Looking for issues to do on the Rock of Gibraltar? Read on as a result of we cherished this little slice of Britain situated within the southwestern tip of Europe simply south of Spain. Its strategic location because the gateway to the Mediterranean connecting the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea has made Gibraltar a strategic location for hundreds of years.
Gibraltar was by no means actually on our journey radar, however after we discovered ourselves in Marbella, Spain simply 1 hour north of this tiny abroad British Territory, we had to make the journey. We anticipated to take a fast go searching, after which be on our approach again to the seashores of Spain, however as a substitute, we caught round to expertise all of the superb issues to do in Gibraltar. Including the seashores!
Things to do on the Rock of Gibraltar
If you might be planning a visit to Gibraltar, learn on to see all of the issues to do on the Rock of Gibraltar and past. With seashores, pubs, historical past, a nature reserve, and many of apes, Gibraltar will shock you. So step out of the Mediterranean vibe of Spain, and leap into a little bit bit of Britain. To see automotive rental comparisons from Spain take a look at RentalCars.com
If you don’t need to hire a automotive, you possibly can go to Gibraltar from Spain on guided day journeys.
Where is Gibraltar
Gibraltar is situated simply south of Spain’s Costa Del Sol on the Iberian Peninsula shut to the southwestern tip of Europe. It is separated from Spain by a small 1-mile huge strip of land that has been changed into an airport runway. We stayed at a resort in Spain simply minutes from Gibraltar and walked from the Spanish metropolis of La Línea de la Concepción and arrived at The Rock of Gibraltar inside half-hour.
Gibraltar is simply north of the Strait of Gibraltar and is simply 13km (8.1 miles) from Morocco. It is small, however it’s one of probably the most densely populated international locations on this planet. Gibraltar is just 5 km lengthy (3 miles) and 1.2 km huge (and 0.75 miles) however has a inhabitants of 35,000.
As a British abroad territory, Gibraltar is technically a component of Britain and sure jurisdictions are underneath British rule the UN has formally listed Gibraltar as a Non-Self-Governing Territory comparable to The Cayman Islands and Bermuda.
The official language is English, making it a pleasant break from battling our damaged Spanish. Although nearly everybody in Gibraltar speaks Spanish. The official foreign money is The British Pound, however Euro is accepted as nicely.
What is the Rock of Gibraltar
I need to admit, I didn’t actually know what the Rock of Gibraltar was earlier than visiting Gibraltar. I do know there was a rock, however I didn’t understand that it was an unlimited dominant landmark of the whole southern tip of the Peninsula. You can see it for miles!
Also often called The Rock, The Rock of Gibraltar reaches 426 meters (1396 toes) into the air and is surrounded by nothing however sand and seashores, (albeit highrise condos are underneath building as we communicate).
Made of limestone, The Rock of Gibraltar has been a strategic navy base for the British since 1704 when it was captured in the course of the War of the Spanish Succession. It was a significant line of protection for the British and its allies throughout WWII and there are navy bunkers and tunnels scattered inside and all through the Rock making for a captivating day tour of the Rock of Gibraltar.
Cable Car and Nature Reserve Tickets
We purchased tickets on-line for all-inclusive entry to the Cable Car and Nature Reserve on the Rock of Gibraltar. Purchasing upfront allowed us to skip the traces and go straight to boarding the cable automotive so we may see as a lot as doable on the Rock in a day. You should purchase tickets upfront right here.
Tickets value £34.00 and a return cable automotive ticket consists of entry to St Michael’s Cave, Skywalk, Windsor Suspension Bridge, Great Siege Tunnels, World War II & City Under Siege Exhibition, Moorish Castle, 100 Ton Gun, and the Nature Reserve.
Make certain to arrive early to beat the crowds because the cable automotive was smaller than anticipated. Plus, it will get busy on the viewing platforms, so arriving in time for the primary cable automotive up, allow us to keep forward of the crowds most of the day. You may also ebook a guided tour by minibus that features entry tickets. See Europa Point lighthouse, St Michael’s Cave, and downtown Gibraltar: See particulars right here
How to Get to the Rock of Gibraltar
There is an airport on the Rock of Gibraltar. It was created from the tunnels constructed throughout World War II. Soldiers used the rock and filth from the tunnels to assist construct RAF Gibraltar and Gibraltar International Airport. The airport touchdown strip is situated on the border and runs between Spain and Gibraltar.
We stayed on the Spanish Side of Gibraltar in La Linia at O’htels Campo de Gibraltar and walked throughout the border. It was a 30-minute stroll to the Rock of Gibraltar from our resort in Spain. The cable automotive opened at 09:30 am and we left at 08:30 am to give time to cross the border and have a cushion ought to a aircraft cross the runway. On the way in which again we had to await a aircraft to land and it added half-hour to our strolling time.
One cool shock is that we obtained a stamp on our passports. It’s a uncommon factor today when touring Europe, so it was cool to fill in one other web page.
Things to do on the Rock of Gibraltar
After a brief 6-minute cable automotive journey up to Top Station, we exited and commenced our tour of The Rock of Gibraltar. If you didn’t have breakfast earlier than getting to the highest, there’s a restaurant at Top Station that opens at 10:30 am.
We cherished the views from Top Station. The minute we obtained out of the cable automotive we noticed Gibraltar Apes consuming oranges. We knew we’d see rather a lot of apes all through the day, so we went straight to the viewing platform. The Top Station of Gibraltar seems over the Rock of Gibraltar and undoubtedly has the most effective view of the precise Rock.
The views are fairly unimaginable having the ability to see up the coast of Costa del Sol and its seashores, town of Gibraltar, and Morocco in Northern Africa. We spent a great half-hour right here taking in all of the views and by arriving very first thing within the morning, we had unobstructed views with only a few crowds.
We talked about the Gibraltar Apes that we noticed on the Top Station, and you will note these monkeys all over the place on the Rock of Gibraltar. They are literally Barbary Macaques from Morocco and are the one wild monkey inhabitants on the European continent. The monkeys have been on the Rock of Gibraltar lengthy earlier than British rule however they have been so necessary to the British empire after the conflict once they have been almost worn out, they have been positioned underneath the military’s safety and Winston Churchill ordered extra monkeys to be imported from Morocco.
There are some 300 monkeys aka Gibraltar Apes on The Rock you possibly can see them in lots of locations however the most effective place to spot them is on the Ape’s Den at Queen’s Gate. They are fairly used to people, so hold your distance, we noticed two individuals bitten by the monkeys throughout our day there. It was the human’s fault for getting too shut so give these wild animals the respect they deserve and watch them from a secure distance protecting your meals and valuables shut.
After Top Station, we walked immediately to the Skywalk. This glass flooring dangles 340 meters (1115 toes) above sea degree and presents panoramic views of the encompassing space together with The Rock of Gibraltar, The Strait of Gibraltar, and Africa. It is the latest attraction on the Rock of Gibraltar opening in 2018 with none aside from Luke Skywalker himself marking the opening ceremony. Entry is included together with your Gibraltar & Nature Reserve Pass.
Gibraltar Nature & Reserve
Our full-day move included each attraction throughout the Gibraltar Nature Reserve so after marveling on the glass flooring of The Skywalk we continued by foot exploring The Upper Rock of Gibraltar. The Rock’s higher space is kind of inexperienced and full of crops, timber, birdlife, and many of strolling trails.
You can bike, take a taxi, or bus excursions across the Rock of Gibraltar, however we selected to stroll. I want the tour buses weren’t allowed save for individuals who want accessibility as a result of they actually took away from the expertise. We have been always needing to step out of the way in which of taxis and visitors. It’s not a troublesome stroll so if you happen to can, it’s a nice expertise to stroll alongside the paths.
St. Michaels Cave
St. Michael’s Cave will not be to be missed when visiting Gibraltar. Dave and I anticipated a brief and tacky journey into the cave, however St. Michael’s Cave is spectacular. It is the biggest collapse Gibraltar and has been used for hundreds of years. It is one of the preferred points of interest in Gibraltar and might be reached by automotive or strolling.
The cave is lit up with colourful lights of purples, pinks, yellows, and blues. While which will seem to be a vacationer lure, it really is kind of spectacular. The colours assist to spotlight the formations with a formation that truly seems like an angel with wings. The Angel was solely just lately found in the course of the creation of this multimedia show known as The Awakening. It was introduced to mild in the course of the mild present, however even when the lights went down, the define of the angel’s wings was as clear as might be.
It actually is a fantastic cave that has been an necessary place since Roman occasions when it was believed to be one of the pillars of Hercules. Entry is included together with your Gibraltar & Nature Reserve Pass.
O’Hara’s Battery was a shock attraction on the Rock of Gibraltar. After visiting the Skywalk, we adopted our approach up a stone path probably not understanding the place we have been going. But upon arrival, we have been completely happy we went. O’Hara’s Battery presents one other unimaginable view from the highest of the Rock. Standing tall at 421 meters it’s the highest accessible level on the Rock of Gibraltar.
Here one can find a protracted tunnel main from strategic heat rooms at Lord Airey’s Battery and Spur Battery. The tunnel comes out at an enormous cannon and once you emerge you’ll not solely see spectacular views however a really massive Mark X BL Gun that was succesful of capturing artillery all the way in which throughout the Strait of Gibraltar. It was decommissioned in 1976 and vacationers can go inside to see all its elements.
If you want strolling throughout suspension bridges, make certain to go to Windsor Bridge. The Windsor suspension bridge is a 71-meter-lengthy (233 toes) bridge dangling 50 meters (165 toes) over a deep gorge. It’s situated between two batteries alongside the Royal Anglian Way however don’t fear, if you happen to don’t need to cross the bridge, you possibly can take the trail alongside the mountain when you have a concern of heights.
We took this fashion from St. Michael’s Cave en route to the Ape’s Den. The indicators are usually not nicely marked from the street, however when strolling towards the bridge make certain to comply with the trail that veers left from the street.
One of the attention-grabbing sights on the Rock of Gibraltar was the positioning of the Great Siege. It tells the story of the 4-12 months-lengthy battle lasting from 1779 – 1783 when Spain tried to recapture Gibraltar from the British. You can stroll by means of a recreation of a fort showcasing what life was like throughout one of the hardest battles in British historical past.
The Great Siege Tunnels
There are tunnels from the Great Siege which you could discover close to. The tunnels have been made in the course of the Great Siege to get weapons onto the northern face of The Rock. In 5 weeks, 18 minimize a tunnel 82 toes lengthy (25m) into the Rock. By the time the siege ended 4 years later, the tunnels reached 370 toes (113m) lengthy and had 4 weapons mentioning of its partitions. Entry to the tunnels is included in your Gibraltar Cable Car & Nature Reserve Pass.
The Morrish Castle stands out on the cliffs of Gibraltar. Gibraltar has lengthy been a strategic location and this citadel was based approach again in 1160 as a fortification for protection. Throughout the centuries it has been seen in varied sieges, used as a jail, and a spot to search refuge throughout Turkish pirate raids. Entry to the citadel is included in your Gibraltar Cable Car & Nature Reserve Pass.
World War II Tunnels
Walking down from the Moorish Castle, we got here throughout the World War II Tunnels. We weren’t going to go in as we had visited fairly a couple of caves on the Rock of Gibraltar, however I’m glad that we did. During World War II Winston Churchill knew how necessary it was to dangle onto Gibraltar to hold the Germans and Italians from shifting into Europe by means of Spain.
There are a whopping 52 kilometers (34 miles) of tunnels contained in the Rock of Gibraltar which is kind of astounding contemplating the whole nation of Gibraltar is just 6.8 sq. km.
The tunnels have been made to retailer meals, ammunition, and provides for the British military and as a secure space to sleep and escape air raids. There was a complete group underground containing hospitals, bakeries, meals and drinks, and lodging. There can also be a Canadian connection, Canadian engineers and the Canadian military helped to excavate the World War II tunnels. Entry is included together with your Gibraltar & Nature Reserve Pass.
Jews Gate Cemetery
Jews Gate Cemetery is the ultimate resting place of Jews who inhabited Gibraltar way back to 1746. The cemetery is a protected website on Gibraltar and is a serene location with a raised steel platform weaving by means of the a whole lot of headstones laid all through the positioning. The cemetery was closed to burials in 1848 and it wasn’t till 2015 that it was opened to the general public after in depth excavations.
The Mediterranean Steps mountaineering path begins at Jews Gate and ends at O’Hara’s Battery. It is a difficult hike that takes you up steep steps from 180 meters (590 toes) to 420 meters (1377 toes) above sea degree. It takes you thru thick vegetation on the japanese facet of the rock providing distinctive views of the panorama.
We didn’t have time to hike the Mediterranean Steps, however we did some detours each time we stumbled on them crossing our path. They appear to be rather a lot of enjoyable because the slim path winds alongside the excessive rocky cliffs.
An airstrip could also be an odd vacationer attraction to point out, however that is one of the extra distinctive issues to see in Gibraltar. The Gibraltar International Airport is run by the British Ministry of Defence to be used by the Royal Air Force as RAF Gibraltar. What makes it distinctive is that it runs immediately by means of the border of Spain and Gibraltar.
Whether you might be arriving by automotive, bicycle, bike, or strolling, you should have to cross the touchdown strip of the airport. The important street of Gibraltar, Winston Churchill Boulevard runs proper by means of the center of the airport.
While strolling again to Spain from Gibraltar, we had the distinctive alternative to watch an airplane take off from mere meters away. The Gibraltar Airport is ranked because the fifth most excessive airport on this planet and one of the world’s scariest airports due to the truth that the airstrip leads immediately out to the ocean.
What shocked us most about Gibraltar have been the seashores. There are six seashores in Gibraltar. With Gibraltar being so small, it’s straightforward to come across one of the six seashores. They are straightforward to discover with a fast Google search. Just sort in Catalan Bay, Eastern Beach, Western Beach, Camp Bay, Little Bay, and Sandy Bay.
The seashores on the east facet of Gibraltar are sandier and it’s on this facet that you just’ll discover the unimaginable lengthy sandy seashores of Costa del Sol, Spain. We spent our time on the seaside in Spain right here strolling alongside Playa de Santa Barbara and Playa de Castillo. The seashores run all the way in which up the Mediterranean Sea and there are seaside umbrellas, seaside huts and eating places with lots of water sports activities.
Where to Stay in Gibraltar
We advocate staying on the Spanish Side of Gibraltar and strolling throughout the border. Parking might be troublesome in Gibraltar correct and driving throughout the border can have lengthy delays. However, if you’re flying in from you UK, you might have considered trying to keep immediately in Gibraltar. Here are a couple of chosen locations to keep in Gibraltar to get you began.
O’htels Campos Gibraltar is the place we stayed when visiting Gibraltar. It was fairly cheap and a simple stroll to Gibraltar. It’s situated on the West facet of city away from the seashores throughout from the Marina. There is a swimming pool, restaurant, and bar. We had a terrific view of the Rock of Gibraltar as nicely from our balcony. Check it out on TripAdvisor / Booking.com
The Rock Hotel Gibraltar is a landmark Gibraltar resort courting again to 1932. It could also be historic but it surely has been up to date with modern facilities. Being the primary, it undoubtedly has the most effective location in Gibraltar and has attracted dignitaries and film stars to its elegant location. Check it out on TripAdvisor / Booking.com
Something tells me John Lennon and Yogo Ono stayed right here once they have been married in 1969.
Sunborn Gibraltar is a floating yacht resort. The Sunborn Yacht is a 5-star luxurious superyacht that’s completely docked within the harbour. Located at Ocean Village Promenade, you’ll be within the coronary heart of the motion with the seclusion of being on a ship. There’s a on line casino on board, eating, and a swimming pool. It’s a novel luxurious selection when searching for locations to keep in Gibraltar. See it on Expedia / TripAdvisor
How to Get to Gibraltar
We rented a automotive in Marbella, Spain and drove to Gibraltar. It is a fantastic scenic drive alongside the coast and solely took us a little bit over an hour to La Linea, which is situated on the border. The border crossing is only a 5-minute stroll from the bus cease.
Our resort had parking included so we may safely retailer our automotive as we drove round. We additionally discovered it useful when visiting the seashores of the east coast. It was solely about 10 minutes to stroll to the border from our resort after which about 20 minutes to the cable automotive station of the Rock of Gibraltar.
There are common flights on British Airways and EasyJet from the United Kingdom You can fly direct to Gibraltar from London Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester, Bristol, and Edinburgh, Scotland.
Gibraltar is a well-liked cruise ship vacation spot and there have been two ships in port throughout our keep.
When visiting the South of Spain, we extremely advocate taking a street journey to Gibraltar. It is enjoyable to get one other stamp in your passport and to embody one other nation in your bucket record of locations. It is full of historic sights, stunning surroundings, out of doors points of interest, and cute wildlife. If you’re looking to go to someplace completely different, The Rock of Gibraltar is a good selection straddling the tip of two continents.