Gibraltar holidays offer a heady mix of British, Spanish and African influences - expect red post boxes, monkeys, afternoon tea and tapas. All under a blazing Mediterranean sun.
Gibraltar has been British longer than the US has been American. Its swashbuckling history is evident in Moorish fortifications and miles of military tunnels laboriously carved through that huge rock.
Speaking of the rock, it’s impossible to ignore the impressive 425 metres of limestone ridge. Towering above the town and beaches, it’s a real wildlife haven. Especially as it’s home to those cheeky little monkeys, the Barbary apes. At its peak, it’s surprisingly lush, green and is a designated nature reserve. If you don’t mind blisters or perilous heights, you can go hiking while you’re up there and enjoy the spectacular views.
Indeed, there’s a heck of a lot of wildlife for such a small place. In spring time thousands of butterflies flutter by. Enormous bird migrations soar over on their way from Africa to Europe and whales and dolphins pass by in great numbers.
Gibraltar town sports well-known UK high street brands, and VAT free status makes shopping rather worthwhile. Afterwards, live it up in one of the glitzy casinos or upmarket restaurants. Or just go for a pint. Gibraltar will happily offer you either.
Donde esta the best town on the Costa del Sol? We would argue that Malaga has a good claim to that title. It’s been spruced up of late and the glamorous historic centre is surrounded by chic boutiques, cool cafes and traditional tapas bars. There’s loads to see and do, but with acres of beautiful sandy beaches and waterfront bars, perhaps the best option is to kick back and enjoy a bit of the Spanish way of life.
Estepona is a lovely Spanish coastal town with charm and character intact. Numerous tapas bars and cafes line the steep cobbled streets, while the revamped old town is filled with ancient buildings decorated with pots of flowers. The seafront boasts a beautiful marina and harbour, as well as a golden sandy beach.
Dramatic Ronda sits astride the deep El Tajo gorge, which splits the town in two. Its spectacular location makes it the perfect place to have a wander around and explore. When you’re tired by all that beauty, say hola to some of the region’s finest tapas with a lovely selection of rustic bars and cafés.
Rock of Gibraltar
Hop on the cable car to the top of the rock, where you can visit the Barbary apes. Hike to the top of the summit or visit St Michael’s cave, which was once home to the area’s Neolithic inhabitants. It now hosts concerts and plays, and on a clear day, you can see Morocco from the outdoor café. Now that’s what we call a view.
At the southern tip of the peninsula lies Europa Point. Dominated by its historic 19th-century lighthouse, there’s also the chapel of Nuestra Señora de Europa and the impressive Ibrahim-al-Ibrahim Mosque. Harding Battery, a restored fortification built in 1859, and Nun's Well, an ancient underground water reservoir, are a few more of the sights in this little corner of Gibraltar.
The Great Siege Tunnels
Time to go underground. Carved out of the sheer rock face by the British in the 18th century, this labyrinth of tunnels is a bit of an engineering marvel. Added to in World War II, the tunnels became a virtual underground city complete with bakery, hospital and vehicle maintenance workshop.
Considering Gibraltar is less than seven kilometres square, it’s quite something that it manages to squeeze six beaches in. Four of them, Sandy Bay, Eastern Beach, Catalan Bay and Western Beach, are sandy. Camp Bay and Little Bay are rocky lidos. We think that Catalan Bay, a small beach and fishing village away from the main drag, is the best place to work on that tan.
If you like afternoon tea followed by fresh seafood for dinner, you’ve come to the right place. A proper mishmash of British and Spanish cuisines, you can grab a Sunday roast as easily as some tapas.
Gibraltar also has African and French influences, and high-end dining can be found in some glamorous new waterside developments. A popular local dish is fideos al horno, a baked pasta dish with macaroni, bolognaise, egg and bacon. Spanish tortilla is plentiful. Also look out for Calentita and panissa, both quiche-like, made from chickpea flour and rather tasty.
Gibraltar may be small, but its unique cultural mix means you’ll find everything from all day breakfasts to ice cream shops to classy Med restaurants, all within touching distance. Seafood is fresh from the sea, and there are tapas bars aplenty.
It can safely be said that there’s no other place quite like Gibraltar anywhere in the world. One minute feeling like Blighty, the next like a Spanish village; it’s a heady mix of culture. But it’s one that is guaranteed to make you feel instantly at home, and possibly a bit nostalgic. Should you require something a bit more in keeping with the locality, several lovely Spanish towns and villages are within easy reach.
Booking your holiday to Gibraltar with easyJet holidays is the best way to get to this must-see destination hassle-free. Best of all, you can save on your holiday when you book your flight and hotel together with easyJet holidays.