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La Cala de Mijas, A Spanish Pearl in Costa del Sol

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map of costa del sol spainMost Scandinavians and those who call the United Kingdom home have been to Mediterranean at least once while growing up. A rainy summer with cold waters is not the ideal holiday for your average person. When we had the opportunity to buy a home from home we did our research and found Spain to be the perfect place for us to invest. While northern Spain has much to offer we found that Costa del Sol, in the far southern portions of Spain, to offer more to more people. Since our home from home would also double as a self-catering holiday rental home when we were not there, Costa del Sol was the perfect match for us. The only question now: where should we buy?

Located in the south of the Iberian Peninsula, in the westernmost Mediterranean area, the Costa del Sol spans 161 kilometres of coastline in Málaga Province, and it seamlessly goes into the neighbouring provinces of Granada and Cádiz. This means that there are many cities, towns and settlements to choose from. Here is what we wanted in our dream location:

 

  • Feel authentically Spanish
  • Well connected with public transportation, making the need for a car non-existent
  • Close to at least two airports, services by multiple airlines
  • Cozy town centre
  • Walking distance to the beach, pubs, and restaurants
  • Close to golf courses, but not on a golf course (see authentic feel)
  • Well taken care of community
  • Centrally located, as a home base for daytrips
  • And Not overrun with tourists from one place

We searched up and down the coast, stopping by many of the more famous places, which at first glance seemed to meet our criteria. One after one they all got scratched off the list: Calahonda: there was not a real town centre, just the feel of an outdoor shopping centre. Fuengirola: Completely overrun with tourists, tall and very ugly apartment buildings all along the coastline. Marbella: while the old town is amazing, the rest is very spread out, lacking that community feel and a bit stuck-up in areas. Estepona: very pretty and fun place to stay, but almost an hour from the biggest airport, Malaga. It also had a lot of ghost buildings, as development was out of control when the downturn in the economy hit. Many other towns were scratched off the list as well. It wasn’t until we were on the way back from a long day out that we saw a sign by the road, saying “La Cala de Mijas”. We had heard of Mijas Pueblo, up in the mountains, so since the name had some familiarity we decided to exit and give La Cala a shot.

satellite of La Cala de MijasHeading either east or west on the A-7 highway La Cala de Mijas comes up very quickly. There are only two exits for La Cala so you have to pay attention. “La Cala” means The Cove, and that is exactly what it is. The main road turns sharply, as the cove makes an almost 90 degree turn. The town is a charming Andalucian fishing village, and was previously named “La Cala del Morales”, due to the mulberry trees growing in the area. The name was changed in 1970 to avoid confusion with Cala del Morales, just outside of Malaga. To the locals the town is simply known as “La Cala”. La Cala is a natural divider between East Costa del Sol and West Costa del Sol, and it is located between Fuengirola and Marbella. The weather is amazing, with 320 days of sunshine, less than 600mm of rain per year, an average January temperature of 12°C, and 27°C in August. The beach is rated “Blue Flag”, which is the highest water quality certification, issued by Foundation of Environmental Education (FEE). There are concerts in the town centre and on the beach all summer long, starting May 1st with the Sardine Festival, and ending at the end of August with the “Noches de Luna y Playa”. La Cala de Mijas is home to a fortified guard tower from the 16th century. It is a popular meeting spot for beach goers, as it is located in the center of the restaurants on the sea-side promenade. La Cala is located in in an area known as Mijas Golf Valley. There is year round golfing available, with 10 golf courses within a 10 minute drive, including La Cala Golf, Santana Golf, el Chaparral Golf.

La Cala de Mijas - PromonadeOkay, that is it for facts about La Cala. Now to the feel and the reason it matched up with everything we were looking for in our home from home. Driving into town the very first time we immediately noticed that this was not a new place, built around a shopping centre or a golf course. This town has history and an authentic Spanish feel to it. While the main street going through town is of new asphalt, many of the side streets and alleys are made with cobblestone. The side streets are narrow, hiding away many fabulous restaurants, cafes and bars. There is a feeling of knowing one of the local secrets when you have dined at one of these fine establishments. Since the town is located within two close together exits off the A-7, everything is within easy walking distance. You can stroll from one side of the town to the other in 10 minutes. There is therefore absolutely no need for a car while in town, which is great news, considering numerous pubs within crawling distance.

Getting to La Cala de Mijas is also very easy. First, there are two airports to fly into. 90% of our visitors fly to Malaga International Airport, and the rest either drive or fly to Gibraltar International Airport. By car, Malaga Airport is only 20 minutes away, while Gibraltar is pushing close to an hour. Once you have landed in Malaga there are a few different options for getting to La Cala. There are many car rental options right at the airport, and many shuttle busses taking you to the off-airport rental companies. If you choose to not rent a car (about half of our guests) then the public transportation option is for you. The train goes directly from the airport, at Terminal 3. It takes you to Fuengirola, which is the end station. From there you take the bus towards Marbella, and get off in La Cala de Mijas. The entire trip takes about 1 hour, and cost less than 4 euros total for an adult at last check. For those who are staying at our apartment, you can always schedule a shuttle directly to our apartment, operated by our onsite managers. Other than walking for hours, the final option would be to catch a taxi. It will get you there quickly and cost you around €50.

Some towns will have a large population of all British, Scandinavian, or Russian. The people living in these communities do not want to integrate with the Spanish at all, and are simply looking for a warmer version of their home country. While I am sure this can be nice if you are a pensioner when you make your move, it doesn’t give you much of a worldly experience when you are on holiday. To get the local flavor of Spain you want to get traditional Spanish dishes, such as Paella and Espetos, prepared by a local. That usually does not include a British chef in a British restaurant, with British menus. The great news about La Cala is that you get the best of both worlds. You can get the local traditions, prepared and served by the locals, but you will still be able to place your orders in English or broken Spanish combined with a few hand gestures.

golfer in costa del solAll seasons seem to be perfect here, with something for everyone. Early to late summer is perfect for beach goers with hot weather and warm, clear water. Late summer to early winter sees the arrival of the explorers. There is so much to see in historical towns like Granada, Ronda, Competa, Nerja, Casares, Gibraltar, and Tangier, Morocco, just to name a few. During the winter months to late spring the majority of our guests are golfers, pensioners, and language school students. The golfers enjoy the cooler temperatures and the sunny days, while the pensioners are escaping the snow, slush and freezing rain of their home countries. We often have pensioners renting for 4 to 8 weeks straight. Old joints feel much better in the sun! For language school students, Costa del Sol has at least 38 different Spanish schools to choose from, ranging from one on one, to classroom settings.

After having found La Cala de Mijas, we knew that it was the home from home that we had been looking for, and where we would buy our pearl in Costa del Sol. It is now three years later, and we couldn’t be happier, and our guests agree as well. rated excellent on tripadvisorOn TripAdvisor we are rated “Excellent”, with 5 out of 5 stars by our 30 reviewers. Our newest apartment in La Cala has the same rating, with 10 reviews. On HomeAway we are 5 out of 5 Stars by 23 reviewers for our first apartment, and once again 5 out of 5 stars for our newest apartment, by 15 reviewers. The verdict is in: Please love La Cala de Mijas. Come see it for yourself. It truly is a pearl on the Costa del Sol.

 

 

Contact us if you have any questions about visiting La Cala de Mijas, Mijas Costa, or for staying in one of our beautiful homes.

Blog posted from 29649 La Cala de Mijas, Málaga, Spain View larger map
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Guest Friday, 28 July 2017

Welcome to our Homes

welcome

Thank you for your interest in our Two Vacation Rentals in La Cala de Mijas, Spain. Both are in the same complex, have private Jacuzzis on the terrace, 28000 square meters of Sub-Tropical gardens, 2 saltwater Swimming Pools, and all within walking distance to the beach!

About Us

about us

Sophie and Einar are the proud owners of Spanish Vacation Rental's 2 holiday homes in La Cala de Mijas. They are born and raised in Scandinavia, but currently reside in the US. 

Where are we?

la cala de mijas1

Our 2 Vacation Rental homes are located in La Cala de Mijas on Costa del Sol in southern Spain. La Cala is an old fishing village, with tons of charm, cobblestone streets, Moore ruins, an excellent "Blue Flag"-rated Beach and Restaurants from around the world