Perched on the hillside high above the sea, Mijas Pueblo is a traditional whitewashed Andalusian village and is just 20 minutes from the nearest coastal resort of Fuengirola.
The pueblo has managed to retain a very authentic Spanish feel and although now a major tourist attraction, it has definitely not compromised its charm. Many visitors who come here will admit to Mijas Pueblo holding a special place in their hearts.
If it’s fantastic views, to die for restaurants, and a bit of culture you’re after, then Mijas Pueblo is the place. To see everything that this beautiful little village has to offer you would need to spend a couple of days and nights here.
But like the majority of cruise ship passengers that now come here from ships docking at Malaga, if you only have 1 day then read on to discover the best things to do in less than 12 hours.
First things first, on arrival pick up a map of the pueblo from the tourist info office just a few steps from the main car park and the bus stop; all the attractions I mention should be listed on the map.
1. Grotto of the Virgen de la Peña
As you arrive either emerging from the main car park or by bus, at the foot of the village and just a few steps from the tourist office is the shrine to the virgin de la peña (Virgin of the 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 patroness 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. This fascinating story is how the village of Mijas originally found fame and when the shrine was built, visitors started coming from miles around.
Once you have seen the shrine, walk through to the sacristy which has displays of ornate robes and silver crosses used in religious processions in the village around the time the Virgen was discovered. Exit through a back door onto a lovely terrace offering stunning views of Mijas Costa and even Gibraltar and Africa beyond on a clear day.
Take a short stroll heading for Calle San Sebastian where you will find…
The region of Malaga is the oldest wine making region in Spain, famed for producing a sweet Malaga wine made with Pedro Ximenez grapes. Mijas wine museum offers visitors the chance to learn about and of course taste some of the best wines in Spain, from red, white, champagne and rose and of course the locally made Malaga wine.
The staff at the museum are all experts in wine as you would expect and will advise you on the best paired dish to suit your choice of tipple if you are feeling a little bit peckish. The lovely little terrace at the back of the museum is the perfect place to enjoy a glass or two or even take part in a full wine tour and tasting afternoon if you want to know more.
As you leave pick up a few of your favourite bottles from an excellent choice of around 250 different wines in the museum store…If you haven’t had enough by then!
Head up past the bull ring and towards the auditorium where you will find…
3. Parque Muralla
This beautiful park ‘The Muralla Gardens’ is located on the grounds of the original fortress that was once here. With pretty botanical gardens, San Sebastian church and old bullring surrounding the park it makes for a wonderful place to enjoy a stroll taking in the sights.
Some of the best views of the coast and the old part of Mijas village can be seen and coin operated binoculars are available around the perimeter of the park to enhance the experience. If you visit Mijas on a Wednesday a FREE Flamenco show takes place on the bandstand in the plaza of the park. Enjoy the traditional display of Spanish folklore while sipping a cold drink in the shade of one of the cafe bars which are dotted around the plaza.
Head back down the hill towards constitution Square (Plaza de la Constitucion) for a delicious lunch at…
4. Restaurant La Alcazaba
Look over the little balcony at the plaza and there you will see the Alcazaba restaurant, if the views don’t tempt you in, then the food should.
Choose your table either at the upper level indoor restaurant with huge windows offering fantastic views over Mijas Costa or the more casual outdoor terrace. Either way, the service is excellent and the food is pretty good too BUT don’t bother with dessert…
Head out of the plaza and straight into the little shop on the left corner where the horse and carriages park…
Welcome to the world’s smallest chocolate factory !!
For the ultimate in a sweet treat, you have to try the home-made chocolate or ice cream at this lovely little chocolate shop, all lovingly made on the premises and made with THE best ingredients.
Beautifully packaged so great as gifts or to keep to yourself; we bought 99% pure dark chocolate with no added sugar…delicious oh and also a tub of melt-in-your-mouth Oreo cookie ice cream!
If you are truly mad about chocolate you can actually book a ‘chocolate making experience’ at the little factory and get to take 3 of your very own hand made chocolate bars home with you.
Continue walking down towards the tourist office and as the road forks take a left to…
6. The Ethnological Museum (Museo Historic-Etnologico)
This is basically an historical tour into life in Andalusia during the 19th and 20th centuries, unlike most museums visitors can actually touch and handle many of the artefacts on display here. The museum does a great job of giving a good insight into what life was like here for many local farmers, wine makers, olive oil and honey making and the hardships they faced; the entrance fee of just 1 Euro is well worth it.
Hotels in Mijas Pueblo
If you are lucky enough to be able to stay for a night or two then one of the best hotels is the TRH Mijas. Its a lovely 4 star hotel with pool, gardens and of course those wonderful views down to the coast.
A bus stops just outside the hotel taking you down to Fuengirola and nearby coastal resorts and its within a short walk to everything Mijas village has to offer.