Flight and hotel Gibraltar
The history and geography of Gibraltar
Gibraltar (otherwise the Rock) lies at the tip of the Iberian Peninsula in southern Spain. Thus, the city of Gibraltar is a destination with unique geography thanks to its location at the entrance to the Mediterranean Sea (the Strait of Gibraltar). However, the primary appeal of package holidays for Gibraltar is undoubtedly the Rock of Gibraltar that rises about 426 meters and provides terrific panoramic views of the Costa del Sol and some of northern Africa. Many travellers book a flight and hotel for Gibraltar to soak up the sun and sand at the peninsula's beaches.
As the gateway to the Mediterranean and a former colony of the British Empire, Gibraltar also has a fascinating military heritage. The Rock was a crucial position for the Royal Navy in two world wars. The Spanish and French empires also tried to capture the Rock during the Great Siege of Gibraltar. As such, there are numerous military monuments scattered around Gibraltar. For example, the Royal Engineers Monument, Nelson's Anchorage and Royal Marines Monument are a few of the monuments found here. The Military Heritage Centre also showcases military relics from the 18th century to the present day.
Things to keep in mind when visiting Gibraltar
Before booking package holidays in Gibraltar and taking your flight to Gibraltar, there are a few things travellers should note. Firstly, although Gibraltar is geographically a part of Spain, it is a UK overseas territory. As such, Gibraltar is a predominately English destination with a sterling currency. However, Gibraltar's time zone is one hour ahead of GMT much like the rest of Spain. Visitors can take a flight directly from London to Gibraltar or Manchester to Gibraltar as the Rock includes an airport. Note that Mediterranean cruise ships also often stop at Gibraltar.
The best time to visit Gibraltar
Most visitors book a flight and hotel to Gibraltar for summer (June to August). That's certainly the best time for city breaks in Gibraltar as there is little rainfall and plenty of Mediterranean sunshine. If you visit in August, you can check out the Gibraltar Music Festival. Alternatively, May and September are also good months for a weekend in Gibraltar as there isn't that much rain during those months either.
What to do in Gibraltar?
Visitors who book city breaks in Gibraltar flock to the city's six beaches; Catalan Bay, Eastern Beach and Sandy Bay are three of Gibraltar's most popular beaches to soak up the sun, and there are two lido swimming pools at Camp Bay & Little Bay. Gibraltar is a good destination for sailing as it includes the Ocean Village and Marina Bay marinas. Anglers catch plenty of fish in Gibraltar's sheltered bay and open seas. At Marina Bay, you can also take a dolphin safari. Casemate Square is the heart of Gibraltar that includes cinemas, a leisure centre, casinos and plenty of live music shows. At the King Bastion's Leisure Centre, you can go bowling and ice skating. The leisure centre also includes a gymnasium.
Destinations to visit in Gibraltar
No weekend in Gibraltar, let alone a more extended holiday, would be complete without a trip up the Rock. The summit of the rock provides breathtaking views of two continents, and there are also some stunning nature trails such as the Mediterranean Steps. The latest addition to the Rock is a new suspension bridge that connects two parts of the Rock across 50-meter deep gorge. The Rock includes St Michael's Cave that is open to visitors and includes a small auditorium for concert, drama and ballet productions. The Great Siege Tunnels and World War II Tunnels dug through the Rock are also of considerable interest to visitors, and they can be considered military museums that showcase 19th century armaments and provide further insight into Gibraltar's military history.
Beyond the Rock, the Alameda Gardens Wildlife Park houses a wide variety of tropical plants, shrubs and bulbs from the Mediterranean and beyond, and includes the Open Air Theatre that hosts concerts. In addition, Alameda includes a restored Italian style garden. Also, check out the Gibraltar Museum that documents Gibraltar's natural, military and cultural history and showcases a wide range of excavated archaeological artefacts within its exhibitions. Europa Point at the tip of Gibraltar is great spot to capture some holiday snapshots.
The cuisine of Gibraltar
As Gibraltar is a UK overseas territory, its cuisine tends to mix British and Mediterranean dishes. The Calentita baked pancake dish is among the favourite Gibraltian delicacies. Chocolate Profiteroles with a filling of whipped cream are often served at Gibraltar's festivals. Pinchitos, otherwise Spanish kebabs, are also big on the menu. Or tuck in to an English pub grub, which typically includes a steak and ale pie served with chips and a pint of beer. To get a real taste of Gibraltar, visitors can check out the spring Calentita food festival at Casemates Square. These are a few other notable Gibraltarian dishes:
- Rosto (a pasta dish served with tomato sauce)
- Fideos al horno (a baked pasta dish that mixes macaroni with bolognese)
- Panissa (a bread dish fried in olive oil)
What to bring back from Gibraltar?
There are plenty of Gibraltar souvenirs you could bring back from your holiday. For example, Gibraltar key rings based on the Rock or the city's flag are widely available. However, perhaps the best souvenir to return with is a Gibraltar glass ornament. A small glass sculpture of the Rock is a great addition to any mantelpiece.