There’s really nowhere quite like Gibraltar. A little piece of England looking out from Spain to the coast of Morocco, with a rock fabled in ancient mythology and the only wild monkey population in Europe. Quite a cocktail, huh?
Gibraltar was handed over to the British by Spain in the 18th century, and British – if its very own brand of hybridized, flashback British – it has remained ever since, despite Spain’s best efforts to browbeat it into accepting its sovereignty.
The Rock of Gibraltar is a fabulous chunk of limestone rearing up over the city and overrun by Barbary macaques. There is a legend that if these monkeys leave the rock, so will the British leave Gibraltar. Winston Churchill obviously subscribed to this superstition – he requested that the macaque population be topped up during WWII.
But there are older legends than this concerning the rock. The ancients thought it to be one of the Pillars of Hercules, with the other standing across the sea in Morocco. If climbing the rock looks to you like a modern-day Labor of Hercules, fear not: there’s a cable car that will take you the 425m (1,396ft) to the top.
Cross the border from Spain into British territory, where you can see British policemen, spend British money and enjoy the duty free shopping. After touring the city, journey to the top of the famous Rock of Gibraltar itself, where you can take in the views of the Spanish and Moroccan coastlines. Also spend some time getting to know the locals – the semi wild troop of Barbary “Apes” (a.k.a. Barbary macaque monkeys). Hang on to your belongings though, they are cheeky little monkeys!
-Viator Travel Team