Gibraltar is the rocky, British territory perched on the Iberian peninsula, just off the coast of Spain at the opening of the Mediterranean Sea. Even before humans wandered the area, there is evidence at Gorham’s Cave that shows Neanderthal man came to this part of Europe and it is believed to have been one of the last places in Europe that they existed before their final disappearance.
In ancient Greek mythology it is told that the passage into the Mediterranean was created by Hercules, while the Romans, Vandals and the Carthaginians all ruled the area for a while. It has been under the control of Arabic Sultans, Spanish Princes and finally in 1704 the British. Like many destinations around southern Europe the constant changes in rule and politics have created a cultural and architecturally interesting place with a diverse range of buildings, cuisine and festivals.
Climate and food
The warm climate and gorgeous views over the mouth of the blue waters of the Med make it a fabulous place to visit and with better communications with the Spanish authorities is has, over recent years, become easier to travel to mainland Europe from the rocky outcrop. While its food varies between Berber and Moroccan dishes from North Africa, traditional Mediterranean meals served in Italy, Spain and Cyprus and of course good old fashioned British foods.
Activities on and around Gibraltar
Anywhere with access to the deep blue, clear water off the Med is going to offer a great range of watersports, scuba diving and sailing. Gibraltar is no different and its turbulent waters have some 30 wrecks on which divers can explore and swim amongst marvelous sea life. There are also a well-equipped fleet of sport fishing boats that give anglers a fabulous time chasing that big catch in the waters around the island, with fishermen landing conger eels, breem and tuna .
In addition to fishing trips, tourists can go on any number of sea excursions along the Spanish coast to Seville or Marbella, alternatively you can take a ferry trip across to Morocco. Despite its size Gibraltar has six first class beaches and visitors can leave the luxury of their holiday villa for a relaxing day laying in the sun kissed bays. Catalan Bay is a peaceful retreat, while Camp and Little bays are great places for the family to spend time together.
A favorite tour on the island is that of Lower St Michael’s Cave, enlarged to be used as a hospital during the Second World War, there are now guided trips around the caverns and hollows, a trip includes the photogenic underground lake and the many natural cave structures. There are also informative, professionally run walking tours around the small island, pointing out its interesting features and telling the long, captivating history of Gibraltar. Those who love dark, dank tunnels will be thrilled with the WWII Tunnel tour as there is a 32-mile long, honeycomb of corridors, passageways and rooms to discover.
Many visitors also take the scenic cable car trip to the top of the island, where you have undisturbed views across to North Africa, of the City of Gibraltar and the Bay of Algeciras. Here there is a snack bar and multimedia information center where you can enjoy a bite to eat and photograph the famous Barbary Apes that live here.
Gibraltar is a uniquely different holiday experience, with its eclectic mix of food, proximity to Europe and Africa and rich history it makes for a truly interesting holiday experience. Holiday makers will find lots to see in the museums, lively entertainment and beautiful natural wildlife all in one perfect little package.