If you are studying abroad in Spain, taking a day trip to Gibraltar is a must see. Gibraltar is British Overseas Territory that is located at the Southern edge of Spain. When I went, we rented a car and drove through Andalusia (the southernmost part of Spain). You show your passport to the border, where we parked and walked through an airport. Yes — we literally, walked through the lanes where planes took off from. When a plane is landing or taking off, pedestrians are stopped from crossing the road. It was a great start to a pretty exciting day! Gibraltar is an interesting piece of land with a population of only 29,000 people and only about 3 miles long. Even though it is basically attached to Spain, the main language spoken is English and the currency is the British pound. Because of the size of the destination, it makes it perfect for a day trip because you really don’t need more time than that.
Gibraltar is mainly known for the rock which is about 1,400 feet high. Side note: in greek mythology, the rock of Gibraltar is known for one of the pillars of Hercules. According to the ancient Greeks and Romans, the rock marked the edge of the ancient world. To get to the top of the rock, we took a cable car up the rock and then you walk the rest. This was really fun — it is similar to a ski lift when you go to the top of a mountain combined with a trolley. From the top of the rock, you can actually see Morocco since Gibraltar overlooks Africa. The rock is populated by Barbary apes which according to legends say that the British won’t leave the territory until the monkeys have left. Now there are hundreds of wild apes running around, you need to calm and sensible around them. They can get aggressive as cute as they may seem. True story, one actually jumped on my friends head from behind her. The situation was handled but it was still pretty terrifying for a few seconds and then it was hilarious of course. Gibraltar is also known for bird watching considering there are over 15 speciies and 50,000 White Storks across the Strait.
The City of Gibraltar is enclosed by fortress walls from the Moorish Castle. There are tunnels that were dug out by the Brstish in the late 18th century when France and Spain held Gibraltar to siege for 4 years. The tunnels were dug to allow guns to firesidewads. There is now sets of tunnels and passages to explore throughout. The bay of Gibraltar is also known for Dolphin watching with some of the highest concentration in the Mediterranean. Also, a great spot for sailing, fishing, and diving. Like I said – this is a perfect day to spend the day just by jumping on a quick bus, plane or car ride. There is so much to history to discover and adventures to explore. Not to mention, great shopping if you feel like taking it easy.
One last fun fact about Gibraltar, John Lennon and Yoko Ono got married there in 1967!
Passports are required by all visitors to Gibraltar, except EU nationals who are in possession of a valid national identity card. As a general rule, those who require a visa for entry to the UK also require a separate visa for entry to Gibraltar. Contact Passport Study Abroad for any of your passport needs!