For well over half a century, Mijas has been one of the most popular destinations on the Costa del Sol.

And there’s good reason for this popularity: it’s quintessentially Andalucian – a pretty white village of plant pot-filled streets, with a bull ring, Mudejar church and hermitage, all just a stone’s throw from the coast. It really does tick a lot of boxes for the first-time visitor.

Here’s our pick of a few of the best things to do in Mijas…

Mijas Pueblo

Let’s get a taste of rural Andalucian life and start with the village in the mountains; Mijas Pueblo.

1. Parque La Muralla

Mountain View from Parque La Muralla Mijas

This park easily leads on to a leisurely circular walking route from Plaza Constitucion to Parque La Muralla and then to the Torre Muralla.

We recommend starting with this, as you pass most of the sights in the village. The park itself has a 15-metre-high waterfall and some of the best views of the coast.

Our top tip: Andalucians traditionally go for a walk around 18.00hrs (add a couple of hours on to that for the summer). The views from the lookout spots down to the coast in the evening when the lights are twinkling is rather magical.

Mijas Bullring and Church

2. Ermita de la Virgen de la Peña

Rocky hermitage in Mijas with sea views

This rocky, almost cave-like, hermitage is in Mijas Pueblo. A virgin carved out of wood dating from 850 was found there by a shepherd and his children after, as story has it, they followed a dove to it. This virgin is now the patron saint of Mijas.

Address: Paseo El Compás; open every day and free entry.

3.Mirador del Compas

View from Mirador Compas Mijas

This square/look out spot has the most spectacular views down to the coast and across the Mediterranean Sea.

4. Plaza de Toros

Bullring in Mijas

An oval-shaped bullring and small museum showing posters, bull fighter clothing and past fights.

The seats are at either end of the oval rather than all the way round. Whether you love or loath bull fighting it’s an interesting place to visit.

Address: Cta. de la Villa, 0, 29650 Mijas, Málaga. Hours: Everyday 11 – 21.00hrs.

5. Museo Historico-Etnologico

A charming ethnological museum depicting mountain village life.

Address: Pl. de la Libertad, 1, 29650 Mijas, Málaga Hours: Everyday 10 – 15.00hrs and 17 – 19.00hrs

6. Plaza de Constitución

Andalucian life in Mijas

A small square with shops and restaurants in the historic centre of Mijas Pueblo.

Our top tip: Stop for a traditional breakfast of pan con tomate (toasted bread with fresh tomato and olive oil) at La Boveda del Flamenco.

7. Iglesia Inmaculada Concepcion

Mudejar bell tower in Mijas - the Iglesia Inmaculada Concepcion

Quite typically of churches in the region the site was once a castle and then a mosque.

This 16th-century church we see today has Mudejar features – a bell tower and wooden ceiling – and it’s thought that the square tower was once that of the fort/castle.

Address: P.º de la Muralla, 29650 Mijas, Málaga

8. Donkey Taxi

Tourists riding donkeys in Mijas village

The donkeys of Mijas go back to the 60s when tourists would see them being used to carry things up the narrow streets or returning from farming.

It’s said that the tourists would tip for a photo or ride, and it became so popular it quickly outstripped agricultural wages.

These days, all manner of donkey taxis are available, riding or in a carriage drawn by donkeys around the village.

The welfare of the donkeys is a priority, so there are strict stipulations that must be adhered to by the owners.

Address: Av, Pl. Virgen de la Peña, 29650 Mijas, Málaga

9. Hiking – Mijas Mountain Range and the Pico de Mijas

Hiking routes in Sierra de Mijas

The Sierra de Mijas is a beautiful place to walk with rewarding views from the various routes.

The highest peak (Pico de Mijas) is 1150 metres – putting that into perspective, the highest peak in the UK is 1345 metres.

One of our favourites is Puerta de Malaga (‘Doorway to Malaga’). It takes about 3 hours, is well signposted and is medium difficulty due to the steep inclination.

Costa del Sol from Mijas Pueblo

La Cala de Mijas

Meanwhile on the coast there’s plenty to do on the beach from diving to jet skiing and even kite surfing weather permitting. Some highlights are:

10. La Cala Beach

Kite surfer on Mijas Beach

Where Mija Pueblo is village life in the mountains, its counterpart is La Cala de Mijas, a stretch of coast near Calahonda.

The beach named La Cala beach is small, but with crystal waters and kayak hire it’s popular with locals and visitors.

This part of the coast has good facilities from watersports to restaurants. Do check out Max Beach with a pool, El Olivo for a traditional feel and El Océano part of a hotel by the same name.

Our top tip: Our favourite beach in the area is Cabopino, with its sand dunes and golden sand.

11. Coastal Walk

Sunset on the Mijas coastal walkway

La Cala de Mijas coastal walk is 6kms along the coast that leads to Cabopino.

Take this walk at sunset and take your time with coffee stops and beach playtime along the way. Alternatively, it’s a lovely run in the morning.

Our top tip: During the summer, look out for concerts being held next to the 16th-century Torre Vieja watchtower.

12. A round of Golf

There are so many golf courses to choose from in and around Mijas, it really is a golfer’s paradise.

Most locally, La Cala Resort Golf, with three 18-hole courses, makes the most of the area’s steep topography.

As an alternative – and much more forgiving – La Noria Golf Resort is a totally flat, 9 hole par 33 golf course near the coast with putting greens.

13. Cala de Mijas Festival

Cala de Mijas Festival

Not a year round option but this music festival held the first weekend of September attracts international bands and DJs.

It’s first year was 2022 where The Blossoms, Arctic Monkeys and Bonobo among others played to 100000 festival goers.

It’s held in Sonora Mijas and is very well organised with four stages. More information in our festivals blog.

Where is Mijas?

Mijas is in Malaga province and sits between Benalmadena and Fuengirola. It’s divided into Mijas Pueblo (village) which backs onto Mijas Sierra (mountain range) and Cala de Mijas (Mijas cove) on the Mediterranean Sea.

How to get to Mijas?

Mijas is very well connected. Mijas Pueblo is 26.7km (that’s under 30 minutes’ drive) from Malaga airport and 32.3km from Malaga Maria Zambrano train station.

Have we tempted you to this beautiful part of southern Spain? See villas in Mijas here.

Ben Cooper

A head-over-heels hispanophile, Ben is a one-time travel editor at Rough Guides, DK Travel, ELLEuk and Red Online.

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