Gibraltar Holidays and Gibraltar Hotels
If you are looking for Gibraltar hotels the following information on holidays to Gibraltar may help by giving you an overview on this popular destination.
To see our Gibraltar holiday deals click on: Gibraltar Hotels and Gibraltar Holiday DealsGibraltar Holidays - The history of the name
The name "Gibraltar" is derived from Arabic name Jabal Tariq
, meaning "mountain of Tariq", in honour of the Moorish general Tariq ibn-Ziyad who invaded Spain in 711. Gibraltar Holidays - Serving Airport in Gibraltar:
Flight time from the UK : Approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes.
The main airlines flying into Gibraltar airport are Easyjet, Monarch, British Airways and Iberia. It was only in 2006 that Spanish airlines were able to use the facility of Gibraltar airport. Gibraltar airport is fairly unique in that it is within walking distance from the town centre and also the runway crosses Winston Churchill Avenue.
A popular alternative is to use Malaga airport [AGP] in Spain's Costa del Sol, which is located 75 miles to the east of Gibraltar.Gibraltar Holidays - A Background of the Rock:
Gibraltar is a British overseas territory perched on the southernmost tip of Spain at the entrance of the Mediterranean. The Rock of Gibraltar celebrated its Tercentenary in 2004 - three hundred years of British rule. With its position, guarding the Straits of Gibraltar, it has always been a bone of contention between neighbouring nations and the Rock of Gibraltar has many defensive walls, bastions, cannons and other relics of conflict. Spain has always claimed Gibraltar, but Britain insists that this will not happen and Gibraltarians wish to remain British as confirmed in regular referendums. Today, Gibraltar is a surviving part of the British Empire and a Crown Colony with a community made up of British, Genoese, Portugese, Spanish, Jewish and other origins firmly consolidated - friendly, bilingual and in religious and racial harmony.
You can see history in action every Sunday on your holiday in Gibraltar as the Rock's historical past is brought alive when a group of soldiers in 18th century period uniform march at 12 noon from Bomb House Lane to Casemates Square where they enact the Ceremony of the Keys and then march back up Main Street to the Cathedral of St Mary the Crowned, replicating the march of British soldiers when they took Gibraltar in 1704.
Gibraltar played a strategic role during the two World Wars and in particular in World War II when Hitler devised "Operation Felix", a plan to invade the Rock - which never materialised. The population, however, were evacuated to places such as Jamaica, Madeira and Great Britain [in fact those evactuated to Great Britain were in greater danger than if they had stayed!]. World War II saw the construction of further tunnels in the Rock and many became barracks for the 30,000 British troops who were stationed at Gibraltar. Other tunnels were used to store guns and ammunition.
|During World War II, Winston Churchill heard of a legend that if the Barbary apes ever died out, the British would give up the Rock. He therefore made sure that the apes' numbers were kept up by importing additional apes from Morocco.|
During the postwar years, General Franco made efforts to persuade Britain to give up the Rock and return it to Spain but the Gibraltarians always overwhelmingly voted to continue their association with Britain. Franco then closed the border in 1965 and it remained closed for 14 years with it opening in 1983 for pedestrians only. With the death of Franco and Spain's entry into the EEC, the border was fully re-opened in 1985.
At the turn of the century, both the Spanish and British governments seemed willing to come to a mutually acceptable arrangement over Gibraltar, but the people were again unwilling to accept any change and rejected any proposals for joint sovereignty.
|Visit the Union Jack Steps.|
In 1967 a referendum was held to decide whether Gibraltar should have closer ties with Spain or remain under Britain. There was an overwhelming vote in favour of staying with Britain [12,138 to 44]. To celebrate the event, the steps in an alleyway on the upper part of the Rock were painted in the colours of the Union Jack.
The Rock of Gibraltar is a huge block of Jurassic limestone which was formed by a collision of the African and European plates and marine fossils have been found on the highest parts of the Rock which rises to 426m. The steepest slopes face north and east, and most of the settlement is on the west side. Gibraltar is 6km [4 miles] long and 2km [1.2miles] wide and is joined to Spain in the north by alluvial land on which Gibraltar Airport is built.Gibraltar Weather and Gibraltar Temperatures:
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Gibraltar experiences a Mediterranean climate which is typified by hot dry summers and mild wet winters. It is milder, windier and wetter that the neighbouring Costa del Sol. In summer, the Levante, an easterly wind, forces warm air to the top of the Gibraltar Rock where it cools and forms clouds which increases humidity and shades the town. Gibraltar Holidays - Shopping in Gibraltar:
Gibraltar is a shoppers' paradise with the main attraction being duty-free goods. Gibraltar's Main Street is the shopping centre of the Rock but it is also worth exploring the side streets and alleyways especially Irish Town and Engineer's Lane. You will find lots of well known stores such as Marks and Spencer, BHS, Benetton, Top Shop and the Body Shop. There are also bazaars specialising in electronic goods and home textiles, while other shops concentrate on perfumes and cosmetics offering much cheaper prices than Spain and the UK.
Shops generally open at 10:00 and stay open until 19:00 on weekdays [with late night shopping on Thursdays], but close at 13:30 on Saturdays. The only shop which tends to be open on Sundays is Morrison's supermarket.
As a souvenir of your Gibraltar holidays, take home a piece of Gibraltar crystal which you will find in Casemates Square which you can see it being made and visit the display centre.
If markets are your scene, there are several to choose from [although visit them all as they are close to each other]. The Public Market is an indoor market located just outside the Casemates Gate which sells seafood, fruit, vegetables and meat. The Old Fish Market is adjacent to the above market and the Gibraltar Street Market is held every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 09:00-18:00 and is located just off Main Street near the Casemates roundabout. Here you will find household goods, clothing and second hand books. You will also find a small flea market at Marina Bay on Saturdays from 12:00-17:00
The currency used here is the Gibraltar pound, the same value as the British pound, but different notes and coins (visitors can still use the British pound and Euros here, however please take note it can be hard to change the Gibraltar pound in Spain and when paying in Euros you generally pay about five percent more).
Gibraltar Holidays - What to do in Gibraltar:
|Gibraltar's favourite son is John Galliano [Juan Carlos Antonio Galliano-Guillen] one of the most flamboyant figures in the fashion world. He was born in Gibraltar in 1960 to a Spanish mother and a Gibraltarian father and he moved to London when he was just 6 years old. He was to become head designer of French haute couture houses Givenchy and Christian Dior.|
Whilst on your Gibraltar holiday you will be offered a wide range of activities including fishing, diving, bird watching, sailing and of course rock touring.
If you are a first time visitor, you will be pleasantly surprised by the diverse range of attractions on offer and as far as things to do on your Gibraltar holidays, we have some suggestions below.● Gibraltar Cable Car Ride
- A trip to the top of the Rock is a must while you are on your holidays in Gibraltar, and provides superb views over the town.
Read more ... ● The Great Siege Tunnels
- With around 50km [30 miles] of tunnels in the Rock, the Great Siege Tunnels are by far the most impressive.
Read more ... ● Trafalgar Cemetery
- This is the final resting place for some of the soldiers who lost their lives during the Battle of Trafalgar and has close links to Admiral Horacio Nelson.
Read more ... ● Gibraltar Monkeys - The Barbary Apes
- This is one of Gibraltar's most popular tourist attractions. A species of tailless monkey or macaque, these are the only ones on the mainland of Europe.
Read more ... ● St Michael's Cave
- The most spectacular of the 150 natural caves on the Rock of Gibraltar with stalactites, stalagmites, pillars and flow structures which are all imaginatively lit.
Read more ... ● Europa Point
- On a clear day, you will be able to appreciate views of North Africa. Look out for the Rif Mountains of Morocco, the Bay of Gibraltar and the Spanish towns along the shores.
Read more ... ● The Botanical Gardens
- Formerly known as the Alameda Gardens, these gardens were opened in 1816 and provide a haven of peace amongst the hustle and bustle of the town.
Read more ... ● Moorish Baths
- Located at Gibraltar Museum, it is believed that the Moorish Baths date from around 1335 and are believed to be the best-preserved in the Iberian Peninsula and should not be missed.
Read more ... ● Main Street
- The most popular location in Gibraltar for day visitors it is mainly pedestrianised and busy with shoppers and the centre for many other places of interest.
Read more ... ● 100-Ton Gun at Rosia Bay
- Gibraltar's only natural harbour and where HMS Victory came with Admiral Nelson's body after the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.
Read more ... ● Casemates Square
- With numerous military connections, this Square has a long and chequered history but now is the centre for outdoor cafes, tapas bars and other meeting places.
Read more ... ● The Convent
- Located in Main Street it is the official home of the Governor of Gibraltar it was originally a Franciscan Monastery and has its own haunting tale.
Read more ... ● Dolphin Safaris
- These have become a popular tourist attraction in recent years and is one of the best places in Europe for this enjoyable activity.
Read more ...Gibraltar Holidays - Eating Out:
The cooking influences of Gibraltar include Genoa, Malta and Andalucia. Locals tend to eat late with lunches lasting from 13:00 - 17:00 and evening meals starting around 20:30. Evening meals will often be relatively formal affairs with lots of courses. However more relaxed meals involve the sharing of smaller dishes and are very popular.
The best loved starters are chilled soups - namely gazpacho andaluz
made with tomato, garlic, sweet peppers and cucumber and ajo blanco
made from garlic and almonds and served with grapes. In winter, warm vegetable soups are served which can often contain chunks of meat.
Main dishes tend to revolve around the serving of fish and be sure not to miss out on the barbecued sardines which are often cooked on an open fire. Pan fried or grilled tuna, monkfish, red mullet, swordfish and sole are popular as well as prawns sizzling in oil, garlic and chilli. Of course, the paella remains popular which can either be fish or meat based.
Look out for hearty meat dishes including meat stew, ham and bean stew, rabbit casserole, roast kid in garlic sauce, spicy meatballs, lamb stew with almonds and oxtail prepared with tomatoes, onions and spices.
What to do in Gibraltar
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By its very nature much of the information in our travel guides is subject to change at short notice and travellers are urged to verify information on which they are relying with the relevant authorities. Corona Holidays [UK] Limited cannot accept any responsibility for any loss or inconvenience to any person as a result of information contained above.