Gibilterra, also known as the Rock, is a British colony located at the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula where the Mediterranean Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean. For the ancient Greeks and Romans this limestone fortress, even 426 meters high, with cliffs overlooking the sea, was one of the two Pillars of Hercules which, together with that of Jebel Musa in Morocco, marked the border of the ancient world.
Today Gibilterra is an incredible cosmopolitan city where English, Spanish, Genoese and North African cultures and stories meet.
What to see in Gibraltar
The unmistakable profile of the limestone rock of Gibraltar it stands on the extreme tip of the Iberian Peninsula, in the bay of Algeciras. A relaxing walk in Gibraltar will take you to discover the center of the city, typically English, and the Moorish castle, one of the few examples of Arab domination.
Gibraltar was the bone of contention between the Spanish and the English, so much so that it was totally destroyed during the sieges of the eighteenth century. Every sign of the Arab and Spanish domination has been replaced by British elements and stroll along the pedestrian main street it really gives the feeling of being across the Channel.
The city and the port are located on the east side of the Rocca, today a nature reserve that can be reached by funicular. From the Roll, which stands at one thousand and 400 meters above sea level, you can admire wonderful landscapes and, when the wind blows from the West, it is possible to admire the migrations of birds, such as birds of prey and storks, from Africa to Europe. In the reserve, especially at the Apes'Den, it is also possible to come into contact with the famous macaques of wild monkeys introduced in past centuries from Africa.
At the north end of the Rocca are the win tunnels, a system of tunnels over 70 kilometers long carved into the rock face during the XNUMXth century by British soldiers during the Great Siege.
Il Gibraltar Museum exhibits important artifacts about the history and dominations that followed in Gibraltar, such as the Arab baths, considered the best preserved in Europe, and a skull of a 100 year old Neanderthal woman found in this land in 1840.
Also of interest is the moving cemetery of Trafalgar, the place where the graves of the many British sailors who fell in Gibraltar following the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, and the Alameda botanical garden are located. A 20-minute walk from the funicular station is the St Michael’s Cave, a large natural cave used as a refuge by the Neolithic inhabitants of the Rocca and today used for theatrical performances and concerts. Inside there is also a café.
Guided tours of Gibraltar
You are about to leave for Andalusia and intend to do an excursion to Gibilterra? See all the guided tours and book your tour before leaving!
How to get to Gibraltar
Gibraltar has a small airport connected to the cities of London and Manchester, but it is also easily accessible from the cities of Andalusia, both by bus and by car. Very easy to reach even from the bus station of La Linea de la Concepcion it is only a five minute walk from the English border.
To enter the territory of Gibraltar by car or motorcycle, no tax is required to be paid but it is necessary to have the insurance certificate, registration documents, license plate with nationality and driving license with you. Often, to avoid the queues at the border, it is preferred to park the car in the nearby La Linea car parks and reach Gibraltar on foot.
Finally, every Friday, from the terminal in front of the bus park, an FRS ferry reaches Tangier in Morocco in about 1h15. Tickets can be purchased at Tuner & Co in 67 Irish Town.
Gibraltar is connected daily with England by the following airlines:
- GB Airways, from / to London Gatwick and London Heathrow;
- Monarch Airlines, to / from London Luton and Manchester.
How to get around Gibraltar
The stretch of road that connects the Gibraltar border to the city center is only a kilometer and a half long and is crossed by local bus lines. Almost the entire territory of Gibraltar, less than 7 square kilometers, including the upper part of the Rock, can be visited on foot, by car and by motorbike.
Many people prefer move on foot as the city center is flat but moving south the slopes begin at the base of the rock face. Some roads, especially those of the Rocca, can be very steep and in these cases we advise you to rely on taxis. La Rocca can also be reached by funicular.
From Gibraltar airport you can take bus number 9, which leaves every 15 minutes. All tickets can be purchased on the bus.
We advise you to rent a moped or a bicycle to explore Gibraltar.
Shopping in Gibraltar
Gibraltar offers many opportunities for it Shopping and not only because most of the British and international brands of the caliber of BHS, Marks & Spencer, Next, Mothercare, Mango, Peacocks, Wallis, Evans, Adams, Tommy Hilfiger, Monsoon, Oasis are located here but above all because it is exempt from VAT, the Value Added Tax, and this means the possibility of doing real bargains!
Perfumes, jewels, porcelain, crystals are just some of the most popular purchases in Gibraltar. The pedestrian Main Street, which crosses the whole city, is one of the ideal places for shopping: the shops are open all day from 10.00 to 18.00 and, even if the currency is the pound, almost all they accept the euro without problems. On Saturdays the shops close at 13.30pm and on Sundays they do not open their doors at all.
If you prefer i shopping centers head to Casemates Square, right at the start of Main Street, or Ocean Village, lined with luxury yachts and plenty of places to eat, drink and party!
Where to eat in Gibraltar
Gibraltar offers numerous restaurants and pubs where you can eat both English and Spanish specialties.
- Cafe Solo, Grand Casemates Sq 3
- Cannon Bar, 27 Cannon Lane
- Clipper, 78b Irish Town
- House of Sacarello, 57 Irish Town
- Nuno’s, Sir Herbert Miles Rd
Useful information on Gibraltar
Visas and Documents
To enter Gibraltar it is necessary to have a passport or identity card from a European Union country. Those in possession of a passport from the European Union, United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa do not need a visa.
Gibraltar Immigration Department, tel 51725
The current currencies are the Gibraltar Pound and the British Pound, which are interchangeable.
The Euro is accepted but not for public telephones and post offices. Furthermore, the exchange rate is not very favorable.
Banks are open from 9 to 15.30
In Gibraltar the shops are usually open from 10 to 18.30 and many shops belong to the largest English chains, such as Next, Body Shop, Morrisons and Marks & Spencer.
To call from abroad, dial the international access number, then the Gibraltar area code (350) and the local number.
If you are calling from Spain just dial 9567 before the local number.
If you are calling Spain from Gibraltar, dial the nine digits of the Spanish number directly.
As in Great Britain, the electric current is 220V and 240V, with three-pin flat plugs.
History of Gibraltar
The strategic position of Gibraltar has always attracted the attention of the peoples of the Mediterranean. Known in antiquity since the Phoenicians, the fortress was conquered in 711 by Tariq ibn Ziyad, the Islamic governor of Tangier, who used it as a base for the future Iberian invasion. The current name deriving from Jebel Tariq, the mountain of Tariq, is also owed to the governor.
In 1462 Castile reconquered the fortress, but in 1713 Spain, following the war of succession and the Treaty of Utrecht, was forced to cede it to Great Britain. On several occasions, such as during the American Revolution, Spain besieged Gibraltar from 1779 to 1783, but never managed to retake it.
In the 1967 referendum the Gibraltarians voted in favor of British sovereignty and today Gibraltar is a self-governing colony.
The sovereignty of Gibraltar is still a delicate point in the relations between Spain, the United Kingdom and the Government of Gibraltar, but in recent years agreements have been obtained on some other issues, such as telecommunications and the airport.