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Gibraltar, British Overseas Territory


Brief History

Gibraltar is a narrow peninsula strategically located near the entry point of the Mediterranean Sea at the eastern side of the Bay of Gibraltar, precisely 4 miles (6.44 km) from the city of Algeciras, a port city in the south of Spain. Gibraltar derived its name from the Arabic name Jebel Tariq, meaning “mountain of Tariq” which refers primarily to the Gibraltar Rock, named after the Muslim general of the Umayyad Caliphate, Tariq ibn-Ziyad who led the Islamic conquest of Visigothic Hispania in 711-718 AD on orders of Umayyad Caliph Al-Walid I. The Gibraltar Rock was also known earlier as Monse Calpe, one of the Pillars of Hercules and its history spans over 2,900 years. The peninsula itself has changed in ancient times from a place of veneration into “one of the most densely fortified and fought-over places in Europe.

Gibraltar Rock is the only landmark of Gibraltar, a British Overseas Territory with an area of approximately 2.6 square miles (approximately 6.734 sq. km). The land area is mostly occupied by the steeply sloping Gibraltar Rock, which has height of 426 meters (approximately 1,397.64 ft.). At its foot on the western side is the densely populated town area with an estimated population of around 29, 752 according to the 2011 census. It is bordered in the north by the Province of Cadiz, Andalusia, Spain. The north face of the Rock is virtually vertical cliff at 396 meters (approximately 1,299.21 ft.) overlooking the strip of land which is the only access to the town via a coastal strip of about 350 meters (1,148.29 ft.) wide connecting to the Spanish mainland.

The sovereignty of Gibraltar is always and will always be the main arguments of conflict in Anglo-Spanish relations as Spain always assert its claim to the territory. During the War of the Spanish Succession in 1704, Anglo-Dutch force captured Gibraltar from Spain of behalf of the Hapsburg pretender to the Spanish throne and subsequently ceded the territory to Britain in perpetuity under the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713. Today the economy of Gibraltar relies mainly on tourism, financial services, shipping and online gaming.

Tours & Tourism

1. Gibraltar Panoramic Guided Tours          
Take a breath and satisfy yourself into the magnificent sights from the top of the rock! From here you can see the splendor of Spain, the nearness that is the silhouette of Africa and vast expanse of the mountains of Morocco. Furthermore, from this vantage point, you can see the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea meets on the straits of Gibraltar.

2. Dolphin Adventure
Take a cruise in the bay of Gibraltar and see the grandeur display of the dolphins amazing playful behavior swimming within your reach.
There is always a regular departure from the Gibraltar’s Marina Bay.

3. Dive Charters Gibraltar
Gibraltar is also home to the best diving sites of the whole Mediterranean. There are so many popular dive sites (over 40) around The Rock where you can still found ancient artifacts believed to be from Roman and Phoenician mariners along with some WWII artifacts.


Attractions


1. The Great Siege Tunnels
The Great Siege Tunnels is a maze of tunnels possibly the most remarkable defense systems ever devised by man.

Gibraltar’s 14th Siege is always called The Great Siege which lasted from July 1779 to February 1783 that the then Governor General Eliott (later called Baron Heathfield of Gibraltar) is said to have offered a reward to anyone who could tell him how to get guns on to a projection from the precipitous northern face of the Rock known as the Notch. This happens during the war of American Independence, when France and Spain made an all-out attempt to recapture the Rock from the British

2. Moorish Castle Complex
The Moorish Castle Complex is made up of numerous buildings, gates, fortified walls and its most dominant features, The Tower of Homage and The Gate House. The former is a remarkable sight, obviously noticeable to all visitors, because of its dominant and strategic position.

Dating back to the 11th century, the Tower of Homage is all that remains of the original
castle complex that once stood all the way to Casemates Square at the Northern end of the Main Street. Visitors approaching Gibraltar from the mainland will not fail to see the imposing sight of the Tower of Homage because of this conspicuous great square tower structure on the hillside.

3. The Mediterranean Steps
The Mediterranean Steps is an imposing, arduous steep walk and not advisable to people who fear heights and time is a very significant issue when negotiating this route. Usually early morning walks are more preferable but late afternoon during summer months will also provide plenty of much needed shade. In spring, the area is most alluring to visitors because they will be welcomed by an array of fascinating, gorgeous flowers. This path runs mainly all along the eastern side of the Rock which comprised primarily of cliffs and low Mediterranean scrubs.

The Mediterranean Steps will take visitors from Jews Gate on the southern end of the Nature Reserve at approximately 180 meters above sea level, upwards towards the O’Hara’s Battery at 419 meters, very close to the summit of the Rock.

Food & Drinks
Top ranked restaurants in Gibraltar

1. Gatsby Eating House
Gatsby Eating House is a relatively small restaurant with a huge passion for excellent food and providing the best service to our clients.  We opened in 1988 in Watergardens and are proud to still be serving Gibraltar from the same premises 24 years on.
Gatsby’s is the creation of Vijay Vatvani, a self-taught chef who is as passionate about his food today as he was when he fired up the oven for the first time so many years ago.  He’s a few years older though (and slightly wrinkly) so Head Chef Sam Martin was drafted in from Bianca’s to take off the pressure.

2. Casa Brachetto
Many years ago the owner of Casa Brachetto kicked off his trade behind the scenes in a well-known Italian restaurant in the back streets of London's West End. It was here where he one day dreamt of opening his own Italian restaurant. A number of years have passed since the beginning of that dream. He proudly opened that restaurant with his wife Gillian on 21st December 2012.
They have built a team of experienced professional individuals from the catering business to take care of Casa Brachetto which in such a short time has already received outstanding feedback including from expatriate Italians in the area.

3. Bistro Madeleine
Bistro Madeleine is a vegan-friendly, Vegetarian-friendly, as well as the finest cuts of meat! Bistro Madeleine features superb modern healthy food - with a wonderful taste of France! Come and try our fresh market produce, our organic range , or just stop in for a glorious cup of Illy coffee!
Menus in: English - Español - Italiano - Deutsch
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night

Transport
Gibraltar International Airport at the Middle of Traffic
1. Air
Gibraltar International Airport is the territory's only airport. It is situated very close to the border with Spain. The road to Spain crosses the runway, requiring the road to be closed each time an aircraft lands or takes off. Scheduled civilian passenger flights are operated by EasyJet, British Airways and Monarch Airlines.
Following an agreement signed in Córdoba between the Governments of the United Kingdom, Spain and Gibraltar in September 2006, the use of Gibraltar Airport by both Gibraltarian and Spanish services was agreed. Gibraltar Airport will be adapted to have an entrance from Spain (as well as Gibraltar), in a similar manner to Basel and Geneva airports (which are also adjacent to borders).

2. Private transport
Gibraltar has 49.9 kilometres (31.0 mi) of highways, all of which are paved. It has one of the highest levels of per capita car ownership in the world, with as many motor vehicles as people. Unlike the United Kingdom, traffic in Gibraltar drives on the right, as it shares a land border with Spain.

3. Public Transport
There are a total of 8 different bus routes in Gibraltar. There are two companies who provide stage-carriage bus services in Gibraltar: Gibraltar Bus Company Limited and Calypso Transport Limited. The Gibraltar Bus Company is 100% owned by the Government of Gibraltar and operates all but one of the services here. Calypso Transport operates the other, linking the city centre with the airport and the Frontier (border with Spain).

4. Sea
Being a peninsula, the sea has long been vital to Gibraltar's transport links. The Royal Navy Dockyard was formerly Gibraltar's major employer. There is still a harbour on the west side of the territory. The Gibraltar-registered merchant marine consists of 26 ships of 1000 tonnes and above. There is an irregular direct regular fast ferry service to Tanger-Med port, Morocco but many passengers now travel from Algeciras or Tarifa due to a more regular service being present at those ports.

5. Cable Car
A cable car runs from just south of the city centre to the Ape's Den and the Top of the Rock, which despite its name is actually the second highest peak of the Rock.

Top Hotels in Gibraltar

1. Caleta Hotel
Nestled on the shores next to Catalan Bay on the east side of the Rock of Gibraltar, is the Caleta Hotel. This is a warm and friendly four star hotel in Gibraltar, catering for the needs of all discerning travelers.

Guests can enjoy an impeccable personal service in elegant surroundings, with panoramic views of the Rock and onwards to the coastlines of Southern Spain and Morocco. The Caleta Hotel in Gibraltar has been thoughtfully designed to offer an irresistible mix of Mediterranean charm and contemporary style. Of all the Gibraltar Hotels, maximum comfort and a wide range of accommodation and facilities including free Wi-Fi available throughout the hotel, make the Caleta Hotel the perfect choice for your Gibraltar holiday, wedding or business conference.

2. O'Callaghan Eliott Hotel
In the heart of the business and shopping district of Gibraltar, the 4 star O'Callaghan Eliott Hotel has 123 bedrooms, 2 restaurants and a fitness center. This stylish hotel in Gibraltar features a rooftop pool and terrace, offering views over the Gibraltar Straits.
The bright and airy bedrooms have Wi-Fi access and air conditioning. The 4-star rooms also feature a private balcony, and a TV with satellite channels and on-demand movies. The Rooftop Bistro serves fresh Mediterranean cuisine, with panoramic views of the Bay and Rock of Gibraltar. The Veranda Bar with a tree lined terrace offers light snacks and an international menu, and hosts live jazz nights.

3. Rock Hotel Gibraltar
Welcome to the Rock Hotel Gibraltar - The highest rated of Gibraltar's Hotels
The Rock Hotel is an institution amongst Gibraltar Hotels and indeed the Mediterranean. Built in 1932 by the Marquis of Bute, the hotel to this day still offers standards of service and guest care from that bygone, more genteel era.
Decorated in the colonial style Gibraltar's Rock offers 104 comfortable bedroomswhich include a number of suites, junior suites and penthouses.
Of all the Gibraltar hotels the Rock enjoys a unique aspect in Gibraltar with all rooms having magnificent views across the Bay of Gibraltar, the Spanish mainland and the Rif Mountains of Morocco.

There are many reasons to visit this gem amongst Gibraltar Hotels.

There are around 29 vacation rentals in Gibraltar starting at US $69 per night.