Welcome to Gibraltar Insider, offering a fascinating insight into the extraordinary history and military importance of this much coveted chunk of rock that has won the hearts of residents and visitors alike. Take a journey through Gibraltar Insider and discover its superb attractions, exciting activities, lively entertainment venues, transport and accommodation options, beach areas and spectacular nature reserve, complete with cheeky monkeys.
During the creation of Gibraltar Insider, our team of researchers have endeavoured to include as much detailed information, locations, maps, handy hints and interesting topics as possible in order to highlight all this amazing little country has to offer visitors. From the top of the iconic Rock to the bottom of the sea, we have included articles that we hope will help our valued readers have the time of their lives during their visit to Gibraltar. So go ahead and add Gibraltar Insider to your phone favourites, for your personal guide to the delights of the Rock.
Gibraltar could possibly be the last known habitation of the Neanderthals after evidence of their existence here between 28,000 and 24,000 BP (before present) was found in Gorham's Cave, although within recorded history the first inhabitants here were the Phoenicians in about 950 BC. During this time Gibraltar was known as one of the Pillars of Hercules and went on to be ruled by many nations, including the Moors after their conquest of Iberia in 711 AD. More recently the Rock was evacuated during World War II and after fortifications were reinforced, became an important naval base and served Britain well, assisting Malta during its long siege.
Modern Day Gibraltar
Nowadays Gibraltar is often referred to as ‘Britain in the sun' and being a British Overseas Territory is governed by its laws and retains many British characteristics, with bright red post boxes, double decker buses and smartly dressed Bobbys still walking the beat wearing their distinct domed helmets. All this provides a welcoming home away from home for thousands of British visitors each year where they can enjoy cafes, bars and restaurants offering a taste of home with a sprinkling of Mediterranean sunshine.
Due to its small size, Gibraltar is fairly limited when it comes to hotels although there is also a choice of holiday apartments, and further hotels, guest houses and holiday apartments across the border in La Línea de la Concepción. A handy hint from us at Gibraltar Insider is to book your accommodation as early as possible when planning a holiday, and if you wish to save money you may find some of the accommodation choices in La Línea a lot more affordable.
Gibraltar's airport is a pleasure to travel in and out of, being walking distance to the central district and many of the hotels, although due to gusty cross winds is often not much of a pleasure when landing and taking off! If you do survive the landing you will find a selection of car hire companies in the terminal as well as taxi's that often double as tour guides for a fee. Alternately, Gibraltar has a regular and efficient local bus service and a handy night bus. Visitors can also hire bicycles which are a great way to get around the rock, and with its small size most of the popular areas and attractions can be reached on foot.
With such a rich history there is no shortage of splendid attractions in Gibraltar, many located on and around the Rock, the top of which can be reached by scenic cable car. For those who have the stamina, the famous Mediterranean Steps offer a challenging and sometimes scary hike around the Rock and are by far the most picturesque way to take in the sights and stunning views to the north African coast, if you have a head for heights. Watching the cheeky antics of the Barbary Macaques is a highlight for many visitors to the Rock and further birds, animals and reptiles can be seen at the wildlife park in the beautiful Alameda Gardens.
With its wonderful Ocean Village Marina and large harbour, sailing and yachting are popular activities in Gibraltar, and there are a number of yacht clubs and yacht charters available to visitors who wish to spend a day or more exploring the fantastic coastline. If you have transport then you may wish to take a trip to one of the many resorts on the Costa del Sol which lie around 60 km away on the Spanish mainland. Charters for deep sea game fishing are also available, and for those who prefer to get below the waves, a choice of scuba diving shops and schools offer a wide range of PADI certified courses and the chance to enjoy a fun introduction to scuba diving day. A bit further afield, the countryside around San Roque, Sotogrande and Tarifa offer the perfect terrain for horse riding, and visitors who enjoy wind and kite surfing will find Tarifa boasts some of the best wind sports in the world.
Doing research and writing articles on entertainment is always fun, and the team at Gibraltar Insider have given it their best, despite a few sore heads in the morning! Gibraltar's central district along Main Street and Irish Town, as well as Grand Casemates Square and Ocean Village Marina are the main entertainment areas where visitors will find a fantastic selection of shops, duty free shops, cafes, ice cream parlours, takeaways, bars and restaurants. These areas are lively both day and night, and at Ocean Village Marina there is a choice of casinos as well as the popular Dusk Nightclub. Not forgetting the young ones, King's Bastion Leisure Centre offers superb entertainment for all the family with 10 pin bowling, ice skating, cinema, exciting amusement arcade, youth bar & disco, an adults bar and popular restaurant.
Beaches & Golf Courses
A series of small bays form the majority of Gibraltars beaches, Eastern Beach being the largest and closest to the central district and main residential areas. A further choice of beaches can be found just across the border in La Línea de la Concepción and along the coast at Sotogrande. By far the best beaches and water sports options are located in Tarifa where there is also a series of secluded coves and bays dedicated to nudists. San Roque and Sotogrande boast some of Europe's finest golf courses as well as a number of other excellent leisure facilities such as tennis centres, polo clubs, equestrian centres, yacht clubs and upmarket resort hotels.
We do hope you have enjoyed this brief overview of Gibraltar as much as the team at Gibraltar Insider have enjoyed researching and writing the articles, and be sure to read on and discover in full all the wonderful delights this sunny little British enclave has to offer visitors.