48 Hours In Gibraltar

Gibraltar on a sunny day seen from across the bay (Photo: robert paul van beets/Shutterstock)

The small enclave of Gibraltar, just to the South of the Iberian Peninsula is a typical piece of Britain in the sun. The UK Overseas Territory is the pride of Britain, not only because 99% of the residents voted to remain British, but also because of the sheer number of historic and patriotic attractions available for visitors to the territory. The nickname “Britain in the sun” was granted for a reason.

What to see

It is impossible to visit Gibraltar without gazing up in awe at the Rock of Gibraltar. The rock dominates everything Gibraltarian, from the design on the Gibraltar Pound notes to the actual flag of the territory. Standing at 1,398 feet, the domineering Jurassic stone rock can be seen when landing on the Royal Air Force runway, when walking around town and when departing from the territory; if you miss it you are obviously not in Gibraltar. It is possible to take a leisurely hike to top of the rock to be mesmerised by the views (some say it is possible to see Morocco on a clear day) and to visit the 250 Barbary macaques who call the rock home. The macaque monkeys are sometimes cheeky, often childish and always funny, but they are protected by military decree and feeding them is illegal. Rumour has it that as long as the monkeys exist on Gibraltar the territory will remain British; and rumour has it that in 1942 when the monkey population dropped to just 7, Winston Churchill ordered the importation of Moroccan macaques to replenish the population.

What to eat

You just cannot visit a part of Britain by the sea without sampling some of the country’s famous national dish, fish and chips. At Roy’s Cod Place the unusually large fish are freshly caught, battered and then cooked as you wait and the chips are to die for. It is possible to either take the food wrapped traditionally in the newspaper of the day or to eat on the veranda, served by friendly and attentive staff, all at very reasonable prices.

What to do

There is an abundance of attractions in the territory of Gibraltar, but the absolute ‘must do’ is to hike through the Great Siege Tunnels under the town. During the 18th Century the tunnels were built to allow British troops to safely get to their guns when fighting against the French and Spanish during the American Revolutionary War. The tunnels literally lead visitors from one side of Gibraltar to the other, and they seem to span for an eternity. It is easy to climb down through the tunnels, but let’s not forget that you need to walk back up again. You should buy a ‘Nature Reserve Ticket’ to gain access to all the rock has to offer.

Where to shop

Gibraltar shopping is tax free! Casemates Square and Main Street offer some of the best shopping in Southern Europe, with all of the favourite British brands including Next, Topshop, and Tommy Hilfiger available. If you walk down one of the smaller offshoot lanes you will find some quaint old family run shops that Britain was once synonymous for. The Gibraltar Crystal Factory should also be visited, where shoppers can watch their glassware being blown; there are lots of designs to choose from.

For more information about Gibraltar, visit www.visitgibraltar.gi today.

Tags: Gibraltar, Travel Guide

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