MALAGA – As the weather in the UK starts to change, here in Spain, we are still seeing temperatures into the 20s. Just a few hours’ flight from UK airports, a winter break in Mijas could be the perfect option to take away those blues.
Mijas is part of the Costa del Sol in Andalucia, southern Spain. The pueblo blanco (white village) is set in the mountains, around 400 metres above sea level. Its position offers spectacular views of the Mediterranean. And on a clear day, you can see out to Africa. Fantastic views, amazing restaurants, quaint shops, and an abundance of culture are just some of the things you will find in Mijas pueblo.
Pico de Mijas
If you enjoy walking or hiking, Pico de Mijas (known as La Bola) is the highest peak in Sierra de Mijas at 1,150 metres. However, it is not an easy hike and as such, is classified as moderate to hard. Although, if you are up for the challenge, it is well worth it when you reach the top. The views are 360 degrees and simply stunning. Furthermore, this time of the year, is perfect for a hike as it is not too hot. However, remember it can start to get dark at around 7.00 pm. The hike could take around 7 hours to complete, so best to take off early.
Get lost in Mijas
If you prefer a less energetic day, the village itself is picturesque and filled with narrow cobbled streets, white buildings, and colourful flowers in bloom everywhere. Most of the shops are unique and artisan. A pleasurable afternoon can be spent wandering around the lanes.
There are countless restaurants, bars, and cafes in Mijas. If you have never tried tapas, now is the time. Stroll from bar to bar trying the different specialities.
Churches and chapels
The Ermita Virgin de la Peña is a chapel built into a rock. Built in 1586 as a shrine by the father of 2 children who, as legend has it, were led there by a dove to reveal the long-lost statue of the Virgin (the patron of Mijas) where it had been hidden for 500 years. The statue now stands proud above the altar inside this tiny little chapel surrounded by flowers. You can also see some of the costumes they put on the Virgin when festivals take place in Mijas.
If you look carefully at the stones of the chapel, you will see tiny pieces of paper in the gaps. As one story goes, these are messages to loved ones who have departed.
Further into Mijas, in the upper part of the village, past the Bullring Museum (Plaza de Toros), you can find the Church of the Immaculate Conception (Iglesia Inmaculada Concepción). Built on top of an old castle in the 16th century, this church is beautiful and well worth a visit. Outside the village, on the mountain you will find the Ermita del Calvario. From here the views on the village, the coast and the sea are spectacular.
For those that enjoy a tipple, there is a Wine Museum. With over 250 different wines, it is just as well the staff are experts and can advise you on the perfect wine. You can also take part in a wine tasting – just to be sure!
To get a better idea of the history of this part of Andalucia, visit the Ethnological Museum. This will give you an insight into the life of the farmers, honey and olive oil producers, and winemakers of days gone by.
How to get there
If you hire a car to visit the pueblo, there are plenty of underground parking spaces. Alternatively, there is a regular bus service from the bus station in Fuengirola – a mere 15 minutes away. There are also hotels and places to stay in Mijas pueblo as you may find one day is not enough!