasts of stunning views of the Mijas landscape including the Costa, Fuengirola, Torremolinos, Marbella, as well as other towns and cities. Guests have also commended the nice staff, great food, and reasonable prices.
Address: Avenida De Compas, Mijas Pueblo, Malaga, Spain
3. Visit its quirky museums: the Museo de Minaturas and the Contemporary Art Centre
Aside from being a mountainside and beach town, Mijas also has a lot of museums that showcase its unique arts. Located at the center of Mijas Pueblo, the Museo de Minaturas is a delight quite unlike any other. The museum, housed in Carromato de Max (Max’s Caravan), was established in 1972 by eccentric stage hypnotist and magician Juan Elegido Millán, who goes by the stage name “Professor Max”. Traveling all over Europe and Africa, Max obtained a variety of eccentricities such as a shrunken head, a copy of Leonardo Da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” on a grain of rice, and dressed-up stuffed fleas. The caravan contains around 360 exhibits for visitors to marvel at.
The Contemporary Art Centre (Centro de Arte Contemporáneo or CAC Mijas), which opened on 2014, is a small yet stylish museum also located in the town. The museum contains around 550 works of art including those of the locals. Art buffs might be delighted to know that it also showcases the works of Dali and Picasso. The museum also hosts art workshops.
Museo de Minaturas (Carromato de Max)
Address: Avenida del Compas, Mijas Pueblo, Malaga, Spain
Opening hours: 10:00 am to 3:00 pm (October to June), 10:00 am to 10:00 pm (July to September)
Admission: Adults - 3.38 USD (3 EUR), Children under 7 years old - 1 USD (0.90 EUR), Pensioners and students - free
Contemporary Art Centre/Centro de Arte Contemporáneo (CAC Mijas)
Address: Calle Malaga, Mijas Pueblo, Malaga, Spain
Opening hours: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
Admission: 3.38 USD (3 EUR). Groups of more than nine people can pay 2.25 USD (2 EUR) each
Contact: +34 952590442
Website: CAC Mijas - in Spanish)
4. Move around by cable car and donkey
Aside from bus, boat, car or on foot, Mijas should also be explored in a way that is just as unique as Mijas itself. If you’re into historical immersion, donkeys (burros) are available for you to ride around town. In fact, Mijas is particularly famous for this type of transport! Tourists can also hire a donkey and coach if you opt for something more comfortable. Remember to be kind to the hardworking donkeys, though!
For those searching for new heights, hop on the Benalmadena Cable Cars (Teleférico Benalmádena). This attraction, a 20-minute bus ride from Mijas, takes visitors up to the highest point on the Malaga coast. Visitors can enjoy panoramic views of natural surroundings including the Coast of Gibraltar in Africa.
Mijas Donkey Taxi
Address: Avenida Virgen de la Peña, Mijas Pueblo, Malaga, Spain
Opening hours: 10 am to 6 pm (winter), 10 am to 10 pm (summer)
Price: Donkey Taxi - 7.90 USD (7 EUR), Donkey and Trap - 15.80 USD (14 EUR), Coach and Horses - 22.54 USD (20 EUR)
Contact: + 34 627026958
Teleférico Benalmádena (Benalmadena Cable Cars)
Address: Explanada del Tivoli, Benalmadena, Malaga, Spain
Opening hours: 11 am to 7 pm
Price: Adult return - 16.34 USD (14.50 EUR), Child return - 12.40 USD (11 EUR)
Getting there: Take Bus 121 and get off at Tivoli
5. Practice your golf skills at the Mijas Golf Club or the Cerrado del Aguila Resort while admiring the view
Mijas is famous for its scenic golf courses. The Los Lagos Course, the larger part of Mijas Golf Club, is quite popular and disability-friendly. It has lakes, soft slopes, and some forest trees. It is one of the top 100 golf courses in Spain. Cerrado del Aguila is another scenic golf course that is not much of a challenge for beginners. It has flat, wide open fairways with nice views of the sea.
Address: Avd. Louison Bobet, Mijas, Malaga, Spain
Contact: +34 952476843, +34 952467943, [email protected]
Website: Mijas Golf
Cerrado del Aguila Golf and Resort
Address: Urb. Cerrado del Águila, Camino del Acevedo, Mijas Costa, Malaga, Spain
Contact: +34 951703355, [email protected]
Website: Cerrado del Aguila
6. Get in touch with aquatic life
The vibrancy of Mijas is not limited to land. In MIjas and surrounding areas, much of the Mediterranean marine life can be explored by visitors of all ages. Simply Diving is a British-run scuba diving company which offers scuba diving courses for people of all skill levels. It also has a program for disabled divers. It has offices in Torremolinos, Marbella, and Fuengirola.
The Sea Life center in Benalmadena port is a walk-through underwater park which contains a vast array of marine life. Aside from exhibitions, sick and injured sea creatures are also nursed in the center.
Address: Avenida Carlota Alessandri #25 (Torremolinos) / Marbella Port #52 (Marbella) / Fuengirola Port #62 (Fuengirola), Malaga, Spain
Contact: +34 600506526, [email protected]
Website: Simply Diving
Sea Life Benalmádena
Address: Puerto Marina, Avd. del Puerto, Benalmadena Costa, Malaga, Spain
Opening hours: 10 am to 6 pm
Admission: From 11.22 USD (9.95 EUR)
Contact: +34 952560150, [email protected]
Website: Sea Life Benalmadena
7. Buy souvenirs and enjoy the summer vibe at the Mijas Pueblo markets
Photo is only for illustrative purposes
Mijas Pueblo, aside from being a shopping destination, is also a cultural center especially during summer. Like many Spanish towns, it offers a wide array of street markets to choose from. Sometimes they also accompany festivals. At the Plaza de Manuel Cortés, a market opens every Tuesday from 9 am to 2 pm. As with every street market, it’s best to be wary of pickpockets.
In July and August, flamenco and Caribbean music are performed on Tuesdays and Thursdays, respectively. There is also a craft market at the Plaza Virgen de la Pena for antique enthusiasts. For art lovers, the Spanish Theater Festival and Rock Night are held around this time. If you missed the summer festivities, the Mijas Fair is held at the start of September and is just as vibrant as the summer festivals.
Mijas Pueblo Markets and Festivals
Address: Mijas Pueblo, Malaga, Spain
Opening hours: All day
8. Take a hike through Mijas for free
Photo is only for illustrative purposes
Mijas, aside from being an architectural marvel, is also a wonder of nature. There are plenty of hiking trails and hidden natural gems to be discovered by the avid nature-lover. The best part is that visitors can do the hiking themselves without spending on a guided tour. The local government has produced a comprehensive hiking guide that visitors can get at the tourist office and online. When going on a solo hike, it’s best to take note of safety precautions, wear the appropriate attire, and bring the necessities.
Nature walks such as the Mijas Mountain Country Walk and Mijas Area Country Walk take visitors through various places in Mijas and surrounding areas.
Mijas Country Walk
Address: Mijas, Malaga, Spain
9. Chill out at Plaza Mayor
When you’re done with all your traversing and adventuring, why not take a short ride from Mijas and wander around Plaza Mayor? This shopping center and leisure park, conveniently located near the Malaga Airport, is filled with restaurants and shops. It also has a cinema and amusement center. With a variety of amenities to choose from, it is the perfect place to hang out after the day’s activities. Especially when you’re with the kids.
Address: Calle Alfonso Ponce de León, Malaga, Spain
Opening hours: 10 am to 1 am
Contact: +34 952247580
Getting there: Take Bus 320 (stops at Mijas Costa) or 112 (Mijas Pueblo)
Website: Plaza Mayor - in Spanish)
Discover an Andalusian gem with a vibrant personality
Be it the mountains, the sea, the forests, or the town, Mijas is a town to be explored. Breathe in the rustic atmosphere and lively community vibe. Wherever you go in Mijas and beyond, there is always something different to find.
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