Wednesday 27 June 2018

Gibraltar is a European peninsula nested at the Southern tip of Europe, bordering Spain and if the weather permits, you'll also get a glance of Morocco on a clear day. Despite it’s interesting location and culture, it is a place that is quite unknown to most of the world - when I lived in Florida and would tell people I was from Gibraltar they thought it was a country as real as Genovia or Asgard. It can often be seen as a ‘mini Britain in the sun’ and there’s no surprise why. It is indeed an overseas British territory with over 300 days of sunshine and only covers 6.8km². However, there is a lot more to do on your trip to Gibraltar than laying on the beach and eating fish and chips. Here are 10 things to experience on your trip to Gibraltar.


1. Take a walk up the Rock of Gibraltar.

No matter how you arrive in Gib this is pretty hard to miss. As it's a rather large rock in the middle of the country, known simply as the Rock of Gibraltar. Yes you can climb up it and no you won't need to pack your whole trekking kit as it's quite a pleasant walk up and you might bump into a few barbary macaques along the way, just don't feed them or they might bite more than you bargained for. If you want to find out more about our hairy friends then there are 'Monkey Talks' that take place up the rock where you can learn more about them and chill with them. If it's too warm and you'd rather walk down and get transport up, then the cable car is an interesting way to see Gibraltar and save your legs, just be prepared to queue for a while in peak season. There are a number of other sites of interest you'll find up the rock, including the new Gibraltar Skywalk that was opened by Star Wars' Mark Hamill. Along with the Suspension bridge, St Michael's Cave, the Great Siege Tunnels. If you're feeling even more adventurous, Lower St Michael's Cave offer tours that include 'scrambling and minor climbing' through the cave and inner lakes.

2. Take a hike up the Mediterranean Steps. 

For the more adventurous, the Mediterranean steps begin at Jew's Gate and is a walking (well step) trail all the way to the top of the rock, and with this you will be sweating and probably want to starfish face down on one of the rocks at the top. You don't have to be a marathon runner to accomplish this but you will probably be short of breath a couple of times. Make sure you bring water and sun screen and it's best to do it early in the morning before the sun is hitting hard. It takes about an hour to an hour and a half at a normal pace to complete and if you do it often enough you'll have a butt like Kim K in no time.

mediterranean steps

3. Go and see the Dolphins.

I don't even have to explain to you where to find this, just walk into Ocean Village and look out for someone in a blue or yellow t-shirt holding a clipboard who will take you to the meeting spot. Personally I'd recommend Dolphin Adventure (yellow boat). You'll be taken out into sea and you are very likely to see dolphins and possibly turtles and migrating whales. Tickets cost £25 for adults and £12.50 for children.

4. Stroll down Main Street.

I pass through here most days so for me I've become accustomed to my surroundings, but now and again it's nice to picture seeing it from a tourists point of view. It's interesting to see the mix of old architecture, local and Spanish shops and then see Topshop, Marks & Spencers and Accessorize been thrown into the mix. There are lot of cute little streets around so it's great to just wonder around and see what you stumble upon. You'll be able to buy all your cheap alcohol and cigarettes here too if you don't want to wait for the airport.

main street

5. Try local foods.

What I love about my lunch breaks in Gib is that I can pop over to Yummy Tummies in Ocean Village and get a whole bunch of stuff for £5. Spinach pie (torta de acerga), croquettes (I could eat 100 of the puchero/spinach variety), breaded chicken/meat, Spanish omelette (torta de patata) and calentita are things to look out for. If you're in Main Street then Tasty Bite is another good spot to find these. If you're still looking for a taste of Britain, then Roy's Fish and Chips in Casemates Square can give you exactly that. Whilst you're at it, pop into any corner shop and buy yourself a Sun Cola or Sun Top Orange - Gibraltar's unofficial national drink.

6. Attend one of our cultural/music events.

From June to September, Gibraltar's cultural and live music scene is buzzing. Kicking off with the Calentita Food Festival in June and ending with MTV's Gibraltar Calling in September. If it's music and dancing you're after, then we have the Festival of Colours in July and The Electronic Music Festival in August which are always a blast and can get a little bit messy. The biggest celebration of the year takes place on the 10th September - Gibraltar's National Day. Where the whole country dresses in red and white and celebrates (parties) from 10am to the early hours of the morning the next day. If music events aren't your cup of tea, then the Literary Festival has also become a popular event in Europe and takes place later in the year in November. The festival brings together authors and audiences alike, and allows people to purchase the books on sale and then have them signed personally by the authors at the event. 

7. Take a day trip to Morocco.

Whilst you're here, you might as well take advantage of our proximity to Morocco. There are tours operated in Gibraltar that take you to Morocco on a day excursion for less than 100 pounds/euros and the ferry takes around 45 minutes. For more information make sure to check out my blog post on a weekend in Tangiers, Morocco.

camel tangiers

8. Spend an afternoon on one of our many beaches.

Assuming you've come here from England or somewhere where there is more rain than sunshine, then a day at the beach is probably what you're after. If you like your space, then Eastern Beach is your best shot as it's the largest. If you want to lay somewhere picturesque, Catalan Bay has lovely colourful houses as a backdrop and good seafood restaurants. If you hate sand, then Quarry has two pools and you can also jump into the ocean. My favourite beach however has to be Sandy Bay, despite it's smaller size.

9. Have a picnic in Alameda Gardens.

You probably won't want to spend your whole day here, but if you're heading towards the cable car this would be a nice spot to have lunch after. There are tons of species of plants and fauna and you will also find a small Wildlife park, ponds and a children's playground. 

10. Have a night out. 

No summer holiday can be complete without a night of cocktails, listening to reggaeton and having a takeaway (or Pizzeria Plaza) at the end of the night right? There aren't a plethora of clubs to choose from, in fact if it's a dance you're after you will either end up in Bruno's or Dusk. I'd suggest to start the night in the Chatnam Countergard area where you'll find a row of restaurants and bars. Then move on to Bruno's at midnight and head to Dusk at 2am until whenever your feet start hurting.

Have you ever been to Gibraltar? Have you heard much about the place before? 


gibraltar pinterest
gibraltar pinterest

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