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World > Europe > Gibraltar

Gibraltar Cheap Hotel Bed and Breakfast Guest House Accommodation

White rock of Gibraltar and coastline
The Rock

This is a destination for those curious to explore a quirky outpost of England, the extraordinary geographical features of a spectacular freak of nature, and the military installations of a heavily-contested, superb strategic location. Gibraltar is a British colony situated off southern Spain, and perched at the base of an awesome 426m high Rock, according to legend one of the two Pillars of Hercules, at the crossroads of the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. The stretch of water separating Gibraltar from north Africa is called the Strait of Gibraltar, which throughout history has played a part in battles fought and victories won in the quest to control the western Mediterranean seaways. This monolithic crag covers a land area of about six square kilometers, contains 143 caves, 48 km of road and tunnels, and on offer here are great rock touring, sailing, diving, fishing and birdwatching. With this unique city’s VAT-free status, and the value-added shopping opportunities on the famous Main Street, there are plenty of reasons to head here while on a tour of southern Spain.

This is a place steeped in history dating back to the ice ages: the official rock tour will take you to St Michael’s Cave, the Barbary apes’ den, the Moorish Castle and the City under Siege exhibition. If you wish to have the experience of ‘luxury caving’, and see some of the lower caverns at close hand, tours are available with special safety features and lighting which will take you there. Be prepared to cross bottomless chasms on flexible webbing, skirt a subterranean lake in bare feet and shimmy up and down walls attache dto a rope as part of the deal. Back at sea level, you can choose from six public beaches, or enjoy the water sports based around Sheppard’s Marina, Marina Bay and Queensway Quay Marina. Unlike some of the vast developments along the Costa del Sol, or the pristine hilltop villages in the mountains further inland, Gibraltar refreshingly is still very much a working town, albeit somewhat ‘different’. While the network of narrow streets of the old town are very similar to those in such Spanish coastal towns as Cadiz, they are dotted with English phone boxes, post boxes, and typical British pubs and inns. Both the local architecture and language are a hybrid with Spanish and English roots, but with steps being taken to end the period of enforced isolation which had prevailed due to a diplomatic stalemate having been reached, it is believed that there will now be an accelaration of the absorption of Gibraltar into Spanish culture. For the time being, The English culture on display here tends to be from a quaint bygone era. On Sundays, you can enjoy a traditional English roast with Yorkshire pudding, while morning fry-ups are available at many of the bars. Elsewhere, in seafood restaurants such as the Marina Inn, locals will typically order raciones of puntillitas (delicately fried baby squids), boquerones (fresh anchovies lightly battered and fried), montaditos (miniature sandwiches of grilled veal or pork and gambas pil-pil (spicy prawns). So, in effect, you have come to a place with the best of both worlds.

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