Mijas

The definitive typical Spanish village

 

Mijas Pueblo, a traditional “white” village 450 metres above sea level, is home to small, typical Andalucian houses, with winding, cobblestoned streets and dazzling whitewashed walls. If there were ever a typical Spanish village worthy of a visit then this is it. The history of Mijas Pueblo dates back to antiquity. Tourists from all over the world flock to the village throughout the year but, despite its popularity, Mijas has managed to retain its Spanish character and traditional Andalucian way of life.

 

There is a lot to savour when strolling through Mijas, including such local specialities as “garrapiñadas” (caramelised almonds cooked in the street), fresh olives and “churros”.

 

Numerous foreign artists and writers have settled here and made Mijas their home over the years. The village has a thriving arts and crafts movement, particularly in linen and wicker items. Many tiny shops are bursting with the local wares including ceramics, leatherwork, jewellery and budget-priced paintings and prints by acclaimed local artists. As the locals will tell you with a knowing wink, a holiday memento could turn out to be a sound investment.

 

For breathtaking views over the Costa del Sol, there’s no better spot than The Mirador viewpoint. Nearby, the Virgen de la Peña, built into a rocky outcrop by Mercedarian monks in 1520, is hidden away in a corner of the village. The Inmaculada Concepcion church, completed in the early 18th century, covers the ruins of a Moorish castle, the San Sebastian Church is a beautiful 17th century building in the street of the same name, and the Shrine of Calvario was built in 1710.

 

Above the village, on the hillside, is a small white building: the Mijas bullring is one of the few in Spain that is oval-shaped. Close to the bullring, located in gardens built into the fortress walls, is the Municipal Auditorium, an open-air theatre where many cultural events are held. All over the village are viewpoints and places to relax, one of the best being the Muralla Gardens, cleverly designed so that flowers are in bloom all year round.

 

Over 3,000 fiestas are celebrated every year in Andalucía including fairs, pilgrimages, carnivals, and religious processions, and Mijas often takes centre stage. For the Three Kings (“Fiesta de Los Reyes”) on the evening of 6 January, three men dress up as the kings (or Three Wise Men) and ride about the town in a procession, scattering sweets to crowds of excited children.

 

Mijas International Day is a multicultural festival giving all nationalities the opportunity to find out more about residents and visitors from other countries, and their respective cultures, and have a lot of fun at the same time – usually on the second or third Saturday in May. People dress in traditional clothing, and there is dancing, music and stalls from each country where visitors can try traditional foods and drinks.

 

Mijas village is located 20 kilometres from Málaga international airport and 10 minutes from the expansive beaches of Fuengirola.

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