Saturday, August 28, 2010

Mijas: Pueblo Blanco in Malaga, Spain

Pueblo blanco means white village. I mentioned in my previous entry, ‘Donkey Trails and the Rock Shrine’ that Mijas is the most popular and most visited white-washed village in Andalucia. You would know when a village becomes exceptionally popular when: (a) tourist buses arrive by the droves (b) you see Japanese or Asian tourists (c) the center becomes a commercial strip lined up with souvenir shops one after the other (d) presence of café terraces on every corner (e) animals, like donkeys and horses had to earn a living.

A busy corner in Mijas and the most photographed street on the coast, the San Sebastian Street. The street is named after the San Sebastian Church built in the 17th century. In 1674 the church was rebuilt from ruins, thanks to charity.

Now that is the case with Mijas. It is the most popular ‘pueblo side tour’ offered by travel agencies and suggested by hotels to sun-beach holidaymakers in Costa del Sol.

View from the terrace of the Tourist Office and you can see the tourist buses below on the parking area.

If you come here on your own and you do not have a (rental) car, it’s better to take the bus. Public transportation in Malaga province is impressive, the infrastructure is great as well as the schedules are on a regular basis. The village sits on top of the Sierra de Mijas (Mijas Mountains) and buses from Malaga, Torremolinos, Benalmadena, Fuengirola and Marbella go here every half an hour. Fare is dirt cheap, I think I paid €2,40 one-way from Torremolinos and it took about 40-something minutes to get here. We didn’t have our rental car yet and Dutchman is allergic to villages, so I went with the bus on my own.

Upon arriving in Mijas, I went to the tourist office right away to get a free map—with routes and important places of interest. I probably spent hours roaming around the village before I sat down for a glass of cold sangria. I especially love the immaculate white-washed alleys and very distinctive of Andalucian villages are the black grills on windows and balconies, and the flower pots and plants hanging on the walls as well. The grills I believe are not just for decorative purposes but for functional and security use—to guard against thefts.

Because Mijas is a mountain village, the houses sit on hilly pebbled streets.

A commercial street in the center of Mijas. Right foto is Plaza de la Constitution. The marble cutter Galiano made the present day fountain and benches from the marble rocks that were left from the flood of the 2nd November 1884.

A peek into a cozy little tapas and wine bar. There are many cafe terraces in Mijas during the summer.

More cafe terraces (this is across the San Sebastian Church) and more souvenir shops.

Church of the Immaculate Concepcion.

The patron saint of Mijas, Nuestra Senora dela Pena.

A chilled sangria is the order of the day =)

Due to Mijas charm, her great location, mild climate and of course her soaring popularity, foreigners were bitten. In no time, non-Spanish residents have increased; they have come to live in Mijas! Since then the town hall has a ‘Foreign Residents Department’, the first in Spain.

You can find all my Mijas fotos here: Mijas, Malaga, Andalucia – Spain
All information about Mijas village here: Ayuntamiento de Mijas (Mijas Town Council – click on English)

Travel Period: August 2010
Destination: Mijas (Malaga - Andalucia), Spain

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