Gibraltar is a small British overseas territory that shares a land border with Spain. It was one of the few countries on the UK’s green list I could cross off during my annual leave so I went ahead and booked a flight. Most of the exciting things to do in Gibraltar revolve around its military history and The Rock. Although English is the official language in Gibraltar, most locals I came in contact with spoke Spanish. Without further ado, here are some of the places/experiences I think should make it to your list while visiting Gibraltar.
Catalan bay is one of the five beaches in Gibraltar. Set against a background of colorfully painted buildings and the famous Rock of Gibraltar , it is one of Gibraltar’s best kept secrets. Catalan bay is ideal because it doesn’t get as crowded as the other beaches, it’s a spot known mostly to locals. Catalan Bay can be found on the eastern part of Gibraltar, it is only a 30 minutes walk from Casemates Square.
Cable Car Ride
A cable car ride is one of the best ways to experience the stunning views of Gibraltar. The ride lasts about six minutes and carries people from the base station to the top station of the Rock of Gibraltar. Combining tours with your cable car ticket purchase will give you more bang for your money. If you have a fear of heights, you might want to skip this one.
The Barbary Macaque is a special tailless specie of wild monkeys that can be found around the upper rock area in Gibraltar Nature Reserve. They are the only wild monkeys in Europe and are sometimes referred to as the unofficial animal of Gibraltar. You will find monkey references everywhere you go. You’ll need to be careful not to take food around them or leave your bags open as they can be quite naughty, one snatched my shoes from my bag and almost made away with it.
St. Michael’s Cave
Visiting St. Michael’s cave was a bit of a geography refresher course for me. Watching the show which consists of light and sound play on stalactites and stalagmites up close was very impressive. Every now and then, St. Michael’s cave plays host to events and if you’re lucky, you might be able to catch one during your trip, it’s definitely worth the visit.
Strut The Airport Runway
Gibraltar is only around 7km in length. The country is so small that a large part of its runway for airplanes intersects a major road for vehicles and pedestrians. During every take off and landing, the traffic on the road is closed. You can take a stroll or cycle across the runway and watch the airplanes up close. It is the only runway in the world where you can do this so you might want to seize the opportunity.
The Alameda gardens are also known as Gibraltar Botanic Gardens. The gardens are situated at the base of The Rock of Gibraltar. It is free to enter so it might be worth combining with your cable car and rock experiences.
Gibraltar National Museum
A visit to the Gibraltar Museum did not appear on most of the lists of things to do in Gibraltar I found online. I stumbled upon the museum while taking an afternoon stroll and I was so fascinated I ended up spending hours in there. From Moorish Baths to the military era Gibraltar is well known for, the museum takes you to life at different periods in Gibraltar. There is a 5 pounds entry fee and no form of photography is allowed.
The Europa point has one of the most beautiful views in Gibraltar especially during sunset. You can see parts of Morocco and Spain from this point. There are a number of religious and culturally important landmarks to see around the Europa point such as the The Ibrahim-al-Ibrahim Mosque, also known as the King Fahad Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Mosque, Shrine of Our Lady of Europe, Pillars of Hercules, Nun’s Well, Harding’s Battery and The Europa Point Lighthouse.
The Skywalk is located atop The Rock of Gibraltar and offers stunning 360° views of three countries and two continents. It was transformed from the military lookout it used to be to the sturdy glass structure it currently is. Asides the views it offers, it makes for a very good photo spot. If you have a crippling fear of heights, you might want to skip this.
Princess Caroline’s Battery
A battery is a unit or cluster of artillery. Because of its war history, there are a number of batteries scattered around Gibraltar. Princess Caroline’s Battery can be found on The Rock of Gibraltar and offers a stunning view of Gibraltar. For 1 Pound, you can pay to use any of the coin operated telescopes at the battery for unfettered views of the sea and most of Gibraltar. If you’re fascinated by war history, you can visit the nearby Great Siege Tunnels.
For more of Gibraltar, check out my Instagram highlight here.