Mijas is a town in the province of Malaga located on the Costa del Sol, and part of the autonomous community of Andalusia. The centre of the town is a typical Andalusian white-washed village, known as Mijas Pueblo, which is situated on a mountainside about 430 metres or 1,476 feet above sea level. The main commercial and residential area is named Mijas Costa, while La Cala de Mijas is a separate village and small resort on the sea to the west.
The primary economy of Mijas is - of course - tourism these days. The town is very popular and has a number of excellent museums and plenty of tourist attractive shops. Within the municipality there are seven golf courses, and a number of others are planned or under construction.
As with many areas around the Costa del Sol, there is evidence of very old civilisations. In Mijas there is an original fortification built by the Tartessians in prehistoric times, but the mineral wealth of the area subsequently attracted both the ancient Greeks and the Phoenicians, before the Romans arrived and put down roots.
The Romans knew Mijas as Tamisa and were extremely active commercially. They were replaced by first by the Visigoths and then the Moors. The Moors kindly allowed the village inhabitants of Mijas to keep their property, religion, and customs as long as they handed over a third of their goods from agriculture, livestock, and farming. Tamisa was abbreviated by the Moors to Mixa, which later became Mijas as we know it today.
Interestingly, well into the nineteenth century, Mijas suffered from a great deal of pirate activity along the coast. The authorities became incredibly wary of this and so they constructed the watchtowers along the coastline, many of which are still in evidence today.
Mijas has long been an isolated village. The first road between Mijas and Fuengirola wasn’t opened until 1873. There was no phone service until 1953 and in any case most of the town's architecture consisted of shacks. The population was scattered around the countryside, living on small farms.
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