Located on the southern most tip of the Costa del Sol, just a stone's throw from North Africa and on the edge of the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, Gibraltar Airport handles over 300,000 passengers every year. The airport is not only the gateway to Gibraltar but also to the western Costa del Sol and the Province of Cadiz, and with a flight time of less than three hours, it is hardly surprising that Gibraltar is so popular with the Brits.
The Rock of Gibraltar belongs to the British, but back in 2006 it was agreed to share the airport with Spain by having one half standing on Gibraltar soil and the other half on Spanish soil. However, whilst phase 1 has been completed, with Gibraltar having opened their new terminal at a cost of around 70 million Euros, phase 2 has yet to begin. The Spanish, whose budget is a mere 7 million Euros, have not yet started work. Disagreements between the AENA and the Town Hall of La Linea de la Conception seems to have prevented any work from taking place.
There's something about dolphins which captivates the majority of us humans. Whether it's their beauty and gentle nature or their agility in the water, watching dolphins makes us very happy. You may be surprised to learn that the Straits of Gibraltar sees a huge amount of dolphins and whales despite the fact that it is also one of the busiest shipping channels in the world. Considering that adults and children alike enjoy dolphins, it's not surprising that Gibraltar dolphin tours rank amongst the most popular of all the Gibraltar attractions.
Dolphin spotting and whale watching continues to grow in popularity in Gibraltar. At it's narrowest point, the Strait of Gibraltar is about 10 miles wide and it's towards the centre of the Strait that the dolphins and whales are at their most prolific.
The Great Siege Tunnels sum up everything that is historic and indeed great about Gibraltar. They are the antithesis of the rock's turbulent past and as a result they really are pretty near the top on a long list of must see Gibraltar attractions.
Around the time of the war of independence 1775 -1783, it is fair to say that British troops were spread very thinly, concentrating most of their efforts on the American front. However, between the years of 1779 and 1783, the coalition forces of France and Spain mounted a stream of all-out attacks on Gibraltar in their hope to win back the rock from the British garrison, which had fought and taken the rock after a combined Anglo-Dutch invasion in 1704.
Even if you don't like heights you may want to make an exception and conquer your fears, because a ride in the Gibraltar Cable Car is one of the most incredible experiences on the Rock and is one of the must do Gibraltar attractions. The exhilarating ride carries you majestically to a height of 412 metres above sea level from which you get some incredible views of the surrounding area.
The cable car was built and installed by a Swiss cable car manufacturer, Von Roll Limited, and first opened to the public in 1966, and has since then seen several upgrades.
When you are looking to travel to southern Spain and in particularly Gibraltar, there is nothing that epitomises this tiny part of the English sovereignty more than the Gibraltar apes. Otherwise known as Barbary Macaques or Macaca Sylvanus, they are a strange addition to this eclectic cornerstone of southern Europe and are the only wild primates in Europe. Despite their name, rather curiously they are in fact monkeys and not apes.
No one is totally sure how the Macaques came to be here. Some suggest that they arrived here from their native home in Morocco using a subterranean tunnel underneath the Straights of Gibraltar, although it has to be said that no evidence of this tunnel having existed has ever been found. A more likely theory is that they were brought over from the North African continent by the moors who occupied this part of the peninsular between 711 and 1492.
Locally known as the central plaza, Casemates Square is the largest square (plaza) in Gibraltar. It is situated right at the bottom of Main Street and has a plethora of restaurants bars and cafes, in which you can sit back and 'people watch' until your heart's content. During the long hot summer months you will always see crowds of people who are taking a break from the heat of the day whilst casually sipping an ice cold 'cerveza' or a refreshing glass of wine. It really is the place to see, and indeed be seen.
The word 'Casemates' or 'Casemate' means a fortified position or gun emplacement and there is a very good reason why this is so called. It was originally built as a fortified area in the 14th century, after the Spanish managed to fight off the Moors. It remained this way until the 18th century when the British gained control. They decided to build a new walled fortress with battlements on much higher ground and were still building it when the Spanish and French mounted their attack on the rock (known as the great siege).