Looking for issues to do on the Rock of Gibraltar? Read on as a result of we liked 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 manner 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’re 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 lots 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 lease a automotive, you may 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 was an airport runway. We stayed at a lodge 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 essentially the most densely populated nations on the 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 an element 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 combating 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 have 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 notice that it was an unlimited dominant landmark of the complete southern tip of the Peninsula. You can see it for miles!
Also referred to as The Rock, The Rock of Gibraltar reaches 426 meters (1396 ft) 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 an enchanting 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 strains and go straight to boarding the cable automotive so we might see as a lot as doable on the Rock in a day. You should buy tickets upfront right here.
Tickets value £34.00 and a return cable automotive ticket contains 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 can even guide 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 constructed from the tunnels constructed throughout World War II. Soldiers used the rock and dust 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 lodge 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 look ahead to 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 nowadays 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 started 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 liked 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 quite a bit of apes all through the day, so we went straight to the viewing platform. The Top Station of Gibraltar seems to be over the Rock of Gibraltar and positively has the most effective view of the precise Rock.
The views are fairly unbelievable having the ability to see up the coast of Costa del Sol and its seashores, the town of Gibraltar, and Morocco in Northern Africa. We spent an excellent 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 notice these monkeys in every single 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 essential to the British empire after the battle 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 may 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 maintain your distance, we noticed two folks 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 protected distance maintaining your meals and valuables shut.
After Top Station, we walked immediately to the Skywalk. This glass ground dangles 340 meters (1115 ft) above sea stage and affords panoramic views of the encompassing space together with The Rock of Gibraltar, The Strait of Gibraltar, and Africa. It is the most recent attraction on the Rock of Gibraltar opening in 2018 with none apart 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 inside the Gibraltar Nature Reserve so after marveling on the glass ground of The Skywalk we continued by foot exploring The Upper Rock of Gibraltar. The Rock’s higher space is sort of inexperienced and crammed with crops, timber, birdlife, and lots 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 continuously needing to step out of the way in which of taxis and visitors. It’s not a tough stroll so in the event you can, it’s a nice expertise to stroll alongside the paths.
St. Michaels Cave
St. Michael’s Cave shouldn’t 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 1000’s of years. It is one of the preferred sights 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 look like a vacationer entice, it truly is sort of spectacular. The colours assist to spotlight the formations with a formation that really seems to be like an angel with wings. The Angel was solely just lately found in the course of the creation of this multimedia show referred to as The Awakening. It was introduced to gentle in the course of the gentle present, however even when the lights went down, the define of the angel’s wings was as clear as might be.
It really is a phenomenal cave that has been an essential place since Roman instances 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 manner up a stone path probably not realizing the place we have been going. But upon arrival, we have been completely satisfied we went. O’Hara’s Battery affords one other unbelievable view from the highest of the Rock. Standing tall at 421 meters it’s the highest accessible level on the Rock of Gibraltar.
Here you’ll find an extended tunnel main from strategic heat rooms at Lord Airey’s Battery and Spur Battery. The tunnel comes out at an enormous cannon and while 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 parts.
If you want strolling throughout suspension bridges, be sure to go to Windsor Bridge. The Windsor suspension bridge is a 71-meter-lengthy (233 ft) bridge dangling 50 meters (165 ft) over a deep gorge. It’s situated between two batteries alongside the Royal Anglian Way however don’t fear, in the event you don’t need to cross the bridge, you may take the trail alongside the mountain when you’ve got a concern of heights.
We took this manner from St. Michael’s Cave en route to the Ape’s Den. The indicators will not be nicely marked from the highway, however when strolling towards the bridge be sure to comply with the trail that veers left from the highway.
One of the fascinating sights on the Rock of Gibraltar was the location of the Great Siege. It tells the story of the 4-yr-lengthy battle lasting from 1779 – 1783 when Spain tried to recapture Gibraltar from the British. You can stroll by 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 you can 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 ft lengthy (25m) into the Rock. By the time the siege ended 4 years later, the tunnels reached 370 ft (113m) lengthy and had 4 weapons stating 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 manner 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 essential it was to cling onto Gibraltar to maintain the Germans and Italians from transferring into Europe by Spain.
There are a whopping 52 kilometers (34 miles) of tunnels contained in the Rock of Gibraltar which is sort of astounding contemplating the complete 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 protected space to sleep and escape air raids. There was a complete group underground containing hospitals, bakeries, meals and drinks, and lodging. There can 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 metallic platform weaving by the a whole bunch of headstones laid all through the location. 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 climbing 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 ft) to 420 meters (1377 ft) above sea stage. 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 every time we came across them crossing our path. They appear to be quite a bit of enjoyable because the slender path winds alongside the excessive rocky cliffs.
An airstrip could also be a wierd 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 the border of Spain and Gibraltar.
Whether you’re arriving by automotive, bicycle, bike, or strolling, you should have to cross the touchdown strip of the airport. The primary highway of Gibraltar, Winston Churchill Boulevard runs proper by 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 the planet and one of the world’s scariest airports due to the truth that the airstrip leads immediately out to the ocean.
What stunned 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 unbelievable lengthy sandy seashores of Costa del Sol, Spain. We spent our time on the seashore 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 seashore umbrellas, seashore huts and eating places with a lot of water sports activities.
Where to Stay in Gibraltar
We suggest staying on the Spanish Side of Gibraltar and strolling throughout the border. Parking might be tough in Gibraltar correct and driving throughout the border can have lengthy delays. However, in case you are flying in from you UK, it’s your decision 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 an excellent 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 lodge courting again to 1932. It could also be historic nevertheless it has been up to date with modern facilities. Being the primary, it positively 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 lodge. 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 on the lookout 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 phenomenal 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 lodge had parking included so we might safely retailer our automotive as we drove round. We additionally discovered it helpful when visiting the seashores of the east coast. It was solely about 10 minutes to stroll to the border from our lodge 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 suggest taking a highway 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 crammed with historic sights, lovely surroundings, out of doors sights, and cute wildlife. If you’re looking to go to someplace totally different, The Rock of Gibraltar is a good selection straddling the tip of two continents.