Mijas, Costa del Sol
Located on the Costa de Sol in the south-east of Spain, Mijas is the typical white-washed Andalusian village. Sitting at an altitude of 430m (1476ft) above sea level, which offer incredible views over the Mediterranean and its coastline, Mijas has quickly become one of the most visited places on the Costa de Sol.
Although evidence of man existence in the area dates back several thousand years, the story of Mijas really begins with the arrival of the Greek and Phoenician (present day Lebanon) merchants who were attracted by the mineral wealth of the area. This settlement eventually was transformed into lively commercial centre by the Romans who named the town Tamisa, after an ancient Celtic tribe they called the Tartessians.
As with all of Spain, the Moors, from North Africa, gained control in the 8thcentury and recognising the wealth of the town, decided to offer its inhabitants religious freedom in return for one-third of their goods from agriculture, livestock and farming. The Moors abbreviated the town name Tamisa to Mixa, which with the Christian reconquest became Mijas.
In the 16thcentury, many cities and towns, rose up against the Spanish crown in a rebellion which we today called the Revolt of the Comuneros. Mijas however, stayed loyal to the crown and as a result received royal privileges and was exempt from many taxes. Through this period, the wealth of Mijas was based fishing, agriculture, and minerals. A main contributor to this agriculture was the growing of grapes to produce a famed sweet wine the region was renowned for. In the 19thcentury disaster struck as the Philloxera plague destroyed all of the vineyards, these vines were never replanted and as a result the region started its slow and steady decline. As the decline continued Mijas slowly became isolated until in 1953, the telephone service was installed. The end of the Spanish Civil War, the rebuilding of roads and rail lines saw Mijas transform itself in a tourist destination. Almost 200 years of inactivity had seen the town spared from the ravages of war and its first hotel was built in 1960 which laid the base for it economy today.
Mijas today attracts day visitors from other parts of the Costa Del Sol but it also heavily involved in Golf Tourism. There are 7 golf course located near Mijas, including the La Cala Resort, which is the largest golf resort in Spain with three 18-hole courses
Chapel of the Virgin of the Rock (La Ermita de la Virgen de la Peña de Mijas)
The Virgin of the Rock is a monastery which was begun in 1548 by a group of Mercedarian friars. Its popularity began when in 1586, two brothers, Juan and Asuncion Bernal Linaire, who were tending their flock saw a dove above the castle wall. The dove then transformed itself into the Virgin thus showing the location a figure of the virgin that had been hidden in the walls of the castle 800 years earlier with the Arab invasion.