Cruise Forum is a Registered Publication ISSN 2752-8219

Gibraltar in a Cruise Ship Day

Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory located at the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula. It overlooks the Strait of Gibraltar and is bordered by Spain to the north. At just 2.6 square miles, it is one of the smallest territories in the world, but it packs in plenty of sights and activities for visitors to experience in a single day.

Your day starts by walking into town from the cruise ship terminal, which is only a 20 minute stroll away. There are also frequent mini-buses that charge £4 – £5 per journey. Be aware that there are three currencies, the local pound, pound sterling, and euro. The local currency is worthless anywhere else, so try not to accept in change.

The best way to get oriented in Gibraltar is to take the cable car up to the top of the Rock of Gibraltar. At 1,398 feet tall, it towers over the territory and offers stunning 360 degree views from the summit. You’ll be able to see clear across the strait into Morocco and on a clear day, even glimpse the mountains of the Rif. The winding roads leading up to the summit are home to Gibraltar’s famous Barbary macaques, the only wild monkeys in Europe. Be sure to keep your distance from the monkeys as they have been known to snatch belongings.

After taking in the panoramic views, take the cable car back down and wander through Gibraltar’s historic city center. Main Street is the spine of Gibraltar and features a blend of British and Spanish architecture. Pop into the various shops, cafes and restaurants for a bite to eat and to do some souvenir shopping.

Stroll down to Casemates Square, the center of Gibraltar’s nightlife with plenty of pubs and bars. Visit the Gibraltar Crystal shop to see the world famous lead crystal that is hand cut on site. Then head over to John Mackintosh Square to see the Gibraltar Parliament building, city library and cathedral.

Spend the afternoon exploring the sights linked to Gibraltar’s military history. Visit the Gibraltar Museum to learn about the great siege of 1779-1783 when Spanish and French forces tried unsuccessfully to capture the territory. See reenactments at the Gibraltar Siege Tunnels carved out during World War II. Take a tour of the Upper Rock Nature Reserve to see the military lookout points and installations. The 100 Ton Gun is one of the largest cannons ever assembled.

In the late afternoon, if still in port take a dolphin watching cruise departing from Marina Bay. Gibraltar is home to a large population of dolphins that swim in and out of the strait. With luck you just might catch sight of these intelligent creatures playing in the wake of the ship. The cruise will also take you by the towering limestone cliffs on the eastern side of Gibraltar.

As the sun sets, take the cable car back up the Rock for a magnificent sunset view looking towards Africa. The Rock hosts a unique biodiversity and you can listen to the calls of birds coming back to roost for the evening. Then enjoy a leisurely dinner at one of Gibraltar’s fine restaurants featuring Mediterranean cuisine and fresh seafood. Try local specialties like Calentita, a chickpea flour flatbread.

That completes a perfect one day itinerary packed with the top sights in Gibraltar. It’s an easy destination to visit in a short time but leaves you wanting more. You’ll just have to plan another visit to hike the Mediterranean Steps, see the Moorish Castle, go shopping on Main Street and sample Gibraltar’s nightlife. The Rock may be small in size but it’s big on history, activities and culture.


Leave a Reply