Gibraltar: 7 reasons why you should pay it a visit

The Rock of Gibraltar, on the south Spanish coast, may become a political pawn over the coming months, but it's also worth a holiday trip.

Brexit has thrown the status and identity of Gibraltar up in the air, but outside of politics, what does the Rock offer as a holiday destination?

We reveal seven reasons why it’s worth a visit.

1. The Rock

The main sight when visiting Gibraltar is of course 'The Rock'. It's a huge, 5km long limestone rock face that the ancient Greeks and Romans considered one the two pillars of Hercules – it was split from its twin, Jebel Musa in Morocco, during the son of Zeus' 12 labours. It's as epic as it sounds, jutting out of the sea, peaking at 426m high.

Hike the famed Mediterranean Steps for great views.

2. Monkeying about

Joining the Gibraltarians on their island are Europe's only free, wild community of monkeys, in this case, mischievous Barbary macaques.

They have no natural predators on The Rock, so live longer than their non-island counterparts, and you'll get to see them eating fruit, playing and grooming one another.

Visit 'Ape's Den' for guaranteed sightings.

3. Feels like home

As a British colonial outpost, Gibraltar has many hangovers from the English mainland.

Expect to come across red pillar boxes, fish and chip shops, proper pubs, places to have afternoon tea and 1970s style hotels.

You'll also see a lot of Lord Nelson memorabilia.

4. Tunnels galore

More than 50km of tunnels have been burrowed into Gibraltar, including the WWII tunnels (grab a nature reserve ticket to visit). This is where the Allied invasion of North Africa was planned.

You can also visit the Great Siege Tunnels, a set of gun emplacements carved by hand during the 1779–83 siege.

5. Proximity to mainland Spain and islands

Gibraltar is a great place to spend a week if you also want to visit the southern Spanish coast (Malaga is a popular choice), including highlights like Seville, and even Morocco isn't too far.

6. Tasty seafood

Being surrounded by the ocean, seafood lovers will find Gibraltan cuisine particularly delicious. Other specialities include calentita (a dish of baked pancakes) and profiteroles.

7. Dolphin spotting

At the Bay of Gibraltar – which opens into the Strait of Gibraltar and the Mediterranean Sea – you can spot wild dolphins splashing about. Book a dolphin tour to get even closer to the amazing creatures – on rare occasions, whales are sighted too!

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