Not the "REAL" andalusian impression ...
Favorite thing: Whilst Mijas Pueblo is quaint and is one of the White Villages, per se, it has become extremely popular with tourists ------- to the extent that -while it has all the looks and charm- one does not get a true feel of a sleepy Andalus village when walking through its streets.
Especially since we heard almost only English while walking the steep streets of this mountain pueblo.
The following selection of villages, located throughout the region are some of the best examples of the Andalusian PUEBLOS BLANCOS.
Each one has something different to offer: from mountain top views to fine leather work, Moorish monuments to natural sulphur spas:
Ronda, sits about 60 km's inland and Coin. So if you are looking for the true Andalusian spirit, you might find it there.
Fondest memory: I was there at a full-moon night - walking through Mijas... sucking in the Orange-blossom filled air --- while I had pistachio ice cream!!!! Bliss!
- Arts and Culture
- Road Trip
SHRINE OF LA VIRGEN DE LA PENA
Favorite thing: Hidden away in a corner of the town ( to the right of the Burro Taxi ) you will find the 16th century SHRINE OF LA VIRGEN DE LA PENA . This shrine holds the image of the Virgin of the Rock, the patroness of Mijas. It is set in the rock by the El Compas vantage point. According to legend the image of the Virgen was hidden during five centuries and was found in 1586 by a builder, the father of two shepherd boys who were led to the hiding place by a dove.
- Family Travel
PLAZA DE TOROS
Favorite thing: The bullring or PLAZA DE TOROS was built in 1900 through the many petitions made by the villagers. A curiosity of the bullring is that it is an oval shape.
I have never been or will I ever see a bull-fight. It is just too cruel a sport for me to watch.
Located just inside the entrance to the bull-ring, there is a small museum. I believe the price for entry was 3 Euros.
- Family Travel
NARROW STREETS & LITTTLE WHITE HOUSES
Favorite thing: What makes Mijas charming are the NARROW STREETS & LITTLE WHITE HOUSES. It was fun to walk up and down the narrow streets, some cobblestone, some tiled.
What I also enjoyed, was the balconies displaying pots of colourful plants.
- Family Travel
IMMACULATE CONCEPTION CHURCH
Favorite thing: The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION CHURCH or Parroquia de la Inmaculada Concepcion, existed as a Parish Church before 1492. It was ordered to be built in 1541 - 65 on the site of the ruins of the ancient Moorish castle and one of the castle's towers was used as a bell tower, but was not finished until 1631. It is a stone building with three Mozarabic naves supported by marble pillars. During restorations in 1991 - 92 a series of frescoes of the Apostles were discovered on the columns and they date back to approximately 1632.
The inside of the Church was absolutely beautiful.
Shrine of La Virgen de la Peña
Favorite thing: Hidden away in a corner of the town, overlooking the wonderful valley leading to the coast, is the 16th century shrine of La Virgen de la Peña, formerly a Hermitage. It is built into a rocky outcrop, and nowadays looks rather out of place, with the more modern buildings surrounding it. I think there was a small entrance fee or donation required (Carmen, help!!), but it I remember correctly you can't take photos inside the Hermitage, which is now a Religious Shrine.
Fondest memory: La Virgen de la Peña is the village's patron saint., and according to legend the image of the virgin remained concealed for eight centuries, until June, 2 1586, when it appeared before two shepherd boys who had been led there by a pigeon. Another story says that; " an image of the Virgin was found concealed in a recess in the tower where it had been hidden for 500 years."
In 1656 work started on the sanctuary cave, which is nowadays always decorated with flowers and pictures as offerings from thousands of people.
CHURCH OF SAN SEBASTIAN - XVII
Favorite thing: The XVII century CHURCH OF SAN SEBASTIANwas rebuilt from ruins thanks to charity. A plaque on the outside of the Church reads:
"This Church was erected in the late 17th century and has since undergone many reforms. It has a single nave covered with a ridgepole structure and a square main chapel covered by a domed vault resting upon pendetives with moulded plasterwork and scrolled plaques. At the head of the high altar is a groin-vaulted niche with a fresco of small angels dating from the 18th century. The simple portico at the eastern entrance, incorporates a round arch framed by pilasters, an entablature and divided pediments , the whole facade crowned by a belfry gable with a single opening.
They are building like crazy in Andalucia
Favorite thing: If you have memories of Costa del Sol as being a quiet coast dotted with fishing towns, then it has been a long time since you have been there. Spain has benefited economically from being in the EU, and has received an enormous amount of outside investments. Along with that means new construction. A lot of it. Everywhere we looked along Costa del Sol, from Marbella to Malaga (and probably further than that, but that is as far as we went), we saw huge cranes building mega condominium complexes with hundreds of units each.
It is mind boggling to try to understand how there can be so much demand for accommodations. It is even more mind boggling to try to understand why no one is protesting all this development right on the coast, and on the hills overlooking the coast. We weren't sure if the insfrastructure is in place to support all of these residential units. From what we saw, there was a huge amount of residential building going on, but very little commercial development.
Fondest memory: Mijas, while quieter and less developed than the towns and cities right on the coast, hasn't escaped this new development craze. The subdivision (or "urbanization") we stayed in was still being developed with newly added multifamily dwellings. Across the Mijas road was a new development that was just beginning. Roads and utilities had been laid, and dwellings were just starting.
The good news is, it won't be difficult to find accommodations in Costa del Sol for a long time. The bad news is, if anyone bought here for investment, I doubt that person will make a fortune, given the growing supply of accommodations these days.
- Luxury Travel
White Houses and Green Hills
Favorite thing: Our visit to Mijas coincided with some of the worst weather the Costa Del Sol had experienced in years. The temperature was pretty cool, not chilly, and the mountains were shrowded in mist. It actually made our visit all the better because the town was not full of tourists!! Parking can be a problem but Carmen found somewhere on the edge of town, so we had rather a nice 'walk' from one end to the other.
- Family Travel
Don't be an Ass!
Favorite thing: If your finances won't stretch to a horse and carriage, how about a donkey ride instead? There were about a dozen donkeys tethered here, all waiting patiently for customers, but none came!
For 6€ you can take a donkey ride around the streets, or indulge in luxury and spend 12€ for a small cart pulled by a donkey.
Apparently there are strict welfare rules in force for the care and protection of these animals these days.
EL COMPAS VIEW POINT
Favorite thing: An excellent look-out point EL COMPAS VIEW POINT looks over the Mijas Valley and a large part of the Costa del Sol. The town itself is 428 metres above sea level and is situated at the foothills of the Cordon Montanoso del Litoral ( Coastal Mountain Range ).
Large binoculars are available to bring images closer up. The views are absolutely breathtaking especially on a clear day when you can see the Mediterranean Sea.
A pool would be nice
Favorite thing: Mijas' weather is the same as the rest of Costa del Sol. It's not inland - it faces the sea, so it experiences the same weather. This means that the weather is pretty mild - definitely not hot like inland cities of Cordoba or Sevilla. Nonetheless, it does get warm enough that a swimming pool is an advantage in the afternoon in the summer. If you can, try to get accommodations with a pool. It made for a relaxing way to spend the afternoon while the rest of the Costa del Sol is having their siesta.
- Water Sports
Views of the Coast
Favorite thing: Our visit to Mijas in mid-March was really as a result of the gales along the coast during the week. Carmen and Stacey kindly offered to show us some inland villages, where perhaps the weather would be more settled. Fortunately it was better inland, even if a little cooler due to being in the mountains.
Here is a view towards Marbella, and you can tell the weather isn't very great. Sorry the picture isn't that great.
Plaza de Pina
Favorite thing: Here in the Plaza de Pina you will find this nice (and expensive) looking hotel. this is the Plaza where you can find the donkeys, and the horse and carriages. Climb the fes steps, and you will see, on your left the 'Santuario de la Virgen de la Pena'
Favorite thing: Mijas is a typical Spanish mountain town, and this view with the high Sierra in the distance, gives the visitor a taste of what to expect. Enlarge this picture and you will see that the trees on the mountain have been subjected to a devastating fire. Rumour has it that it was caused deliberately by people wishing to obtain planning permission!