Mijas is in the foothills of the sierra just north of the coast. Long ago foreign retirees discovered the pretty, whitewashed town, and though the large, touristy square may look like an extension of the Costa, beyond it are hilly residential streets with timeworn homes. Try to visit late in the afternoon, after the tour buses have left.
Mijas extends down to the coast, and the coastal strip between Fuengirola and Marbella is officially called Mijas-Costa. This area has several hotels, restaurants, and golf courses.