Gibraltar, a British Overseas Territory, situated on Spain’s south coast, is a place of many contrasts. It was seized by the British in 1713 and now uses pounds sterling as the official currency as well as English as its official language. Given Gibraltar’s proximity to Spain, Spanish is also widely spoken and euros are also accepted even though the country is not a part of the EU. This country of less than seven square kilometres has been influenced by both cultures and became a unique place also because of its overwhelmingly beautiful natural surroundings. For such a small country, there are many tourist attractions that are definitely worth exploring!
First of all, the Rock of Gibraltar, the major landmark of the country, overlooks one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes. From the highest point of Gibraltar, which can be reached by either the wonderful Mediterranean Steps or the Gibraltar cable car, you can adore beautiful panoramic views. There you can also find O’Hara’s Battery – a fortification that holds old artillery pieces used during World War II.
Europa Point, the southernmost point of Gibraltar, also offers some tourist attractions and notable buildings. Its historic 19th-century lighthouse and the Ibrahim-al-Ibrahim mosque stand out from the environment as well as the impressive Harding Battery, Nun’s Well and the Shrine of our Lady of Europe, converted from a mosque in 1462 by Don Rodrigo Ponce de Leon.
Once up the Rock, you also have to visit some of its impressive caves from which the St. Michael’s Cave is the largest and most popular with tourists.If huge vaulted ceilings with spectacular stalactites and stalagmites will leave you wanting for more, visit the fabulous Cathedral Cave – a concert hall seating 400 and used for concerts, ballet and drama, or take a tour to visit a number of smaller chambers, including a small underground lake.
The Great Siege Tunnels of Gibraltar are a part of the numerous military installations, left as a monument to many sieges that happened in the area throughout the centuries. The tunnel network were carved out using manual labour in only six weeks and played a vital part in the British victories; nowadays, it has become a tourist attraction as the visitors can explore the labyrinth of tunnels themselves or with a guide.
Finally, Gibraltar is famous for its apes – the best place to see them is the Gibraltar Nature Reserve, which not only has great panoramic views, but also includes most of Gibraltar’s tourist attractions. However, don’t get fooled by the cute appearance of the apes even in the Apes’ Den, located in the Upper Rock area – they still bite and can snatch your unattended purse!