British culture and Spanish weather makes for a great holiday to green list Gibraltar, writes Lottie Gross
With a mammoth roast dinner on your plate and a pint of London Pride in hand, it’s easy to forget you’re 1,500 miles from Britain.
Sitting on the promenade of Queensway Quay, it’s not the sunshine or the Spanish accents that give it away, but more the sound of sloshing seawater between the luxury yachts that bob in the marina. Gibraltar’s swishest harbour has some of the fanciest boats you’ll see in the Med.
Gibraltar has appeal in droves if you know where to look
This British Overseas Territory has long had a bit of a bland reputation. A tax haven and hub for the financial services industry, it’s not exactly the next Barcelona or even Malaga – but Gibraltar has appeal in droves if you know where to look. Catalan Bay, on the other side of the Gibraltarian peninsula, is a long sandy beach backed by brightly painted houses, ideal for family beach holidays, and Sandy Bay is the top surf spot.
The city centre has a pleasing mishmash of British and Spanish influences – think vast plazas with ample outdoor seating, just down the strip from Roy’s Fish & Chips and The Lord Nelson pub.
You are almost guaranteed a sunny summer holiday in Britain
Then there’s that big old rock right in the centre, looming over the entire city. A treasure trove of wartime history, geologically fascinating caves and characterful wildlife – brilliant birds and Barbary macaques abound – it’s the highlight of any trip.
Of course, the main attraction here is the weather. Sitting just across the Med from Morocco, Gibraltar enjoys sunshine aplenty, so you are almost guaranteed a sunny summer holiday in Britain.
British Airways flies daily from Heathrow and will be operating twice‑daily flights this summer. BA CityFlyer will also be flying from London City twice a week from June 11.
EasyJet flies from Gatwick, Bristol and Manchester, and will be starting flights from Edinburgh on June 12.
Eastern Airways will be flying twice‑weekly from Birmingham and Southampton from May 28, while Wizz Air also flies from Luton twice a week.
Three of the best Gibraltar attractions
Upper Rock Nature Reserve: Gibraltar’s crowning glory towers 1,400ft above the peninsula, offering views of the Costa del Sol and Moroccan coast. Visitors can ascend on foot, by cable car or bus tour
Alameda Wildlife Conservation Park: Spot exotic creatures including ring‑tailed lemurs, macaques, Amazon parrots and cotton‑top tamarins.
Gorham’s Cave Complex: Neanderthal carvings are the centrepiece of this Unesco‑ listed cluster of caves.
Ask the expert
Gibraltar minister for business, tourism, transport and port
“Gibraltar is a safe and secure destination, following a successful vaccination programme which has covered all our residents and cross‑border workers. In line with the cautious approach of the UK government, Gibraltar is asking for a lateral flow test within 24 hours of arrival, which can be booked in advance and is free. Full information can be found on our website at visitgibraltar.gi/covid-19. Agents can also learn about our attractions on our trade platform at gibraltartraining.com.”
Picture: Shutterstock/Benny Marty; Shutterstock/Calavision