With an average of 320 days of sunshine a year, a trip to Gibraltar isn’t a hard sell. There are plenty of sunny spots to visit in the Mediterranean, but only this part of the world boasts the Rock of Gibraltar, the Ape Caves, and plenty of maritime fun. Here are some of Head of Retail and Online Ian Chambers’ best recommendations for when you go:
Rock Out at the Top of the World
You have to head up the Rock. Taking the cable cars is cheap and quick, but warning: the apes are hungry and very brave so don’t take a bag or any food! Monkey business aside, what could be better than standing on what feels like the top of the world, with Europe underfoot and Africa and the Mediterranean in the distance?
Feel the Burn on the Mediterranean Steps
Another great way to explore the Rock is to brave the Mediterranean Steps, a walk up a steep path of steps to the crest of the Rock. Along the way you’ll pass the Goat’s Hair Twin Caves, which, due to water erosion, presents evidence that sea levels were once dramatically higher. For those who do not do well with heights, this climb is not recommended, the steep stairways zigzag along the cliff side, and it’s a long way down! Expect to spend an 1 ½ to 2 ½ hours depending on your skill level.
Head to the Ape Caves
If you find yourself charmed by these cheeky monkeys, visit the Ape Caves. Barbary macaques are the only free-roaming primates in Europe. Again, do not feed them; they are fed fresh food daily already. If suddenly frightened or pestered, they will bite. But, you are sure to snap plenty of share-worthy pics!
Relax on the Marina
When the sun starts to set, take a wander along the quayside. Try Bianca’s on the marina waterfront (near the casino); it’s the best restaurant for consistently good service, value for money, marina sunset views and a perfect steak.
Train to Become a Skipper
For the more adventurous, learn how to sail in one of the world’s best sailing destinations! All Aboard Sailing Academy offers a one-week sailing course that runs about £550—not bad when you consider that your meals and six nights of accommodations (bunk bed style) are included.
That reminds me, be sure to consider the time of year when you book. September is a busy time for festivals and national events. Gibraltar National Day is a great time to go if you’re hoping to celebrate through the night and get into the local spirit, but if you’re hoping to relax and recuperate, it is a 24-hour whirlwind of energy and excitement, with a soundtrack to match!
No matter what you choose to do in Gibraltar, it’s one of those places that will draw you back again and again. Just make sure your wallet isn’t stolen by a monkey, they are expert pickpockets and will rack up quite a bill!