Long famous as the “key to the Mediterranean,” Gibraltar has been a British Overseas Territory since 1713 after being seized during the War of Spanish Succession. The “Rock of Gibraltar” rises out of the sea while the town of Gibraltar itself lies on the west side of the Rock.
A Brief History
The city’s strategic location at the entrance to the Mediterranean Sea has made it a point of interest for various civilizations throughout history. The Rock of Gibraltar, a towering limestone promontory, has been a natural fortress since ancient times.
Phoenicians, Carthaginians, and Romans all recognized its military significance. The Moors controlled Gibraltar for several centuries until the Reconquista, when it fell into Spanish hands in 1462. In 1704, during the War of Spanish Succession, a combined Anglo-Dutch force captured Gibraltar, leading to the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713, which ceded the territory to Britain.
Over the centuries, Gibraltar’s strategic importance continued to grow, particularly during conflicts like the Napoleonic Wars and World War II. The iconic Rock served as a naval and air base critical to British military operations in the Mediterranean. Today, Gibraltar is a unique blend of British and Mediterranean influences, known for its vibrant culture, the famous Barbary macaques inhabiting the Rock, and its enduring role as a symbol of strength and resilience.
Top of the Rock
Located 426 m above sea level, the Gibraltar Nature Reserve is home to the famous Barbary Apes and is known as the only place in mainland Europe where the Barbary partridges breed. This is a prominent spot for millions of migrating birds. From the top marvel at the magnificent views of the city, Spain’s Costa del Sol, and the African coastline off in the distance.
St. Michael’s Cave
St. Michael’s Cave is filled with a great number of stalactites and stalagmites, and is regarded as the largest of Gibraltar’s more than 150 caves. Legend has it there is a secret tunnel connecting the island to Africa, where the Barbary apes are said to have come through. Since the early 1960’s the cave has been used as a theater that can accommodate up to 600 people.
The Moorish Castle complex consists of various structures, entryways, and braced dividers. Its most dominant features, the Tower of Homage and The Gate House, are a sight to behold. The Tower of Homage, originally built in the 11th Century, is the only remaining part of the first palace complex, and unmistakably noticeable to all visitors.
Originally built in the 1700’s, the charming Jewish Cemetery is the entrance to the Mediterranean Steps, a long walk carved into the cliffside of Gibraltar. You will see rare flowers and enjoy breathtaking views of Gibraltar’s beaches and the dramatic coastline.
Cuisine here is inspired by…
Gibraltarian cuisine is the result of a long relationship between the people of Spanish Andalusia and those of Great Britain, as well as the many foreigners who have made Gibraltar their home over the past three centuries.
Our favorite dining spot is…
Regarded as one of Gibraltar’s best-kept secrets, Gatsby’s has been around since 1988. It offers a number of high quality local European cuisine at a fair price.
Most visitors to Gibraltar don’t stay in Gibraltar and it’s not necessary. It’s better to base yourself somewhere on the Costa Del Sol in one of the many Spanish towns and cities. Marbella and Malaga are two preferred cities just 1.5 hours from Gibraltar. Marbella is probably a more desirable choice as it’s smaller and more quaint while Malaga is much larger and more commercial.
Travel Guide Gibraltar
Gibraltar Town and Marina
Jack’s Favorite Moment
Wandering the Rock of Gibraltar
Near the southern tip of the Iberian peninsula and overlooking one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes, the Rock of Gibraltar or simply “The Rock” as it’s commonly known, rises out of the sea and is linked with mainland Spain by a narrow isthmus.
Given its proximity to Spain – one could almost toss a stone from the island to the mainland. Gibraltar’s sovereignty remains a bone of contention, and the Spanish government has, on occasion, been known to close the border. However, the island is generally accessible by bus, car, or on foot from the mainland. The port also serves as a busy terminus for cruise ships.
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Climb the Mediterranean Steps
Walk around the town
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