One of the joys of travelling to the Mediterranean is the wonderful, mild, sunny weather that is prevalent for most of the year and which brightens up even the shorter winter days.The intense blue of the sea rarely seems to diminish, nor does the openness of the skies, nor the warmth of the sunshine – or of the welcome given to visitors by the people of Gibraltar.
One of the most popular destinations for Mediterranean cruise ships, Gibraltar is a fun, friendly, fascinating place for visitors. Cruise ships are regularly berthed in Gibraltar Harbour, where a pleasant, airy terminal is an ideal point for passengers to alight to shore, take their bearings and perhaps join an excursion.
Most first time visitors are urged to take up at least one of the many excursions available. A guided tour, especially in a private tour vehicle, will bring the benefits of a skilled and knowledgeable guide to introduce Gibraltar, its historical sites and natural beauty spots. Tourists often elect to tour right to the top of the Rock, this impressive limestone mountain offering some of the most splendid views of the Straits; looking out towards the Bay of Gibraltar and Spain to the west and towards the Riff mountains of North Africa to the south. At the top of the Rock they will meet the Barbary Macaques, Gibraltar’s famous troupe of apes that live wild in the Upper Rock Nature Reserve.
Tours of Gibraltar vary, but almost all of them will include a visit to Europa Point, a plateau at the edge of which Gibraltar’s iconic lighthouse looks out over the Straits, and on which stands the beautiful Ibrahim-al-Ibrahim Mosque.The many tunnels and caves that crisscross Gibraltar are also high on visitors’ agendas, telling the story of Gibraltar’s centuries of life as a fortress. The stunning St Michael’s Cave draws frequent gasps from groups of cruise passengers as they explore its impressive formations of stalagmites and stalactites.
Added to this are the delights of the bustling city centre shops. Lined along Main Street, with its distinctive colonial façades and wrought iron balconies adorned with the colours of tumbling geraniums, Gibraltar’s shops offer a glittering array of duty-free goods – high end electronics and photographic equipment, dazzling designer jewellery, some of the top-name brands in fashion, and a glorious selection of fine wines and spirits; a shopaholic’s delight.
Cruise passengers can then wrap the whole experience up in one of our restaurants – there are a wide selection of these, and can cater to most tastes and dietary preferences, from Spanish sea food to Argentinian “parrillas”, from British fish and chips to Moroccan dishes and much, much more. So, if you’re on a cruise ship and pause at Gibraltar, step ashore, tour the Rock, treat yourself to something special to remember us by in Main Street and join us for lunch or dinner. You’re always welcome!