Krista the Explorer
Updated: Jul 1, 2022
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Mijas Pueblo may be one of the many pueblos blancos in southern Spain that you can visit, but
it definitely has its own charm to it, and has a history dating back thousands of years. If you're looking for things to do near Málaga, or happen to be staying along one of the many coastal towns in the Costa del Sol, Mijas is a great option for a day trip. When doing your research, you'll notice that there is Mijas Pueblo and Mijas Costa. The two are completely different so make sure you're researching the correct one! Mijas Pueblo is the white village perched in the mountains, whereas Mijas Costa sits along the coast. Both are great to visit for different purposes, but for this blog post I'm going to be focusing solely on things to do in Mijas Pueblo.
There are tonnes of unique things to see and do in Mijas, and no matter who you're travelling with or how many people are in your travel group, there's something for everyone to enjoy. There's even a Museum of Miniatures which has everything from painted grains of rice to tiny figurines, which is pretty unusual! I would highly recommend bringing some sturdy trainers to walk in as there are a few hills to climb, and probably a hat too if you have one with you to partially protect you from the brutal heat of the sun. So, here are my recommendations for the best things to do in Mijas Pueblo during a day trip:
Our first stop for the day after parking the car was at the Ermita de la Virgen de la Peña. This site is high on the list of the best things to do in Mijas, so make sure you don't miss it! The hermitage is located next to Mirador del Compás and sits at the far end of a lovely courtyard where you can grab something to eat while looking out at the coastal views. Ermita de la Virgen de la Peña is essentially a small chapel built into the rock, and was founded in the 17th century by a Carmelite monk, who named it after the patron saint of Mijas. The doors of the hermitage are left open throughout the day so that you can see the inside, and there's a small souvenir shop next to it too.
One of my favourite things to do in Mijas while I walked around the whitewashed village was to take a look at the unique array of shops that were on offer. Many of them were beautifully decorated on the outside, and sold handcrafted goods which is a nice change from the usual stores you come across in the bigger cities. If you're looking to do a bit of shopping while you're in southern Spain, it's a great idea to do a day trip to Mijas just to see what it has hidden away in its white narrow streets. The store pictured above is located across the courtyard from Ermita de la Virgen de la Peña and has an amazing view of the coastline from it.
A short walk from the hermitage is Plaza Virgen de la Peña - a huge outdoor space surrounded by restaurants and cafes. There's even an ice cream and chocolate shop named Mayan Monkey Mijas which once claimed to be the smallest chocolate factory in the world. You'll also come across a lot of horse carriages lined up here, and just outside of the plaza is where you can catch a donkey taxi. Surprisingly, donkey taxis are what Mijas is very well known for, but taking one look at the sad looking donkeys was enough for me. It may be one of the top things to do in Mijas, but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.
If you're not on a busy schedule during you trip to Mijas Pueblo, I would definitely suggest that you take some time to walk around the less busy streets of the white village. Most of these streets are lined with houses and B&B's, but we came across quite a few unique streets covered in flowers and colourful decorations. There are some great Instagrammable spots in Mijas for you to find! Mijas is one of the most easily accessible pueblos blancos from Málaga you can drive to (or take the bus to), so you might as well as make the most of it!
One of the smaller plazas in Mijas is Plaza de la Constitución, which is again surrounded by restaurants and a few interesting shops as well. Most importantly, it has trees around its perimeter, offering shade at any point of the day - a lifesaver if you've ever been to the Costa del Sol in the summertime! We decided to take a quick break here on our way to one of the many popular viewpoints in the village. It may not be at the top of the list for things to do in Mijas, but you'll most likely cross paths with it on your way to the more popular points of interest anyways.
Out of all of the cafes and restaurants in Mijas, we found the very picturesque La Boveda del Flamenco tucked away at the side of one of the main streets going around Plaza de la Constitución. Above all, we were really thankful that the tables had umbrellas to shield us from the midday sun, and although we only stopped for a drink to cool us down, the menu looked fantastic and it's one of the more popular places to eat in Mijas for both tourists and locals. So if you're planning one of your day trips to Mijas, make sure you add this vibrant restaurant to your list!
Since Mijas Pueblo is situated in the mountains, there are numerous viewpoints dotted around the village to choose from. Most of these viewpoints face outwards towards the coastline, so I was really pleased to come across a viewpoint that showed the size of the city instead. At the entrance to Parque La Muralla, if you're coming from the direction of the bullring, you'll see a small tower that you can climb up for free, and your reward is this gorgeous view in the photo above. This viewpoint wasn't originally on my list of things to do in Mijas, but I'm glad we came across it on our way to the gardens.
I'm in no way a fan of bullfighting, but the sport has played an important role in Spanish history for centuries, so I think it should be acknowledged if you want to understand more of the Spanish culture and traditions. Plaza de Toros de Mijas sits at the top of the hill leading from Plaza de la Constitución, and is unique compared to other bullrings in the country since it was built in an oval shape. It was built in 1900 at the request of a group of neighbours, and today you can go on a tour of it to learn more about its history for €4. It's one of the most popular things to do in Mijas, so if you have the time and it interests you, it's a very budget friendly attraction!
After walking around Mijas Pueblo all day, it was nice to be able to walk around a fully shaded area for a bit. Paseo de la Muralla (Walk of the Wall) is located inside Parque La Muralla, and is a paved path that you can follow along what was once the outer walls of Castillo de Mijas. The castle itself only has a few parts of its medieval structure remaining, which includes these walls as well as parts of one of the castle's towers. If you're a castle lover like me, you'll be pleased to know that there are a lot of amazing castles in the Province of Málaga to choose from - which are a little more intact than this one. It's still a great site to add to your list of things to do in Mijas though!
Mijas is a charming white village to visit at any time of the year. If you find yourself visiting the Costa del Sol, and want an alternative day trip from Málaga other than the usual ones to Marbella and Fuengirola, you're going to want to add Mijas Pueblo to your Spanish itinerary. And when you're planning your trip, don't forget: Mijas Costa is not Mijas Pueblo - one is on the coast and one is in the mountains. So pack those comfy trainers and be prepared for a bit of walking!
I only had time to spend one day in Mijas, so if you've ever visited this unique location in Andalusia, let me know if you have any other recommendations for things to do in Mijas Pueblo in the comments section below. And if you aren't already, don't forget to follow me on Instagram to keep up to date with my latest adventures!