Tourist Information

Culture & Information, the history of Tamisa

General Costa del Sol Tourist Information

MIJAS TOURIST INFORMATION

Mijas

Mijas is a town and municipality in the province of Málaga, in Andalusia, southern Spain. It is a typically Andalusian white-washed village located at a mountain side about 450 m above mean sea level, in the heart of the Costa del Sol region. There are some local history museums and many souvenir shops, Mijas also has several golf courses.

The municipality includes:

Mijas Pueblo (the hillside village)
Mijas Costa (main commercial and residential area adjacent to (but not strictly part of) Fuengirola
La Cala de Mijas (separate village and small resort by the sea to the west)
Las Lagunas (largely suburban and mixed commercial to the north of Fuengirola).
Mijas was part of Turdetania, and there are still some remains from that era located in old town wall. Its rich mines were worked by Phoenicians and Greeks, and the ores (lead steel, marble and agate) sent to the Far East in ships.

The city was originally called “Tamisa” by the Romans, and it was an important commercial centre close to the Via Appia linking Malaga and Cadiz. The city was occupied by Arabs for many centuries, untill its re-conquest by the Christian Monarch in 1492.

The name “Tamisa” was shortened by the Arabs to Mixa and finally changed to Mijas, the present name of this beautiful white washed village.

In 2012 it had 82,124 inhabitants, which makes it the fourth minicipality in the province in population. It focuses on three main urban areas: Mijas Pueblo, located on the slope of the Sierra de Mijas, is the historic center of town, Las Lagunas, located in the area called Mijas Costa, part of the urban continuum of the town of Fuengirola and La Cala, a coastal town. The area of the municipality is 148 km ² and extends from the coastal mountain ranges of the Penibética to the Mediterranean Sea. Inhabited since ancient times, a small village Mijas was devoted mainly to agriculture and fisheries to the explosion of the tourist boom in the 50s of last century. Since then, tourism and construction sector have been the engines of local economy, triggering at the same time the population and per capita income, albeit at a high environmental cost. Today is a multicultural city with a high percentage of residents of foreign origin and a major residential centers of tourism in Andalusia

Climate The Climate of Mijas, due to the proximity of the sea, conditions mild temperatures, with an average of 18ºC without heat in summer and little frost in winter. The rainfall is below 600ml per year. They occur mainly between November and January. The town boasts some 2920 hours of sunshine a year As one ascends the mountains, the climate changes gradually. Temperatures can drop to 10 º C. In the peaks may be some ice in winter, over 600 meters, while precipitation increases to almost 800ml.

FUENGIROLA TOURIST INFORMATION

Fuengirola

Fuengirola, in ancient times known as Suel and then Suhayl, is a large town and municipality on the Costa del Sol in the province of Málaga, autonomous community of Andalusia in southern Spain. It is a major tourist resort, with more than 8 km of beaches, and home to a mediæval Moorish fortress. In common with much of this coast, it has been the subject of considerable urban development.
The area enjoys a subtropical Mediterranean climate, with annual average temperatures of 18°C.

History: The town has its origins in Phoenician, Roman and Arab civilisations.

The foothills of the mountain range behind the town to the south are the site of an Arab castle, which contains remains of an early Ibero-punic or Phoenician settlement, later occupied by the Romans, which became a town known in antiquity as Suel. Suel was identified by the Roman historian, Pomponius Mela, as one of the towns of the coast, and was cited by Pliny in the 1st century AD as a fortified town or oppidum. A later historian, Ptolemy, identified it during the 2nd century as being located in the region of the bastulo-penos or Phoenicians.

The inscription on the pedestal of a statue found near the castle mentions Suel as being a Roman “municipium”. A funeral urn found in the same area has an inscription containing the word “Suelitana”. Roman baths were discovered in 1961 and, close by, the remains of a Roman villa containing two sculptures, one of which is the well known “Venus of Fuengirola” exhibited in the town’s museum. A series of architectural components, probably transported from the Mijas quarry during the Roman era, were discovered in Los Boliches in 1984; these have now been mounted to form a temple entrance, and can be seen on the promenade at Los Boliches.

The Sohail castle was built by Abd-ar-Rahman III in the mid-10th century. The city of Suel ceased to be mentioned at the beginning of the Middle Ages. After several centuries, the name of the settlement changed from Suel to Suhayl, which became the name of the castle and surroundings during the Moorish era. Suhayl became a fairly large settlement, which included farmland and small villages. Most of the surrounding area seems to have been used as pasture for the Moorish rulers’ camels. One of the most famous people from Fuengirola from this period is the famous writer and scholar Al-Suhayli (literally the man from Suhayl) who lived from 1114 to 1185 and is now especially well known as one of its seven saints of Marrakesh, where he was buried.

In the early Middle Ages the town was set on fire and its inhabitants fled to Mijas. Suhayl became a mound of ruins, and even its name was changed to the Romanised Font-Jirola, after the spring arising at the foot of the castle, according to historian Alonso de Palencia.

In 1485, when only the fortress remained, the settlement was reconquered by the Christian Monarchs. An attempt to repopulate the site with 30 people failed, and in 1511 it was registered as uninhabited, apart from the fortress and a watchtower. Land originally set aside for Fuengirola was reallocated to Mijas.

In the 17th century, a new urban settlement developed, once the threat from Turkish and Moroccan pirates disappeared, and at the beginning of the 18th century, an inn was opened near the beach, offering accommodation to travellers, muleteers and seafarers. A few huts were built nearby, forming a small village.

The Battle of Fuengirola took place in the area during the Peninsular War, on October 15, 1810, when approximately 200 Polish soldiers of the Duchy of Warsaw defeated a mixed British-Spanish force numbering some 3,000 soldiers under Lord Blayney.

In May 1841, Fuengirola was administratively detached from Mijas; at the time its inhabitants were mainly engaged in fishing, agriculture and trading with ships that dropped anchor in the bay. For over a century, fishing and agriculture remained the main activities.

It was only in the 1960s that Fuengirola entered a new phase, to become a leading tourist centre.

Modern Fuengirola : Fuengirola now offers all the facilities to be expected of a major tourist centre – hotels, restaurants, bars, clubs, discothèques, semi-legal sex trade, sports clubs, a yacht harbour, and broad beaches along a promenade extending east and west from the town, that includes smaller adjacent villages.
Of the  75,953 (2012) inhabitants registered in the municipality, 25% come from other countries, mainly European (England, Ireland, Scotland, Finland and Sweden, among others), and also from Morocco and Argentina. In the summer especially, the town plays host to throngs of visitors both Spanish and foreign, but in particular British. The English community in particular is large enough to support a fully developed programme of activities and local groups.

The Zoo ” Bioparc” is well known. Once an old-fashioned collection of cramped cages, the zoo was modernized in 2001 to feature “tropical-forest” dwellings. The zoo specializes in captive breeding for endangered species, chimpanzee-group research and tropical-forest education. Known as Bioparc Fuengirola since 25 March 2010, it now markets itself as a series of natural habitats for specific species.

Although Fuengirola is a comparatively developed resort, it does also have a number of historical sites and open parks. The old port is still used by the local Spanish fisherman. The Arab castle of Suhayl, or Sohail, remained an abandoned ruin until renovations began in 1995. In 2000 the interior of the castle was completely renovated and the Sohail castle begun to host festivals and concerts throughout the summer. Additional landscaping was completed in 2002 and the castle is now one of the highlights of Fuengirola’s cultural and historical scene.

The town is largely urban in character, with many high-rise blocks of flats – many towards the seafront – although some narrow streets can be found with many low-rise villas. Considerable commercial development is underway further inland, towards to the north of the town, with the recent construction of a large shopping centre and retail park and ongoing development of housing areas. A large branch of El Corte Inglés opened in 2006 in the inland suburb of Las Lagunas.

The council continues to improve facilities for the young people of the town. In 2010 Fuengirola opened a 50m Olympic-sized swimming pool. Their latest project opened at the beginning of 2010 – a brand new purpose-built skateboard, rollerblade and bike park complete with graffiti wall.

BENALMADENA TOURIST INFORMATION

Benalmadena

Benalmádena is a town and municipality in the province of Málaga, part of the autonomous community of Andalusia in southern Spain. The municipality is situated approximately 12 km to the west of the city of Málaga, on the southern coast between Torremolinos and Fuengirola, in the heart of the Costa del Sol and Alhaurín de la Torre in the North. It has a population of  65,965 (2012) residents, but also caters for a large number of tourists. The town is also home to the Enlightenment Stupa, the largest stupa (a structure important in Buddhism) in the West, standing 108 feet (33 m) tall.

Historically the region has been occupied and settled by many cultures dating back to the Bronze Age, including the ancient Phoenicians and Romans, and has also been considerably influenced by the Moorish settlement of the southern Iberian peninsula. Two Almenara towers on the coastline date back to the 15th century, originally built to guard the coast and its population from the frequent incursions of Barbary pirates in the days following the reconquista of the region by Henry IV of Castile.

In contemporary times, along with the rest of the Costa del Sol area it has become an important tourist destination. The municipality has been subject to an unprecedented urban expansion in recent years with many new buildings and homes built, sometimes causing environmental degradation.

The name is derived from the Arabic “Bani al-Medina”, or “Son of the Settlement”.

The municipality has three main urban areas:

Benalmádena Pueblo, the original village, which lies about three kilometres inland at an elevation of approximately 200 m above mean sea level. Its core consists of a typical white-fronted Andalusian village, although much recent building in modern architectural styles has somewhat detracted from its character. The town of Benalmádena also has an archaeological museum with locally-derived artefacts dating back to the Bronze Age.

Benalmádena Costa, an urban agglomeration on the coast. Here there are discos, hotels, beaches, shopping centers and an extensively-equipped marina. Tourist attractions include SeaLife aquarium and Selwo Marina, a theme park with dolphins, penguins and seals among other species. The Parque Paloma is a more recent addition to the attractions, a landscaped park containing a large lake and animals running wild.

Arroyo de la Miel, originally a separate village, is in the interior between the other two areas. It has become the main residential area, and is also the most commercially active. Buildings are tightly packed and tend to be apartment blocks. It also has several attractions such as the Tivoli World amusement park, and a teleferico (cable car running to the summit of the 769-metre Calamorro mountain, which provides panoramic views of the Sierra Nevada, Gibraltar and on clear days, the Moroccan coastline. Arroyo de la Miel translates as “Stream of Honey” in English.

MALAGA TOURIST INFORMATION

Malaga

Málaga is a city and a municipality in the Autonomous Community of Andalusia, Spain. With a population of 567,433 in 2012, it is the second most populous city of Andalusia and the sixth largest in the country. This is the southernmost large city in Europe. It lies on the Costa del Sol (Coast of the Sun) of the Mediterranean Sea, about 100 km (62.14 mi) east of the Strait of Gibraltar and about 130 km (80.78 mi) north of Africa.

Málaga enjoys a subtropical climate. Here are the warmest winters in Europe, with average temperatures above 17.2 °C (63.0 °F) during the day in the period December to February. The summer season lasts for about 8 months, from April to November, although also in December and March sometimes there are temperature above 20 °C (68.0 °F).

Málaga, together with adjacent towns and municipalities such as Rincon de la Victoria, Torremolinos, Benalmadena, Fuengirola, Alhaurin de la Torre, Mijas and Marbella form the Málaga metropolitan area, with a population of 1,641,098 over 7,308 km2 (2,822 sq mi) (density 222,53 hab / km²) – according to 2012 data.

Málaga’s history spans about 2,700 years and is one of the oldest cities in the world. It was founded by the Phoenicians as Malaka about 770 BC, from the VI century BC in the Carthaginian Empire, from 218 BC – Roman Republic and later Roman Empire (as latin Malaca), after the fall of the empire of the 800 years under the domination of Arabs (as Malaqah), from 1487 under the dominion of the Spaniards. The archaeological remains and monuments from the Phoenician, Roman, Arabian and Christian eras convert the historic center into an “Open Museum” displaying its rich history of more than 3,000 years.

This important cultural infrastructure and the rich artistic heritage make Málaga a deserving candidate for the 2016 European Capital of Culture.

The internationally acclaimed Pablo Picasso and Antonio Banderas were born in Malaga.

The most important business sectors in Málaga are Tourism, Construction and Technology Services, but other sectors such as Transportation and Logistics are beginning to expand. The Technology Park of Andalusia (PTA), located in Málaga, has enjoyed significant growth since its inauguration in 1992. As of 2010, this high-tech, science and industrial park is home to 538 companies and employs over 14,600 people.

And of course Malaga Airport is the main access point by air for the entire Costa del Sol and has recently opened a brand new airport terminal and a second runway to cope with additional flights and passengers.

MARBELLA TOURIST INFORMATION

Marbella

Marbella is a city in Andalusia, Spain, by the Mediterranean, situated in the province of Málaga, beneath La Concha. In 2000 the city had 98,823 inhabitant and in 2012 it was 140,473.

Marbella and the nearby Puerto Banús are important beach resorts of the Costa del Sol. The town is famous for being a playground for the rich and famous. Marbella is famed as an exclusive destination for wealthy tourists from Northern Europe, as well as for the well-heeled from the UK, Ireland and Germany.

It is easy to reach other places, like Málaga and Algeciras, by bus. The area is also served by the A7 autovia, and the closest airport is at Málaga.

The area around Marbella is particularly popular with those who like golf. Marbella also hosts a WTA tennis tournament on red clay, the Andalucia Tennis Experience.

Archaeological excavations have been made in the mountains around Marbella, which point at human habitation in Paleolithic and Neolithic times. There are also remains of Phoenician and later Carthaginian settlements in the area of Rio Real. In Roman times, the city was called “Salduba” (Salt City ).

During Islamic rule, Muslims built a castle in this city, and they surrounded it by walls. The name Marbella, which is derived from Marbil-la, dates from this Islamic era. The traveller Ibn Battuta characterised the town as “a pretty little town in a fertile district”. In 1485, the Spaniards Taken the city, and during the centuries that followed, the city grew.

In the 1940s, Marbella was a small jasmine-lined village with only 900 inhabitants. But this soon changed when Prince Max Egon zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg and his heir Alfonso de Hohenlohe experienced a problem with their Rolls-Royce in the vicinity. This first encounter with Marbella so impressed Alfonso that he decided to buy land commercially, marketing the area as a tourist destination. In 1954 he opened the Marbella Club Hotel; his son had recently returned from California and the hotel was loosely modeled on the motel style with lower pitched terracotta roofs among 23,000 trees.

Given Alfonso’s maternal membership in Spain’s titled aristocracy (his mother, Doña Piedad Iturbe y Scholtz, was the Marquesa de Belvis de las Navas), and his paternal kinship to the royal courts of Europe, the hotel quickly proved a hit with vacationing members of Europe’s ruling elites, and those privileged to socialise with them in casual yet discreet luxury. Don Jaime de Mora y Aragón, a Spanish bon vivant, brother to Fabiola, Queen of the Belgians, was a frequent vacationer.

Photos from southern Spain
Mijas Town Hall
- Museo Picasso Malaga
Costa del Sol Tourist Board
More about Costa del Sol

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