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Spain's Pueblos Blancos

© By Mike Keenan

Unlike Washington, DC, it's no big deal for an Andalusian to live in the white house. Thousands do. Spanish pueblos blancos or white towns supposedly derived from local fear of bandits. Instead of settling on Andalusia's plains, some cautious souls preferred to live in fortified hilltops towns and villages. They are called pueblos blancos because the buildings are whitewashed in the Moorish tradition. Houses in Spain's south are often built of clay and regularly whitewashed to deflect the sun's intense rays. These white towns with their concentrated amenities provide a great opportunity for day trips.
     One of the jewels of the Costa del Sol is the village of Mijas, nestled comfortably in the mountainside 428 meters above sea level. With 7,500 inhabitants, there are many foreign and English speaking residents. Artists and writers have made Mijas home, enjoying the excellent climate safe from the busier, commercial coastal towns a few kilometres down the mountain side. Craft shops display local pottery and affordable paintings and prints. The municipality includes distinct neighbourhoods: Mijas Pueblo (the hillside village), Mijas Costa (main commercial and residential area adjacent to but not part of Fuengirola, la Cala de Mijas, a separate village and small resort by the sea to the west and Las Lagunas (largely suburban and mixed commercial to the north of Fuengirola).
     Mijas Costa's beach life offers water sports from jet skis, waterskiing, wakeboarding, windsurfing and more. There are commercial centres, supermarkets, golf course, sports centres, bars and restaurants. Many British and other foreign residents live here permanently, and in summer, it is popular with tourists. The blue horizon and sparkling Mediterranean make this area a desirable venue.
     La Cala de Mijas is the central point of Mijas Costa, maintaining its Andalucian village atmosphere. From a tiny fishing village, its population increased to 10,000, many of whom are the aforementioned British who seem intent on purchasing Spain. La Cala celebrates its own festivals, such as the annual fair which begins on July 25th, with the village decorated for a week of festivities. You may sample the local sherry, wines and tapas, listen to native music and enjoy the dancing.


     There are local history museums and souvenir shops, and Mijas offers seven golf courses with more under construction for those who bore easily. The amazing phenomenon of the Costa del Sol is the breakneck development. I have never seen so many construction cranes. This bizarre mix of tranquil villages and rapid development allows one to play golf on a beautiful, well-maintained course, and then explore the countryside from horseback. Of course, there is a Plaza de Toros and a well-appointed church.

Mike Keenan writes for QMI Agency (Sun Media) Canada's largest newspaper publisher, printing 44 daily newspapers as well as a web portal, Canoe.ca. Besides regular columns for the St. Catharines Standard, Welland Tribune and Niagara Falls Review. Mike has been published in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Buffalo Spree, Stitches, West of the City and Hamilton-Burlington's View Magazine. His work is found in QMI published dailies such as the Toronto Sun, Ottawa Sun, Vancouver Sun, London Free Press, Calgary Sun, Winnipeg Sun and Edmonton Sun.

Photo Credits
Mike Keenan

If you go
This Destination
as seen on
Tourism Mijas: http://www.calademijas.com/
Mijas Tourism Offices: http://www.malaga.us/towns-cities/mijas_tourism_offices.htm
Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mijas
Wikitravel: http://wikitravel.org/en/Mijas

What's happening, money, distance, time?
Media Guide: http://www.abyznewslinks.com/
Currency conversion: http://www.xe.com/ucc/
Distance calculator: http://www.indo.com/distance/
Time zone converter: http://www.timezoneconverter.com/

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Airlines (Wikipedia): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_airlines
Embassies/Consulates (Embassy World): http://www.embassyworld.com/
Health precautions (WHO): http://www.who.int/ith/en/
Google interactive map: http://maps.google.com/
Temperature (Temperature World): http://www.temperatureworld.com/


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