Perched on the hillside high above the sea lies Mijas Pueblo. Mijas Pueblo is a traditional whitewashed Andalusian village and is just 20 minutes away from the closest coastal resort of Fuengirola. The pueblo has managed to retain a very authentic Spanish feel and now a major tourist attraction, it has certainly not compromised on its charm. Most visitors who come here will admit to Mijas Pueblo holding a special place in their hearts.
If it’s fantastic views, amazing restaurants and a bit of culture you’re looking for, Mijas Pueblo is the place. To view everything that this beautiful small village has to offer you would need to spend a couple of nights and days here. However, like most cruise ship passengers that now come here from ships docking at Malaga, if you only have one day, we are going to share with you 6 Mijas Pueblo attractions that you can visit in a day.
1. Grotto the Virgen de la Peña
As you arrive either just a few steps from the tourist office or emerging from the main car pack by bus at the foot of the village, there is the shrine of the virgin de la peña (Virgin of the Rock). It was 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. Now, the statue stands proud above the altar inside this small little chapel surrounded by flowers. This fascinating story is how the village of Mijas originally found fame and when the shrine was built, visitors began coming from miles around. Once you have seen the shrine, walk through the sacristy which has displays of silver crosses and ornate robes 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 Africa and Gibraltar beyond on a clear day.
2. Mijas Wine Museum
The region of Malaga is the oldest wine making region in Spain. It is famed for producing a sweet Malaga wine that is made with Pedro Ximenez grapes. Mijas wine museum provides visitors with the chance to learn about and taste some of the best wines Spain has to offer, from red, white, rose and champagne and of course, the locally made Malaga wine. The museum staff are all experts in wine as you would have guessed 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 small terrace at the back of the museum is the perfect place to enjoy a couple glasses or even take part in a full wine tour and tasting afternoon if you want to learn even more. As you leave, you can pick up a few of your favourite bottles at the museum’s wine store.
3. Parque Muralla
This gorgeous park ‘The Muralla Gardens’ is situated on the grounds of the original fortress that was once here. With beautiful botanical gardens, old bullring and San Sebastian church surrounding the park, it makes for a brilliant place to enjoy a stroll taking in the sights. Some of the greatest 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 further enhance the experience. If you visit Mijas on a Wednesday, you can get a free Flamenco show too.
4. Restaurant La Alcazaba
Look over the small balcony at the plaza and there you will see the Alcazaba restaurant. If the views do not tempt you, the food should. Pick your table either at the upper-level indoor restaurant with huge windows providing fantastic views over Mijas Costa or the more casual outdoor terrace. Either way, the service is great and the food is brilliant too.
5. Mayan Monkey Mijas
For the ultimate sweet treat, you need to try the home-made ice cream or chocolate at this amazing little chocolate shop. It is all lovingly made on the premises and made with the best quality ingredients. They are beautifully packaged too, making incredible gifts. If you’re mad about chocolate, you can actually book a chocolate making experience at the little factory and get to take 3 of your own hand made chocolate bars home with you.
6. The Ethnological Museum (Museo Historic-Ethnologico
This is pretty much a historical tour into life in Andalusia during the 19th and 20th centuries, unlike a majority of museums, visitors can actually touch and handle most of the artefacts on show here. The museum does an excellent job of giving a good insight into what life was like here for many of the local farmers, wine makers, honey and olive oil making and the hardships they faced. The entrance fee is just 1 euro, making it even better.