Sun, sea, sangria and… scones with cream and jam. Gibraltar holidays deliver a delightful mix of English eccentricity and a generous helping of Spanish flair. Bordering Andalucia, the area has been a British Overseas Territory since 1713, and holidays to Gibraltar offer an endearing mix of red post boxes, afternoon tea, Spanish tapas and long, lazy days under the Mediterranean sun. A tiny nation state – less than 7 kilometres square – Gibraltar perches on the tip of the Iberian Peninsula, Europe’s southernmost point.
Holidays to Gibraltar will certainly include the 426-metre high Rock of Gibraltar, a 200-million year old limestone peak latticed with Neanderthal caves (now a Unesco World Heritage Site) and networks of underground military bunkers. At the top it’s a lush, green haven, a designated wildlife reserve that’s home to Gibraltar’s famous Barbary monkeys. With Morocco less than 25 kilometres to the south, Gibraltar occupies a strategic position, not just for humans, but for the enormous bird and butterfly migrations that soar over in springtime on their way from Africa to Europe. Echoed beneath the water, whales and dolphins pass by in huge numbers, making for plentiful wildlife watching opportunities.
Moorish influences can still be seen today in the form of ancient castles and fortifications, while the country’s military history is evident all over – underground tunnels, former artillery batteries and defensive walls and gates stand as testament to Gibraltar’s historically important position. Buzzy Gibraltar town offers well-known British high street brands alongside traditional boutiques, winding side streets and elegant squares. The marina bobs with luxury yachts, upmarket restaurants and glitzy casinos, and there are plenty of beaches dotted around to make exploring worthwhile.
Gibraltar National Day
This is an annual, bunting-waving celebration of 10 September 1967 – the date when locals voted to stay under British sovereignty. Expect massive street parties and a sea of red, white and blue.
Three Kings Cavalcade
Colourful processions mark the feast of Epiphany every 5 January, as the three kings of Christmas lead a parade of floats, bands and wide-eyed children.
Gibraltar Spring Festival
A full seven-week programme of cultural, music, arts and military events kicks off on 1 May every year, celebrating the nation’s unique heritage.
Climb the Rock
Hike to the Rock of Gibraltar’s summit and explore this amazing nature reserve. Brave souls can enter the Skywalk – a glass viewing platform 340 metres above sea level.
WW2 siege tunnels
Carved out of the rock face in the 18th century, during World War II the tunnels expanded into a virtual underground city complete with bakery and hospital. A must-see.
Chill on the beach
Tiny Gibraltar manages to pack in six beaches. Four are sandy, two rocky – make the most of the long, hot summers by lazing on at least one of them.