top of page

The Rock of Gibraltar: A Guide to Visiting This Iconic Destination & Seeing the Gibraltar Monkeys

Updated: Mar 25

The Rock of Gibraltar is a must-visit for anyone exploring Europe, especially if you are planning to visit Spain. With its towering cliffs, historic fortifications, and breathtaking views, this iconic landmark is a destination unlike any other. Located at the southern tip of Spain, Gibraltar is owned by the UK. The Rock of Gibraltar looks out onto the Mediterranean Sea, The Rock of Gibraltar is a symbol of strength and resilience that has stood for thousands of years.

Visitors to The Rock will be greeted by a landscape unlike any other. The Mediterranean Sea meets the coast line of this beautiful country, making it's main industry based around the port. Many come here to park their yachts and enjoy a little time back on land. You can spot housing rising up the side of The Rock, however, The Rock of Gibraltar takes up most of the space of this country, so it is the main attraction and the reason we wanted to visit. While Gibraltar does have an international airport, technically the airlines that fly here only fly in and out of London, England a few times per day. It does take a skilled pilot as it has a short runway with water at both ends for take offs and landings. This unique airport cuts through the city right next to the border crossing and roads are closed while planes are landing. If you get a hotel on the Spain side of the border, you will have to walk across the border crossing to get a taxi or to walk to your hotel.

The towering cliffs of The Rock rise up from the sea, offering panoramic views of the surrounding coastline and the Mediterranean beyond. The Rock is home to a variety of wildlife, including the famous Gibraltar monkeys, a group of Barbary macaques that have lived on The Rock for centuries.

The Barbary macaques on the Rock of Gibraltar are one of the most famous wildlife attractions in Europe. These monkeys are believed to have been introduced to The Rock by the Moors in the 8th century, and they have lived on The Rock ever since. Today, the Gibraltar monkeys are a symbol of the territory, and they are protected by law.

There are several theories as to why the Moors may have brought the monkeys to The Rock. Some believe that the monkeys were brought over as pets or to control pests, while others think that they were introduced to provide a source of food. Regardless of the reason, the monkeys have thrived on The Rock for centuries, and they have become an integral part of the local culture and history.

Visitors to The Rock can observe the monkeys up close and personal, as they are known for their playful and inquisitive nature. However, it is important to remember that the monkeys are wild animals, and visitors should respect their space and not feed them. The monkeys can become aggressive and should be respected as such.

In addition to its wildlife, The Rock of Gibraltar is steeped in history and culture. The fortifications that line the cliffs have played a crucial role in the battles and wars that have taken place here over the centuries. Visitors can explore these fortifications and learn about the history of The Rock at the Gibraltar Museum, which is housed in one of the historic military barracks.

For those interested in exploring The Rock's history and culture further, there are a number of walking tours available that take visitors to some of the most iconic landmarks and sights on The Rock. These tours offer a great opportunity to learn more about The Rock's rich history, from the ancient fortifications to the modern-day attractions that make this destination so special.

If you are looking for a simple hike up, note that Gibraltar is it's own country, so make sure that you have a SIM card that works here if you are planning to use your phone for navigation. Most people stay in Spain and walk across the border to Gibraltar. The line for cars to get across the border is often quite long and tedious especially during rush hour periods and you can walk across the country in two hours. Our walk up to the top of The Rock from the border, went something like this:

The path we took was relatively straight forward and quite easy. It wound in between homes and you had to wander down some alley ways that were actually walkways to get to the start of the hike. We may have been a little turned around at some points (because unlike my pointer above, we did not have a SIM card that worked here). It is a protected area call the Gibraltar National Reserve with well marked paths. It took us a little over an hour. Keep in mind, this path had lots of stairs to the top, but we stopped often to admire the view, watch the monkeys play and view the sunset.

So whether you're a history buff, a nature lover, or simply looking for a unique and unforgettable experience, The Rock of Gibraltar is a must-visit destination. With its rich history, stunning natural beauty, and thriving cultural scene, there's something for everyone in this iconic destination. So pack your bags and get ready to experience the beauty of The Rock for yourself!

Happy Adventuring!

3 views0 comments
bottom of page