Colloquially known as The Rock or called Gib for short, Gibraltar is an interesting travel location that is full of surprises. Gibraltar is especially popular with nature-lovers as much of the upper rock is a nature reserve and the island is a major stopping point for migrating birds. In addition, beneath the surface, Gibraltar is riddled with underground tunnels and caves to explore.
The Rock is particularly famous for its population of Barbary Macaques or the Apes of Gibraltar (although they are technically a type of wild monkey). These monkeys can be found all over the island, particularly in the upper area of The Rock. Despite their cute appearance, do not try to pet the monkeys or pick them up as they may bite you. While they do not carry rabies, they may pass on hepatitis. If you do want to get close to these cheeky creatures you should head to the Apes’ Den.
Gibraltar is also a great destination for those looking for a beach break as the peninsula has a number of beautiful beaches such as Catalan Bay and Camp Bay. As well as soaking up the sun, water sports such as parasailing, water-skiing and pier fishing can be enjoyed here. If you like fishing, the chances are that you already know that Gibraltar is well located for deep sea fishing. Regular catches in the area include swordfish and mullet.
When To Go
Gibraltar has a Mediterranean climate which means that the weather is warm for much of the year. However, the best time to visit is the early autumn or the spring as the weather is pleasant but not humid like it can be in the summer here. In addition, travelling outside of the peak season means quieter beaches and often better deals on flights and accommodation
What to Do in Gibraltar
History lovers and those curious to learn a bit more about the Rock should visit the Gibraltar Museums. Although many people overlook this museum when heading up to the Upper Rock, Gibraltar Museum is home to a number of interesting exhibits and contains a well-preserved Moorish bathhouse from the Fourteenth Century. One of the museums most famous artefacts is a reproduction of the first Neanderthal skill found in Europe, Gibraltar Woman, and a model of Gibraltar made during the second half of the Nineteenth Century.
No trip to Gibraltar is complete without taking a trip to Apes’ Den at the top of the Rock where the islands’ Barbary Macaques live. At the nature reserve the monkeys roam freely and are publically fed twice a day. One of the best ways to get to Apes’ Den is to take a cable-car trip. The cable car system was built in the 60s and offers fantastic views of the island. In addition, you can see both Africa and Spain from the cable car.
One of Gibraltar’s most famous attractions is St Michael’s Cave which is the largest of Gibraltar’s 150 caves. The cave has a spectacular collection of stalagmites and stalactites and is often used as an atmospheric stage for dance performances and concerts. The cave can be reached via cable car too.
As the Rock is a major stopping point for migratory birds, Gibraltar has fantastic opportunities for bird watching. In the autumn and spring, the Rock sees an influx of thousands of birds having a rest during their journeys between Africa and Europe. During these seasons, owls, hoopoes, eagles, black kites and more join Gibraltar’s native species. Notable birds native to Gibraltar include Barbary partridges and peregrine falcons. Nature lovers may also be interested in the whale watching opportunities which Gibraltar affords. The Bay of Gibraltar has a large population of whales and dolphins and there are numerous boat trips which give holidaymakers the opportunity to see these interesting creatures in their natural habitat.