Mijas has lots to see.
WHETHER you are visiting Mijas from abroad or from just down the road, come and discover the town and don’t miss these places to see.
Mijas has a number of churches and religious buildings.
One of the most unique is the Virgen de la Peña hermitage; the figure of the Virgin is placed in a cave made in the rock by a Carmelite monk in the late 17th century. A small chapel has been added and it is a popular place to visit and light a candle.
The Inmaculada Concepcion Church was built upon the ruins of the former mosque. It is in the upper part of the town and was consecrated in 1631. It is popular for weddings with both locals and foreigners. It was restored in the nineties, revealing eight frescos with images of the apostles which date from the 17th century.
There is also a church in Las Lagunas, San Miguel; the 18th century Nuestra Señora de los Remedios Church; San Sebastian, dating from the 17th century; and the hermitages of El Calvario and San Anton.
Towers and ramparts
While in Mijas Pueblo, as well as the churches, check out the Muralla Gardens, which are built upon the remains of the ramparts which surrounded the town. The gardens include a panoramic viewpoint looking out over the coast which offers amazing views.
There are four watch towers along the coast of Mijas, they are in Calaburras, Calahonda and La Cala del Moral areas and were used to protect the town from invaders from the sea. In La Cala de Mijas there is a Visitors’ Centre to learn more about the towers, open in the summer from 11am to 2pm and 6pm to 10pm, entrance is €1.
There is a large auditorium in Mijas Pueblo, which has been used for numerous concerts and other events, such as the Theatre Festival which will be held from July 15 to 18, with free access at 10.30pm. There is also a theatre in Las Lagunas area.
A unique museum
MIJAS PUEBLO has a very unique museum, the Miniatures Museum also known as El Carromato de Max.
Opened in 1972, it contains a rate collection including fleas in dresses, a shrunken head (which could be the only one like it in the world), a ballet dancer carved on a toothpick, a naval battle on a pinhead, the Last Supper on a grain of rice, and more than 350 other items collected by Juan Elegido Millan, better known as Professor Max the Hypnotist, on his travels. He claimed to collect small objects because he didn’t have the money or space for large artefacts.
Open during the summer from 10am to 10pm, entrance is 3€ for adults, €1.50 for children and €2 for pensioners.
FOR better or worse, Mijas is known for its donkeys, especially the so-called ‘burrotaxis’.
This first started in the late fifties when quarry workers returned home with their donkeys and found that tourists started taking photos of them. They would also sometimes ask for rides around the town and the locals found a new way of making money.
They are still used to take rides around the town, and there are more than 60 donkeys, eight of them pulling small carts. They can be seen in Avenida del Compas, in the centre of Mijas Pueblo.
Just last year, Katy Darlow, who created the Mijas Donkey Movement Project, a non-profit organisation reached an agreement with the owners of the donkeys to bring an equine veterinarian to check on their health and give advice on how to improve their conditions.
LOCATED just five minutes from La Cala, Donkey Dreamland is a donkey rescue centre to protect abused and neglected donkeys which also carries out education and interactive activities to educate people about these beautiful animals.
One such activity is the Yoga with donkeys, held on Wednesdays from 7pm to 9pm, with a suggested donation of 15€ for a two-hour session which includes organic juices, chai tea and vegan treats at the end.
Donkey Dreamland has also organised a Summer Camp for children between eight and 12 years old, Monday to Friday from 9am to 4pm in August, for €125 per week or €400 for the whole month. For more information, call 640 111 651. There will be donkey walks, dancing, arts and crafts workshops, pool activities, cooking, gardening and much more.
Donkey Dreamland receives visitors for tours on Saturdays and Sundays which can be booked at www.donkeydreamland.eu
Step back in time
THE House Museum of Mijas will is now open from 10am to 2pm and from 5pm to 9pm.
The historical-ethnological centre in Mijas Pueblo is located in the old Town Hall and recreates the Mijas of yesterday through farming tools, fishing, oil mills, winery or kitchen. It also showcases itinerant art collections and local crafts.
Health regulations are in place, the Mijas Department of Culture has assured us.
The Casa Museo is located in Plaza de la Libertad and entrance costs just €1.
A visit to the museum will give you a better idea of what Mijas was in the past and how it has become the area it is today, as well as looking at how people used to live in the area and what they did before the arrival of the tourist trade.
Contemporary Art Centre
MIJAS also has a contemporary art centre with more than 400 works of art.
They include works by Picasso, Dali, Georges Braque, Tsuguharu Foujita, ntonio Muñoz Degrain, Jose Moreno Carbonero, Joaquin Martinez de la Vega and Jose Denis Belgrano from the Remedios Medina Collection, managed by Spanish Art Brokers.
There are more than 130 works by Picasso, mainly ceramics.
There is a permanent exhibition, mainly of his works and Dali’s as well as temporary exhibits.
Located in Calle Malaga, it is open from 10am to 7pm from Tuesday to Sunday and entrance costs €3. For more information, visit the website www.cacmijas.info
MIJAS has several kilometres of beaches,including some with blue flags.
La Cala has an urban beach with dark sand and rocky areas, 1.6km long with a blue flag for quality. It is popular at night at the weekends and holds several summer music events.
Cabo Rocoso has dark sandy and choppy seas, at just 100m long, it does not get busy and is popular for windsurfing, sailing and diving.
Calahonda has golden sand and calm waters. Its 4.5km get busy and is popular for fishing and snorkelling.
El Bombo,1.1km with cliffs and dark sand, gets busy and is popular with divers.
El Chaparral, rocky beach 4.4km long and ideal for windsurfing, sailing and diving.
El Faro, rocky beaches with coves and fine sand, popular for fishing. Quiet and extends over 1.4km. Within those areas the beaches are La Luna, Royal Beach, El Almirante, Doña Lola, Riviera, Butiplaya, Las Doradas, El Charcon, Faro de Calaburras, Peñon del Cura, El Ejido, and the nudist beach at Playa Marina.
Golfing all year
MIJAS town Council, together with Malaga University, is working on a unique brand to differentiate their local golf courses from other destinations.
The aim is to receive both national and international golfers and avoid seasonality.
Mijas has several golf clubs and courses: La Cala Golf, Miraflores Golf and Santana Golf; Mijas Golf, La Siesta, Chaparral and Calanova Golf Clubs and La Noria and Cerrado del Aguila Golf Resorts.
Golf tourism is a major source of income in the area, as golfers and their families not only visit the golf courses but also spend in others sectors such as shops and restaurants. The aim is to diversify the offer with this golf marketing plan.
The councillor for Tourism, Jose Carlos Martin and the councillor for Sports, Andres Ruiz, said that Mijas seeks to promote its own brand and distinguish itself from other international competitors in this field, so that golfers will take Mijas into account when choosing an ideal destination which also complies with all current health regulations.
Hiking around Mijas
MIJAS is popular with hikers and has many routes which will take you through a variety of plants and trees and bring you closer to nature.
The tourism and environmental departments in the town have signposted the hiking routes to make them more accessible, as they vary in length and difficulty. Some areas are quite rocky and steep but others are easily covered even by young children. If you’re lucky, you might even spot a mountain goat. There are also areas for rock climbing.
If you prefer a flatter area, there are walks signposted along the Fuengirola River, where you might be able to see an otter or two, or you could choose the Senda Litoral, the boardwalk along the Costa del Sol, which has one of its best areas on the coast of Mijas and offers lovely views of the sea and mountains.
Play in the water
LAS CAÑADAS Water Park in Mijas has now reopened to the public with improvements and security measures.
The water is on a continuously operating closed circuit so that water will not be wasted and so that there is no need to press buttons, as well as it bringing the temperature down within the park.
The 1,500m2 paved park is fenced and has lots of fun games for children. Anyone who enters should wear appropriate footwear to avoid slipping.
The Water Park will be open until September from 10.30am to 8.30pm.
Summer with a splash
THE AQUAMIJAS water park has opened for this summer on the Costa del Sol with strict security measures against Covid-19.
The manager, Maria del Mar Asensio, said that figures are expected to be 20 to 30 per cent higher than last year.
Visitors will once again be able to enjoy the slides such as the ‘Kamikaze’, a free fall slide for a real adrenaline rush, as well as labyrinths, the wave pool, the lake, the soft track, Adventure River, Rio Bravo, the Diver-dragon or the Jacuzzi”. There are also virtual reality machines, go-karts and other activities.
Open Monday to Sunday to from 10.30 to 7pm until August 31, and to 6pm from September 1 to 12. Entrance after 3.30pm has 30 per cent discount and there are also discounts for residents in Malaga. Find out more on their website www.aquamijas.com
Mijas Secrets walks
THE Mijas Secrets guided cultural walks are set to continue after the summer as more than 200 people, most of them foreign residents, have taken part.
There have been different walks, showing aspects such as the local arts and crafts, the town’s grape and wine production, Mijas today and yesterday, and the influence of Al Andalus, as well as the hidden waterways of Mijas, which reveals how irrigation was carried traditionally carried out.
According to both the Foreign Residents’ Department and the Tourism Department, the tours are in several languages and have been extremely popular since they began this year at Easter and continued into May. A new edition is planned for September.
The aim is to reveal facts about Mijas that people would not know otherwise and highlight the secrets of the town thanks to the involvement of local artisans, wine producers, religious groups and others. Being a tourist in their own town has proved a hit with local residents who have then recommended the walks and been able to teach more about their new home to others.
MIJAS has bars, restaurants and beach restaurants for all tastes and budget with foods including a variety of cold soups, such as salmorejo, gazpacho, gazpachuelo or ajoblanco.
Don’t miss the chance to try the local rough bread (pan cateto), or the sugar covered almonds (garrapiñadas). Like the rest of the Costa del Sol, Mijas has good seafood and fish, especially skewered sardines.
A local dish is the Sopa de Maimones, which is similar to a gazpacho, but eaten hot, and another is Sopa de Ajos, which is eaten with fried bread rubbed with garlic. Ensalada Mijeña contains potato, cod, oranges, spring onions and olives; and a dish similar to porridge is also typical, gachas, with honey or milk and sugar. Hornazos are eaten around Easter and are like bread rolls containing an egg. Leche frita and buñuelos are popular sweet dishes.
MIJAS was traditionally a grape-producing area, until the vines were decimated in 1878.
This was overcome, and vines were planted again in the 20th century, in areas near the coast and Fuengirola, as well as on the hills around Mijas Pueblo. Many men and women would come from throughout Malaga province and further afield to take part in the grape harvesting and it once again gained importance for local farmers.
Nowadays, you can visit the Malvajio wine producers to taste local wines. Also local to Mijas is the Lopez Lavado winery, created in 2004 which produces 100 per cent ecological wines from vines in La Alqueria area and matured in Mijas Pueblo, such as Viña Tamisa.
Go nuts for garrapiñadas!
ONE of the most famous treats you can buy in Mijas are the Garrapiñadas, caramel-covered nuts.
Although they can be made with different varieties of nuts, in Andalucia, they are usually made with almonds. They are covered in sugar and vanilla flavouring to make caramels which then hardens on the outside of the nuts and is deliciously sweet.
Before you even get near them, you will be drawn by the unmistakable sweet smell, and now, the sellers who prepare them on the streets of Mijas have got new carts which were visited recently by the mayor. He explained that the street sellers had long been requesting to all have the same image, so now, they have 10 new stands which are just another of the town’s tourist attractions.
Made with galvanised steel and covered with aluminium designed to look like wood, they are topped with a marble stone and have an area to store the tools of the trade.
One of the sellers, whose family has been preparing garrapiñadas on the streets of Mijas Pueblo since 1975, said that he and the others were very grateful for the new carts.
Travelling to Mijas by bus
MIJAS bus timetables have returned to the pre-pandemic peak time frequency.
The number 122, 127 and 221 lines of the Transport Consortium of the Metropolitan Area of Malaga will go back to their original time tables while Mijas also plans to reinforce and expand schedules and frequencies.
The councillor of Transport and Mobility, Nicolas Cruz explained that Line 127 is a circular route used by many elderly residents in the area, while 122 is the most used to travel from Fuengirola to Mijas Pueblo and line 221 is the bus travelling between Fuengirola, Mijas, Alhaurin el Grande and Coin. He also said that the town council has wanted to collaborate with the transport consortium in order to offer more frequent schedules despite the use of the buses being a lot lower at the moment.
Off-peak and holiday timetables will be at 70 per cent of what they were pre-pandemic.
- The tourist office in Mijas Pueblo was opened in 2003 and is located in the centre of the town.
- It has an exhibition hall and interactive screens where you can find out more about Mijas before setting off to explore.
- The bullring was built in 1900 after many petitions from locals and inaugurated on September 8 that year. It has a unique oval shape.
- The patron saint is the Virgin of the Rock, which legend has it, was found in 1586 by two children watching sheep who were guided to her by a dove.
- Constitution Square is interesting in that the benches and fountain were made by marble cutter Galiano from rocks left by a landslide caused by floods in November 1884.
- There are several caves in Mijas, often used as stables or store rooms.
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