Top things to do in Gibraltar
Despite covering an area of just 2.6 sq miles, the tiny nation of Gibraltar has much to offer to passengers on board Pullmantur cruise ships. Located at the southernmost tip of the Iberian Peninsula, Gibraltar shares a border with the Spanish province of Cadiz and overlooks the Mediterranean Sea. Due to its location, it was referred to in Greek mythology as one of the Pillars of Hercules, marking the edge of the Mediterranean and the known world.
Today, Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory and offers much to the discerning visitor, including many famous natural landmarks and beaches. Selected Iberian and Mediterranean cruises with Pullmantur can take you to this stunning destination. This week, we take a closer look at the highlights you can expect to see and experience during your visit.
The upper rock, otherwise known as the Rock of Gibraltar, is perhaps the most renowned landmark of this tiny Mediterranean nation. It is visible from afar, whilst a venture to the top will provide breath-taking views. You will be able to see Europe beneath your feet, whilst the North African coast fills the horizon.
It is believed that if the Barbary macaques were ever to leave the Rock of Gibraltar, the British would leave shortly after. Gibraltar is the only place remaining in Europe where you can find these tailless species of monkey roaming around freely. There are believed to be 160 Barbary macaques in Gibraltar, and one of the best places to see them in Apes’ Den.
For the intrepid explorer, a 1½ to 2½ hour trek via the Mediterranean Steps will enable you to reach the summit of the rock. The walk will take you around a nature reserve filled with a wonderful range of flora and fauna. Those who succeed in climbing the steps will be rewarded with unparalleled views across the Mediterranean.
There are also surprises to be found within the rock as well, with The Great Siege Tunnels considered to be one of the most impressive defence systems ever devised. A labyrinth of tunnels was built in 1783 in an attempt to mount guns to the north face of the rock. This proved successful and Gibraltar was defended against the French and Spanish troops. The tunnels were expanded further during World War II and currently cover a length of 33 miles.
Marking the shortest distance between Europe and Africa, Europa Point provides fantastic photograph opportunities of the Mediterranean. If you don’t want to climb to the top of the upper rock, there is the option to take a cable car ride from Europa Point.
In 1841, Europa Point was lit up with the addition of a lighthouse and the power of this light has been increased over time. Europa Point will also take you on a journey of the history of Gibraltar, which was once conquered by Islamic forces who built a mosque in the area in 711AD. Following the Spanish conquest in 1462, this mosque was later converted into the Christian Shrine of Our Lady. A second mosque was later built in 1997 in a project sponsored by King Fahd of Saudi Arabia. It cost £5 million and is thought to be Europe’s most expensive mosque per square metre.
For such a small country to have six beaches on offer is quite remarkable. Nevertheless, these beaches offer fantastic golden sands combined with glistening turquoise waters. Visitors to Gibraltar can enjoy a sub-tropical climate throughout most of year, making the beaches the perfect place to soak up the sun.
Catalan Bay can be found on the eastern side of the rock, away from the main city. The small bay is a renowned fishing village, established in the 19th century after it was announced that only fisherman were allowed to live in the area surrounding the bay.
If you would rather escape the hustle and bustle of village and town life, be sure to visit Eastern Beach. This is Gibraltar’s largest beach, offering smooth sands, peaceful surroundings and fantastic views of the Rock.
Gibraltar is just one of the beautiful destinations you can visit on an Iberian or Mediterranean cruise with Pullmantur. If you enjoy the Spanish culture and warm weather, why not also consider a cruise to the Canary Islands?Tweet