I had read many rubbsh reviews of Gibraltar before we went and wlthouh determined to make up my own mind, I must admit I was apprensive about using up a day of our Andalucia trip in order to visit it. I needn't have worried. In fact I could probably have spent three days there. However, I'm not sure I would have stayed in a hotel there. Let me explain: all the bars and many of the restaurants seem to have been geared towards the British tourist who wants nothing more than to eat egg and chips on his holidays. WHile a certain measure of this wouldn't offend me, I think the sheer volume of these places would have me holed up in my hotel room!
However, by day, in terms of attractions and shops Gibraltar was a delight. there is plenty to keep you occupied, it's possible to spend a full day on the rock itself with the apes, wandering round the caves and tunnels there and using the cable car.
There are some decent shops, although a lot are British shops so may show yo exactly what you've jus left behind in good ol Blighty. However we found a nice little jewellery shop on Casemate square and a few others worth a look.
The best part of our trip was relatively unadvertised-having some time to kill before our dolphin-watching trip, we headed towards the ferry terminal and there we found Ocean village. Now, it's intended to be an apartment village muchlike you'd see in a larger british city with restaurants and shops on the ground floor and accomodation above. To us, it was a little gem! We had been lookingfor somewhere to eat lunch and on the previous street had been faced with dodgy-looking kebab shop, dodgy-looking curry restaurant etc etc. Here, at the rear of Ocean Village we found a line of decent, clean restaurants (mainly chains like Pizza Express) whre we could get a decent meal! We tried the curry at Laziz and it was Brilliant! Thoroughly recommended and streets ahead of what was to be found in the city centre. The setting was amazing too-a purpose built pier housing all the restaurants and shops, giving a great view of the water.
The dolphin trip was also outstanding, 20 Euros each and an hour and a half of watching amazing creatures in their natural habitat. We went with DOlphin world which was easy to find, good value and very organised. A must do
There was plenty we didn't do on Gibraltar as we didn't have time so we will be returning at some point to try again.
One more note: Don't try and drive there, the queues in and out of he border can be horrendous. We parked our car for free on the street in La linea (there's a very long road with parking bays running alongside the road you will drive towards Gibraltar on, just turn off on of the roundabouts and pick a space). The walk into Gibraltar will be 20-40 minutes depending on where you park but all you have to do is show your passport, takes all of five seconds. once through the door, get on the red open top tourist bus-it has ten stops and an all day ticket will cost you £1.20!
One of the places which we visited whilst onboard the Royal Caribbean ship Independence Of The Seas , was Gibraltar ; a Spanish island , just above the top of Africa , which is part of the United Kingdom.
I hadn't visited Gibraltar before , and so because I hadn't been abroad before , this was the first 'foreign country' (even if it is a part of the UK) that I stepped foot on , and so I was a bit scared , although my sister and her boyfriend who had said that it was a really nice place and that they had enjoyed their experience there a couple of years back.
When leaving the ship , we were greeted by a load of taxi drivers , who after seeing that we were quite a big-ish group (there was seven of us) , that we would fill their seven and eight seater buses up. We were debating whether or not to take up their offer , of going up to the rocks , when we thought 'why not?' and so we paid $22 dollars each for our own personal tour.
We went up to the rocks ; on the way up I was quite scared , as the hills were very steep , and the mini bus we were on didn't sound too healthy , so you can imagine how I felt on the way down , especially as it would have so easy to over the cliff!
The view from the top of the rocks was spectacular - it took your breath away. It was a great sunny day , and the weather was warm , and so the sunshine lit up the whole town. It was a great view and I took loads of photographs (some of which I have added to this review). As we went further up the hill we made stops every five minutes or so , so that we could stop and take a look at the view , which was amazing.
My sister told me that there were loads of wild monkeys on top of the hill and that they were really cute and friendly. However , when we got up to where the monkeys were , I was too scared to get out of the car ; they were surrounding the car and were eyeing us up as thought they were ready to jump on you. There were steps leading up to a rock which we went up and when we turned round to come back down , there was a mother monkey breastfeeding it's baby monkey (exactly like humans) right at the bottom of the steps ; I was too petrified to go past and was relieved to get back in the taxi.
We also visited a cave on top of the rocks ; it was absolutely massive. Apparently it was set up as an emergency hospital during World War 2. I had never been in a cave before and so was quite scared , especially as we were in a foreign country. We were told we could have fifteen minutes in there before going back in the taxi to continue the tour. All I could think about while I was in the cave , was of a kids' television programme I used to watch when I was younger called Jungle Run , which was like a game show for kids ; I always remember at the end they would go in this cave and if they didn't get out in time , the cave would close and they would be shut in there!! Luckily it was ok.
We also went to a kind of museum at the top of the rock too , although it was quite 'dark and spooky' and so I didn't go too far. There were models of soldiers and 'war machinary' in here.
Once we'd got down from the rocks , we went shopping in the town centre. I'm not really a big fan of shopping , especially as I had been on SO MANY shopping trips buying loads of clothes etc for my holiday , so the last thing I wanted to do was shop , when there were other things to do. Although , the rest of the group wanted to look at the shops and so that's what we did. I was a bit disappointed with the shops as they were exactly like the ones we get here such as ; Monsoon and Claire's Acessories and so it was exactly like shopping back home and so it was boring. The only thing that I bought was a postcard to stick in a scapbook (which I have yet to buy) of all the places I have visited , so nothing exciting really. You could even pay in British Pounds or by using the Gibraltar pound which is similar to the British pound.
I was so excited when we walked passed a pet shop and there were puppies and kittens in the window ; they were so cute , although I did think that it was a bit cruel advertising them in the window.
* Extra Points *
The people were friendly (most of them) and spoke English and Spanish.
The streets were clean although sometimes you'd get a sudden whiff of sewage!
While I was there , I thought that it was an ok place (I loved the views from the top of the rock - absolutely beautiful - check out the pics) ,although because that was the place we first visited it , I wasn't sure what to expect. Now that I have seen the other ports we visited (Barcelona , Ibiza , Vigo , Corsica , Cannes , Lisbon and Malaga) , Gibraltar wasn't half as good as the other places , and most of us agreed , although my sister still said that she liked the place. It was too much like Britain for me (not in a bad way , just that being in another country , I had expected something different).
I would recommend visiting Gibraltar - to see the amazing views and monkeys. Although , I personally wouldn't go there again.
Thanks for reading!
June 22nd 2010
xd-o-n-z-x (also posted on ciao under xdonzx)
If Disney made theme parks based on British high streets (admittedly an unappetising prospect, but you know, if ...) they'd be something like Gibraltar. Scores upon dozens of traditional pubs and similarly "classic" grub, long-standing high-street chains, red telephone boxes and old-fashioned police hats, heavily-accented barmaids who call you "luv" five times a minute - the pebbledash mixture recalls an imagined Britain that probably never existed quite like this.
Yet although its sweaty centre often has the feel of a Little Englander's wet dream, there's more to Gibraltar. I'd say more than meets the eye, but its most intriguing and enjoyable diversion is also its most apparent; towering nearly 500 metres above the busy streets that surround it, Gibraltar's Rock is deservedly the territory's principal attraction, and its appeal comes from more than just monkeys. Raised above and contrasting with the curious collision of cultures that is the town below, the Rock offers a sense of perspective from where to make sense of Gibraltar all the better.
Like Andalucía above it, Gibraltar experienced a lengthy Moorish past - taking its name from the Arabic for Rock of Tariq - although the legacy of this period feels less marked here than in the neighbouring Spanish region. The British arrived in the early 18th century, and although relationships with Spain have proved rocky, a hybrid Gibraltarian identity (and accent) seems to have developed that owes plenty to both Britain and Spain whilst at once being something quite separate.
Entering Gibraltar by foot is quick and easy - although be prepared to wait if an aircraft also wants to use the runway which doubles as the only road in and out. The Spanish border has had a reputation for being the titular hard place for its queues and over-officiousness, but the experience seemed anything but as we were waved through. Buses from across the Spanish south arrive in La Linea de la Concepcion, the town lying the other side of the border, and it's a fifteen-twenty minute walk into the centre of Gibraltar from here. Buses run from the border onwards, but the walk, besides being short, offers a swift introduction to the weird world that is - in look, feel and fragrance - something akin to small-town Britain minus fifteen years, plus fifteen degrees. Winston Churchill avenue, Marks & Spencer, fish and chips and Sunday roasts bask in twenty-something degree warmth in March, shoppers order Guinness with their tapas and people codeswitch freely and loosely between English and Spanish.
Ten or so minutes from the border, the Landport tunnel (once the only way in and out of the town) takes pedestrians into bar-lined Casemates Square, part elegant design, part ill-judged 60s concrete dinosaur (and is that Ka-'sem-a-tees or 'Kase-maytes? I assume the former, but recognise a tendency to get these things wrong). From here, the high street forges a path south, roughly parallel to the Rock, ending by the Cable Car station (an £8 ride to the top). Both Pound and Euro are accepted throughout Gibraltar, although your pocket will thank you for using the British/Gibraltar currency. Euro-Pound exchange rates vary from the reasonable (generally speaking, when you're receiving money) to the ridiculous (when you're giving it). Special mention to the entry point to the Upper Rock nature reserve by the Pillars of Hercules for its world-unique rate of two Euros to one Pound, a ratio sadly not replicated at the banks in town.
There's not much to recommend about the town in Gibraltar, although there are some nice spots to drink and people-watch along the main streets. The Rock, however, makes the territory well worth visiting, for both its views and attractions. Of the options for ascending to its heights, walking is the cheapest (£0.50 per person to enter the nature reserve which covers the top of the Rock), while driving is the most expensive (£10 per adult passenger) - the Cable Car makes for an in-between option that comes with the advantage of sensational views of the Straits of Gibraltar, Bay of Algeciras and the shores of Africa. The ascent is quick and stops at a middle station - many monkeys in the Apes' Den - before reaching the top of the Rock, with more exceptional views, more monkeys and a chance to explore the Rock's other attractions. A £10 ticket covers admission to the principal sites; St Michael's Cave, a stalagmite/tite-lined grotto, the Siege tunnels (relics of the 1779-83 conflict, when Spanish and French forces tried to reclaim the territory), the City under Siege exhibition and so-so Islamic castle, a modest example of Moorish architecture in a region bursting with wondrous alternatives. Decide for yourself if the price is worth it, but attractions play second fiddle to views and monkeys.
Although the monkeys have a bit of a bad reputation, they're pretty docile creatures who seem to react to gross stupidity. Plenty of people ignore the multitude of warnings around the Rock in believing they're in a petting zoo, and occasionally the apes object to this, although they're likely do no worse than relieve you of any food you leave exposed. An interesting series of displays at the Cable Car station (upper Rock) fill you in on the individuals and hierarchies within the clan that live closest by. Guided tours are available that'll take you up and around the Rock, but it's not difficult to make the trip independently; head up Europa Road by the Botanical Gardens at the end of the high street, continue up Engineer Road, enter the reserve and switchback up Queens Road. Ignore the path to the right, then take any of the three routes which branch off ahead to reach a long, vertiginous staircase which carries you to the summit. Retrace your steps or continue northwards to return to town.
There's more to the territory than Rock and town, but nothing you won't find elsewhere. Catalan Bay, on the east side of the peninsula is a quieter area with decent beaches and there's an interesting Mosque on the southern tip - this is, though a destination well-suited to a day trip. While the town makes a mixed impression at best, climbing the Rock is a fascinating excursion that offers something quite different to Andalucía to the north and west. Magical views, Moorish ruins, monkeys and Marks & Spencer; a combination that could only be offered, perhaps, by Gibraltar.
Fewer places can offer so much to do in a day than Gibraltar. Standing majestically on the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula with stunning views over the Rif Mountains of Morocco, the colony has historically been an important base for the British Forces, and is easily reached from the Spanish holiday resorts on the Costa del Sol. The Gibraltarians are deeply patriotic and are proud of their association with all things British. Union Jacks flutter from apartments in the gentle Mediterranean breeze, the pubs and cafes on Main Street tempt weary tourists with full English breakfast, fish and chips and a pint of bitter. Familiar high street names like Marks and Spencer, Mothercare and BHS mingle with traditional retailers selling leather, fine porcelain and glassware. Explore the narrow lanes and alleyways seeking out duty free bargains as you head along Main Street towards Casemates Square, once the site of public executions, and now a trendy plaza lined with fashionable cafes and bars.
Head for Europa Point, the views of Africa are exceptional on a clear day or evening. The lighthouse at the Point is 150 years old and still in service today, it is the only one outside Britain managed by Trinity House. Looking out over the Straights of Gibraltar it is clear why the Rock has been strategically important during many bitter conflicts, a legacy which has left many relics from a fascinating military history. Along the coast near the Spanish port of Cadiz, Admiral Nelson engaged with the Franco Spanish fleet at the Battle of Trafalgar. The battle was Britain's greatest naval victory, but Nelson was hit by a French sharpshooter and mortally wounded. His body was brought back to Gibraltar before returning to England for the last time. The Trafalgar cemetery on the edge of town is a wonderfully peaceful place amid the hustle and bustle of daily life of Gibraltar. The Grave stones name some of the young sailors who died during the battle.
Among the most impressive of the fortifications of Gibraltar are the Southport Gates, a series of walls and fortifications that were part of Gibraltar's defences for literally hundreds of years. Other fortifications worth a look at are The Ragged Staff Gates, The Grand Casemates Gates, South Bastion and Kings Bastion.
There are over 30 miles of man-made tunnels inside the Rock of Gibraltar. That's more tunnels than there are roads. The Great Siege Tunnels were hollowed out during the longest siege in Gibraltarian history, lasting from 1779 to 1783. In order to repel the Spanish and French forces, tunnels were dug into the rock by the soldier artificers to house the canons. The tunnels are open to the public and will give you an idea of the terrible conditions the soldiers had to fight in. Imagine the noise of the canon being fired inside the tunnel. The tunnels lead down hill into the rock and out to the other side with impressive views of Catalan bay from the observation platform, be careful how deep you go its a long climb back to daylight.
No trip to Gibraltar would be complete without a visit to the upper rock nature reserve. This can be reached by car but the road is narrow and winding. It is probably wiser to take one of the organised rock tours by taxi or coach, or for those with a head for heights take the cable car. As well as being home to around 240 Barbary apes, there is an abundance of other wildlife to see including over 300 species of birds, 600 species of plants, red foxes and mouse eared bats. Legend has it that when the apes leave Gibraltar so will the British. Also worth visiting in the reserve are the Pillars of Hercules and St Michaels cave a fantastic natural grotto filled stalactites and stalagmites. Cathedral cave is now used for concerts because of fantastic acoustics. The upper nature reserve was the location for the daring chase scene in the 1987 James Bond film "The living Daylights".
Sometimes it`s nice just to relax and the stunning Catalan bay is an ideal place to soak up the sun and take a dip in the crystal waters of the Mediterranean. Sip an ice cold beer in the cafes and bars along the harbour or cruise in the calm waters watching the dolphins.
Gibraltar is an exciting and intriguing place, full of history and has something for everyone as long as you are prepared to look. The people are friendly and you have all the comforts of home. Travelling from the Costa del Sol will cost around £10 to £15 by coach and takes about 1 or 2 hours
Gibraltar is in Spain but belongs to the UK and there have been many issues with all this in the past. I have made a few trips over to this great and fantastic country and have always found other things to try out and places to explore. The first thing I have to point out is the amazing view from the air when you are coming into land. The second thing is that you land on a high street - this is not a joke - they shut off the high street and you land. This is quite a sight when you get off the plane and you can watch other planes coming in, but for people not to keen on flying I would say think before you leap.
Gibraltar is not a very hard place to navigate really and you have a choice of getting buses or a taxi once you leave the airport or even hire a car if you are going to leave Gibraltar and explore parts of Spain. All modes of transport are reasonably priced. Gibraltar can be a shock to some to start off with because nearly all people on the island speak fantastic English; I have only found the elders to not be too great on their English.
Where to stay -
I can only comment on two hotels but I know for a fact that these are the best two on the island and both carry four stars in conjunction with the Gibraltar hotel grading scheme. They are:
Caleta Hotel - which is located on the east side of the rock and is situated no more than five minutes away from the airport. It is right next to the beach and has some amazing views overlooking the sea and on a very clear day you can see Morocco to the south and get some great pictures. There are some fantastic little restaurants located on the beach front and a great convenience store where you can get all the essentials. For those out there that are looking for a safe beach which is manned by lifeguards the beach next to the Caleta is and can give you piece of mind. The Caleta is more on the higher scale of the price range but with a great gym, swimming pool which I found a bit small, and being 30 seconds away from the beach its well worth splashing the cash as the rooms are spacious with all what is to be expected - TV, bath and shower, ceiling fan and also tea and coffee making facilities. I was lucky enough on my last visit to have a sea view balcony and I got thrown in bathrobe and slippers and air con but the best bit was being able to wake up and open the doors and take in the fresh air and look out at the amazing views.
The Rock Hotel - which has more of a central location than the Caleta and is closer to the centre and also the rock tours. It has 104 rooms all of which offer very much the same as above but what I remember most was the fantastic lounge area which I found very spacious and I got some great views of the rock. The swimming pool is a lot different than the Caleta's as it can be easily viewed by people who are making their way up the rock but you can get some great aerial shots off the hotel to show friends and family where you stayed. The restaurant is very nice but pricey and I never found the need to eat here as there is so much on offer in town no more than a five minute walk away. Now to comment on the famous Rock Casino and this is where you find all the blokes and then the women in the hair and beauty side where they offer all types of make up and massage deals. I would say this is more for people looking to be closer to everything and looking to indulge a slight bit more but for views, the quiet life and value for money Caleta is my number one.
To find out what other accommodation Gibraltar has to offer the best website to visit is www.gibraltar.gov.uk and they have a great link to look at all hotels, self catering units and also for youth hostels for the backpackers amongst us.
What to do -
Well the main attraction is the rock which is an amazing thing to see, but being a keen walker it is even better to walk up which I have done on two occasions and both times I have come back and have been knackered. It is a great walk up some very steep hills which are alongside the roadway so be cautious. There are no places to stop on the way up so take plenty of drink to keep hydrated but it's well worth going up with all the views and I would give yourself four hours. The alternative to this is the cable car which my mum nearly freaked out when she saw it but I suppose you would if you suffer from vertigo. The cable car gives you a great view over the marina and once at the top you get to see the monkeys which are very cheeky indeed. These are wild monkeys and some are very big in size so it is advised not to go up there eating food and keep your handbag close. Thinking back the cable car was very cheap but if you would like to splash out that bit more you can get a 4 x 4 jeep up there which also does other attractions as part of the tour.
As mentioned previously there are the beaches which are Camp Bay and Little Bay and then my favourite next to the Caleta which is Catalan Bay.
For the ladies, Gibraltar is a VAT free jurisdiction and everything is really cheap with a pack of 200 cigarettes costing only £9! There is some serious shopping to be had down on Main Street with lots of fantastic everyday British shops as well as some great little souvenir outlets. Just off Main Street is Casemates Square which is one of my most favourite spots in the world. There are a variety of pubs and clubs and a lovely seating area which in the summer is just magic. As with shops there are some fave British fast food restaurants, Burger King and Pizza Hut, all in the Square and access is very easy from any direction. This is also were I have had one of my best ever nights out when we went to a bar/club called Latinos and, unlike in England where I feel the bloke next to me wants to bottle me, I felt at ease and it involved being able to get up on the tables and having a good dance and I found the locals very nice. Casemates is great to go if you have a family or are a couple and there are lovely lights in the square at night and meals are all reasonably priced.
We visited a great market over the border in La Linea and was amazed at how many stalls there were and they were not selling junk either. Just remember to take your passport to border control and be prepared to get grilled when coming back into Gibraltar regarding any purchases.
For those of you with green fingers and people with a keen eye for photography there is a lovely selection of gardens for you to visit, these are the Alameda Gardens.
Gibraltar also has an amazing marina where you are able to see up close what many of us are not offered and that is the massive boats docked up there. From the marina you can do a dolphin tour, but as with most tours seeing the dolphins is not a definite but the boat ride is very nice anyway. In the marina there are amazing views all around Gibraltar and there is a selection of restaurants for you to choose from. My favourite has to be Bianca's which sells a variety to keep everyone happy and all at a reasonable price. For all the plane enthusiasts among us you can get some amazing views of the planes landing as the runway is maybe a quarter of a mile from the marina with only a metal fence to separate you from it.
For those sports buffs out there you can visit Gibraltar's national stadium and just walk in there as the gate always seems to be open. It is not exactly Wembley but it is worth a visit to say you have been there.
Almost forgot, there is Saint Michael's caves which are situated within the rock and you are able to go in there yourself or can do a tour. This is well recommend for anyone who is into natural rock formations and the like. The sheer size of it was what amazed me and to think of it being within the rock and all the rock on top of me did make me a little nervous.
Overall I think Gibraltar is an amazing country and with Africa and Spain next door you have a lot of travelling that can be done from this base. It is very friendly and due to many speaking English you can go there with ease knowing someone can help you. There is so much to do for such a small place and is perfect for everyone. You can get cheap flights and I would recommend Monarch as the airline to choose. Gibraltarian people are very proud of their country and will let you know it if you ever get in a conversation with a local about it. I would recommend you try all of the above and it will help you uncover a little hidden treasure and remember that you don't have to worry about changing any money up as the currency is the British pound. For anyone who loves England this is pretty much the same but with the sun.
Gibraltar is one of my favourite holiday destinations and I have been going there almost every year since I was a toddler. I even lived out there for a couple of months when I was about 7 and I plan to move out there in the future and spend a few months working. My uncle married a Gibraltarian woman which is the main reason that we go out there so much to see her family but, even if I didn't have family out there, I would still have regular holidays there.
~ Things to do ~
Although just a small country, there is so much to see and do in Gibraltar. The main attraction is obviously the rock which gives you amazing views over the rest of the country and you can also see out to Africa from the top (Europa Point). All over the rock, mainly at the top, you will find the cheeky Barbary Apes. There are a lot of these and, although cute and fun to watch, they are not at all shy and will try to jump on you or even try to steal your bag. You used to be able to fed them but since they stopped this, the monkeys now have to go out looking for their food. So if they see someone with a plastic bag or smell food they will try and get if off you. This can even happen down in the street so as soon as you see one hide your bag! You can drive half way up the rock in your car and then walk the rest of the way or you can take a quick cable car up to the top but I wouldn't suggest this if you don't like heights and are not keen on hanging up high over the ground on a thin wire!
The marina full of sailing boats of yachts is gorgeous and has some great restaurants and bars where you can sit outside and enjoy the warm evenings. Bianca's is the best restaurant and offers a full menu, bar snacks or just drinks. The owners and the manager are all lovely and friendly and the food is simply delicious - try the cheesy chips at the bar. From the marina you can book sailing, fishing or dolphin trips where they take you out on a boat to spot some wild dolphins and you can even swim with them. You can also book boat trips over to Morocco.
In the centre of town, Main Street is packed with shops including Marks & Spencer and Topshop. Casemates Square has great souvenir shops and cafes in the day, as well as Pizza Hut and Burger King, and at night the bars and restaurants bring their chairs outside and start the music up. Weeknights are very quiet though but at the weekends the whole of Gibraltar is out. If you take a wander up some of the small side streets you'll find some more lovely little bars and pubs.
The main beaches are Calatlan Bay, which is further away from town and so less packed, and Camp Bay and Little Bay are the bigger and more crowded beaches.
There is a huge cheap market just across the border into La Linea, Spain (take a right and keep on walking once you've crossed the border). The market is on Wednesdays I think but check this before you go it may have changed. To get to the border you need to cross the airway strip at the airport. Yes, you have to actually walk or drive across the landing and taking off strip for the planes. When a plane is due the barriers are lowered and bells go off so you know when one's coming but it's still pretty scary and I usually hurry across even if I've got plenty of time!
Other attractions include:
- St Michael's Caves - half way up the rock with amazing stalagmites and stalactites where musical shows and operas are often held inside.
- The Alameda Gardens - beautiful gardens which has a spot you can even get married in.
- Spend some cash at the International Casino
- Take a history tour of fortresses and World War II tunnels
~ Accommodation ~
The hotels are The Caleta, The Rock, O'Callaghan Elliot, Cannon, Queen's, and Bristol. The Caleta (see my other review on this) is the best in my opinion. Although fairly expensive, it is in the nicest location with practically it's own beach with steps leading down to it, and is just a brilliant hotel. The Rock is the most expensive and is more of a black tie hotel. The others are the cheaper options but they are not as nice as the Caleta and I'd always pay the extra to stay here.
~ General ~
The benefits of holidaying in Gibraltar, especially at this time when the strength of the pound is so bad, is that you can use your English money there. Most people also speak English so you will have no trouble when speaking to anyone.
Shopping and duty free is ridiculously cheap here with a packet of 200 Benson & Hedges costing only £8.50! It's a shame that you're only allowed to take 200 home per person though.
Flights to Gibraltar can be pricey and so can accommodation but the website mygibraltar.co.uk sometimes offer good deals.
Getting married in Gibraltar is perfect and we have had 3 family weddings out there including mine. We got married in the garden of The Caleta Hotel and then had photographs taken down on the beach. The Caleta has a great reception room and their wedding planner is lovely and helpful.
~ History and People ~
Since 1704 Gibraltar has been British and still is today. The country has played a part in some of the most famous episodes of British history including the Battle of Trafalgar and is where Nelson's body was brought to after the battle ended. The Gibraltarians want it to stay British which is why they don't get on particularly well with the Spanish (as you will witness from the rude Spanish guards if you go across the border).
The people are some of the friendliest you will ever meet and there is never any danger or crime here. As I said above, the main language spoken is English but some do still speak Spanish or a mixture of both which is called ' Llanito'.
~ Overall ~
Gibraltar is a wonderful place to take a holiday but I definitely wouldn't recommend it for a young adult holiday with a group of friends. It's more suited to families, couples or the older generation.
It's like a second home to me and every time I go there I feel so relaxed and happy and never want to leave. Hopefully I'll be going again soon because I haven't been there since our wedding in 2007 and I miss it so much!
Gibraltar is located on the edge of Spain yet belongs to the UK.
The main focus is the rock.
Gibraltar is quite a hit with all it's history & uniqiness.
At the bottom of the rock you have the high street which contains BHS, M&S, Mothercare, Lego Shop, Burger King, Sainsburys Or Somerfeild & many other shops. (Well it had these 3 years ago) And I do believe it has a tesco, that doesn't surprise me though.
It also has apartments, houses and your average UK pubs.
Gibraltar has a botanical garden which has so many different flowers and is lovely to have a stroll around.
As you go further up the rock (by foot, cable car, taxi, mini bus)
you will begin to see monkeys, the monkeys in the middle of the rock are supposed to be a little agressive- Hold on to your belongings!
It also has a mini museam about the history or Gibraltar. And you can go into the caves and look around.
At the top of the rock you can see Africa on a good day. And have great views, there are more monkeys up here and they are nicer. You may get a monkey come and sit on your shoulder!
And they do like to take your sunnies and camera so you really have to hold onto them!!
Going up to the rock you can get cable car which takes you most of the way up and then you have to walk a little way.
mini bus / taxi takes you all the way up stopping at the different points and they driver tells you interseting facts about the rock.
When you pay for the mini bus your enterance to the museam + caves are included!
Foot- have fun! =P
Gibraltar speak English & Spanish mixed.
And they accept Pound sterling, Euro & there own currency which can't be used anywhere else but Gibraltar.
There electricals are cheap as you don't pay VAT i think and the same with alcohol and cigarettes. So you can get some baragins.
BUT you can only bring back a certain amount of alcohol and fags.
To get into Gibralter you have to go over the airport runway!
Gibraltar has the smallest/ shortest runway in Europe and they get alot of piolets who come and train here.
Monarch were the only airline who flew here but now BA do aswell.
Gibraltar is a lovely place and worth a visit for a weekend or even if your in Spain & your local hotel do a trip go on it!
To celebrate my semi-retirement/sabbatical, last December, my girlfriend and I decided to go somewhere different for a long weekend. It needed to be in Europe, and preferably accessible with our few remaining Airmiles (i.e. almost free to get to) What could be more different than Gibraltar? This unusual peninsular with it's mountainous rock jutting out into the Mediterranean towards Africa is quite stunning but also has an interesting and quite violent history, and a rather obscure mixture of British, Spanish and Moroccan culture and cuisine and of course those monkeys.
Gibraltar is a highly controversial place and has been a British territory since 1704 much to Spain annoyance, as it has a rather strategic location at the only entrance to the Mediterranean. The Rock itself also acts as a impenetrable fortress. It is connected to Spain and the only way in or out, by land is now over the airport runway. But is it a good place to visit?
For our long weekend we arrived by air, flying BA from London Gatwick direct into Gibraltar's small military airport on the morning flight. I arrived a day earlier and collected my other-half from the airport the following morning, waiting for her flight to arrive in the amusing rooftop cafe/bar at the airport. There is a morning flight and an evening flight each day. My flight was quite exciting, circling the rock, then making an attempt to land then pulling up at the last minute due to heavy cross-winds, doing another lap of the rock and finally landing rather heavily on the tarmac. My girlfriend didn't have any such excitement, but the view on approach is quite memorable.
Gibraltar is small enough for a keen walker to never need a taxi, but there were plenty available at the airport, and on arrival I took one to the hotel to help me get my bearings .There are other taxi ranks around the town too. There are also minibuses that can be hired for tours of the island from hotels or from the town and a cable-car from the base of the rock, at Europa Road, at the end of the main road through the town, near the botanical gardens. This is the recommended way of getting to the top of the rock.
We stayed at the imaginatively named Rock Hotel on Europa Road (it cost about £130 a night for a double en-suit room with balcony). A clean white Art Deco hotel on the side of the rock, overlooking the botanical gardens and cable-car terminal to the front with fantastic views of the Mediterranean and North Africa from the terrace and our small balcony. On arrival at 11am the room wasn't ready, but the friendly receptionist thrust a glass of port into my hand showed me to a comfortable chair in the pleasant little bar. The bedroom had two small free carafes of complimentary sherry and whisky with which to enjoy the sunset. The restaurant was very pleasant and quite old fashioned with a good selection of British or European dishes. I would certainly recommend this hotel and restaurant if staying in Gibraltar. It's location is ideal for exploring and it has fantastic views.
Things to do
The town which sits between the rock and the airport (and Spain beyond) is like stepping back in time (although not very far) to England a few decades ago, with a strange mix of a slight Spanish and Moroccan influence. The food similarly is from a different era. i.e. pretty variable and mostly not very good, with the exception of The Rock Hotel restaurant which was surprisingly good, although fairly expensive (about £50 a head for a two course dinner with wine). There are a few English style pubs on the main road through the town which serve good English beer and food such as fish and chips, but the biggest selection of cafes and bars is in Casemates, the main historical square where there are plenty of tables outside.
The Gibraltar Museum is well worth a visit, with a 15 minute film about the history of Gibraltar and a lot of interesting artifacts it gives a good introduction to the place before exploring some of the sights.
The Botanical Gardens opposite the Rock Hotel are pleasant and worth a brief visit. There is also a "Wildlife Park" which is just a small zoo with a lot of empty cages and a few mangy animals, although it was apparently being renovated, so maybe most of the animals were somewhere else.
The Rock is where most of the tourist attractions are. A mini-bus from the cable-car terminal took us to each of the main attractions for about £10 each (shared with two other tourists) making it a bit cheaper than the cable car and we didn't need to walk between the points of interest (i.e. we were lazy and I'm trying to think of excuses) Wonderful views of Africa, the siege tunnels where the English fought off the Spanish and a large cave with huge stalagmites and stalactites etc. and of course, those monkeys everywhere (Barbary macaques or "Apes" as they are often called) Great fun to watch, but a young one jumped on my head and got a bit overexcited (all over my camera. So beware)
Dolphin watching is also possible from boats chartered from the mariana near Casemates. We managed to get a large boat for just £20 each shared with just one other person, but in high season I would imagine the boat would have 20 or 30 people on it for the same price each. This is very enjoyable. The dolphins seem to love it as much as the humans and play in front of the boat. The trip took about 90 minutes.
I would certainly recommend visiting Gibraltar if you are in that part of Europe and have a day or two spare and even as a destination for a long weekend it was worth doing. Any longer than that and I think you would run out of things to do. From a culinary point of view it is not very good, but it is however quite unique.
Gibraltar is a British colony bordering the very south-west corner of Spain. Despite being at the very South of the European continent in a far more sunny climate than England, Gibraltar is suprisingly British. Some Geographical Information ***************************** I've never been that interested in geography, and until my recent trip to Gibraltar whilst on holiday in Spain I couldn't have told you much about it other than I'd heard mention of the Rock of Gibraltar. Probably the first things that I learnt about Gibraltar is that the predominant currency is the GB pound (£), and English is the common language, however, the majority of people who live in and around Gibraltar also speak Spanish and a dialect that falls somewhere between English and Spanish. Gibralatar is only small at 6.5 sq km. The only country that it borders is Spain, and its border is 1.2km long. Spain have held two referendums to try and convince the people of Gibraltar to return to Spanish rule, but up until now they have ignored Spanish pressure and voted by vast majority to remain a British dependency. Crossing The Border ***************************** Entering Gibraltar can take a while. Before you can cross the Spanish border into Gibraltar you have to go through customs and security which involves at least one passport check, if not two. The queue to go through passport control tends to be very lengthy and on our visit it took almost one hour from joining the back of the queue to actually crossing the border. On crossing the border it seeemed slightly surreal to see an English bobby stood by the side of the road - dressed in the exact same uniform as you'd see anywhere else in England. The Sights ***************************** You can't miss the massive formation that is the Rock of Gibraltar. Visible from some distance away from the country, the rock stands at 426m above sea level. The very top porti
on of the rock is off limits to the general public as it's home to the military, but you are able to travel up the rock to take in the sights and meet the wildlife. There are a number of caves within the rock, and although not all of them are really accesible to the public, St Michaels Caves are opened up to the public to explore. Although not quite as big an area as I'd expected, the caves contain an impressive display of stalagmites and stalagtites. It's amazing walking around the caves and taking in that these are all naturally formed over many years. It was pointed out to us during our visit that some of the stalagmites and stalagtites near the entrance have started to get a bit of a green algae like substance on them, and others within the cave are a bit dull looking. Apparantly this is due to the fact that the cave has been opened up to the public, with an entrance and exit door almost always open, mixed with the fact that people walking through the caves bring their own moisture in the form of breath. There are opportunities to explore other caves that aren't so open to the public, but this is something that has to be pre-booked. It only takes about 20 minutes to have a good look around the caves, but it is quite slippy in areas inside, with some steps. I wouldn't recommend it if you're unsteady on your feet! I perhaps should have mentioned this before talking about the caves, as you'll spot these before you get to any caves, but as you ascend up the Rock of Gibraltar you will undoubtedly encounter the Gibraltar Apes! These are tailess apes of the species Barbary Macaques. There are approximately 240 apes on the Rock, and they live in about six main packs. They are semi-wild, having become accustomed to interactig with humans over the years. Not at all shy, the monkeys will happily hitch a ride on any mini-bus heading towards the cave area, and there'll be a few lingering around the entrance and
exits to the caves. They're generally very friendly creatures so long as you do nothing to harm or aggravate them, however they are happy to pinch food or anything that may resemble food. They've come to associate the rustle of a plastic bag with food, so if you're carrying a plastic bag chances are they'll attempt to mug you for it! We were there with my boyfriend's family - his mum had a bag of Jelly Babies, and a monkey had no hesitation in climbing up her body to try and pull them off her. At another location away from the caves we stopped to see more of the primates. My boyfriend's grandma had a canvas shopping bag with a plastic carrier bag inside it - a female monkey feeding her baby on a nearby wall spotted it almost immediately and jumped from the wall to engage in a bit of tug of war with her to find out what was in the bag. It wasn't unusual to see a monkey eating a bag of crisps or sweets that he'd pinched from an unsuspecting member of the public. Unfortunately, we were told that the monkey's addiction to human snacks has caused many of them to develop a kind of diabetes - this has also made many of them much fatter and lazier than they would be if they lived totally in the wild. Each of the monkeys on the Rock has a name which it is recorded with - the people working with the nature reserve know each of the monkeys by name we were told. Our tour guide could only identify one of the monkeys, known as Elizabeth, but still, it's got to be a hard job distinguishing around 200 monkeys! There are many plants, trees and other vegetation growing on the Rock despite there being no top soil. The plants etc grow directly on the Rock, gaining nutrients from the Rock itself. At the southern most tip of Gibraltar you can see the only lighthouse outside the United Kingdom regulated by Trinity House. Unsurprisingly, being the most southerly point, thr tourist trade has taken advantage by sit
uating a shop called 'The Last Shop In Europe' nearby!! There are plenty more sites to see as you tour around the rock, including the 100 ton gun situated at Napier of Magdala Battery, which is one of only 12 built, and is the only one surviving that is in such good condition. The views of the bays and views looking down on to parts of the rock really are beautiful, and if you're into history there's certainly lots to discover in relation to Gibraltar. (I won't go into details of history here, you can look that up elsewhere!) The Shopping ***************************** Gibraltar offers plenty of tax free shopping, however it's important to take into account the strict custom rules about taking things out of Gibraltar. I cannot remember the exact limit, but you are only allowed to bring about £160 worth of goods out of Gibraltar before having to declare them to customs and paying tax etc. Similarly you can only bring out one carton of cigarettes (200 cigarettes), and there are restrictions on alcohol too. If you go shopping in Gibraltar make sure you're fully aware of the restrictions before grabbing too many bargains! The main street of Gibraltar offers a huge variety of goods in a huge variety of shops. Gold tends to be much cheaper than in the UK, and therefore there are plenty of jewellers situated on the main street. Alcohol is very cheap - a litre bottle of Smirnoff vodka for example costs around £4.50 (GBP), Aftershock about £8.00. Cigarettes are about £8.50 for a 200 carton. Electrical items vary - some shops sell things like digital cameras at great prices, but other electrical goods, for example personal CD players, aren't so much of a good buy. Clothes and perfume in general aren't all that much of a bargain, but there are a few exceptions to this and you will find some good prices depending on what you're after, and they are on the whole a few pounds cheape
r. There are plenty of familiar shops you'll spot - Safeway, Iceland, Dorothy Perkins, Bhs, Burtons and Marks & Spencer to name just a few. To be honest I didn't venture into any of these as I spent my time looking in the shops that were a bit different from home. There are plenty of places to eat including a number of nice cafes and restaurants offering a whole variety of different types of food. You'll also find Burger King and Pizza Hut and the likes. Prices aren't all that different to the UK for these types of things. Petrol is plenty cheaper than the UK - prices are around the 50p per litre mark for all the fuels (can't remember the exact prices, though remember Shell Optimax being around 56p/litre, which is around 40p/litre cheaper than in the UK!). However, unless you've taken your own car all that way you're not going to benefit from the petrol prices! You'll spot plenty of mopeds and scooters around Gibraltar - they seem to be probably the most economical way to travel the Rock. The Verdict ***************************** Gibraltar was good for a day trip. The experience of seeing the monkeys so close up (literally stood next to them and them wandering around with you) was great and one I'll never forget. The shopping was good too, though not as great as I'd hoped. There were certainly great bargains to be had in places though! The locals were pleasant enough and communication certainly wasn't a problem. The area itself was clean and litter wasn't a problem, but parts of it did give me the impression of a British seaside town - y'know, a bit on the tacky and tatty side. It's definitely not a place I'd want to spend my whole holiday at, nor a place I'd want to move out to, but if I was ever at the south coast of Spain again and the option of a cheap day trip came up, I'd probably take it. Worth a visit at least once. Probably wo
rth of 7 out of 10, but for this review, Gibraltar gets 3 stars * * *
There is a corner of a foreign country that is forever England (with apologies!) Gibraltar, situated at the Southern tip of Spain is a tiny but charming colony that I was lucky enough to visit this summer. I would certainly recommend it to those who are already in the area although in my opinion it is worth a visit in its own right. My visit came about as the result of a friend meeting a girl from an old Gibraltarian family (now living in Birmingham - almost as exotic!) Rather than trusting to English climes, they decided to get married in the heat of Gibraltar's stunning botanical gardens. Upon receiving the invitation I figured that it would be an excellent opportunity to see a new place and decided that it was easily combined with a trip to Southern Spain. Although it is possible to fly directly to Gibraltar, I decided to take the option of catching a few days in Marbella on either side of the wedding and therefore flew into Malaga airport - there are plenty of cheap flights. Gibraltar is easily accessible to those with a hire car from any of the resorts in the south; Marbella, Torremolinos, Malaga and also from Algeciras which sits on the other side of the bay. The road down from Marbella was a bit of a nightmare but only as they were completing roadworks to widen it - on our way back it was very easy driving. The distance from Marbella is only 70 km - under an hours drive if you're lucky with the traffic so it's well worth the effort. Upon approaching Gibraltar, the Rock is clearly obvious and its strategic value is immediately obvious, dominating the sky line as it does. The border crossing entailed a wait of about 15 minutes - a cursory wave of our passports and we were through and into Gibraltar itself. The settlement on Gibraltar is mainly old houses set around steep windy roads which are just about negotiable by car. A large number of the population have adopted mopeds as
a sensible way of getting around. Parking is in fairly short supply and I suspect that we were lucky in finding a space right outside our hotel. Although I would recommend a day trip, we stayed overnight as the wedding finished in the small hours and we were in no fit state to negotiate our way back to Marbella. We stayed at the Elliot hotel which was beautiful and modern. We found the staff to be very friendly and obliging. Gibraltar is a tax free zone which means that the main street is one big duty free! Shops tend to split between off licences, electrical equipment, perfumeries and jewellers. I bought Scotch, cigarettes and after shave at knock down prices. There is plenty to see in Gibraltar. We opted for a guided tour, done in a taxi cab and ordered through the hotel. We paid 40 pounds for the pleasure, which included entrance to the various attractions. Another option for the more energetic would be to take the cable car to the top of the rock and then trek around - if you do this make sure to take a hat and plenty of water! From the Pillars of Hercules, you can look out over the Straits and see Africa on the other side. Here you really get to appreciate the strategic importance of the Rock. We continued on to Saint Michael's grotto - a beautiful Stalactite cave, wonderfully lit to give the place a haunting effect. It is now also used as the venue for concerts and recitals and we were assured that it has excellent acoustics! The Great Siege tunnels, built by the Royal Engineers are an astounding feat of engineering. Tunnels were mined and blasted into the rock in order to allow protection for cannons as they were brought to bear on the besieging fleet. They were later also used in WWII. The monkeys (Macaques) for which Gibraltar is famous are charming. We were lucky enough to visit when there were several babies wandering around. They are very tame and despite warnings to the contrary, people
were having their photos taken together with these creatures. It is also possible to spend time on the beach, encounter dolphins or to take a leisurely stroll through the botanical gardens. The lingua franca is English, the currency is the pound and I'd certainly recommend popping in if you are already in the area.
After holidaying in Spain, and visiting Gibraltar one day, I decided on writing an op on this wonderful place! First of all, I'll give you a brief history on the Country. (The history I obtained from www.gibraltar.gi/history). Gibraltar comes from the name 'Tarik', the leader of the Arabic army that invaded Spain in the 8th century. The Arabic name, Gibel Tarik has, over the centuries, changed to its current name, Gibraltar. The Rock remained in Arab hands until an attack by the Spanish in 1309. This was interrupted in 1333 and again back in Moorish control. But the Spanish reclaimed it, and stayed that way for the next 240 years. They developed Gibraltar into an important military and naval base. Britain became interested in Gibraltar in the time of Oliver Cromwell, but the opportunity to capture it didn't arise until the war of the Spanish succesion. It was then seized by a combined Anglo-Dutch fleet under Admiral Rooke, and the British sovereignty was formalised in 1713 by The Treaty of Utrecht. Gibraltar became a British Garrison, and in 1830 was declared a colony. Spain has never been able to accept the loss of Gibraltar, and there have been several attempts to recapture it without success. Gibraltar has been besieged 15 times. The most famous being the Great Siege in 1779 which lasted 3 years, 7 months and 12 days. And in recent years have seen the closing frontier between 1969 - 1985. However, Gibraltar has held fast, and remained British to this very day! ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ So, there you have it! I hope I didn't bore you too much with that, but think history is fascinating! While in Gibraltar you can take a dolphin trip in the Bay of Gibraltar. There is a glass-bottomed boat which you can look out of. The trip lasts for 2 hours, and costs £20 for adults, and £12 for children. Although, alas, I never tried this myself. I can't
talk about Gibraltar, and not mention the Barbary Apes. (Although, I won't go on about them too much, as I've noticed I can write a seperate op about them!!). These are semi-wild creatures at the top of 'The Rock'. And while you're up there, you MUST go inside St Michael's cave. It's so massive in there, with steps and pathways leading in all directions. Statues have been erected of how people used to live. And, soldiers used to use the cave as a make-shift hospital during WW2. The beauty is breath-taking. Also, a bit further up, is the Great Siege Tunnel. Back on ground level, there's simply hundreds of little shops to browse round. You can spend either British Pounds of Peseta's here no problem. Also, at the end of the main street, there's a big square where loads of restaurants and cafe's are situated. Well, Gibraltar was the highlight of my holiday! I'd definitely go back again, if only to go up and see the monkeys. Oh, I nearly forgot to mention, there is a cable car to take you up the rock. Situated in Southwestern Europe, bordering the Strait of Gibraltar, which links the Mediterranean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, on the Southern Coast of Spain.
The most fascinating place I have been to yet. Gibraltar is situated at the southern most tip of Spain. It has been of significance to the UK since the beginning of the 18th Century due to it "Guarding" the entrance to the Mediterranean sea and hence there still is a British military presence. Gibraltar itself is constantly expanding both on the rock itself and also on land that the Gibraltarians have reclaimed from the sea. An achievement they are very proud of. It is a veritable treasure trove of both history and flora and fauna. Perfect for both the young and old alike. On the historical side there are countless pieces of history dotted evrywhere. No matter where you go you can see a piece of history. From Parsons lodge battery (where my TA unit renovated the buildings... look for our plaque!!) which guards Rosia Bay where Admiral Nelsons body was landed to the Great Siege Tunnels up on the rock. All have learned guides and many displays to supplement the abundant history. There are actually 32 miles worth of tunnels inside the rock. During WW2 2 Divisions of troops were stationed inside the rock planning campaigns in Africa and the Mediterranean and also defending Gibraltar against any agressors. St Michael's Cave has interested visitors to Gibraltar ever since the Romans. During World War II the cave was prepared as an emergency hospital, but was never used as such. Whilst blasting an alternative entrance to the cave, a further series of deeply descending chambers ending in a mini lake were discovered and named Lower St Michael's Cave. The Cathedral Cave is opened to visitors and makes a unique auditorium for concerts, ballets, drama and presentations. The unique beauty of crystalised nature can be appreciated through a centuries old stalagmite that became too heavy and fell on its side at the far end of the Chamber. Further along the Rock is the Apes Den. The only Apes (Barbary Macaques
) natural to Europe live here... well one pack do. There are two other packs which live elsewhere on the rock. The Apes are terribly photogenic and each and every action they perform is a perfect photo opportunity. Beware of your valuables though as the little blighters are quite adept at snatching anything "shiny" and then legging it off into the scrub! One report mentioned that a few of them were seen heading towards the casino after aquiring a tourists wallet! The flora on the Rock is amazing, from Cacti to bushy scrub, a trip up the slightly overgrown Mediterranean steps is an absolute must if Plants are your thing! Wear good trousers though otherwise your legs may get a tad scratched from some of the bushes. This walk / climb is not for the fainthearted though, it is quite steep and precarious at points but it gives you a great story to tell your friends afterwards. There is also the outstanding Alameda Botanic Gardens situated in the centre of town. Every species is labelled and there is some outstanding landscaping to look at in awe. Most tourists take the Cable car to the various sights on the Rock, if you're into chilling out then this is the way for you, it provides excellent views of both the Rock and Gibraltar town itself. For the more adventurous amongst you try walking the whole way around, it may take you a whole day but you will never regret it as this is THE way to experience the Rock. The high street is a shoppers paradise. It sells almost everything at sub cash & carry prices. I bought a litre bottle of Bombay Sapphire gin for only £4.20. Make sure you shop about or try haggling, you can generally find some amazing bargains if you look hard enough. Not only alcohol is cheap: gold, watches, designer sunglasses, tobacco, are electronic gizmos are also ludicrously cheap! Dont forget to buy some genuine Gibraltarian souvenirs though. The beaches are clean and the water quality is reasnobly g
ood. There are plenty of diving schools should you fancy taking up scuba diving... look for the Monster Truck down the Marina (You get a lift in it and also a free t-shirt after your first dive if you learn there!). There is an abundance of dolphins in the waters around Gibraltar so make sure you go for one of the tours. Gibraltar is a bit of a melting pot when it comes to food, you can get the taste of the UK (If you get homesick), Spain, Morocco & Italy with Gibraltars wide range of Restaurants. If Junk Food is your thing then there are two Burger Kings (One at Casemates Square and one at the other end of the High Street) There is also a McDonalds Drive Thru on the Reclaimed Land. Food and Drink in Gibralter is very reasnobly priced. Make sure you try Prawns Pil Pil and Swordfish Steaks. Bianca's down the Marina is highly recommended eat there once and you'll be back ( on another 12 occasions if you like it as much as me and my friends). In the evening there are countless pubs that you can drink in. The pub prices are slightly cheaper than UK pub prices. Make sure you visit the Irish town as this part of Gibraltar is regularly missed. Sax 2 is a small nightclub, it seldom closes before 3am, Cool Blue is another nightclub which too seldom closes early but beware of its slightly higher priced. The casino is a must,it is always full of activity, watch your funds though as you can easily get carried away! Casemates Square is always a hub of activity, it's bars restaurants and shops are always brimming over with people in the evenings and well into the morning. To quote another "DooYoo'er": "Gibraltar has a personality all of its own not spanish, not british its individuality makes it an appealing place which has so much more to offer than it seems on the surface. The people are friendly, the days and evenings are full of what you want to put in them - I recommend it" Gib
raltar.... the perfect equation. __________________________________________ Currency: Gibraltar Pound (Tied to Sterling) (UK Notes are also accepted) Language: English / Spanish Electric: 240V UK 3 pin Plugs Emergency: 112 / 999
Picturesque ,historic and suprisingly interesting is this british peninsula deep in history. This is a fascinating place whose beauty is breathtaking and culture beckoning, the famous rock itself looms powerfully afront the town as if guarding its contents, the walk from Spain across the small customs area past the airport runway then beneath this huge monumental rock is somewhat weird, across the way boat bob up and down in the bay ,small bars and cafes buzz people enjoying the lazy day. The high street is marked by an abundance of jewellery shops all selling wonderfully good bargains in gold, watches and designer bits, this ashoppers paradise of Vat free goods of every type imaginable. The Rock is a must, but is quite a distance and the usual means is by cable car (not for those scared of heights)or by car and rest by foot. Whatever you choice, the views are outstanding. Once at the top you will be met by the local barbary apes on the look out for some tasty morsels usually, unfortunately the biggest one came to sit on me and when I offered it a nut it bit my arm! We went inside the rock to investigate the Great Seige Tunnels which held a wealth of history and are a must if you go to Gibraltar. The beaches there are clean and the water is good for swimming/snorkeling etc and safe for children. Food wise the local restaurants offer a variety of fresh food, I personally enjoyed the local dishes and their local wines the food is well priced and drinks are not expensive. In the evening the casino is a hive of activity and is good fun, from the tables to the machines, and back in town the clubs are laid back and lively, going on all night, and during the summer period a large funfair and evening market is just across the way in La Linear (spelling?)There is a very lively square full of restaurants & bars where music plays and people dance.. well into the morning. The accomodation is much cheaper in the Costa del S
ol and we actually booked a flight to Valencia and motored down staying with family on the spanish side, the queues across took about 15 minutes to pass through. Gibraltar has a personality all of its own not spanish, not british its individuality makes it an appealing place which has so much more to offer than it seems on the surface. The people are friendly, the days and evenings are full of what you want to put in them - I recommend it - just remember on e thing do not refer to them as 'spanish'!!
My last visit was last year and I thoroughly recommend it even if it is just to see how it 'works'. Just come back from southern Spain in August and didn't have a visit this time, but if I had read some of these opinions on dooyoo I would have done as I didn't know about the dolphins. So there you are -dooyoo works. I thoroughly recommend a trip round the rock-to see how it 'works'. The tunnels are fantastic, and if you are polite and chatty to your taxi driver he will possibly show you more or spend more time letting you see the apes and caves. The native Gibraltarians are fiercely proud of their british heritage and although their English is good-when a group of taxi drivers get together they will speak Spanish. A lot of the natives have originated from Africa many years ago- a taxi driver told me. The shopping is good- but as usual there is a lot of cheap junk-but you may spot a bargain. Only had 4 hours there so have not tried the hotels, beaches or botanic gardens- but it is definitely a must see. Leave your car in Spain and walk over. It is so much easier and only takes about 20 mins. You get to walk across the airstrip which is an experience in itself. By doing that you miss all the queues at the border which start to build up about 4pm when you are hot and tired and want to get on your journey again-especially if you are staying as far away as Torremolinos, which is about 2hours drive away. You can get a bus there and it wasn't very expensive. Trips around the rock were about £112 last year-but a must.
Gibralter is a wonderful place for a short visit, the the runway for aircraft is terrifing as it is built across a very narrow strip of reclaimed land with the sea at each end, & the road between Spain & Gib crosses this runway. The locals most of whom are ex pats are fiercely British & proud of it. The sights are generally historical apart from a trip to the upper reaches of the rock itself with the barbary apes, legend has it that Gib will fall if the apes leave so they are well looked after, apparently Churchill was so worried about the declining numbers during the war he imported a few more. How they survive on the junk the tourists feed them or they steal defeats me. If you get the chance to visit the tunnels inside the rock do so the stories & sights are amazing & there are more miles of road inside the rock than out. Duty free shopping is a must with many bargains to be found as well as good old Marks & Sparks & several other well known shops & banks. The border by road to Spain involves a very long wait as the Spanish border guards check everything just to be awkward belonging to the EEC has cut no ice here. Gib is an ideal destination for a short break & I can't wait to go back.
"Gibraltar is a British overseas territory located near the southernmost tip of the Iberian Peninsula overlooking the Strait of Gibraltar. The territory shares a land border with Spain to the north. Gibraltar has historically been an important base for the British Armed Forces and is the site of a Royal Navy base. It is probably most famous for the geological formation the Rock of Gibraltar. The name of the territory is derived from the original Arabic name Jabal Ţāriq (جبل طارق), meaning "mountain of Tariq", or from Gibr al-Ţāriq, meaning "rock of Tariq"). It refers to the Berber Umayyad general Tariq ibn-Ziyad, who led the initial incursion into Iberia in advance of the main Moorish force in 711. Earlier, it was known as Mons Calpe, one of the Pillars of Hercules. Today, Gibraltar is known colloquially as "Gib" or "the Rock"."