Of course, visitors come to spend a few days and nights in Gibraltar for many different reasons. Some do so to take in the historical and natural sights and the warm climate; others to totally relax, no doubt at a top spa Gibraltar. Others still, though, like nothing more than to throw themselves into more active, physical activities. So what might be on their itineraries…?
Affording visitors the opportunity to see the entirety of the territory from above, a journey courtesy of Gibraltar’s cable cars isn’t to be missed. Not least when, as soon as you arrive at the cars’ Top Station, you discover the panorama before you. It’s located next to the Alameda Gardens (at the southern end of Main Street) and is 412 m above sea level; thus, offering a sensational view of, yes, two continents beneath, as well as two bodies of water and three separate countries.
Now, the actual cable car tour we advise you to take is the ‘Multimedia Tour’, as it’ll give you a thorough understanding of Gibraltar’s history and diverse wildlife. A state-of-the-art, interactive and hand-held multimedia guide’s included with an adult ticket, while commentary’s available in several languages.
Cable car tours take place daily, running approximately every 10-15 minutes from 9.30am-7.15pm (last car down at 7.45pm); note, though, from 1st November-31st March they run from 9.30am-5.15pm (last car down at 5.45pm). No reservations are needed.
(Bay of Gibraltar)
Known as it is as the Gateway to the Mediterranean, Gibraltar’s also renowned by those in the know for its supreme marine biodiversity. As such, diving in the Bay is a popular activity among both locals and visitors (staying at the likes of the Caleta Hotel), with easy access to the natural reefs from shore or by boat; indeed, these reefs are the locale of more than 35 wrecks which, over the past three decades, have been embraced as a segment of the territory’s artificial reef project. Wrecks include the likes of the 482, a Royal Navy cable-laying barge that sits upright in a sand-flat. Elsewhere, the natural reefs are where to make for if you prefer to explore spectacular caverns, while elusive it may be, but the grouper is one of the most popular fish to discover and fish in Gibraltar’s Marine reserve.
Lower St Michael’s Cave
The upper section of St Michael’s Cave may well have been familiar with locals for more than two millennia (and relied on for various purposes, including as a space for a hospital during WWII), yet it was only during that conflict that Lower St Michael’s Cave was unearthed, via the discovery of a cavern that comprises several chambers; all of which may have been sealed off for at least 20,000 years.
And, don’t doubt it, this cavern makes for a stunning sight; all glistening thanks to its white, grey and red stalactite columns, ensuring it somewhat resembles the interior of a cathedral. In particular, it’s especially noted for the expanse of its main chamber, its diverse calcite formations and its beautiful lake of crystal clear water, which measures nearly 40 yards across.
Organised tours down to the cave usually take about three hours but they’re not for the faint-hearted, as a level of scrambling and minor climbing (with ropes) is inevitably involved. Owing to its physicality then, children under 10 aren’t allowed on the tours but photography is permitted.
Serving up outstanding, irresistible vistas, the walk to be taken via Gibraltar’s Mediterranean Steps comes highly advised but with a caveat; the steps themselves (being shorn out of natural rock) are steep and sometimes arduous and, most important of all, really shouldn’t be attempted by those who definitely don’t have a head for heights!
That said, if you’re not put off, the best time of year to enjoy the hike is probably in the spring when the route, which runs from Jews’ Gate at the southern end of the territory’s Nature Reserve up towards O’Hara’s Battery (close to the Rock’s summit), is only enhanced by the blooming of a vast array of beautiful flowers and diverse plants and.
Generally, you’re advised to do the walk early in the morning but come the summer late afternoon may well prove more appropriate, when much-needed shade’s available – not least because, afterwards, you can head back to town for a slap-up dinner at the likes of the Nunos Gibraltar restaurant.