La Cala de Mijas was originally a small, traditional Spanish fishing village, nestled in a cove on the Costa del Sol. However, in recent years the town has spread its wings. Now there are newer developments, superb golf courses, major supermarkets and luxurious hotels popping up. The majority are, however, located on the other side of the coastal highway and spreading inland.
La Cala, as it is known for short, is part of Mijas Costa. Mijas itself has several sections. La Cala de Mijas and its neighbors on the beach, Las Lagunas de Mijas further inland and the traditional Mijas Pueblo.
Traditional town center
However, despite all the new modern development, La Cala de Mijas has somehow managed to retain all of its original charm and beauty. The narrow streets continue to display colorful flowering plants and songbirds chirp and sing on the balconies of the well-kept homes. As you stroll along, friendly locals smile and greet you.
Dining out in La Cala
While there is far more international fare available in the restaurants these days, you can still enjoy the traditional Spanish cuisine at the many eateries and tapas bars. This summer will see the introduction of a brand-new beach club and restaurant with a pool, literally right on the beach.
Quirky aspect of La Cala
One fascinating aspect of La Cala de Mijas is the charming village church, located right in the centre. Should you walk past that church at 12 noon, for example, you will hear the bells chime out the hour. This might sound perfectly normal, but as you head up the sloping street towards the town hall, you will suddenly hear bells chime out the hour yet again a minute or so later.
What makes it so strange is that the town hall chimes sound just a little off-key. You might even think you have entered the Twilight Zone! When I originally moved to the town, I could hear both sets of bells from my apartment but in recent years, they have turned the volume down a little.
Moorish history in the town
The main claim to historic fame in La Cala de Mijas is the original Moorish tower. El Torreon is set in the town square, right on the beachfront and has been beautifully restored. It is definitely worth a visit, as it contains a museum giving the history of the small town, going right back to its Moorish past.
Climbing the narrow stairway takes you to the roof of the tower. Here you can enjoy wonderful views across the town and the surrounding mountains, as well as the Blue Flag beach. On a really clear day when there’s no haze, you can see the Rif Mountains of Morocco on the horizon across the Mediterranean Sea.
The almost four-mile Boardwalk of La Cala
After concluding your visit to the tower, head down the new Boardwalk, which allows you to stroll along the beach for almost four miles – all the way to Cabopino Beach. Along the way, stop for a refreshing drink or a snack at one of the many chiringuitos (beach restaurants). It is then easy to take a taxi or public transport bus back to La Cala itself.
Exercise in the fresh air
There is a full set of workout machines right on the beach for keeping up your exercise regimen. There is no better place for a good work-out with this view!
Fun for the kids
La Cala has a number of playgrounds for the little ones, but their favorite is The Galleon. Set on the beach promenade, kids can act like pirates, climb, slide and generally have a ball.
Take the time to enjoy the charm and beauty of this quaint seaside destination – visit La Cala de Mijas.