Many thanks to Mike Dodgson, resident of Gibraltar, for putting together this great guide for us.
With 30,000 inhabitants and an area of 6.8km2, Gibraltar enjoys a sunshine climate all year round, with winter months seeing temperatures falling no lower than around 10 degrees.
Close to the Costa Del Sol, this British territory has enjoyed an economic rise to fame over the past 10 years. Many British companies have set up on the peninsula, seeing the area enjoy an increasing and diverse population by the day.
As you make your way through the elegant side streets of Gibraltar, it’s easy to see the British influence everywhere, from historic naval buildings to traditional pubs and old-fashioned fish ‘n’ chip restaurants. ‘Gib’ as it affectionately known by the residents, is everything you would expect from a British seaside resort, but with a whole lot more on offer.
7 Things to do and see in Gibraltar
1. ‘The Rock’ – Standing at 426m, the Rock of Gibraltar is the most famous aspect of the city, boasting stunning views along the coast of Spain and towards Morocco. For a small cost you can make your way to the top of The Rock via a cable car, or if you’re feeling energetic then it’s roughly a ninety minute to two hour trek to the summit. Along with the views, you can expect to see friendly faces to greet you along the way in the form of monkeys. Watch out for the Barbary macaques who inhabit the top of the rock and are ready to pounce on any unsuspecting tourist carrying a plastic bag or rucksack!
2. Main Street – Take a walk down the shopping district of Gibraltar and enjoy a mix of quaint independent stores and big UK retailers such as Marks & Spencer, BHS and Top Shop. In addition, you’ll pay no VAT on goods and services – perfect for finding a bargain on items such as jewellery, wines & spirits and perfumes.
3. Ocean Village – A stone’s throw from Main Street, Ocean Village is a resort style marina housing a number of bars and restaurant frequented by locals and tourists alike. Ocean Village is a vibrant and energetic area which often sees many workers enjoy a few drinks after a long day in the office. Along with the night-spots, there’s also an all-purpose casino, so if you fancy a flutter before or after your night out, then have a crack on the blackjack table or get your eyes down for a full house in the huge bingo hall.
4. The Airport – Not your usual tourist hot spot, but whether you’re flying into Gibraltar or not, the airport is a must see attraction due to its completely unique setting. In order to get in or out of Gibraltar, visitors must walk across the runway through closable ‘railway crossing’ style barricades. If you time your visit right, you’ll even get to see a jumbo jet take-off at close distance, a truly unique experience which you would be hard to find elsewhere in Europe.
5. A Dolphin Tour – This really is an experience-of-a-lifetime! Dolphin tours leave the marina at regular times on a daily basis. Enjoy watching hundreds of dolphins in close proximity in their natural habitat. Gliding through the water they feel so close to you, you want to reach out and touch them!
6. Europa Point – An iconic part of Gibraltar but often overlooked by many visitors. It signifies one of the furthest points in Europe with stunning views towards Africa and the Spanish coastline. Notable points of interest at Europa Point include the Lighthouse, the Ibrahim-al-Ibrahim Mosque, the Shrine of Our Lady of Europe, and the Nun’s Well underground reservoir.
7. King’s Bastion Leisure Centre – If you’re looking for a little fun whilst staying in Gibraltar, then King’s Bastion has an ice rink, a cinema, a bowling alley and numerous food and drink outlets for you to enjoy. Used as a defence building in the 18th century, King’s Bastion is a historical building with a modern interior.
Mike Dodgson is a resident of Gibraltar and owner of hotels website www.stadiahotels.co.uk.