TAKE a walk in most directions outside Mijas Pueblo and you’ll find a network of trails varied enough to tempt hikers of all abilities.
Although geographically close, the spectacular hills of the Sierra de Mijas – which it is hoped will soon become a Natural Park – feel distant from the buzz of the coast.
With more than 100km of walking trails through unspoilt terrain with stunning wildlife and bird-watching opportunities, there is so much to see.
Even better, this trail network is well marked and maps are available at the town hall or tourist office.
Graded by levels of difficulty, walkers can learn about the natural environment through a series of routes.
The starting point for most trails is the Mirador de Mijas Pueblo. Panels throughout walks will direct you, offering cultural information on the surroundings.
Prime-time for walking is mid-September until mid-June, as high summer temperatures can be overwhelming.
Blue skies and almond trees in blossom are typical of January and Spring is beautiful, with the wild poppies, lavender and other flowers in bud.
Head up to the popular ‘masts mountain’ hike, visible from Mijas, where the antenna towers mark the peak.
Once the summit has been reached, walkers are rewarded with stunning 360 degree views for miles inland and across the sea to Morocco.
Take care to bring plenty of water and wear proper footwear as terrain can be tricky.
Finally, if you have your trainers handy, a 10km race through Mijas is set for Sunday April 12.
The 10km Villa de Mijas race starts on Avenida Andalucia at 11am.
Entry is €7 and you must sign up at www.gescon-chip.es before 2pm April 10.