There are many pueblo blancos in the province of Málaga including my favourite, Mijas. It is situated in the foothills of the coastal mountain range that overlooks the coast. The town’s maze of old Moorish streets are awash with colour – pottery, basketwork and other goods are displayed in the many shops and colourful floral displays adorn the walls of the houses. Mijas is a good place to get away from the urban sprawl of Fuengirola.
My wife likes Mijas because of the shops. Yes, some are a trifle touristy and sell the usual pottery, leather goods and pictures of whitewashed houses. However, a few establishments are more tasteful and sell antiques and fine art. There are also the little bars and restaurants some with stunning panoramic views.
I just like walking the steep narrow streets and admiring the little houses with their white facades adorned by colourful pots of flowers.
On one occasion, I walked up to the little chapel, the ‘Calvario Hermitage’, on the hill high above Mijas. It was rather a strenuous climb amidst pine trees and I wished, at the time, that I had picked a colder day to do it but once there I enjoyed the views and the well-earned rest.
Another chapel in Mijas is the Hermitage of the Virgen de la Peña, the patron saint of Mijas. Mercedarian monks built the chapel in 1520 and inside is a carved wooden image of the virgin allegedly dating back to AD850. It is a delightful little building, although I find it a bit incongruous that, just like a number of ancient churches that I have visited in recent years, it has electronic candles rather than the real thing!
My favourite place is ‘La Muralla’ – a park with balconies from where one can view the coast below. It is a quiet oasis away from the bustle of tourists, yet is only a few minutes walk from the centre – just up past the Plaza de Toros.