Best Things To Do in La Cala de Mijas Spain in One Day Itinerary

Wondering what to do in La Cala de Mijas Spain for the day? The charming little beach town in Costa del Sol makes for a great summer escapade, but the town doesn’t sleep much even in winter.

La Cala de Mijas charms tourists all year round with a wonderful beach, an old watch tower, a picturesque promenade, and a cute town center.

After living there for several years, I’ll share the best things to do in La Cala de Mijas in this post, whether you come for a day trip or plan a longer stay.

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People shopping in La Cala de Mijas shops.

Things to do in La Cala de Mijas

Go to the beach

La Cala de Mijas is definitely a beach destination. In the summer, I suggest you start your morning by chilling at the beach, swimming in the sea, and soaking in the sun.

There are plenty of beach bars, locally known as chiringuitos, where you can grab a cold drink, ice cream, or a snack whenever you feel like it.

La Cala Beach has all the necessary amenities like loungers, parasols, showers, and toilets available in the summer months. Lifeguards also patrol the beach during the bathing season.

If you’re there on a colder day off-season, it’s still nice to go for a stroll along the beach and listen to the waves. If you visit on a Wednesday or Saturday, you can also head to the market on the Feria ground to look for bargains.

A sandy beach, one of the top Things to do in La Cala de Mijas.

Visit the Torre de la Bateria

Torre de la Bateria is located in the heart of La Cala de Mijas overlooking the main square and the beach. The watch tower was built between 1766 and 1773 directly on the waterfront, but as the beach has moved down and the town has taken form, it’s now located about 80 meters from the beach.

You can climb it for a Euro to see the views of the busy square below and the coast. It’s only 10 meters tall, yet it’s a nice attraction.

watch tower

Have lunch

When it comes to lunch in La Cala de Mijas, you’re spoilt for choice. There a lot of chiringuitos (traditional beach bars) along the beach which are perfect for summer lunch. On the square by Torre de la Bateria you also find a selection with a view, but you also pay for the view.

If you walk up the side streets towards the main road, there are other restaurants that are more reasonably priced with great food like El Pikoteo.

There are also international restaurants serving Chinese, Italian, Thai, and Indian. My favorite is Bombay to Goa up on the main road or Masala, but that’s set a bit out of the center.

chiringuito in La Cala de Mijas.

Stroll around the town center

After lunch, take a stroll around the town center. There are some cute shops where you can find clothes and beachwear. You might also fancy an ice cream after lunch, and you’ll find epic ice cream in Heladeria Casa Esteban.

Make sure you walk the traditional side streets which are lined with potplants, they are my favorite streets.

Street full of potplants in La Cala de Mijas Spain.

Walk along the promenade

Before you leave La Cala, make sure you go for a stroll along the promenade. The beach walk takes you all the way to the Calahonda beaches on concrete and wooden boardwalks.

On the way, you can go down to the beach several places, which is perfect on a hot day when you’ll want to take a swim.

There are also many chiringuitos where you can grab a cold drink or even more ice cream on the way. I love this boardwalk, it’s lively all year round, and locals and tourists alike walk or jog along the path.

Me and my dog Atlas walking on Mijas boardwalk.

If you have more time…

If you have more time and plan on staying a few nights, there are more things to do in La Cala de Mijas. It’s a nice base for day trips too and you can reach Marbella by bus in less than an hour.

Play a round of golf

If you’re a golf enthusiast, you’ll be happy to know that there are 20+ golf courses in Mijas.

Chaparral Golf Club, Mijas Golf International, and La Cala Golf are among the best ones and you can play all year round.

Visit Mijas Pueblo

One of the best things to do in La Cala de Mijas is to visit Mijas Pueblo, the whitewashed hillside village overlooking the coast.

There are many things to do in Mijas Pueblo so you can easily spend a whole day, though most tourists only venture up there for an afternoon to see the views and walk around the charming streets.

Colorful Street in Mijas.

Go shopping at Miramar

If you catch a rainy day or just want to get some serious shopping done, head to Miramar shopping center which is only a 10-minute drive from La Cala.

There, you’ll find a lot of shops from H&M and Zara to budget stores like Primark. They also have restaurants where you can rest your feet and fuel up whenever you need.

Visit Cabopino beach

Looking for a more remote beach than La Cala Beach? Then I highly recommend going to Cabopino Beach. It’s protected by sand dunes which are crisscrossed with wooden walkways.

It’s a 10-minute drive from La Cala or you can walk along Senda Litoral coastal walk. The beach actually belongs to Marbella, but it’s by far my favorite beach in the area.

Where to stay in La Cala de Mijas

There are plenty of great places to stay in La Cala de Mijas. Here are my top picks.

VIK Gran Hotel Costa del Sol – this is the largest hotel on La Cala de Mijas’ beachfront. There’s an outdoor pool and access straight to the beach and beach bars. Ask for a room on the top floor for the best views of the coast.

Secret View Riviera Miraflores – a lovely studio apartment sleeping up to 3 people with sea views. There is a pool and a short walk to the beach. Perfect if you want to cook your own meals.

People relaxing at the poolside of a hotel in La Cala de Mijas.

Where to park in La Cala de Mijas

In the summer months, it can be challenging to find parking in La Cala de Mijas, especially close to the beach. Luckily, the town isn’t so big, so you usually don’t have to walk that far.

There are parking spots along the streets and by the main road, there is a small parking lot. However, in the summer months, there’s a guy taking paid for parking there. If I recall right, it’s a Euro or two for the day (I never parked there in summer as I mainly used that parking to go to the supermarket on the square so I just went to another supermarket in the summer). But there are plenty of other free options.

There is also a small dirt parking spot by the exit to the A7 direction Fuengirola where I’ve always found parking except in the summer months it can be full, especially on weekends.

At the Feria ground, there is a large parking area where you can leave your car for the day. At the end, there is also an RV park where you can stay the night for free.

Unfortunately, water and toilet dumping facilities have been removed due to drought. You can use the toilets in Carrefour during opening hours which is only a few minutes away, though.

Outside of the peak season, finding parking in La Cala de Mijas is fairly easy, especially if you park at the Feria ground, I’ve never seen it full except during events.

Where to eat in La Cala de Mijas

There are plenty of traditional and international restaurants in La Cala de Mijas. I do recommend avoiding the restaurants at the main square by the watchtower. In my experience, their prices are very steep and there are so many better places to eat.

For Spanish tapas, I recommend El Pikoteo. They have fair prices and amazing food (even vegan options, though not in tapas size.) You also find traditional tapas at the Hogar del Jubilado. It doesn’t get more Andalusian than this.

If you’re craving international food, there are Italian, Chinese, Thai, and Indian restaurants to choose from. My favorites are Bombay to Goa and Royal Thai Orchid.

Charming town center with flowers and potplants that you can see in One day in La Cala de Mijas.

Best time to visit La Cala de Mijas

La Cala de Mijas is definitely a summer destination, as are all beach towns near Malaga. However, La Cala is one of those that never really sleeps.

It’s a fairly relaxed vibe all year round and while the beach bars might not be open in the low season, most businesses are still open and you will enjoy it just as much.

I especially like the Christmas vibes in La Cala. There’s usually a cute Christmas market where you can find cute Christmas gifts. Make sure you don’t miss out on the grilled chestnuts!

Is La Cala de Mijas worth visiting?

So, is La Cala de Mijas worth a visit? Absolutely yes! It’s got a cute little town center and a lovely beach line. It’s also one of the more relaxing beach towns in southern Spain that’s open all year round.

Reflections on visiting La Cala de Mijas Spain

Summing up, a day trip in La Cala de Mijas Spain is a lovely thing to add to your Andalucia itinerary. Even after living there for 7 years, I enjoy coming back and strolling around the small streets, relax on the beach, and walk the promenade.

Happy travels!