Today we visited another town : Mijas. By car it is about half an hour from Málaga and it’s close to Fuengirola.It’s an old city up in the mountains, which offers a wide range of activities in both culture and sports. The town is famous for its hotels, the villas and the many golf courses. We were lucky and our continuous good weather still lasted.
Entering Mijas, we had a beautiful panorama of the landscape around the city even from the road. Because Mijas is up in the mountains of Sierra de Mijas and about 400 meters above sea level, we could see the Mediterranean Sea and the mountains surrounding us. Fortunately our rental car was good and climbed up the hilly roads easily.
We were driving through the undulating streets until we found a parking space close to the Parque de la Muralla. Huge rocks were surrounding us and entering the park we found well cared gardens with trees, fountains and mosaics on the floor. Beautiful benches stood under the trees in the pleasant shadow, inviting the visitor to stop for some minutes to relax and enjoy the beauty of the nature.
There were also many viewpoints from which we had a perfect view of the Costa del Sol: mountains so close to the sea, incredible. We were far up in the mountains, just some minutes away from the coast. Following the path in the park, we changed our angle and the city lay in front of us with all its white houses. We saw some climbers on the rocks practicing, there was also a stand offering climbing for amateurs but we had already planned other activities.In the Parque there was also the Church of the Immaculate Conception, a building from the 17th century which looks impressive, because it combines both Baroque and Mudejar style (Mudéjares are the Moors who were allowed to stay after the Christian Reconquista of the Iberian Peninsula).
It was even more beautiful from inside.
Right next to the Parque de la Muralla, there was the Plaza de Toros, the bullring. It’s one of the strangest in Spain because of its shape: it’s square-shaped. But because now it’s not a summer month it was closed. Bullfights only take place in summer once a week each Sunday. So we decided to visit the Bullfighting Museum instead to get to know the Spanish culture. It was very interesting and we learned a lot about history and origin of this tradition. It would also be interesting to visit Mijas on a Thursday because in the Finca El Cartujano there is a horse and riders show. Andalusian horses perform choreographies in traditional Spanish costumes.
On our way to a restaurant in town, we saw some donkey-taxis crossing our way. They are typical of Mijas and one of the most famous tourist attractions. You can go on a trip around the town in a carriage which is drawn by at least one donkey. That might be a nice way to have a unique trip around town when you don’t have a rental car. But we also felt pity for the poor animals that have to stand there the whole day in the sun dressed in colorful clothes.After having lunch we decided to go for a walk in the Pine forests which can be found directly behind the town. Beautiful paths so close to the city – perfect. We parked our rental car close to the tourist office and asked for a map for walking. The paths were sign-posted perfectly so it was easy to find our way into the forest and back.
After returning there was one important place left for us to visit: the Virgen de la Peña, the Virgin of the Rock.
In the town’s legend it says that in the 16th century a young boy and a girl were in a grotto where the Virgin with Child appeared. After that, indeed a shrine was found in the rocks after it had been hidden for 500 years. Until that day the Virgen is the Patron Saint of Mijas.
After visiting the place which is famous for pilgrims, we drove down the hilly streets back to the sea and back to Málaga. During the ride we could enjoy the beautiful view for one last time, having the white city in our back.
By : Silja Kristin Rulle