The British Overseas Territory, Gibraltar, nicknamed the Gateway to the Mediterranean, showcases a fair share of fascinating tourist attractions that interest people again and again.
Here are just five simple reasons why you should visit Gibraltar.
Due to the headland’s location in the Mediterranean, a rich underwater life thrives that’s easy to access via boat. Once out in the water with your snorkelling gear you’ll be surrounded by multi-coloured fish swimming in and out of natural reefs and various ship wrecks. The most famous wreck being the 428 M barge that was deliberately sunk to aid the artificial reef program.
If exploring nature and wildlife is top of your list, the upper rock area in the Nature Reserve will be where you’ll want to go. Along the various trails you’ll have the chance to see spectacular nature as well as breathtaking views of the British Overseas Territory - You may even see a few macaques along the way.
After working up a sweat on your hike, why not relax on one of the glorious beaches? Catalan Bay is a favourite due to its location on the eastern side of the rock, away from the busy city. This picturesque beach features a small town behind it where you can discover quaint little restaurants, with stunning views over the secluded bay.
Another beautiful beach to keep an eye out for is the Eastern Beach as it is the largest in the area. Being near the local airport means bathers and swimmers will be able to see planes taking off and landing throughout the day. You’ll also have an awe-inspiring view of the north side of the rock, whilst soaking up the sun.
Book a guided tour around one of the most significant military installations in the whole of the Mediterranean, the Great Siege Tunnels. This engineering masterpiece acted as an underground city where the British hid and fired cannons to fight off the French and Spanish attacking the rock. You can still see these cannons today, with plaques of how they would have been used.
Another must-see attraction is the Gibraltar National Museum that showcases both the history and culture of the British Territory. Artefacts such as fossils, Neanderthal skulls and medieval baths can all be found here. These 14th-century remains lie in the museum basement and are said to be one of the best-preserved Moorish bath houses in Europe – They’re definitely worth a visit.
The territory’s most popular attraction is the sighting of Barbary macaques in the Gibraltar Nature Reserve, as this is the only place in Europe you can find them. Said to have been imported from Morocco and kept as pets by Moors, these monkeys dominate the land and draw in tourists year on year, even though there’s only 160 of them left.
Another popular natural sight is the various caves dotted around the area. A tourist favourite is St Michael’s Cave because it displays extraordinary beauty through shimmering stalagmites and stalactites hanging from the ceiling, resembling a cathedral interior. Book onto a guided tour to be taken around by an expert and told about its association with World War Two.
The final reason to visit Gibraltar is for its tasty dishes that mix traditions from Andalusia in Spain and the UK. Some culinary traditions from Malta, Portugal and Genoa have also influenced Gibraltarian food and this marriage of flavours creates a unique Mediterranean flair.
The national dish is considered to be calentita, a pancake-like dish baked in the oven and made out of chickpea flour, olive oil,water, salt and pepper. Pan dulce is a popular dessert, especially around Christmas Time. This sweet fruit and nut bread consists of raisins, almonds, candied peel and aniseed, just what you fancy during the winter months. Tapas is also a local’s favourite in Gibraltar as it mixes delicious food with getting together with the family.
If after reading this blog you wish to book a trip to Gibraltar, call us on 0800 021 3237 or contact us via our website. Alternatively, you can visit our Ipswich Woodbridge or Framlingham travel agents to speak to a member of our team.