When enjoying a holiday in Gibraltar, visitors who fancy a day at the beach should head to the east side of the Rock where they will find the wide sands and clear waters of Catalan Bay. The North District around Ocean Village Marina, central shopping district and west side harbour area are the busiest parts of Gibraltar and boast the most attractions, including the cable car terminus to the Upper Rock attractions and nature reserve. The east side of the Rock however has few attractions but does offer a series of small bays and coves that are ideal for swimming and sunbathing as they get the most of the sunshine.
Getting to Catalan Bay from the central and north district can be done on foot and takes about 30 minutes although it is uphill for most of the way so visitors may prefer to drive or take a bus. If driving there is public parking near the bay that can however get pretty full during peak summer season. Bus numbers 4 and 8 run to the bay from Grand Casemates Square and tickets can be purchased for a single journey, or if you are thinking of visiting other areas of Gibraltar in the same day it's best to purchase a Day Hopper ticket which gives you 24h unlimited travel.
Catalan Bay is quite small but the sands are wide and unfortunately sometimes have more seagull visitors than people. There are decent facilities including ablutions, bric-a-brac shops and a few nearby bars and restaurants, Seawave Bar in particular seems popular. On a whole the waters are quite warm and gentle but when the wind gets up it's best to avoid the large rock that juts into the water near the Caleta Hotel as the water here can get turbulent.
A great idea to round off a day at Catalan Bay and treat yourself, is to visit Caleta Hotel where there is a health club & spa that also offers a range of beauty treatments and massages. The hotel's fabulous Nunos Italian Restaurant has a two Rosette, AA rating and offers indulgent cuisine where customers can also enjoy al fresco dining on the superb outdoor terrace. From here the views to the north African coastline and Iberian Peninsula are quite stunning.