When it comes to memorable holidays in Andalucía, there is no shortage of wonderful locations to visit. Yet another is the municipality of Mijas in the Costa del Sol. Mijas is made up of two areas, the charming and historic town of Mijas Pueblo and the coastal Mijas Costa. From historic sites and top hiking trails to beaches and picturesque views, there is a whole lot to enjoy. So, if you are planning on visiting, perhaps via a car rental from Malaga, make sure to discover some of the fantastic things to see and do in Mijas.
The village of Mijas Pueblo is the oldest part of the municipality and certainly the most eye-catching. Located high up on a mountainside, visitors will be greeted by a dazzling array of whitewashed houses, a sight many consider synonymous with the region of Andalucía. This rural location is full of charm and the village itself is worth a visit alone to experience the traditional side of life and Spanish culture. The streets are laid with cobblestone and follow the original Moorish plan, providing a fascinating glimpse into the past.
Alison from the Spanish lifestyle blog Alison in Andalucía, spoke to us about her tips for visiting Mijas Pueblo: “I would suggest spending time simply wandering around the tiny streets and alleyways. There are lovely artisan shops and, whichever way you turn, you’ll find plenty of bars and restaurants to stop for a beer or some tapas. Also, say hello to the donkeys but do your exploring on foot rather than having a donkey ride, particularly at the height of summer when the temperatures soar.”
Chapel of the Virgin of the Rock
One of the most beautiful spots in Mijas – and one of its historic gems – is certainly the Chapel of the Virgin of the Rock. Dating back to the mid-16th-century, the story is that the father of two children built the shrine into the rock after being led to the spot by a dove, revealing a hidden carving of the Virgin Mary – which had been placed there 500 years before. The statue is still there today above the altar, surrounded by flowers in this lovely little chapel. For centuries, visitors have been coming far and wide to make pilgrimage to the shrine.
Maria, from the travel blog Travelling Buzz, has spent time in Mijas and told us about what to expect upon visiting this wonderful spot: “Once you reach the Chapel of the Virgin of the Rock in Mijas, an amazing panoramic view to the whole surrounding area is revealed in front of your eyes. The chapel itself is carved in a rock which is an impressive sight to see. For a full experience, take a peek inside the chapel.”
Alison from Alison in Andalucía added the following when speaking to us: “The chapel is an unexpected treat and the outside gives no clues as to what’s in store when you head inside. The fact that it’s carved out of the rock gives it as much of a wow factor as you get from some of the big churches and cathedrals throughout Andalucía. The views from outside are also pretty special – the mountains behind you and the sea in front.”
Additionally, there are ornate robes and silver crosses to see, which were used for processions in the village around the time that the location was rediscovered.
Another of Mijas’ historic treasures is Mijas Fortress. Located on the top of a small hill, Mijas Fortress might not be the most impressive or well-preserved fortress in Andalucía, but it does provide some of the most majestic views of the region. Mijas Fortress was one of the forts used during the Reconquista in the 15th century by the Catholic monarchs. Today, it’s a historic location of note and the brilliant views combined with the beautiful gardens and fountains make for a delightful and serene location to visit during your trip to Mijas.
Maria from Travelling Buzz also spoke to us about how she enjoyed visiting this location, particularly for the views on offer: “I have seen many fortresses and Mijas Fortress doesn’t impress with its size, but nevertheless the walk and the panoramic views are worth every step on the way. Mijas is still one of my favourite Spanish towns I’ve visited.”
Sierra de Mijas
For those who desire something a little more active during their Spanish holiday, Sierra de Mijas is truly the place to be. Sierra de Mijas is a mountain range in the region, acting as the go-to place for hiking near Mijas, as well as a place of stunning natural beauty. With a wealth of fauna and flora spread across a picturesque landscape of 1000m peaks, there is plenty to sink your teeth into. With varied microclimates, there’s always something different to see. The diversity in terrain lends itself perfectly to hiking and mountain biking, with a plethora of tracks that are easy to follow. You can learn more and see a map of the trails over at the Mijas tourism website.
La Cala de Mijas
Of course, a trip to the Costa del Sol is never complete without some quality time at the beach. Fortunately, sun, surf, and sand are not in short supply in the municipality of Mijas. Located in Mijas’ coastal zone, La Cala de Mijas is a wonderful spot to visit with friends, family, or loved ones. Slightly more developed than Mijas Pueblo, La Cala still oozes Andalucía charm, and the beach here even boasts a Blue Flag, awarded for its amenities and hygiene. The long stretch of sand and moderate waves is perfect for families or anyone who just fancies a relaxing afternoon under the Costa del Sol sun. When you then throw in the adjacent boardwalk, with its family-run shops, cafes and traditional Spanish beach bars, visiting La Cala is an easy choice to make.
Things to see and do in Mijas
- Mijas Pueblo
- Chapel of the Virgin of the Rock
- Mijas Fortress
- Sierra de Mijas
- La Cala de Mijas
Being just a short drive from Malaga airport, there is every reason to jump in a car and visit the atmospheric Mijas. With its great variety of activities and attractions, there is plenty to keep you occupied during your time in southern Spain.
For more tips and advice, make sure to read the other guides to Andalucía over on our blog.
Image Credit: muffinn