ESPAÑA, COSTA DEL SOL
Welcome to Mijas Costa
Perched on the pine-clad slopes of the Sierra de Mijas mountains, the white village of Mijas ranks among the prettiest in Andalusia and the most picturesque on the western Costa del Sol.
Below the village and stretching as far as Cabopino in Marbella lies Mijas Costa, 12km of Mediterranean coast dotted with residential areas that make up one of the most popular places to holiday and buy property on the Costa del Sol.
While Mijas village oozes tradition and typical Andalusian architecture, Mijas Costa offers a range of more modern developments, stunning golf courses, excellent amenities and good communications. Mijas Costa enjoys a position that is equidistant between Marbella and Fuengirola plus easy access to Malaga and the Airport. Add to this an annual calendar packed with events and it’s easy to see the appeal of this part of the Costa del Sol and why so many choose to buy in Mijas Costa.
With its unique combination of beaches and mountains, picture-perfect village and modern residential areas, Mijas offers the best of many worlds. And all against a backdrop of year-round sunshine and warm temperatures. Down on the coast, you’ll find pleasant weather for practically the entire year with mild winters and little rain.
Summers are cooler than in nearby Fuengirola thanks to prevailing sea breezes. Up in the village, things cool down slightly in winter, but the mountains provide protection from cold north winds while the south-facing aspect ensures sunshine all day.
The scenery too comes varied. The mountains are famed for their pine forests, offering a haven for wildlife and stunning views of the Mediterranean. These stretch as far as Morocco and the Strait of Gibraltar on clear days while the highest peaks in Estepona and Marbella are always visible. Mijas Golf Valley offers a river scape and verdant orchards of orange and lemon trees, avocado plantations and olive groves.
Mijas Costa coastline is more rugged than nearby Marbella and as a result, is dotted with small sandy coves and rocks in the east. At La Cala de Mijas, the bay opens up to house one of the loveliest beaches in the area.
Despite its large foreign population, Mijas has kept its authentically Spanish atmosphere. This is best seen in its year-round cultural calendar. The annual Theatre Festival attracts visitors from all over the Costa del Sol as do the regular flamenco and music events that take place in the central village square.
The highlight of the year are the celebrations for the Virgen de la Peña, the patron saint in the first half of September. Down on the coast, traditional events continue with La Cala de Mijas fair in July and the honouring of the Virgen del Carmen, the patron of fishermen, also in July.
But Mijas also embraces its foreign connections with several events in honour of other cultures and nationalities. The Celtic Festival and Blues Mijas are two such examples while La Cala holds regular events with international themes.
Mijas was one of the first places of welcome foreign residents in the 1960s when a sizeable artists’ colony set up in the village. Locals echo the naturally warm nature of all Andalusians, happy to accept new arrivals and tourism within their community.
Mijas also shares the regional joie de vivre, another characteristic of southern Spain and you’ll come across this in the annual festivals and celebrations. As well as welcoming newcomers, locals remain true to their traditional roots and proud of their local heritage.
Well over a third of the population of Mijas (totally around 80,000) is made up of foreigners with the British accounting for around a third.
This is one of the largest proportions on the Costa del Sol and as a result, Mijas has a strong international vibe. You’ll find businesses and shops catering for foreign residents everywhere.
Architecture & Market
Mijas has some of the best-preserved village in southern Spain. The whitewashed façades on narrow streets and squares attract thousands of tourists every year, keen to experience an authentic Andalusian village.
Highlights include the main church whose garden walls date back to Moorish times and pristine white chapels from the 16th and 17th centuries. Numerous examples of fine townhouses line the streets too such as the town museum complete with wine cellar and olive oil mills.
On the coast, little development took place until tourism arrived in the early 1960s and the historic remains are limited to the watchtowers dotted along the shoreline. The finest is in La Cala de Mijas, from the 16th century and now a museum.
Newer architectural styles too have their place in Mijas. Many residential developments and hotels take a typically Andalusian style such as Mijas Golf Hotel, La Cala Resort and El Zoco in Calahonda while other have modern touches such as the latest developments to the north of La Cala de Mijas.
Properties built in this style include cutting-edge design using domotics and energy-efficiency while maximising the benefits of sea and mountain views.
If you love a location with it all, Mijas is for you.
What You Will Love
If you love a location with it all – great weather, magnificent mountains, lovely beaches, history and local traditions, Mijas is for you. Add to this the warm welcome from the locals, a truly cosmopolitan society with a cultural melting pot of dozens of nationalities and it’s difficult to find a more relaxed location to enjoy for a holiday or forever home.
Mijas too boasts an enviable location – you’re at the heart of the Costa del Sol with everything on your doorstep. The glitz and glamour of Marbella lie to the west while the bustle of Fuengirola is to the east and Malaga city with its many museums, excellent shopping and thriving foodie scene sits just a short drive away. Whether you’re a young family or retired couple, looking for a great place to buy in Mijas for a holiday home or to live permanently, this area truly has something for everyone.
Mijas has one of the largest municipal footprints on the Costa del Sol and includes very varied scenery. The Sierra de Mijas mountains, home to the village, rise up to 1,150 metres and dominate the skyline beyond Fuengirola. To the west lies Mijas Golf Valley, stretching along the river and up into the foothills. On the coast lie numerous residential areas running from Fuengirola Castle to Cabopino further west.
The area is home to several blue-flag beaches and 11 golf courses, the second highest concentration on the Costa del Sol after Marbella. This part of the coast also has excellent outdoor activities on its doorstep. The Sierra de Mijas is one of the most popular hiking and mountain biking spots on the Costa del Sol and the Sendero Litoral walkway runs the entire length of the Mijas coastline.
Few places on the Costa del Sol has kept their original essence as well as Mijas. Its whitewashed façades, cobbled streets and alleyways, squares fragrant with orange blossom and colourful flowers everywhere are quintessential Andalusia. The village has several interesting monuments that include the 17th century church whose views over the Mediterranean are second to none, the bullring, unique in its oval shape, and tiny chapel shrines.
Mijas has also made a name for itself in the art world in recent years. The CAC contemporary art museum houses works by Dali and Picasso among others and the village has a thriving artistic community whose roots stretch back to the beginnings of tourism on the Costa del Sol. The gastronomic scene also stands out with numerous good restaurants and foodie events throughout the year.
Its authentic atmosphere and panoramic views make the village popular not just with tourists, but property buyers too. Several residential areas have been developed in the area immediately surrounding the village including Mijas La Nueva, Las Lomas de Mijas and Pueblo Valtocado. They currently rank among the most sought-after areas to buy in Mijas.
To the west of the Mijas village in the foothills of the mountains lies a verdant valley, home to three golf resorts: Mijas Golf, one of the oldest golf courses on the Costa del Sol, Santana Golf and La Cala Resort with three courses. This area makes up one of the prettiest parts of Mijas Costa with citrus plantations, the river and woods. Several residential areas are found here including the large townhouse and apartment developments around Mijas Golf. Good roads connect Mijas Golf Valley to Fuengirola, Marbella and inland Costa del Sol and the coast is a just a short drive away.
Mijas Costa is the name given to the area that runs between Fuengirola and Cabopino. This coastal enclave has one of the largest foreign populations on the Costa del Sol and you’re more likely to hear English spoken here than Spanish.
At the centre of the 12km coastal stretch sits La Cala de Mijas, once a tiny fishing enclave and now a thriving holiday destination and busy small town. Its main attraction is its long sandy beach, one of the best in the area and with blue-flag status. La Cala offers excellent amenities with stores, boutiques and cafés as well as restaurants, many of which cater for the area’s large population of foreigners.
Little remains of the original village apart from the Moorish watchtower on the beach and most construction dates from the late 1960s. To the north of the A7 motorway that skirts La Cala de Mijas lie several more modern developments complete with amenities such as shops and banks. The popular weekly market, one of the biggest on the Costa del Sol, takes place here on Wednesdays.
Between Fuengirola and La Cala you’ll find a succession of small residential areas dotted along the coast. El Chaparral with its golf course and extensive wooded areas and El Faro are the largest. The terrain slopes down to the sea so fine views of the Mediterranean are a given in many areas. Beaches along this part of the coastline tend to be small coves, often rocky and with pedestrian-only access.
Home to the largest proportion of the Mijas population, this area of Mijas Costa runs from La Cala to Cabopino. Nearest La Cala are Miraflores and Riviera del Sol, both well-established residential areas and home to numerous property developments encompassing apartments, townhouses and villas. Both stretch beyond the AP7 motorway up into the foothills of Sierra Blanca mountains.
Calahonda, one of the largest residential areas on the Costa del Sol, is quieter than the next-door Riviera del Sol and consists mostly of wide avenues flanked by villas and apartments, popular with retirees who buy in Mijas Costa. Down on the coast, Calahonda has two sandy beaches that stretch to Cabopino and are classed as protected areas because of their marina fauna and flora. Western Mijas Costa has excellent amenities with large supermarkets, sporting facilities and plenty of cafés and restaurants.
As you’d expect in a place with such a strong international influence, gastronomy in Mijas has a truly mixed background. Traditional cuisine seen in staples such as Spanish omelette, croquettes and fried fish is available at bars and restaurants the length and breadth of Mijas with some of the best available in the beachside venues in El Bombo area of La Cala de Mijas.
Foreign food too has a strong presence from traditional Belgian mussels and frites and British fish and chips to Italian pizzas and Thai curries. La Cala de Mijas offers a particularly eclectic mix as does nearby Calahonda.
Perched in the heart of Mijas village and with sweeping views of the rooftops and mountains, El Mirlo Blanco restaurant ranks among the oldest on the Costa del Sol. The Auzmendi family has been serving traditional Basque cuisine since 1968. Specials include txangurro spider crab and cod and hake cooked Basque style.
Nods to local gastronomy include gazpacho and Iberian cured ham and you’ll also find grilled steaks and lamb. Sit outside on the high terrace to soak up the village atmosphere or inside in one of the cosy dining rooms complete with open fire in the winter.
Seafront locations don’t come much better than at this venue right on the beach at Riviera del Sol. Max Beach restaurant has sweeping views of the Mediterranean from all tables, inside and out, and there’s also a terrace with pool and sun loungers.
The food reflects the international flavour of Mijas Costa and includes salads, chargrilled steaks, sushi and pizza with specials such as lobster thermidor and Wagyu burger. The kitchen serves light snacks all day from early morning to late making this an any-time restaurant.