The town of Mijas is set high in the hills that rise quickly from the coast in this part of the Costa del Sol. The climate of Mijas ‘Pueblo’ is greatly influenced by its elevated position, and tourists are often surprised by the difference in weather compared to the coastal resorts of Torremolinos and Marbella.
A settlement is known to have existed at Mijas for many centuries, as confirmed by archaeological excavations carried out near the site of the present-day ‘Iglesia de la Inmaculada Concepcion’ . This church, completed in the early 18th century, covers the ruins of a Moorish castle that occupied the site from the 8th century until the late 15th century, when it was partially destroyed by the returning Christians. Prior to this, a Roman trading post was thought to exist at Mijas on the commercially important route from Malaga to Cadiz.
The town of Mijas ‘pueblo’ would probably have descended into a prolonged period of anonymity if it had not been for two children tending sheep. Legend has it, that in 1586, the youngsters saw an apparition of the Virgin Mary, who told of a shrine that had been hidden in a crevice of the ancient defensive walls of Mijas for 500 years. The local priest was summoned, and the old shrine was duly uncovered. A new shrine to ‘La Virgen de la Pena’ was built into the rock, and the tranquil setting on the ‘Paseo El Compas’ is one of the highlights on a trip to Mijas.
The steep, narrow white-walled, flower bedecked streets of Mijas have, for centuries, heard the clattering of donkey hooves, and still today the donkey is the preferred form of transport for tourists around the old town. If the somewhat gauche donkey transport is not appealing, then a slow stroll through the town, past the little bullring, or a lazy afternoon at the appetizing restaurants and bars may be more tasteful.
General Climate and Weather in Mijas
The elevation of Mijas (around 450 metres, 1,460 feet) is the main factor governing the day to day weather in Mijas. The net effect is for somewhat cooler, cloudier and wetter weather than on the coast; but, of course, there are only relatively minor differences and not enough to detract from the splenid climate enjoyed in this part of Spain.
Weather in Mijas in January
|Average Maximum 14C/57F||Average Minimum 7C/45F||Days with rain falling 9|
January days are a little chilly, although very occasionally the temperature can exceed 20 Celsius (68F) in the afternoon. The nights are also quite cool. A frost is not uncommon in well-sheltered gardens, although the sloping ground and the regular breeze blowing down the hillside at night usually help to prevent frost. Unsettled rainy weather usually comes in batches of 2 or 3 days at a time with a week, or more, of fine weather in between. Sleet or snow is not unknown, occurring in the area about once every 15 years. Fog can occur at any time, but it is usually in the form of cloud lowering on to the hill side rather than the night-time fog typically associated with central and northern Europe.
Weather in Mijas in February
|Average Maximum 15C/59F||Average Minimum 7C/45F||Days with rain falling 8|
The weather during early February is similar to that described in January above. Later in the month though, as the almond blossom begins to break out, there is a definite feel of Spring about the weather, and in some years the whole month can be described in terms of Spring, rather than Winter. The days are typically pleasant in the sunshine and out of the wind, especially later in the month as the sunshine gains strength, and in some years the occasional day may experience temperatures as high as 23 Celsius (73F). The evenings and nights are usually cool, and even at the end of the month a damaging frost may occur overnight in sheltered rural spots. Rain is usually confined to 2 or unsettled spells during the month, with fine, sunny conditions usually prevalent.
Weather in Mijas in March
|Average Maximum 17C/63F||Average Minimum 9C/48F||Days with rain falling 7|
Flowers and blossom are always in abundance during this month but the weather is much less predictable. In some years the afternoons are warm and windless enough to sit comfortably outside the bars and restaurants and take in the scenery. In other years, the wind whistles in from the coast, and many tourists have stood on the paseo looking seaward, with the clouds , just a few metres in front of them, rushing up the rock face towards the tops of the hills, and thick drizzle adding to the misery. Fortunately, fine days usually prevail, and a typical March has 2 or 3 days strung together when the afternoon temperature tops 20 Celsius (68F). Frost is very unlikely after mid month, and although the evenings and nights are usually too cool for lingering outside for long, there is a promise in the air of those warmer nights to come.
Weather in Mijas in April
|Average Maximum 20C/68F||Average Minimum 11C/52F||Days with rain falling 6|
This can be the most pleasant of Spring months with endless warm sunshine during the day, evenings that remain mild enough for a late stroll, and nights that are cool enough for comfortable sleeping. Although spells of this type of weather do occur quite frequently, there are usually several interruptions from less clement weather. As the land heats up under the strengthening sun, there can be the potential for heavy showers, often aided by the mountainous topography. The sea is relatively cold during April, especially at the beginning of the month, and afternoon sea breeze development can sometimes be quite strong. Although several kilometres from the coast, Mijas is often affected by the sea breeze, and this is often marked by a ribbon of thin, white cloud that appears to hug the hill side over, or just above, the town.
Weather in Mijas in May
|Average Maximum 22C/72F||Average Minimum 13C/55F||Days with rain falling 4|
The best month for a northern European to stay in Mijas is arguably May. The sunshine is hot and the light is sharp but the days are nearly always pleasantly warm, and the nights are still comfortably cool. On rare occasions the temperature can exceed 30 Celsius (86F), but usually the hot days are tempered by low humidity, and two consecutive hot days are very rare indeed. Unsettled spells can happen, of course, during May but occurrences are infrequent and a complete day without sun is another rarity. The ribbon of low cloud marking the inland penetration of an afternoon sea breeze can still be a feature of the weather during May, but equally, Mijas can enjoy a day of unbroken sunshine while coastal neighbours languish under a blanket of cold sea fog.
Weather in Mijas in June
|Average Maximum 27C/81F||Average Minimum 16C/61F||Days with rain falling 1|
A true summer month, and often with enough heat to spoil an afternoon walk around the sloping streets of Mijas. The evenings are warm, sometimes hot if the land breeze develops early, but the nights are seldom oppressive. Rain is an uncommon event during June with many of the early summer months remaining completely dry. The most likely source of rain is a light shower on the developing sea breeze front as it heads inland during the afternoon, or a short burst of thundery rain overnight , the remnants of storms that had formed over the hills of Morocco on the previous afternoon and evening.
Weather in Mijas in July
|Average Maximum 30C/86F||Average Minimum 18C/64F||Days with rain falling <1|
Dry, hot and sunny is on the menu for every day of the month. Subtle day to day differences can occur, usually relating to the strength of the afternoon sea breeze and the resulting drop of temperature. On an average day, it is more pleasant walking around Mijas at 11 in the morning than at 4 in the afternoon. The temperature may be lower in the afternoon, but the humidity is often considerably higher. The pollution from the busy coastal roads becomes trapped under the sea-breeze inversions during the afternoons, and photographs take on a bluish tinge that is less likely to be experienced during the mornings. Rain is such a rare event during July, so to mention it at all would not be worthwhile.
Weather in Mijas in August
|Average Maximum 30C/86F||Average Minimum 19C/66F||Days with rain falling <1|
Tourism abounds during August but for sightseeing this is definitely not the month to attempt the steep climbs around the streets of Mijas. The donkeys earn their hay during this hot and humid month, wending their way around the dusty streets. The constant swishing back and forth of the now gentle land and sea breezes do little to disperse the growing brown haze of pollution. It can be assumed, though, that the nights are often somewhat cooler, and the humidity lower, than in the tightly urbanised coastal resorts. Towards the end of August, there is always the chance of a torrential thundery downpour, but for most the dry, dusty heat of summer continues.
Weather in Mijas in September
|Average Maximum 27C/81F||Average Minimum 18C/64F||Days with rain falling 2|
While northern Europe descends steadily into autumn, southern Spain holds on to summer for several weeks longer. In Mijas, the lengthening nights do little to alleviate the heat. Days are oppressively hot, especially early in the month and nights are uncomfortably warm. The first week of September, of all the weeks, is the one when air-conditioning would be appreciated most. This is not the best month to see the scenery which for the most part is parched brown. There is often a sudden descent into autumn marked by torrential thunderstorms that rumble around for 2 or 3 days, but usually it is only the last week in September that these occur, if at all, and in most years the sunshine persists and the gradual cooling is almost imperceptible.
Weather in Mijas in October
|Average Maximum 22C/72F||Average Minimum 14C/57F||Days with rain falling 4|
The fine, summer weather can continue into October, with very warm days, but also warm, humid nights. Early October usually has some form of change to autumn weather. Either clearer, fresher air spreads in from the Atlantic, often with just a band of cloud and no rain; or a spell of thundery weather develops which could persist for several days. As the month progresses, the temperatures normally fall to levels that are more tolerable, and the ability to walk the streets of Mijas in comfort returns. Those fortunate enough to take a holiday in the second half of October are usually rewarded with good photography weather, even if a thunderhead is lurking menacingly over the distant sea.
Weather in Mijas in November
|Average Maximum 17C/63F||Average Minimum 10C/50F||Days with rain falling 7|
Quiet, cool early mornings, with dew on the grass, giving way to warm days of cloudless skies can be the weather that visitors to Mijas experience during November. Although, the majority days are similar to this, a significant minority of days are unpleasant . Driving rain, low cloud clinging to the higher streets of Mijas with a southeast wind whipping through the trees and a temperature of only 14 Celsius is the darker side of November weather. Average rainfall for November exceeds 100 mm (4 inches) but for 50 mm (2 inches) of this to fall in just a few hours is not uncommon, so, although the statistics suggest one of the wettest months of the year, the visitor should not be dismayed and could be fortunate enough to have a sunny day and a temperature of 23 Celsius (73F).
Weather in Mijas in December
|Average Maximum 15C/59F||Average Minimum 8C/46F||Days with rain falling 6|
The sun often shines in Mijas during December, in stark contrast to much of central and northern Europe. Temperatures are not very high, though, and with the warm sea often keeping coastal resorts relatively warm, there is sometimes a noticeably chilly feel in the air on the streets of Mijas compared to the sea front in Fuengirola. There is an element of luck involved in picking a good holiday week in December. Sometimes the weather can be dire, with hours of heavy rain, a strong wind and temperatures reluctant to rise above 7 Celsius (45F). On rare occasions a dusting of snow can be seen on the nearby hilltops. On balance, though, the sunshine always wins; the ‘Costa del Sol’ is not just a name.