Gibraltar Adventure Travel Guide: Ideas and Inspiration
PureTravel Says: “Right on the tip of the Iberian Peninsula and looking over the Strait of Gibraltar, you will find a wonderful holiday destination for the whole family. In Gibraltar you have the opportunity for all the sights and sounds of a truly exceptional holiday with plenty to do to fill your days and nights. Fishing or bird watching, sightseeing and touring all around The Rock of Gibraltar, will fascinate and amaze. Sailing the waters can be either adventurous or calming, depending on the trip you decide upon. The area is rich in history and offers you a chance for a perfect getaway.”
History & Culture – There is so much to discover in Gibraltar. Witness the Changing of the Guard at the residence of the governor, which was a sixteenth century Franciscan Monastic house. Visit Europa Point, which lies just 16 miles from Africa, with a number of historic sites. On the south side of Gibraltar, visit Parsons Lodge and the Ibrahim-al-Ibrahim mosque. A replica of the first Neanderthal skull found in Europe is on display at the Gibraltar Museum as well as many caveman artifacts found in the caves at Gibraltar. From here, look down on a fourteenth century bathhouse. You should also stop and see the rebuilt Moorish Castle and the Rock Buster, a one hundred-ton gun.
Sightseeing – Take the Gibraltar cable car up to the top of the Rock, where you can see Africa to the south and Spain to the north. The highest point in Gibraltar is O’Hara’s Battery and from there you can take the Mediterranean Steps Walk and wind down the eastern cliff and around to the western side.
Nightlife – You’ll find many restaurants and bistros all around Gibraltar that will satisfy your desires for some great food and drink. Get French, Moroccan or Italian cuisine and many more. Discos will have entertainment lasting into the late hours.
Wildlife, Birdlife & Flora – Visit the famous Barbary apes at Apes’ Den which are the only wild monkeys in Europe. In the Bay of Gibraltar, you’ll find dolphins and whales and thousands of birds that begin migrating in the spring and autumn. You’ll see owls and eagles, buzzards and falcons. The botanical gardens hold a wide variety of plants, more than 500 different types of flowering plants.
Water Sports – Go scuba diving or water skiing at Sandy Bay or Catalan Bay. You can enjoy the beach activities at Eastern Beach and Little Bay, which is a popular pebble beach.
When To Go
Gibraltar is warm all year round with mild winters and summer, May to September, can be very hot and humid.
- If you have a car when you come to the main town area, park it and take a taxi as the streets can be difficult to navigate.
- Be polite as Gibraltar is a very traditional British society.
- You can take in a reasonable amount of tobacco and alcohol products for your personal use, without getting charged for customs duty.
- Climb The Rock, but don’t feed the monkeys! The hulking limestone rock that dominates Gibraltar is first up on most travellers’ must-see lists. Peaking at 426 meters (1,398 ft) on the Iberian Peninsula, the easiest way up is definitely by cable car at Alameda Gardens (unless you fancy the hike).
- Explore the Upper Rock Nature Reserve, there’s plenty to see and do.
- Explore the Great Siege Tunnels which are an elaborate labyrinth of manmade tunnels devised during the Great Siege of (1779 to 1783).
- Peer into the Apes’ Den to see the wild and mischievous macaques – the only free roaming primates within Europe.
- And admire the 11th century Tower of Homage, aka the Moorish Castle.
- Climb the Mediterranean Steps - The steep, winding path of the Mediterranean Steps is a tricky climb taking around 1.5 to 2.5 hours to navigate. Spanning 1400 meters, the walk climbs to 419 meters at O’Hara’s Battery. The walk labelled as ‘hard’ navigates the east side of the rock, over cliffs and scrub, but the views are absolutely incredible.
- Spot dolphins in the Mediterranean - Take a boat trip around the coast of Gibraltar to spot whales, turtles and dolphins as they come to feed on the sardines, flying fish and squid. Whole families of dolphins congregate in the glistening waters of Gibraltar Bay and if you time your visit just right you’ll catch them leaping and feeding. And the most magical sight of all has to be the might Blue Whale.
Bank Holidays 2014
New Year's Day - Tuesday 1 January
Commonwealth Day - Monday 10 March
Good Friday - Friday 18 April
Easter Monday - Monday 21 April
Worker's Memorial Day - Monday 28 April
May Day - Thursday 1 May
Spring Bank Holiday - Monday 26 May
Queen's Birthday - Monday 16 June
Late Summer Bank Holiday - Monday 25 August
Gibraltar National Day - Wednesday 10 September
Christmas Day - Thursday 25 December
Boxing Day - Friday 26 December
By Julie Bowman