The British colony of Gibraltar known as 'the rock' is found at the southernmost tip of Spain facing Morocco. It's a striking mass of limestone with a pleasant all year climate and numerous historical and natural attractions. The enclave relies much on tourism for its economy as well as financial services and its bustling port.
Gibraltar is only 5km long and 1.6km at its widest.
Go on a dolphin watching trip in the Bahia De Algeciras. The bay has a major year around population of these beautiful animals. From April to September boats make frequent daily trips from Watergardens Quay and Marina Bay. The two hour trips nearly always guarantee sightings of dolphins and may also provide a view of some whales in action.
Contains many fascinating historical, architectural and military displays. Highlights include a Muslim bathhouse and a quaint model of 'the rock' made in the 1860s by British officers.
There are many interesting religious sites. In the town the 19th Century Anglican Cathedral Of The Holy Trinity is worth a visit. Similarly the Catholic Cathedral of St Mary is an impressive place standing on the site of Gibraltar's main mosque. The Kings Chapel is part of a 16th Century Franciscan convent which is also the Governor's residence. At Europa Point, the southern tip of the enclave, are the Christian shrine of Our Lady Of Europe and the Mosque of The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques. The last, is thought to be the largest mosque in a non Muslim country.
Contains graves of British soldiers who died following the defeat of the French fleet at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.
Includes the impressive 100-ton Victorian supergun. The site overlooks Rosia Bay where Nelson's body was brought ashore, following the Battle of Trafalgar, in a rum barrel from HMS victory.
Offers spectacular views and lots of paths and quiet roads to explore. The area is home to hundreds of different plant species, exotic migrating birds and most famously Europe's only wild colony of apes. Famously the old legend goes that when the apes disappear from Gibraltar so will the British. The reserve also offers a cable car experience.
Also found in the Upper Rock area this big impressive grotto of stalacmites and stalactites was once home to early man. It's now a popular visitor attraction and an occasional venue for concerts and plays.
These impressive rock tunnels were created by the British during the siege of 1779-83 to create gun emplacements. They are part of an amazing 70km of tunnels on Gibraltar, most of which are off limits. Famously General Eisenhower had his headquarters in one of these tunnels during World War Two.
You will find a good range of accommodation on Gibraltar and something to suit most needs. There is everything from youth hostels to luxury hotels including the Rock Hotel, whose famous visitors included Winston Churchill and Noel Coward. If you find yourself priced out or accommodation or rooms are sold out in Gibraltar you can always look for alternative arrangements in the Spanish border town of La Linea.
Regular flights from the UK, especially London. Morocco Airlines fly from Gibraltar to Casablanca. There is no bus service to Gibraltar although the town provides local services. Beware vehicle queues at the border. Once inside remember driving is on the right as in Spain, not the left as in England. A regular ferry service goes between Gibraltar and Tangiers. All of Gibraltar is easily navigated on foot.
Despite the Mediterranean climate in the main centre the numbers of British shops, British pubs and British locals creates a strange sense at times for British visitors of not really being away from home. In fact, one of the best examples of this is the amount of typical British pub grub on offer. Fish and chips, fried breakfasts and other traditional meals abound. Elsewhere Marks & Spencer, Safeway and other British shopping institutions keep Brits feeling at home, including the occasional Indian corner shop. The other main British feature is the numbers of coastal and naval fortifications. Gun emplacements are all around the town and provide fascinating visitor attractions offering insights into the important British military history of Gibraltar.
Traces of Phoenician, Greek and Moroccan Islamic and Spanish rule are evident on the island but its modern history began in 1713 when Spain signed the area away to the British. It then became an important naval site, including a crucial base for allied landings of North Africa in World War Two. Spain still contests ownership of the enclave while Gibraltar's own parliament the House of Assembly provides self government.