Gibraltar has attracted visitors for centuries. There can be few places in the world that equal the Rock in terms of sheer physical presence. Gibraltar is situated in a unique strategic location on the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula, overlooking the Strait of Gibraltar and linked to mainland Europe by a narrow isthmus. Despite an imposing appearance Gibraltar is small, measuring just over six square kilometres in total. Its precipitous rock and cliffs stretch skywards some 426 metres. This is the only place in Europe where monkeys roam freely in a semi-wild state, reflecting the Rock’s rich natural history, which flourishes in a Mediterranean climate. Gibraltar’s past is etched right here on the limestone, as well as expressed in the faces and customs of the people: British, Spanish, Genoese, Portuguese, Moroccan, Jewish, Maltese, Indian, a fascinating blend of cultures that have all left their stamp throughout our rich and tumultuous history which dates back to Neanderthal times.
Gibraltar offers something for everyone today, ranging from archaeological treasures and priceless artefacts to a wide variety of shops and restaurants. It is also a stimulating world centre of business and commerce.
- Latitude 36 7’ North, longitude 5 21’ West
- Height: 426m (1400ft) – highest point is at O’Hara’s Battery
- Length: 5 km (3.10 miles) approx
- Area: 6.4sq km (4 sq miles) approx
- Circumference Length: 16 km (10 miles) approx
- Average width: 1.25 km (1 mile) approx
- The Rock is mainly Jurassic limestone some 200 million years old
Gibraltar is situated at the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula. It is recognised historically as one of the southernmost points of Europe. It is also strategically positioned at the western end of the Mediterranean, forming one of the ancient Pillars of Hercules. The surrounding countries are Spain on the north and Morocco (North Africa) south, on the opposite side of the Strait 24 kilometres (15 miles) away.
Access to Gibraltar
Regular flights from the United Kingdom to Gibraltar are currently operated by EasyJet, British Airways and Monarch. There are plans to expand this selection following the opening of a new air terminal and improvement to the infrastructure of the entire facilities. Flight time from the United Kingdom is approximately 2.5 hours. There is also a short flight to Tangier and Casablanca in Morocco operated by Royal Air Maroc. The adjacent land frontier between Gibraltar and Spain is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week both for vehicles and pedestrians. There is no limit on the number of frontier crossings you can make. Gibraltar is also one of the most popular stops for major cruise companies which make Gibraltar a regular destination on their itineraries. Due to its strategic location we also provide excellent berthing facilities for private yachts and sailing ships at our two marinas.
The official language is English although Spanish is widely spoken. An unusual unofficial ‘dialect’ call ‘Yanito’, a mixture of English, Spanish and some Italian words, is spoken among the locals
The legal tender in Gibraltar is Gibraltar Government Sterling notes and coinage, although United Kingdom sterling notes and coinage are equally welcome. Sterling is always considered at par with local tender. There is a full range of international and UK banks. Credit cards, travellers’ cheques and Euros are widely accepted.
GETTING AROUND THE ROCK
With such a small land area, many places in Gibraltar are within walking distance, however, public transportation is widely available as indicated in the list below.
- Bus tours – Book an excursion with a local tour operator prior to your visit or if you are staying in a local hotel.
- Cable Car – Running since 1966, the Cable Car takes you to the top of the Rock where you can witness the breathtaking views.
- Taxis – Not only are there ranks at many strategic points offering a city service but you can also book a Rock Tour and visit the Upper Rock attractions with a personal guide in the comfort of a taxi.
- Public buses – A variety of routes cover most of Gibraltar (except for Upper Rock) from early morning until the evening, with a night service also available on weekends and summer evenings.
*Easy (Gibraltar) Weddings would like to thank the Gibraltar Tourist Board
For further information on Gibraltar please visit www.visitgibraltar.gi