Gibraltar is located on the Southern tip of Spain, the Iberian Peninsula, however, it is a British Territory. At least for now. In past years, it has been claimed by other countries and has changed hands a lot. The history of Gibraltar is fascinating, and there are plenty of castle walls and ancient ruins to prove it. For such a small piece of land – 7 miles, that goes up rather than across, Gibraltar is rich in history and has many things to do and see. Shopping is tax free, they speak English, and the views are spectacular with the surrounding waters of the Mediterranean and Atlantic.
How to get there
Most tourists drive or take commercial transportation from Spain over the border to Gibraltar. Make sure you have identification. With a rental car, we drove, and I have to say, even though it was convenient, the hills and roads are very steep and very slim with limited parking, so if you are not comfortable driving with those conditions, commercial transportation is the way to go. Gibraltar also has an airport.
TAXI / VAN SERVICE
Where to Stay
For about $106 to $116 a night (depending whether you face inward or outward) , this hotel is a great value. It is in the center of Gibraltar, so it is a great location for your trip there. Friends stayed and said the rooms were spacious and the employees very helpful. There is also a nice garden and a swimming pool.
A famous hotel in the Mediterranean, this colonial style hotel built in 1932, faces the sunny side where you have views of Northern Africa and Southern Spain. Services and amenities are first class. Rooms range in price depending on sea/beach view, a suite or penthouse – anywhere from $250 – $1000 per night. They also have a great restaurant, The Rib Room which is pricey but great food, and great views.
What to do
For such a small expanse, there are plenty of things to do in Gibraltar. It is a great day trip, but also worth taking your time and spending a few days to discover the sites and history of Gibraltar. Here are just a few of the things we enjoyed:
A great way to see the Rock as well as all the beauty of what surrounds it. For an adult, a ticket can be anywhere from $5 to $17 depending on your trip. The top of the Rock where the top of the station is was an old signal station, so imagine the fantastic view from there! There is also a coffee shop, so relax and stay a while.
Apes Den: Barbary Apes
This is a famous tourist attraction in Gibraltar. Technically, these animals are not apes, but “Macaque Monkeys
without tails.” Considered the only “wild primates” in all of Europe, this is a great place to “visit”. Just be careful what you eat when you visit* (*they roam free in the Upper Rock Nature Reserve), the monkeys are crafty and friendly, and there is a fine for feeding them.
Built in 1930, this small museum will help you explore and learn the history of this famous rock. Children under 5 are free. Adults and kids under 12 between $1.50 and $3.00.
Located in the Upper Rock Nature Reserve, (not far from where the Barbary Apes are) if you are a hiker or someone who is willing, and in shape to, walk up these very old steps, it is worth it. You are walking on history, and there are magnificent views once you arrive at the top – about a 2 hour trek.
The Great Siege Tunnels
Another popular attraction, however, well worth it, the Great Siege Tunnels are a piece of history. They protected citizens at the time from attacks as well as kept them hidden as well as their artillery. There are 30 miles of tunnels, all made to protect the Rock of Gibraltar.
(Also check out the Bay and Straight area where there are a lot of dolphins to watch.)
Where to eat
The hotels you stay in may have restaurants which is always an easy option, or have places nearby they can suggest. Below are two of the places we went and enjoyed.
Restaurant and Tapas Bar La Barcina
With main courses ranging from a budget friendly $15 to $40, this is a great vacationers place to eat. With great Spanish tapas and fish, you can’t go wrong. Located in the main square, Casemate, this is also a great location in Gibraltar for fun and entertainment.
I admit we went there because we wanted to be by the water, because when you are on Gibraltar, surrounded by such incredible blue, you want to see it all the time. But the food (seafood) was good and the menu full of choices. Along with a wine list, kids menu, snack menu, a la carte menu and more, they also have vegetarian dishes. A great place to wine and dine.