Gibraltar

Enjoy the sights of Gibraltar by day and the entertainment at night! The destination is packed with history and natural heritage, but in addition it boasts all the modern amenities that you would expect in a bustling European City.

Despite its compact size, Gibraltar surprises thousands of visitors each year with its range of activities and attractions that appeal to all age groups. Situated at the point where the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean meet, it is no surprise that Gibraltarian life thrives on an abundance of water sports. These range from dolphin safaris in the bay to jet skiing, pleasure sailing and scuba diving.

If you are looking to maximise your time and experience a flavour of what's on offer, why not book an official rock tour which takes about an hour and half. The sights visited are a fundamental part of the Gibraltar's rich heritage and will give you a genuine insight into the city's past and present. Attractions on the tour include the Nature Reserve, St. Michael's Cave, the last resting place of Neanderthal man, the Medieval Castle, the world famous Barbary ape den, the Great Siege Tunnels which were dug out by the forerunners of the Royal Engineers to defend Gibraltar from attack, and The City Under Siege Exhibition.

Rock tours are available by taxi or coach at all points of entry. To experience some of the sights on foot, there are also a number of official walking tours, which will take you on historical and architectural trails through the main city centre.

A broad choice of restaurants, bars and cafes can be found along Main Street and in Casemates Square, along with high street shops and boutiques selling an excellent range of VAT free goods, including jewellery and time pieces, perfumery, electrical goods, alcohol and tobaccos.

Nightlife is equally varied with a wide choice of lively restaurants and bars and an excellent casino club.

Dolphin Watching Trips

There are three species of dolphin commonly found in the Bay of Gibraltar: the Common Dolphin, the Striped Dolphin and the large Bottled-Nosed Dolphin; and it is quite common to see dolphin schools of all ages and sizes.

A dolphin watching trip is the most enjoyable way of seeing these fascinating mammals up close.

The cost for the tours is generally not at all exorbitant, costing about 20 to 35 Euros for a two hour tour. Quite often if you see no whales or dolphins during your trip the whale watching tours of Gibraltar will refund your money for the trip.

Enquiries & Info:

St. Michael's Cave

Lower St. Michael's Cave was accidentally discovered whilst blasting a second entrance at St Michael's Cave in order to prepare it for use as an emergency hospital during the Second World War. Full of crystalised nature, the cave also boasts a beautiful underground lake.

It is the most visited of the more than 150 caves found inside the Rock of Gibraltar, receiving almost 1,000,000 visitors a year.

St. Michael's Cave can be reached by car, taxi, cable car or by foot. Tickets are priced at £10.00 which also includes entrance to two of the other major tourist sites on The Rock, namely the Moorish Castle and the Great Siege Tunnels.

Nature Reserve - Upper Rock

The flora and fauna of the Upper Rock Nature Reserve are of conservation interest and are protected by law. Within it is a range of animals and plants, but the highlights are the Barbary Macaques (the famous Rock Apes), the Barbary Partridges, and flowers such as Gibraltar's own Chickweed, Thyme and the Gibraltar Candytuft.

The Barbary Macaques may have originated from an escape of North African animals transported to Spain; it is also possible that the original Gibraltar macaques are a remnant of populations that are known to have spread throughout Southern Europe during the Pliocene, up to 5½ million years ago.

Alameda Botanical Gardens

Red Sands Road Daily 08.00am until sunset. Admission: Free


Cable Car - Grand Parade

The Cable Car is located at the southern end of Main Street right next to the Alameda Botanical Gardens. It is easier to catch a no.3 bus that departs from the Frontier or from various bus stops on Line Wall Road. This will drop you off on Grand Parade, just tell the bus driver you want to go to the Cable Car and they will point you in the right direction.

Opening Times: 09:30-19:15, 7 days a week.

Last Cable Car down: 19:45 except 1 Nov to 31 Mar 09:30-17:15 when last Cable Car down is 17:45.

The Cable Car runs continuously throughout the day, approx every 10 min. No reservation is required.

World War II Tunnel - Shay's Level Upper Rock

Excavated during 1939-1944 the tunnels and are an extension to The Great Siege Tunnels excavated during The Great Siege of 1778-83. Monday to Saturday: 10.30am until 17.30pm (Closed Sundays) Admission: £6 (must have purchased a Nature Reserve ticket on the same day).


Gibraltar Museum - Bomb House Lane

Monday to Friday: 10.00am until 18.00pm Saturday: 10.00am until 14.00pm Closed Sunday Admission: Adults £2 / Children under 12 years £1, Infants under 5 Free.

Currency

The legal tender is the Gibraltar pound. UK pounds have exactly the same value and are equally welcome. There is no restriction on the amount of money that can be brought in or taken out of Gibraltar. Euros are widely accepted in shops, restaurants and so on.


Health

No specific vaccinations are required for Gibraltar, Spain or North Africa.


Climate

The average temperature at that time of year is 15-18° C.


Transport

It is neither necessary, nor particularly desirable, to bring your own car. Since Gibraltar is only about 6 square kilometres, it is very easy to get around. You may however prefer to hire a car at Malaga Airport.


Shopping

Gibraltar is a VAT-free shoppers' paradise.

History

Gibraltar is a British overseas territory located on the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula at the entrance of the Mediterranean. A peninsula with an area of 6.843 square kilometres (2.642 sq mi), it has a northern border with Andalusia, Spain. The Rock of Gibraltar is the major landmark of the region. At its foot is the densely populated city area, home to almost 30,000 Gibraltarians and other nationalities.

An Anglo-Dutch force captured Gibraltar in 1704 during the War of the Spanish Succession. The territory was subsequently ceded to Britain by Spain "in perpetuity" under the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713. It was an important base for the British Royal Navy; today its economy is based largely on tourism, financial services, and shipping.

The sovereignty of Gibraltar is a major point of contention in Anglo-Spanish relations as Spain asserts a claim to the territory. Gibraltarians resoundingly rejected proposals for Spanish sovereignty in referenda held in 1967 and 2002. Under its 2006 constitution Gibraltar governs its own affairs, though some powers, such as defence and foreign relations, remain the responsibility of the UK Government

Evidence of Neanderthal habitation in Gibraltar between 128,000 and 24,000 BC has been discovered at Gorham's Cave, making Gibraltar the last known holdout of the Neanderthals. Within recorded history, the first inhabitants were the Phoenicians, around 950 BC. Subsequently, Gibraltar became known as one of the Pillars of Hercules, after the Greek legend of the creation of the Strait of Gibraltar by Heracles. The Carthaginians and Romans also established semi-permanent settlements. After the collapse of the Roman Empire, Gibraltar came briefly under the control of the Vandals. The area later formed part of the Visigothic Kingdom of Hispania until the Islamic conquest of Iberia in 711 AD. Seven centuries of Arab Muslims control ended when Gibraltar was recaptured by the Duke of Medina Sidonia in 1462 as part of the Spanish Reconquista.

Gibraltar is a British overseas territory. The British Nationality Act 1981 granted Gibraltarians full British citizenship.

Under its current Constitution, Gibraltar has almost complete internal democratic self-government through an elected parliament, elected for a term of up to four years. The unicameral Parliament presently consists of seventeen elected members, and the Speaker who is not elected, but appointed by a resolution of the Parliament.

The Government consists of ten elected members. The head of state is Queen Elizabeth II, who is represented by the Governor of Gibraltar. Defence, foreign policy and internal security are formally the responsibility of the Governor; judicial and other appointments are also made on behalf of the Queen in consultation with the head of the elected government.

Gibraltar's main religion is Christianity. The great majority (78%) of Gibraltarians belong to the Roman Catholic Church. The sixteenth century Saint Mary the Crowned is the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Gibraltar, and also the oldest Catholic church in the territory.