Destination of the Week: Gibraltar
Famous for ‘The Rock’, Gibraltar is a small tourist destination that’s packed full of history, culture, architecture, shops, restaurants and, perhaps most delightfully, a colony of Barbary macaques. With its busy cruise ship terminal, spectacular views of Morocco and Andalucía and preserved military fortifications, Gibraltar offers much more than fish and chip shops and British pubs (though that’s a good reason to go too!).
What to do
As the only monkeys living wild in Europe, Gibraltar’s Barbary macaques may just be the highlight of your holiday snaps, though you’ll want to keep your possessions close! Get up close and personal with them at the Gibraltar Nature Reserve at the Apes’ Den.
Visit Europa Point to see the historic 19th century lighthouse and the Mosque of The Custodian of the Holy Mosques. Explore the highest point of the Rock of Gibraltar and O’Hara’s Battery for panoramic views and the artillery fortification. St. Michael’s Cave is one of the most popular tourist attractions, with awe-inspiring stalactites and stalagmites serving as the backdrop for a wealth of interesting legends.
Discover the old Moorish Castle, originally built in the eighth century and perched above the old town and head to the Gibraltar Museum to see 14th-century Moorish Baths. When it’s time to eat, drink and be merry, you’ll find restaurants, cafes, shops and plenty of people-watching opportunities in Casemates Square in the old city centre.
Where to stay
Though it has the reputation of being quite expensive, it’s possible to find accommodation in Gibraltar to suit almost any budget, from hotels to self-catering apartments and hostels in the centre of all the sights or with gorgeous sea views.
The Rock Hotel (£££)
If you feel like splurging on accommodation, there’s no better option then the landmark Rock Hotel, just like Sir Winston Churchill did. It’s located on the Rock of Gibraltar, has an open-air seawater pool, a restaurant with spectacular views over Morocco, Spain and the Bay of Gibraltar and the rooms feature balconies, satellite TVs, drink-making facilities and bathrobes.
The Caleta Hotel (££)
The Caleta Hotel is in the perfect location to soak up sea views over Catalan Bay, while still being close to all the sights, such as the Moorish Castle and The Rock of Gibraltar. It’s a 4-star property that offers guests spa treatments, a health club, a swimming pool, a hair salon, restaurants and a bar.
Hostel Paris (£)
Hostel Paris offers budget accommodation in the centre of La Linea de la Concepcion, which is 5 minutes’ drive from the Gibraltar border. It’s surrounded by shops and restaurants and has rooms with both shared and private bathrooms, TVs and free Wi Fi.
Where to eat
Gibraltar’s cuisine is a fusion of cultural flavours, such as British, Moroccan and Spanish. You’ll easily find tapas, pasta, meat dishes, pub grub and, of course, fish and chips.
Located in the Caleta Hotel, Nunos Restaurant overlooks the Mediterranean Sea, so you can dine on Italian cuisine and listen to the waves lapping on the rocks below. There, you can try freshly prepared dishes, such as ravioli, rack of lamb and a selection of mouth-watering desserts.
Established in 1988 and located in Watergardens, Gatsbys offers a huge menu of English, French, Spanish and Indian inspired dishes. Try the Fillet ‘n’ Prawns, Chicken Blue Cheese or the Ceps Risotto with wild mushroom and Parmesano cheese.
The Clipper (£)
When you’re really hungry after a day of trekking around Gibraltar and all you want is pub grub, head to The Clipper for huge servings of roast, jacket potatoes, all-day breakfast, fish and chips and beer. at fantastic prices.
Featured image source: (c) istock/thinkstock