For many people, one of the most important aspects of a seaside holiday is what activities they can enjoy during their stay and, although small in size, Gibraltar certainly doesn't disappoint. Having said that, the obvious activities that are popular in larger holiday resort areas such as golf, horse riding, go-karting and paintball, which require large areas of land, are just not feasible in Gibraltar as practically every inch of space on the Rock has either been built on already or is protected national park.
Another aspect that has an effect on the amount of available activities in Gibraltar, especially water sports, is the stricter British laws that have to be adhered to, unlike the majority of popular Spanish holiday spots that seem to get away with anything! However, all is not doom and gloom and if Gibraltar doesn't have it, a short drive across the border gives visitors a wider choice of activities to enjoy whilst on holiday.
Land Based Activities
Horse Riding – This is one of the popular things to do that is just not feasible in Gibraltar due to space restrictions, but keen horsemen and women will find a number of stables and riding schools in the popular Spanish town of Tarifa, less than an hour's drive, and further facilities located in the nearby residential and leisure resort of Sotogrande, less than 30 minutes drive. Most of these establishments offer lessons and the chance to enjoy hacks of varying duration.
Polo – Sticking with the equestrian theme, if you've never played or watched a polo match then you're in for a treat if you are in Gibraltar during polo season. Often referred to as the ‘sport of kings', polo is a fast and exciting sport to watch and the skill of both player and horse is truly mesmerising to watch. Also located in Sotogrande, Santa María Polo Club hold as many as 25 tournaments each year and offer spectators luxurious dining and entertainment facilities.
Day Trips – With north Africa being less than an hour's ferry journey across the Strait of Gibraltar, a day trip to Tangier in Morocco is a highlight for many holidaymakers. Although due to port regulations there is only one ferry crossing per week from Gibraltar, just across the bay in the port city of Algeciras visitors can choose from a whopping 38 ferry crossings per day, making it possible to leave and return whenever you wish.
Kids Stuff – Not forgetting the young ones, some of the larger resort style hotels in and around Gibraltar offer a great range of exciting children's activities, and if you are planning a party during your stay on the Rock, Elite Bouncing Fun provide event and equipment hire for kids such as a great range of theme bouncy castles, go-karts, face painting and Disney characters.
Water Based Activities
Scuba Diving – High on the holiday wish list for many people enjoying fun in the sun is scuba diving, and with crystal clear waters, colourful reefs and over 30 shipwrecks off the coast, Gibraltar is the perfect destination to try this thrilling water activity. There are a number of dive shops and schools in Gibraltar where visitors can try a basic introduction to scuba diving or a more advanced PADI certified course, the most popular being Open Water Diver.
Kitesurfing – Ever wondered, with the great wind conditions why you don't see kitesurfers in the waters around Gibraltar? Well, believe it or not kitesurfing has been banned in Gib because the bright colours of the kites frighten the monkeys! Not to worry, under an hour's drive is the Spanish seaside town of Tarifa which is one of the most popular destinations in the world for kitesurfing and boasts several kite shops and schools offering both equipment and lessons.
Yacht Charter – Of all the activities available in Gibraltar, chartering a yacht is probably the most expensive and suited to the more discerning and well off visitor. Yacht charter is not out of reach for the average earner though, especially if you have the full capacity of passengers to fill the charter and everyone chips in for the costs. Gibraltar's lovely Ocean Village Marina is a veritable flotilla of beautiful boats and yachts, many of which are available for charter, either piloted by a qualified member of your group or by an appointed skipper at an additional cost.
Deep Sea Fishing – With the Strait of Gibraltar being influenced by both the Atlantic ocean and the Mediterranean sea, the amount and diversity of ‘game' fish species to be found is fantastic, and it comes as a surprise that the waters around Gibraltar are still relatively untapped, but keep that to yourself! There are a number of fishing charters available in Gibraltar, La Línea and Algeciras offering all equipment and bait to enjoy one of the most thrilling activities ever.