MAYOR Angel Nozal works tirelessly to improve Mijas life but once rid of his chains of office he loves playing dominoes with pals or walking the hills.
The PP politician has been in power since June 2011 and although a keen traveller (he has a Scandinavian wife and speaks several languages) he is very Mijas-focussed.
“I have a goal of trying to make the town a little better each day,” he explains.
An avid promoter of the town’s paths and green spaces, Nozal says the biggest changes have been down by the coast.
“We have the best natural beaches of all the Costa del Sol and barely anyone knows about them,” says the former insurance agent.
“Mijas is constantly transforming and we are currently working on three huge projects that will improve transport links between La Cala, Mijas Pueblo and Las Lagunas.”
As Spain welcomed record-breaking numbers of tourists last year, Mijas enjoyed a hearty slice of the pie.
“Of course we suffered during the recession, but we have seen visitors returning with vigour, especially in 2014.
“This has been especially visible in Mijas Pueblo with packed terraces, hotels recording better trade and the tourist office counting more visitors – especially in summer.”
The town hall has been working hard to promote tourism – weekly free flamenco shows are just one part of this – and it strives to keep communities cared for and roads clean.
“When I became mayor in 2011, the town hall was in a dire situation, economically speaking.
“But we have really managed to turn this around and over four years have generated almost €20 million.”
Nozal is passionate about defending the ‘impressive natural treasure’ that is the Sierra de Mijas, boasting its over 100km of footpaths, and welcomes expats with open arms.
Mijas’ foreign population is 40% on paper, but Nozal believes the real figure to be much higher and confirms expats form a huge section of the community.
He continues: “We’ve got it all here, from spectacular beaches, more than 100km of stunning nature paths, three golf courses, first-rate bars and restaurants and flamenco.”
He adds: “It really is the heart of the Costa del Sol and everyone here is delighted to welcome visitors.”
He is adamant that the community should be well-integrated, and wants to keep multilingual communication lines open with regular meet-ups and publishing the town newspaper in English and Spanish.
Spain’s longest-standing Foreigners Department – celebrating 30 years this year – is in Mijas.
A man of integrity, the only hesitation from Nozal comes when asked which is his favourite bar or restaurant…
“I couldn’t possibly choose,” he laughs. “There are so many excellent places, it’s impossible to pick one!”