Mijas is renowned as one of the most beautiful pueblos blancos (white towns) in the Andalusian province. Situated between Marbella and Málaga and high up above Fuengirola, Mijas is a beautiful picturesque typical Spanish village. When you wander through the narrow streets of Mijas you can understand what attracts people here. Despite its huge popularity with tourists, Mijas Pueblo has somehow managed to retain much of its traditional Andalusian way of life, along with all of its charm.
From the moment you arrive at the main plaza, Plaza de la Virgen de la Peña, across from the tourism office, you will immediately notice the donkey taxi station. Also available are donkey pulled carts and horse carriages. Needless to say, our daughter wanted to ride one of the donkeys. But you see, it’s not truly a ride, but rather a tour through some of the town’s streets, except you’re taking the tour on a donkey ride. And the worst part was, that my husband and I had no interest in riding these donkeys, so we had to put our trust in two American, sweet ladies that were going along with our daughter. Now for those of you that know me, being the most overprotective mother on Earth, this was a tough pill for me to swallow….but, hubby decided that it would be alright. And it was, our daughter had a delightful tour of Mijas riding a donkey, being guided by a total stranger, who assured me this was safe (I’ve noticed that I allow myself and my family to experience things on vacation that I would never try here at home in a million years!)
One of my favorite sites in Mijas was the Santuario de la Virgen de la Peña, (sanctuary of the Virgin of the Rock) built in 1586, a cross between a cave and a chapel carved out of the mountainside, dedicated to the patron saint of Mijas. Legend has it that the image was buried there for five centuries and unearthed by a builder whose children, who were shepherds, were brought to the spot by a dove. Nearby the chapel, lies the Mirador El Compás, viewpoint and terrace, offering phenomenal panoramic views across the Costa that form the backdrop to the shrine.
La Plaza de la Constitución, situated in the heart of the village, is lined with artisanal shops, full of ceramics and souvenirs, as well as some cafes and bars. One of the shops we visited was Mayan Monkey Mijas (Plaza de la Constitución 421, but they recently opened another location at 15 Plaza Virgén de la Peña), the smallest chocolate factory in the world. This shop sells handmade chocolate and delicious ice cream produced in their very own factory in Mijas. We sampled a few pieces and they were mouth-watering. If you have time, they also give tours of the factory and allow you to create your own chocolate flavors. A great activity for both kids and adults. Definitely a place to checkout if you’re in the area.
Another great spot in town is Plaza de la Libertad, where you can find San Sebastián Church, a beautiful 17th century church, located on the street of the same name, Calle San Sebastián. This street has become one of the most photographed streets on the Costa del Sol, as visitors find both the church and the typical street so pretty.
Mijas offers many shops selling beautiful and authentic Spanish souvenirs, but my favorite shop was Lo Artesano de Mijas (Plaza Libertad, 3). This tiny store had the most beautiful ceramic pottery and plates, and of course I had to add a few pieces to my collection back home.
Here are a few more photos of magical Mijas for your enjoyment.
Have you visited Mijas, and if you have, what was your favorite spot in this tiny, magical white washed town?