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Taking a day trip to Gibraltar

A day trip to Gibraltar from the Costa Del may be the last thing in your mind during your fortnight in the sun. But if you can find yourself away from your prized poolside spot, you’ll find a wealth of attractions to enjoy in Gibraltar.

As one of the Mediterranean’s most unique destinations, Gibraltar attracts millions of visitors every year. From the British traditions and duty free shopping to the natural wonders and sandy beaches, Gibraltar certainly packs a huge amount into a small space.

The renowned Rock is Gibraltar’s most iconic sight, but the peninsular is so much more than a scalable tourist spot. Dig beneath the surface and you’ll find a diverse mix of people and places on the peninsular.

Easy to visit from the Costa Del Sol , Gibraltar is just a road trip or coach excursion away. If you can not wait to experience the Rock’s star attractions, we’ve created this handy guide to taking a day trip to Gibraltar. From the Rock’s famous apes to a rundown of Gibraltar’s beaches, we’ve covered everything you need to know for a day trip with a difference!

Getting there

Taking day trips from the Costa Del Sol to Gibraltar could not be easier, especially if you are staying at one of our Costa Del Sol hotels . Hire a car or hop on an organized excursion. Many of these will stock right outside your hotel, including the Gran Cervantes by Blue Sea Hotel .

Driving to Gibraltar via the toll road should see you in the peninsular in around 90 minutes – leaving plenty of time to explore, relax on Gibraltar’s beaches or hit the main attractions. Allow some time for crossing the border. Peak periods see queues forming, but the passport stamp and Gibraltar’s unique attractions are worth the wait.

Things to do in Gibraltar

Cable bar climbing gibraltar's peninsular

Head underground for a different view of the famous rock

Gibraltar’s crowning glory is its rock, but if you have not got a head for heights, head underground. The subterranean view in the island’s 150 caves will not disappoint. St Michael’s cave is the real showstopper but, as the star attraction, it draws a crowd. Seek out some of the quieter caves or take a look at the Great Siege Tunnels. Carved using just manual labor, they are a feat of human endurance and offer history buffs the chance to learn more of Gibraltar’s past.

Scale the heights or hop on a cable car

No day trip to Gibraltar would be complete without scaling the highest point on the peninsular. A sturdy set of footwear should see you striding up the steep staircase that takes you all the way from the bottom of the Rock to the top. If the Mediterranean Steps sound a little too daunting, hop on a cable car and take in the view at your leisure. 

 

Two of Gibraltar's Barbary Macaques

 

Seek out the famous apes of Gibraltar

The Rock’s barbary macaques are Gibraltar’s most famous residents. 300 apes live in five separate groups on the Upper Rock. If you’re keen to interact with them and get some spectacular selfies, the Gibraltar Nature Reserve is the best place to be. Semi-wild, the macaques put on fascinating displays of natural behavior – if you keep your distance. Get up close and you might experience some mischievous monkey business!

Feast on Gibraltan Flavors

The Rock’s diverse history has had a massive influence on the cuisine. Distinctive dishes pepper the menus of local restaurants and foodies will be spoiled for choice. First time visitors need not worry. Gibraltar’s language is Spanish so you’ll know exactly what to expect when ordering. Be sure to sample the Baked noodles, a comforting pasta dish that you’ll want to order again and again.

Explore La Alameda Gardens

If you’re looking for some time away from the hustle and bustle of Gibraltar’s busy attractions and the shopping district, head to the Rock’s Botanic Gardens. Set at the end of Main Street, the Alameda Gardens are well-stocked with subtropical plants, flowers and foliage. Do not miss the Alameda Wildlife Conservation Park during your visit. The park takes in and rehabilitates the Rock’s rescued and injured wildlife.

Gibraltar beaches

A beach in Gibraltar with rock

It may seem strange to leave Spain’s glistening sands behind and head from the Costa Del Sol to Gibraltar. But beach lovers will be well rewarded. Four sandy beaches and two rocky lidos line Gibraltar’s shores. Each has its own charm and plenty of visitors to take a day trip from the Costa Del Sol to Gibraltar.

Eastern Beach

The largest, Eastern Beach, is a sweeping stretch of glorious coastline – with a twist. Swimmers are treated to the sight of flights landing at Gibraltar’s airport! Do not let this put you off visiting this beautiful stretch of Gibraltar’s coast.

Catalan Bay

For a stretch of shore away from the main town and airport, Catalan Bay is awash with fishing village charm and sunbathers making the most of the sunshine. Catalan Bay is the place to sample Gibraltar’s best seafood. Local restaurants serve up the day’s catch in mouth-wateringly tempting ways.

Sandy Bay

If you prefer your beaches a little more low-key, Sandy Bay is for you. Less popular with tourists, this beach on the East coast benefits from an artificial reef. The waters are warmer for swimming – and the recent addition of 50,000 tonnes of Saharan sand guarantee you a comfortable spot to soak up the sun.

Western Beach

This small sandy beach lies to the north of Gibraltar’s airport and runway. With better facilities at other beaches, Western Beach is better suited for a walk along the coast, rather than sunbathing.

Camp Bay and Little Bay

Packed with amenities for families – and a sun trap for sun worshipers, Camp Bay is an ideal stop on a day trip to Gibraltar. A lido, swimming pools and restaurant are all set between the rocky backdrop of the peninsula. An artificial reef has seen the marine population rise – making this spot a popular diving site. Much smaller than its neighbour, Little Bay sits at the south end of Camp Bay. A small quiet cove, the children’s swimming pool makes this a great spot for little ones.

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