Is Mijas Worth Visiting? 10 Reasons To Visit Mijas in Costa del Sol

Asking yourself the question “Is Mijas worth visiting?” Then you’re in the right place. I lived in Mijas for years and if you ask me, it’s definitely worth visiting!

But as any place, it has its pros and cons. I know that my answer to the question is subjective, so I’ve written this article to help you make a decision for yourself.

Mijas is actually divided into three. Mijas Pueblo, which is the whitewashed hillside village, La Cala de Mijas, which is the coastal town, and Las Lagunas de Mijas, which is a small residential and commercial center right above Fuengirola (and is often mistaken for belonging to Fuengirola.)

Besides, you have Sierra de Mijas, which are the dramatic mountains overlooking the coast hiding a wealth of epic hiking routes!

Mijas has tradition, culture, beach, a strong expat culture, and outdoor activities, but you’ll have different experiences depending on where you go. Mijas Pueblo couldn’t get more traditionally Andalusian, while you’ll mostly hear English spoken in La Cala.

I’ll go through all the pros and cons of visiting Mijas which also might help you decide if one part of Mijas is better than another for you and of course the top reasons to visit Mijas.

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Is Mijas Spain worth visiting for stunning views

Is Mijas worth visiting?

First of all, let’s have a look at the pros and cons of visiting Mijas so you can see quickly if you want to keep reading or not.


  • beaches
  • quiet beach town
  • charming white hilltop village
  • mountain hikes
  • coastal walk
  • gold fields
  • good public transport
  • great shopping


  • La Cala de Mijas is very UK tourist and expat dominated which takes away the authentic feel of the village
  • Mijas Pueblo still has donkey tourism, which is not ethical
  • The hikes in Sierra de Mijas are all very steep
Square in Mijas with a white church.

Reasons to visit Mijas

The traditional white hillside village

One of the top reasons to visit Mijas is definitely to head to the whitewashed hillside village, Mijas Pueblo. This is by far one of the most beautiful white villages in Andalucia with its narrow streets, colorful pot plants, charming squares, and breathtaking coastal views.

There are plenty of restaurants and bars to enjoy, great shopping with heaps of boutique stores and handicraft shops, and a few nice museums. Besides, they have their own chocolate factory (Yes! I know!) which I’ll get into later.

Colorful Street in Mijas.

Epic hiking routes

One of the top reasons to go to Mijas is by far the hiking routes! As I listed in the cons of visiting Mijas, they are all very steep. But if you don’t mind, you’re up for some of the most spectacular views in Costa del Sol.

I’ve been hiking in Sierra de Mijas for years and know them as my own pocket. While Pico de Mijas is the highest peak, I have another two favorites which I think trump it in views.

Pico Castillejo is reached either by driving up to the antennas above Fuengirola (on the road between Higueron and Mijas Pueblo) or hiking from Mijas Pueblo or even Benalmadena stupa or Benalmadena Pueblo. It has 360 views of the coast and the surrounding mountains.

In the summer season, it’s a lookout post for wildfires which unfortunately rampage the sierras every summer.

Pico Mendoza or Pico Puerto Malaga as it’s referred to by the locals, is my other favorite. Hiking straight from the village, it’s a 3-hour return hike and the views are epic.

Pico de Mijas, on the other hand, is also known as La Bola (the ball) due to the large white antenna ball sitting on the top, but this is also what I dislike about the top and the views are a little bit blocked by the ridge between Pico de Mijas and Pico Mendoza.

What Pico de Mijas has that the other two mentioned don’t, are views in the direction of Marbella. This is a 5-7 hour hike depending on your hiking abilities.

If you prefer shorter hikes from Mijas Pueblo, there are also 1-2 hour loop trails you can take. Just before sunset is my favorite time of the day to do these as there are bigger chances of seeing mountain goats. Though I must say, last week I saw mountain goats in the middle of the day two days in a row when hiking there.

Hiking in Mijas with stunning coastal views.

You can make your own chocolate

One of the best things to do in Mijas Pueblo is to join a chocolate-making class at the Mayan Monkey Chocolate Factory.

It’s lots of fun for the entire family and a unique gift to bring home to loved ones. Or you can eat it and purchase chocolate from the shop.

They also have two fabulous cafés, one in the chocolate factory (Plaza Virgen de la Peña) and one on the higher level Plaza de la Constitucion. They also serve epic hot chocolate for winter and lovely ice cream for summer.

shelves full of chocolate in Mayan Monkey Mijas

Great shopping

If you’re looking for great shopping, Mijas is one of the best places to visit in Costa del Sol. In Las Lagunas, you have one of the most famous shopping malls in Andalucia, Miramar. It’s perfect for rainy days in Costa del Sol and you’ll find anything from clothes to electronics and jewelry.

Mijas Pueblo is a lovely place to find local handicrafts, pottery, ceramics, and leather goods. The cobblestoned streets are full of little boutique stores, making it one of the best places in Mijas to find exclusive items.

There are also some shops in La Cala de Mijas, but compared to the above mentioned, they don’t have much more to offer except some beach shops.

is Mijas worth visiting - colorful ceramics in a local shop.

Plenty of golf fields

If you’re into golf, Mijas is one of the best places to stay in Costa del Sol with plenty of golf courses to choose from.

There are 24 golf courses in Mijas in total, which tells a lot about how large the municipality is and how much green space there is. So there is plenty of room to test out different courses.

Among the best ones, you find Chaparral Golf Club, Mijas Golf International, and La Cala Golf.

Beautiful coastal promenade

Mijas Costa offers a beautiful coastal promenade that takes you 6 km all the way to the Calahonda beaches and if you’re willing to walk a little further, you’ll end up in Cabopino.

Walk through the little marina and on the other side, you find beautiful sand dunes and a natural beach stretch. In the summer it’s crowded, but the rest of the year it’s calm and beautiful. Note that this is a nudist beach (except in summer.)

The coastal walk is paved and wooden and you can walk off it several places to the beach. I highly recommend going for sunset, especially in summer when it’s too hot in the day. But bear in mind that you walk back before it gets dark as the lighting isn’t the greatest (basically missing light most of the way!)

Me and my dog Atlas walking on Mijas boardwalk.

Lovely even in winter

Compared to many beach destinations, Mijas don’t die off in winter. La Cala de Mijas is home to many expats and foreigners who own holiday homes where they stay over the winter months. Besides, there’s a substantial Spanish population who lives there.

This makes both the hilltop village and the coastal village great to visit all year round. When it comes to Las Lagunas, it’s mainly locals that live there but it’s the more residential part of Mijas which you probably won’t visit other than for shopping in Miramar.

If you spend winter in Costa del Sol, Mijas is a lovely area to stay, especially around Christmas when the Christmas markets and chestnut stands invite for a warm snack.

Long stretch of beaches

The beaches in La Cala de Mijas are of golden sand, and the most beautiful is the one off the village. Further up and down the coast, there are areas that have rocky water, but they are usually less crowded.

When you want a meal, ice cream, or a cold drink, there are plenty of chiringuitos (beach bars) to choose from. Lifeguards patrol the beaches and you can rent sunbeds and shade in the summer months.

Beach in La Cala

Well commuted by bus

If you don’t drive, you’ll be happy to hear that Mijas is well-commuted by bus whether you’re heading to Fuengirola, Malaga, or Marbella.

There are buses several times an hour, but I must warn you that they aren’t always on time. The bus from Mijas Pueblo to Fuengirola is only 10 minutes and from there, you can take the train to Malaga or bus to Marbella.

Local and international cuisine

Whether you’re looking for local or international cuisine, you’ll find it in Mijas. Especially in La Cala, there are several Indian restaurants (at least 3 that I know about, Bombay to Goa and Masala are my favorites – in exactly that order!) but you also find Thai, Italian, and Chinese among others. But they also have traditional Spanish in places like Pikoteo and the Hogar del Jubilado – and don’t miss out on the chiringuitos (beach bars.)

La Lagunas is the best place to go if you’re looking for authentic and local because they don’t cater to tourists at all, so there you’ll really find the bars that the locals hang out in

Mijas Pueblo does have some tourist traps, I would avoid the restaurants with the best views. In my experience, they’ve only served rubbish food for a high price. However, the restaurants in the small narrow streets are mostly amazing!

chiringuito in La Cala de Mijas.

Conclusion: Is Mijas worth a visit?

So, is Mijas, Spain worth visiting? In my opinion, it’s a clear YES! As I said before, Mijas is spread across three towns and all have their pros and cons so there are different things to consider.

For me, the pros outweigh the cons easily. You can avoid riding a donkey when you go to Mijas Pueblo. For me, it’s great fun that the hiking trails are steep, which adds to the challenge of reaching the peaks, but I know that they aren’t the best for beginner hikers or anyone in bad physical shape.

Lastly, I mentioned that UK expats and tourists heavily influence La Cala. So you will hear a lot of English around. When I visited to decide if I wanted to live there, I went to the Irish pub and the waiter couldn’t answer my Spanish friend in Spanish.

That was a bit of a downer, but I still moved there as it was the only negative I could find. And it’s Costa del Sol after all, and there are way more expats than in other areas in Andalucia.

Mijas is fabulous with so much variety of things to do so everyone will find something to enjoy. I hope you do to.

Happy travels!