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Gibraltar: Small but brimming with delights

30 January 2017

Big can be beautiful, but sometimes small makes for a perfect trip.The Rock of Gibraltar in terms of size may be a tiny destination: basically 3sq miles and a magnificent Rock stretching up 430m into the Mediterranean sky.But with so much to do and so many places to see, there is something here for everyone, of any age.

Gibraltar’s historic sites are world famous.For example, on the southern tip at the edge of Europe, casting its light over the Straits of Gibraltar, stands the lighthouse, at the aptly named Europa Point.There are also the World War II tunnels, the 100 Ton Gun and Moorish Castle, among many others sites of interest.A private, personalised tour is often a good choice for travelling easily around the sites and the experienced guides can explain the fascinating history of Gibraltar, for centuries a point of international strategic importance.

Also renowned world-wide are the Barbary Macaques, their den usefully positioned high in the Nature Reserve.Here tourists can satisfy their appetite for magnificent vistas of the sierras of Spain, the mountains of the Riff in North Africa and the Straits, where the Atlantic flows in to the Mediterranean Sea.Guided tours of the Rock are ideal for taking in nature, as well as history – inside and outside the Rock, because the mountain is riddled with tunnels and galleries, some man-made during the defending of the many sieges of the city, and some natural, such as the impressive St Michael’s Cave.

Gibraltar is a hive of activity with a plethora of things to do.Offshore, there are sailing adventures to be booked, including excursions into the Straits by boat to encounter dolphins, porpoises and sometimes even sea turtles and whales.Diving is always popular, and many water-based activities include the more gentle sport of stand up paddle (SUP) with sessions based on one of Gibraltar’s popular east-coast beaches.

Blessed with day after day of Mediterranean sunshine, many tourists can enjoy a few hours on the beach after a tour of the upper Rock and then return to one of the luxurious marinas to dine at any of dozens of superb restaurants.Nightlife in Gibraltar is bustling, with something for everyone, from live music venues to sea front restaurants, from sizzling Argentinian parrilla restaurants to cocktail bars, from jazz clubs to discotheques.

Gibraltar’s Main Street adds to the colour and bustle of this tiny city.Lined with shops selling top fashion brands, high-end electronics and exclusive jewellery, many visitors spend some time here, enjoying picking up a duty-free bargain, as well as indulging in souvenirs.

Gibraltar is busy and charming, old and new, European, British and Arabic all at once; a perfect blend, served up in a compact package for an ideal holiday trip.

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