Today these influences are evident in the architecture, cuisine and customs of Gibraltar where you'll be met by an eclectic mix of cultures that has developed from the many settlers who have made Gibraltar their home. Gibraltar holidays incorporate this charming blend assuring guests a truly captivating stay.
Despite the imposing appearance of the Rock, which during seven centuries of Moorish dominion was referred to as Jebel Tarik or Tarik's Mountain, after Tarik Ibn Zeyad the Berber Chief who led the Muslim invasion of Europe, Gibraltar is small. In total the area that it covers measures less than six square kilometres. It is the southernmost point of Europe and the only place in Europe where monkeys rein free in a semi-wild state. It is also steeped in history; an intertwining of civilisations and cultures which dates back many thousands of years. It is a living history reflected not just in the Gibraltarians themselves, but also in the many legacies that remain to this day, including a number of prehistoric caves, a medieval castle and 11th century baths, Georgian and Victorian buildings as well as architecture which reflects Portuguese, Genoese and Moorish influences. Holidays to Gibraltar are an ideal way to experience this range of cultures and reflect on Gibraltar’s fantastic history.
Holidays in Gibraltar are also great for those who want to indulge in a bit of spending. Gold jewellery, watches, perfumes, porcelain figures and designer wear are perhaps the best buys, although cigars and spirits tend to be the most popular duty free purchases.
Twin Centre Holidays
Gibraltar holidays, although fantastic in their own right, can also be combined with a stay in the Costa del Sol.
With its cultural combination, Gibraltar holidays allow guests to experience a whole range of tastes. You can find most ethnic and international cuisine in Gibraltar including Indian, Chinese, Thai, Argentinean, Japanese, Moroccan, Kosher, English, Danish, French, Spanish and Italian. Fish lovers are particularly well catered for with Catalan Bay on the east side and the marinas featuring a number of restaurants specialising in sea-food. For lighter bites there is no shortage of English and Irish pubs, and Irish coffee houses.
Gibraltar offers something for everyone, ranging from architectural treasures and priceless artefacts. With a great range of things to do in Gibraltar is it great for an island getaway. Located more than 300 metres above sea level, with magnificent stalactites and stalagmites, is St Michael's Cave. The main chamber has been transformed into a large subterranean auditorium, and provides a unique venue for concerts, ballet and drama. There are the spectacular Alameda Botanical Gardens whence you can take the Gibraltar cable car up to the Apes' Den and then onto the summit of the Rock. The rock of Gibraltar is undoubtedly one of the most popular sights of the island as it dominates the skyline. The views from the top are quite simply breathtaking.
There's a Medieval Castle, museums, heritage centres and War memorials as well as a church, a cathedral a Hindu temple a synagogue and a Mosque. Sailing Centres offer a full range of courses, three established schools offer diving opportunities, fishing is a popular pastime and dolphin-watching, and to a lesser extent whale-watching, trips are also available.
Although there are plenty of things to do in Gibraltar it is also the perfect base from which to explore the surrounding cultures, countries and continents. Enjoy a day trip to the ancient town of Seville, or discover Jerez. Whilst a short ferry ride across the Strait lies Morocco and the considerable and exotic charms of Tangier. Ideal for those left wondering what to do in Gibraltar, the surrounding areas offer great options for places to visit.
The Barbary Apes
World famous, and perhaps Gibraltar's most important attraction, the Barbary apes are actually tail-less monkeys. Natives of North Africa their presence in Gibraltar probably dates from the early days of the British garrison when it is presumed that they were imported as pets or even game, inevitably finding the rough limestone cliffs and scrub vegetation a congenial habitat. Towards the end of the Second World War when, owing to natural causes, the number of apes had diminished, Sir Winston Churchill took a personal interest in the fate of the monkeys ensuring that additional animals were imported from Morocco. Today the monkeys enjoy the rudest health living in the Apes' Den and roaming wild on the steep slopes of the Rock. Apes’ Den is by far one the most popular things to do in Gibraltar however; the apes should not be approached, touched or fed.