Gibraltar – monkeys on the Rock with a view
Gibraltar is British-owned, rocky peninsula on the south coast of Spain, overlooking the Strait of Gibraltar. The spectacular limestone monolith covers a land area of over six square km (2.6 square miles) and is 426 m (400ft) high. The rest of this last colony on mainland Europe consists of narrow lowland. Gibraltar is a popular holiday and business travel destination, and gateway to southern Spain.
Attractions and things to do
Beautiful views, watching wild Barbary Macaques during a Rock Tour to the Apes' Den, or dolphins in the Bay, are the main attractions in Gibraltar. But the Rock is also home to over 500 different flowering plants, and there are over 150 interesting caves and tunnels. St Michel´s Cave fascinates with all its stalagmites and stalactite, and the acoustic, when concerts and theatre performances take place here. Another cave, the Lower St Michael’s Cave has an underground lake. The 11th century Moorish castle (Tower of Homage) witnesses about the turbulent history of the Rock.
There are also six beaches in Gibraltar, three on East, and three on West side of the Rock. Sheppard’s Marina, Marina Bay and Queensway Quay Marina are the main places where water sports, such as diving and sailing, are most popular.
Moreover, whale watching one-day trips are arranged from Tarifa.
Many hotels, such as The Rock Hotel Gibraltar which is situated high on the side of the rock, offer splendid views over the Bay.
Getting here and getting around
By air: Gibraltar Airport (GIB) is located 1 km/0.6mi north of the town centre. The runway intersects Winston Churchill Avenue (!). There is regular traffic to London and Madrid. Transfer to town can be by bus, taxi or coach.
By sea: regular traffic to Tangier in Morocco; many international cruises make a stop here.
By road: from La Linea in Spain. Unlike in other British territories, you drive on the right of the road, as Gibraltar shares a land border with Spain.
Taxis in Gibraltar offer rock tours. Cars are hired mostly for longer excursions to Spain.
A cable car goes from Red Sands Road to the Apes' Den, and to the top of the Rock.
Eating out, entertainment and nightlife
Live music entertainment can be enjoyed almost every night, all year long. Bars – especially those around Casemates Square, Queensway Quay, and Marina Bay - are open until the small hours. The Ladbroke International Casino has a club with a terrace restaurant. From there, the night view over the Bay of Gibraltar is magnificent.
Gibraltarian cuisine is a mixture of Mediterranean - mainly Spanish (Andalucian), but also Maltese, and Italian - and British influences. At many restaurants you will therefore have chance to eat both pasta and for instance beef olives, as well as sweet and dry bread called Bollo de hornasso.
Gibraltar, being a tax free zone, is a good place to buy electronic goods.
There is evidence of human habitation in Gibraltar going as far back as Neanderthal man. Gibraltar, known in Ancient times as one of the mythical Pillars of Hercules, became later a launching point for Arab invasion on the Iberian Peninsula. Being always an important strategic point, the Rock was ceded in 1713 to England after the Treaty of Utrecht, and has remained a British Crown´s overseas territory since then. Several times Spain has tried to regain it; the most spectacular attempt was made during so called Great Siege (1779-83). Gibraltar is still an important base for the British Armed Forces and is the site of a Royal Navy base.
Climate & weather conditions
Mediterranean climate, with mild and dry winters, and warm summers. The temperature ranges between 20 and 35 degree Celsius. The weather changes distinctively when the hot Levante wind or westerly Poniente begins to blow.
Time zone: UTC (GMT)+1. Daytime saving time (DST) is observed.
Currency: Gibraltar pound (GIP).
Electricity: 230 V/50 Hz