Gibraltar things to see and do

Tourist offices

Gibraltar Tourist Board in the UK

Gibraltar House, 150 Strand, London, WC2R 1JA, United Kingdom
www.visitgibraltar.gi

Things to see and do

Admire the greenery

A large area of the upper rock has been declared a nature reserve, and since 1991 new species of plants have been planted to create botanical gardens.

Birdwatching

Birdwatching can be undertaken in spring and autumn, when thousands of migrating birds stop off on their way between their breeding grounds in northern Europe and their wintering areas in Africa. Owls, eagles, harriers, hoopoes, buzzards and black kytes join resident species such as peregrine falcons, blue rock thrush and barbary partridge.

Cable car to Ape's Den

Take a cable-car trip to the top of the Rock. Built in 1966, the Top Station is on the summit of the Rock, from where visitors can see Spain to the north and southwards to Africa. The cable-car journey stops at the Apes' Den, where the islands' Barbary Macaques scamper about.

Deep-sea fishing

Gibraltar is well located for some excellent deep-sea fishing, which is considered some of the best in the world. Mullet, bream and swordfish are regular catches in the area. There are several charter boat companies who will to take tourists on half and full day fishing excursions.

Explore Spain

Go on a day trip to Ronda, Malaga and Jerez in Andalucia (the Spanish province); day trips by air to Tangier and other Moroccan cities can also be arranged.

Gibraltar beaches

Gibraltar has some great beaches to explore. On the east side of the island are Eastern Beach and Catalan Bay. Little Bay, a pebble beach, and Camp Bay/Keys Promenade are on the western coast. Pier fishing facilities are available on the island and scuba-diving, parasailing and waterskiing can also be practised.

Gibraltar Museum

See a replica of the Gibraltar Skull - the first Neanderthal skull found in Europe (1848) - and caveman tools and ornaments excavated from the Rock's caves. There are also exhibits from the Phoenician, Greek, Roman, Moorish, Spanish and British periods of the Rock's history, a comprehensive collection of prints and lithographs, and a large-scale model of the Rock made in 1865.

Gibraltar's architecture

Gibraltar's interesting architecture includes the 14th-century keep of the much-rebuilt Moorish Castle; the Shrine of Our Lady of Europe, a mosque before its conversion to a Christian chapel in 1462, which houses the 15th-century image of the Patroness of Gibraltar; and the Lighthouse and Mosque, which blends classic Islamic design with modern facilities.

Guided walks

Go on a guided walking tour around the city walls, held every Friday at 1030. The walls and fortifications of the City of Gibraltar were first built by the Moors to defend the country against invasion, and have since been added to by the Spanish and British. A walk along the walls is the best way to get a glimpse into the history of the city and sites.

Macaque monkeys

In the Apes' Den, take pictures of the famous Barbary apes, which are in fact not apes but macaque monkeys without tails. These are the only wild primates in Europe.

Marina Quay and Queensway Quay

These two modern marina developments provide visitors with the chance to indulge in some serious people watching while sampling delicious seafood in attractive harbourside restaurants.

Mediterranean Steps walk

Starting at O'Hara's Battery (the highest point in Gibraltar), the walk snakes down the eastern cliff, and around the southern slopes, to the western side of the Rock.

Rock Tour

The 90-minute Official Rock Tour takes visitors to the various attractions around the Rock, such as the Pillars of Hercules, Apes Den and St Michaels Cave.

St Michael's Cave

St Michael's Cave is situated 300m (1,000ft) above sea level, and was known to the Romans for its spectacular stalactites and stalagmites. It is part of a complex series of interlinked caves, including Leonora's Cave and Lower St Michael's Cave. Today, it is used for concerts and ballet. The Upper Galleries, hewn by hand from the Rock in 1782, house old cannons and tableaux evoking the Great Siege (1779-1783).

The Convent

Head to the Convent at the end of Main Street to see the daily changing of the guards. The convent has been the residence of the governor since 1728, and was formerly a 16th-century Franciscan Monastic house. It is also rumoured that the convent is haunted by the ghost of a nun, known as the 'Lady in Grey'.

Trafalgar Cemetery

Find the town's ancient cemetery just off Main Street, at Southport Gate. Trecherous sea battles took their toll, with many lost lives commemorated here. Browse the intricate and well-kept headstones, some dating back to 1789.

Whale watching

The Bay of Gibraltar is home to a large population of dolphins and whales, and tourists can take boat trips to view these fascinating creatures.

Edited by Jane Duru
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