Much more than just ‘England in Spain’, Gibraltar is a place full of diverse culture, impressive landmarks, and tremendous weather, while also providing some much-welcomed home comforts.
Gibraltar has a couple of unmistakable landmarks that simply can’t be missed during a visit. To help you keep track of where to go and what to see, we’ve compiled a short blog with a list of things you should tick off even if you've only got a couple of days in this sunny destination.
Starting with the aforementioned Rock, this is a staple of any visit to Gibraltar. But, rather than just the Rock itself and the gorgeous views available from its peak, a visit to this landmark is all about the journey.
Whether you venture up by foot (via the Mediterranean Steps) or with the help of the cable car, which offers a vastly different perspective on the way up, the views from atop the 400-metre high cliff are spectacular. Allowing you to take in three distinct countries (Gibraltar, Spain, and Morocco), the peak is undoubtedly the main star of this overall trip. However, the famous Barbary macaques you’ll encounter along the way will provide healthy competition for that title. You’ll find these mischievous little creatures in the Apes Den, right in the middle of the Upper Rock Nature Reserve.
Found in the north-western corner of Gibraltar, the Old Town is a network of narrow lanes which will make you think that you’re outside on a particularly sunny day on a high street back home. With chain stores like Debenhams found alongside traditional British pubs, it’s a curious affair – making you feel both home and away. It’s the perfect spot to stop for a hearty lunch after your walk up the Rock. Just pick a seat in the sun on one of the many outdoor terraces and watch the world go by as you recover from your sightseeing antics.
After lunch, you can stick around the Old Town and take in the Convent, which dates back all the way to 1531. Said to be one of the most ‘haunted public buildings in Europe’, it’s a fascinating architectural site even if you don’t have an affinity for the supernatural. Or of course, you can head to the beach to let the rest of your food settle.
This amazing historical site is the largest section of the extensive underground tunnels found in Gibraltar. With a main purpose of connecting new military headquarters with the existing ones, these impressive subterranean paths are now a fascinating entry point to get beneath the surface of Gibraltar, quite literally.
For further underground delights – try St Michael’s Cave. A series of limestone chambers and tunnels that have drops of 45 metres, they were originally used for defensive purposes by the Moors and Spaniards. Today, this site features a 600-seat auditorium that plays host to unique concerts, ballets, and plays.
With a few of Gibraltar’s finest landmarks being found so far underground, it’s always nice to follow them with an excursion firmly above ground. And there aren’t many better places above ground than Gibraltar’s Botanic Gardens – The Alameda. Making the most of the amazingly warm climate, there is an extensive list of flora found here from around the globe, while there are also several wildlife species including snakes, lizards, and that’s without even mentioning the Alameda Wildlife Conservation Park.
The only wildlife park in Gibraltar, there’s a whole host of exotic animals on show such as cotton-topped tamarins, brown lemurs, Asian short-clawed otters, and spur-thighed tortoises. The conservation park, found within The Alameda gardens, offers informative lessons and fulfils a great service in caring for exotic animals which have either been abandoned as pets, or are an endangered species.
Venture into the waters off Gibraltar in the Bay of Algeciras for a chance to witness some of the territory’s most enchanting wildlife including whales, blue-fin tuna, and of course, dolphins. Several companies offer tours across the ocean and the time just after sunset is a particularly fruitful one for some amazing photo opportunities.
Chock full of things to do, a stay in Gibraltar brings a real mixture of landmarks and sights – meaning you can have a varied holiday complete with both home comforts and unique sites.