Perched high in the mountains behind Fuengirola is the picturesque village of Mijas. The village truly is one of the gems of the Costa del Sol and as you wander around its cobbled streets with whitewashed buildings you can imagine an Andalucia of old.
The village has become home to many artists and writers and as you walk around the shops you will find many craft / art shops offering hand painted plates, pottery, painings and prints by local artists.
The village has recently renovated the centre of the pueblo, Plaza Virgen de la Peña which is now a completely pedestrianised square full of bars, restaurants and craft stalls. There is a stage which features music and flamenco dancers on many nights in the summer.
The local council work hard, so that despite the high number of tourists the village still retains its original charm.
We, as always, had a hire car and so drove up the mountain to Mijas and in the village centre is a huge undergound car park for only 1 euro per day. Bargain. If you would rather use public transport there are buses from Malaga, Fuengerola and other surrounding towns which are very regular. It is also included in most resorts day trips from hotels so ask in reception for details. We have been several times so here are a few of our favourite things in Mijas.
Things to do in Mijas
There are a huge range of shops providing souvenirs of Andalucia and Mijas. Hand painted pottery is very popular and there are also lots of leather goods shops. Every Wednesday there is market in the town which usually has street entertainment such as flamenco dancers on the stage.
Virgen de la Pena Shrine.
The Virgen de la Pena shrine is well worth a quick visit. It is just off the main square and is carved out of a piece of rock over 300 years ago by a Carmelite monk. The cave is a shrine to Our Lady, Virgen de la Pena who offers protection over the village of Mijas Pueblo. The terrace in front of the shrine has a small restaurant/bar in the shade of trees and vines. The views from the terrace are spectacular and it provides a perfect place to rest with a drink whilst the kids run around the fountains.
There some great small restaurants as you would expect in this part of the world. Our favourite, as a family, was the tapas restaurant, Oscars Tapas Bar.
Located in La Alcazaba, down the tunnel from the Plaza de la Constitucion.
It sits upon a cliff top and so had great views of the coast and Fuengirola. Being a small enclosed terrace its a great place to eat with the kids and the bar even has a small playroom of rides, games and crayons to keep the little ones entertained.
After lunch we made the short walk up the hill to the bullring. It is unique in the fact it is an oval not a ring.
This was due to the shape of the land given to build the ring on. Entrance fee was about 4 euro for a look around. Inside you go through a small museum showing old photographs of famous matadors. The walls are covered in posters from a time gone by when bullfighting was a very popular past time in Spain. These days bull fighting is on the wane although there are still fight at Mijas.
You can climb up the seating in the bullring and get some great views of over the village. There was also a bullfighters coat you could try on for some not very touristy photographs 🙂
Outside of the bullring there is a lovely square with a church and fountains where you can walk down into the gardens. The gardens feature plants from all over the world along with waterfalls and small ponds full of goldfish.
At the top of the garden paths is a small playground which was great to let the kids blow off some steam.
It can get warm in Mijas, especially in the summer so the nearby bar provided cold drinks along with a little more tapas. Not sure whats going on with all this tapas but it seems to be making my clothes shrink?
For further information https://turismo.mijas.es/en/