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Boats Pulled onto Beach Below the Rock of Gibraltar, Gibraltar
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Gibraltar Featured Hotels  /  Gibraltar Travel Guide

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Monkeys on Gibraltar

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Gibraltar Travel Guide:

St. Michael's Caves, Gibraltar
Gibraltar — Little England on the tip of Spain
Ten Things To Do In The Rock Of Gibraltar
The Apes of Gibraltar
Video photo-guide of Gibraltar

Gibraltar Featured Hotels

The Rock of Gibraltar, Mediterranean
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Ten Things To Do In The Rock Of Gibraltar   by Jonathan Williams

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The Rock of Gibraltar is a place rich in history especially in the traces of human existence dating as far back as the age of the Neanderthal man. There has been a longstanding battle between Spain and the UK for sovereignty of the place, and a unanimous vote by the people of Gibraltar to remain under British rule rendered it still to be a British territory up to this day.
The Rock of Gibraltar, Mediterranean
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Nonetheless, Gibraltar's unique culture is a combination of all the influences that have landed in the region, Spanish and British notwithstanding, and its landmarks are worth seeing if you're going on a trip to this place.

1.) Dolphin and whale watching

A cove down Gibraltar has an amazing display of dolphins and whales in their natural habitat. A trip down this bay is worth making just to witness the beauty of these sea creatures playing and showing off their splendor for all to see. Here, you will truly appreciate these marine creatures in their natural habitat.

2.) Cable ride

For a spectacular view from the top of the Rock of Gibraltar, you can take a cable car ride. During the ride, you will also get to see the majestic spread of Spain up north and Africa down south. This is truly a sight to behold!

3.) Water sports

You can go jet skiing and paragliding to enjoy the beautiful waters down in the Catalan or Sandy bays and other beaches. Be one with the underground flora and fauna by diving into the waters, too, if you love exploring under the sea. This will definitely give you a thrill as you dive deep down into the waters of Gibraltar.
4.) Migrating birds

On certain seasons, migratory birds flock the Rock of Gibraltar to escape the wintry months of their homes. Thousands of different birds come here, and the sight is truly amazing. It is one of those experiences that have you in awe at the wonders of nature.

5.) Monkeys without tails

This is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Gibraltar. The macaques, otherwise known as the tailless monkeys are said to be the only species of wild primates that can be found in the whole of Europe. There is also a wonderful legend covering the existence of these macaques in Gibraltar, one which believes that it will cease to be a British territory once these monkeys have also ceased to exist.

City and Harbour, Gibraltar, Gibraltar
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6.) Museum

Here, you will find the earliest evidences of human existence in Gibraltar. The museum houses a skull of the Neanderthal man said to have first inhabited the place. You will also learn all about the historical battle between the British and Spanish troops for the right to own the Rock of Gibraltar.
Ruins of Moorish Castle, Gibraltar, Mediterranean
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7.) Botanical Garden

The Botanical Garden is said to have been around since the early 1800s. Gibraltar's gardens are a collection of native and foreign plants and flowers. You will also see here bust sculptures that depict the era of when the garden was first opened.

8.) Shopping

Don't miss out on shopping here. In fact, you can go on a shopping spree guilt-free because most goods and commodities here are sold at lower prices. This is primarily due to lower taxes on these goods as well as the freedom from other government taxes.

9.) Shrines and mosques

Gibraltar has been under many influences including religion. This country has a rich mixture of these religious influences in their history. Here, you will see mosques converted into the Shrine of Gibraltar's Patroness, Our Lady of Europe, among other things.

10.) Changing of the Guards

Typically British, this ceremony, which takes place a couple of times within the day, is something to watch out for. You will witness the discipline and perhaps a little stoicism in the behavior of the Guards that are quite entertaining and awe-inspiring at the same time. You can see this in the place where Gibraltar's Governor resides.

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About the Author - Jonathan Williams is the travel writer for Destination Guide TV - the place to share travel videos. Visit to view or share Gibraltar travel videos.

Gibraltar — Little England on the tip of Spain

Long an object of dispute between Spain and Great Britain, the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar is a little enigma, tucked away at the very tip of Spain. It's a place where Spanish and English are intertwined.

To drive there from Málaga city, it is best to take the toll roads - speedy and quick - rather than the normal highway, where you will find a series of very irritating roundabouts to slow you down. Along the way, you will bypass Fuengirola, Marbella and Estepona, among other coastal towns, with some lovely countryside on both sides of the highway, and glimpses of the blue sea at most turns in the road.

You zoom along the Costa del Sol, also known as the Costa del Golf, and pass through around four traffic tunnels along the way. From around Marbella onwards, you can already see the enigmatic Rock of Gibraltar on the horizon.

As you near Gibraltar you first pass through San Roque in Cádiz province. The so-called “Very Noble and Most Loyal City of San Roque, where Gibraltar lives on”, was officially founded in 1706 and the Rock of Gibraltar used to form part of this city in the historic past until Great Britain got involved and pinched it.

While it was a popular beach resort at one stage, the city has, unfortunately, been rather spoiled by being the home of the CEPSA Gibraltar-San Roque oil refinery.

Then on to La Línea de la Concepción, the Spanish coastal town which is literally right next to Gibraltar and has close social and economic ties with the British territory (also, both San Roque and La Línea actually overlook the Bay of Gibraltar.)

From there it's a hop, skip and a jump to the border, where on an average day you just wave your open passport at your windscreen and smile, as you drive on through. Americans used to encounters with the TSA might find this just a little astonishing! To avoid queues, try to arrive after 10h00 and leave before 17h00, otherwise you might get stuck in a line of people on their way to or from work in Gibraltar.

Once that part is over, as long as there are no incoming planes, you just drive across the runway of the airport and into, well, England. Well, almost.

The signs are all in English - however, cars drive on the right (as they would in Spain), and not on the left (as they would in England). When walking in the streets, you mostly hear English, but often also hear Spanish. It is not unusual to hear a Spanish family speaking a combination of both languages. The majority of Gibraltarians are English, Spanish and Moroccan, with a smattering of other European nationalities, including Genoese, Maltese, Portuguese and German.

The streets are mostly narrow and winding, with a lot of one-way streets, and intersections can be confusing at times. The town is a mixture of modern, and also very old, buildings from Gibraltar's military existence and historical past. Strange names like "Ragged Staff Gates" and various "bastions" are seen throughout the town on signs on the old buildings. Some have been converted for more modern use.

It takes a bit of getting used to, finding your way around, and it could be best to just park your car and use the excellent public transport system.

Gibraltar's Economy:

On the economy in Gibraltar, while the British military traditionally dominated Gibraltar's economy, with the naval dockyard providing the bulk of economic activity, this has lessened recently, and nowadays Gibraltarians make money in financial services, Internet gaming, shipping and tourism.

Unlike most cities and towns in Spain, "to let" and "for sale" signs are rare and there are very few closed shops to be seen when walking the streets of Gibraltar.

Shopping in Gibraltar:

For everyday grocery shopping, there is one major supermarket in Gibraltar, a branch of Morrison's, which is a fair-sized store with a good selection of food and other items. Like the Morrison's supermarkets in England, there is a cafeteria for meals and snacks. Petrol and diesel are available at the Morrison's petrol station at prices which beat those found at the CEPSA petrol stations in town.

Other than that the majority of shopping is to be found in High Street. All the major clothing stores are represented including Tommy Hilfiger, Marks and Spencers and Mango, among others. Along the way are many quaint traditional English pubs, bistros, cafés and restaurants.

Some shops date back to the old days, including the Anglo Hispano Company Limited, selling fine wines, liquor and tobacco.

On the subject of tobacco, for smokers, Gibraltar is an absolute bargain with duty-free cigarettes at very low costs.  Other restaurants and bars can be found at the harbour, some overlooking the Bay and Straits of Gibraltar.

There are some very attractive buildings lining High Street with unusual shutters and balconies to be seen (see video photo slideshow).

As you stroll along High Street you will be accosted by various tour operators, trying to persuade you to do the "Rock of Gibraltar tour".

Definitely worth at least one visit, the top of the rock is a nature reserve with various interesting birds and animals to be found, including the Barbary macaques. Beware, these little apes are famous for their thieving. Many have lost their sunglasses and other loose items, and the writer was devastated by the loss of a double-chocolate muffin some years ago! They are so darn quick.

It is actually possible to take yourself up there, without the aid of a tour operator. The Gibraltar Cable Car runs from outside the Gibraltar Botanic Gardens to the top of the Rock. Amazing views and pleasant walks abound up there.
Gibraltar is definitely worth a visit on your holiday in southern Spain. Should you wish to stay for a few days, the town has several excellent hotels available, or you could stay at a beachfront hotel in La Línea de la Concepción or San Roque on the Spanish side and comfortably bus it into Gibraltar.

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About the author:  Anne Sewell is a citizen journalist who writes on travel and other general news subjects at Digital Journal.

The Apes of Gibraltar

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The Barbary Apes of Gibraltar, Macaca Sylvanus, are actually tail-less monkeys and are an unusual and delightful attraction for anyone visiting Gibraltar or the Costa del Sol. No one is really sure how the only wild apes in Europe arrived in Gibraltar and legend has it that were they to leave The Rock then would fall to the Spanish. The two most popular explanations as to the appearance of the apes of Gibraltar is either that they crossed via a subterranean tunnel from their native Morocco or British sailors introduced them having picked them up on their travels. 

Whatever the explanation they readily adapted to their new habitat and have lived, bred and been an integral part of Gibraltar for some centuries now.
During the second World War their numbers went into a decline and Sir Winston Churchiil, taking a personal interest in the Gibraltar Apes, arranged to have some more imported from Morocco.Since then their numbers have steadily increased and today, in addition to the pack readily seen around the Apes Den, there are five other packs living wild on the steep slopes of the Rock.

The apes that the visitor sees are very tame and quite cheeky, often climbing on unsuspecting tourists and onto the taxis that bring the tourists to the top of the rock to see them. Most of the taxi drivers know the individual apes and can often tell you quite a lot about them.

The tour of the rock can either be undertaken by taxi or you can take the cable car up and then enjoy a very pleasant walk taking in the wonderful views of the Mediterranean to one side and the Atlantic to the other.You will see lots of Gibraltar apes this way and can stop and enjoy their company and take plenty of photos. The walk will take you down past St. Michael's Cave, which you should definitely visit, before carrying on and picking up the cable car again at it's mid-way stage.

The Rock's Peak, Gibraltar, Bay of Algeciras, Mediterranean Sea, Europe
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The welfare of the Barbary Apes is now in the hands of the Gibraltar Ornithological and Natural History Society and the R.S.P.C.A.

N.B. Note by webmaster - take care, as these cheeky monkeys sometimes steal from you.  When I was up there they took my double chocolate muffin!  And a guy lost his t-shirt, which he had slung over his shoulder....

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Article submitted by Ruth Polak the owner of A web site specializing in holiday villas and apartments on the Costa del Sol and in Rural Andalucia. You will also find lots of information about Spain and Andalucia, in particular. 

St. Michael's Caves, Gibraltar
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St. Michael's Caves in Gibraltar are situated some 300m above sea level on the southerly end of the Rock of Gibraltar. They are a marvellous sight with many truly impressive stalagmites and stalactites. It has long been believed that the caves are bottomless which in turn gave credence to the theory that there was once a subterranean link, about 15 miles long, between Gibraltar and Africa and that it was through this that the Apes of Gibraltar, the only wild monkeys in Europe, found their way onto the Rock many centuries ago. Certainly they have their counterparts across the Mediterranean in Africa and the only other feasible explanation for their appearance on mainland Europe is that they were introduced by sailors who collected them on their travels.

The caves have been visited since Roman times but today's visitor has the benefit of footlights and hand rails to assist them. It is still slippery underfoot though so be sure to wear good footware.  The main Cathedral cave is an impressive site and during the Second World War was adapted to be used as a military hospital. However it was never required as such and today is put to a more peaceful use when concerts are held there. The acoustics are wonderful.

The rest of the caves consist of various interconnecting passageways with some really impressive stalagmites and stalagtites. At some point in it's past one of these enormous structures, unable any longer to bear it's own weight, gave way and fell. In 1792 an inquisitive person removed a section from the it's top end and this has left the interior of the stalactite exposed, giving us a wonderful insight into the secret history of these magnificent structures. It shows quite clearly in rings the history of it's growth, for instance during periods of excessive rain its growth is indicated by light-brown rings and patches and the darker areas were formed during periods of less rain. Perhaps the two thin lines of crumbly white substance are the most interesting part of its structure as it is believed that these represent glacial periods.
Sailboats Moored in Gibraltar Bay
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During the preparation of the caves for a military hospital the blasting required to improve ventilation revealed a series of further caves and an underground lake. However these can only be visited with a guide by prior arrangement.

One of the best ways to get up to the caves is by cable car which operates from the car park at the top end of the Rock. The car will take you to the top of the rock from where it is a pleasant stroll down to St. Michael's caves. This will also enable you to take in the wonderful views of both the Atlantic and the Mediterranean and of course see many of the Gibraltar apes. On leaving the caves you can then continue to walk down until you reach the mid-way stage and pick up the cable car again. For the less energetic you can take a trip in a taxi. The driver will also take you to meet the apes, give you a potted history of the Rock of Gibraltar and wait for you whilst you visit the caves.

Whichever way you decide to do it a visit to both St. Michael's caves and to the apes is a very enjoyable excursion.

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Article submitted by Ruth Polak the owner of A web site specializing in holiday villas and apartments on the Costa del Sol and in Rural Andalucia. You will also find lots of information about Spain and Andalucia, in particular. 


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AC Hotel La Linea by Marriott, La Linea de la Concepcion
The contemporary AC Hotel La Linea is situated on the beach promenade with views of the Rock of Gibraltar, 40 kilometres from the Costa Del Sol and close to the entrance of Gibraltar. Room amenities include air conditioning, cable television, fireplaces, minibars, and internet connections. Bathrooms are simply complete with handheld showers, hair dryers, makeup mirrors and bidets.  Guests can relax by the pool or enjoy an early workout in the fitness centre.   The Lounge Bar is perfect for relaxing over cocktails. The Sala AC Restaurant specialises in fresh local produce from the nearby Guadiaro Valley Market Gardens and the local fishing grounds. The wine list features 'exceptional' wines from the Jerez Region.
The Caleta Hotel, Catalan Bay, Gibraltar
The Caleta Hotel in Gibraltar offers high quality conference, wedding, accommodation, restaurant and leisure facilities to an international clientele of well-travelled business visitors, families, and those simply spending a holiday, short break, or leisurely long weekend in Gibraltar. The hotel boasts modern well-appointed rooms and suites, restaurants, a lounge bar, health & beauty club and the best wedding, conference and banqueting facilities anywhere in Gibraltar.  A favoured choice of business travellers and those visiting Gibraltar for a short break or holiday, this classic 4 star hotel is located on the tranquil eastside of the Rock; a vantage point that offers simply stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea and the coastline of the Costa del Sol.
The O'Callaghan Eliott Hotel, Gibraltar
Positioned along the tree-lined Governor's Square off Main Street is the O'Callaghan Eliott Hotel in Gibraltar. The hotel stands 1 kilometer from Gibraltar Airport. Various cultural and historical attractions are within 2 kilometers, including Gibraltar Museum, World War Ii Tunnels and a Moorish Castle built in 1333.  The Rooftop Restaurant overlooks the Strait of Gibraltar, and serves Mediterranean and continental specialties for buffet-style breakfasts and dinner. A shaded bar terrace, the veranda bar, serves cocktails and live music weeknights. Business services include high-speed internet access, gala dinners and event catering. A beauty salon and gym are available at the hotel. Ice cream and summer drinks are served seasonally by the heated outdoor pool.
The Rock Hotel, Gibraltar
The Rock Hotel is an institution amongst Gibraltar Hotels and indeed the Mediterranean. Built in 1932 by the Marquis of Bute, the hotel to this day still offers standards of service and guest care from that bygone, more genteel era.  Decorated in the colonial style the Rock offers 104 comfortable bedrooms which include a number of suites, junior suites and penthouses.  Of all the Gibraltar hotels the Rock enjoys a unique aspect in Gibraltar with all rooms having magnificent views across the Bay of Gibraltar, the Spanish mainland and the Rif Mountains of Morocco.
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