The rock of Gibraltar

Gibraltar

Iberian Peninsula

Gibraltar is on the southern coast of the Iberian Peninsula. It is a British overseas territory, bordering with Spain in the north and facing the city of Algeciras across the bay. Occasionally, from the port of Gibraltar you can travel by ferry to Morocco. 

Read our Gibraltar port guide and find all the information you need about ferry routes and schedules from the port of Gibraltar, as well as vacation in the port city!

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Monkey on the Rock of Gibraltar above the port

Monkey's point of view of the port of Gibraltar

The port of Gibraltar

The port of Gibraltar (also called the Gibraltar Harbor) is one of the most important ports in Europe, as it stands on the meeting point of the Atlantic Ocean with the Mediterranean Sea. Around 60,000 vessels pass by the Strait of Gibraltar every year!

Gibraltar port is a modern harbor used by conventional ferries, cruise ships, private yachts, as well as large cargo ships. The ferry terminal is located on the western part of the port, close to public parking lots, as well as the airport.

There are restaurants, cafes and shops, as well as information kiosks for passengers at Gibraltar port.

Ferry routes from Gibraltar to Morocco are usually serviced by the ferry company FRS.

Ferries from Gibraltar ferry port

Currently, there are no ferry routes from the port of Gibraltar to Morocco. In the past, ferries from Gibraltar would travel to the port of Tangier in Morocco once a week with a crossing duration of 1.5 hours.

Tip: You can follow the latest updates for the Gibraltar - Tangier (Morocco) ferry crossing on Ferryhopper.

If you wish to travel to the coast of North Africa from southern Spain in 2021 and the ferry from Gibraltar is still inactive, you can still catch a ferry from the port of Algeciras in Andalusia, 22km west of Gibraltar. 

Ferries from Algeciras travel to the port of Ceuta, as well as to Tangier once the Covid-19 restrictions are lifted. Find out more about the Algeciras - Ceuta and Algeciras - Tangier ferry routes.

Where is the port of Gibraltar?

The ferry port of Gibraltar is in the neighborhood of North District right next to the airport of Gibraltar on the west side of the Rock. It is easily accessible from the historic center and you can easily walk there from most hotels and major attractions.

It is just 15 minutes on foot from Gibraltar port to the town center.

Good to know: The Gibraltar cruise port is located on the northwestern part of the harbor.

How to get to Gibraltar port

You can reach the port of Gibraltar with your own vehicle or public transport. The bus network of Gibraltar is really reliable and plenty of bus routes pass by the port. 

If you’re driving to Gibraltar via Spain, you need to cross the border at La Línea de la Concepción in Cádiz. Roads CA-34 and A-383 lead into the Spain - Gibraltar border. There are also taxis taking passengers to the port of Gibraltar.

The port of Gibraltar

The port of Gibraltar

Holidays in Gibraltar

Gibraltar is famous for its culture, history and nature. As a crossroads of civilizations, it is diverse in experiences, sites and places of interest.

Apart from the beautiful natural surroundings, Gibraltar has a lively city with several food, coffee, entertainment and shopping options. Make sure that you walk from the Main Street of Gibraltar all the way to Casemates Square. You should also try fish and chips and rosto (pasta dish with tomato sauce and meat), and of course enjoy a pint at one of the local pubs.

Vacation in Gibraltar is perfectly safe and it is ideal for both families and groups of friends. The climate is typically Mediterranean, with warm summers ideal for sunbathing and swimming at the beautiful beaches of the Gibraltar Bay. 

Also, if you’re in the mood for some out-of-the-box outdoor activities like birdwatching or dolphin-watching and monkey-petting, Gibraltar is the holiday place to be!

How to get to Gibraltar

You can get to Gibraltar by ferry, plane, bus, train or your own vehicle. Ferries to Gibraltar are not currently active, but normally there are ferry routes from Tangier in Morocco.

As for air connections, the international airport of Gibraltar serves frequent flights from the UK, Spain, as well as more European destinations during the summer months.

If you want to reach Gibraltar by land, you can drive there by car or motorcycle, or take a train or bus from Spain. Trains and buses from Spain do not enter Gibraltar, but they stop at La Línea de la Concepción, which is home to the Spain - Gibraltar border that you can cross on foot. You can then continue your journey to the city center of Gibraltar by taxi or bus.

Good to know: Driving in Gibraltar is on the right and road signs follow the Spanish km/h format. 

Beach by the Rock of Gibraltar

The Rock of Gibraltar as seen from the beach

Things to do in Gibraltar

Gibraltar is an ideal destination for 3-4 days or as a stop during a road trip in the southern Iberian Peninsula. Due to the border crossing procedure, Gibraltar may not be suitable for a daytrip, but you can enjoy a great weekend in the city!

Are you wondering what to do in Gibraltar? During your holidays in Gibraltar, you can enjoy awesome beaches like Catalan Bay or Sandy Bay, visit the nature reserve on the top of the amazing Rock of Gibraltar, mingle with the wild monkeys (wild in nature, mostly tender in character) and try the amazing local cuisine!

Have a look at our detailed Gibraltar travel guide for everything you need to know about vacation in Gibraltar. Read about the top beaches and sights, and see which delicious local dishes you absolutely have to try!

Beaches in Gibraltar

Gibraltar may be small, but there are amazing beaches to visit in the port city! You can easily get to Gibraltar’s beaches either on foot or by car and public transport. Most of the coasts are covered with golden sand and are close to visitor amenities.

Here are the must-visit beaches in Gibraltar:

  • Catalan Bay: This is a sandy beach at a quaint fishing village on the east side of the Rock of Gibraltar. There is plenty of parking space, as well as restaurants and a hotel nearby. The rock on the southern end of the beach, known as “La Mamela” is perfect for photos!
  • Sandy Bay: Sandy Bay is one of the most unique beaches in the world. It was destroyed completely due to violent storms and restored with sand from the Sahara! It has turquoise waters and a breakwater for wave protection.
  • Eastern Beach: Eastern Beach is close to the airport of Gibraltar and enjoys sunshine throughout the day. It's a sandy coast with visitor facilities, such as a beach bar and a restaurant. You can easily get there by bus or car.
  • Western Beach: The beach is popular with locals as it is one of the most laid-back in Gibraltar. It’s covered with golden sand and there’s a children’s sea playground during peak season.
  • Camp Bay: Camp Bay is home to an artificial reef, where you swim among marine life and amazing underwater rock formations. The beach is rocky, but there are swimming pools, restaurants and cafes right by the coast for everyone to enjoy!
  • Little Bay: Little Bay is next to Camp Bay and is also rocky with small pebbles and crystal-clear waters. The beach facilities are perfect for children, who will love diving into the kids’ pool with a view to the small cove.

Sandy Bay in Gibraltar

The beach of Sandy Bay in Gibraltar

Sightseeing and activities in Gibraltar

Gibraltar is an explorer’s paradise as there’s much to see and do in this small piece of land! From cultural and historical attractions such as the Moorish castle and the bath house to nature reserves and majestic caves, Gibraltar will keep you busy!

Here are some of the top attractions in Gibraltar from the Ferryhopper Team: 

  • Rock of Gibraltar: 426m limestone promontory with a nature reserve and caves
  • Moorish Castle: medieval fortification with panoramic views of Gibraltar
  • Europa Point: lighthouse at the southernmost point of the Gibraltar peninsula
  • Cave of San Miguel (Saint Michael): limestone cave in the Upper Rock nature reserve
  • Cathedral of Saint Mary the Crowned: Roman Catholic cathedral in the city center
  • Alameda Wildlife Conservation Park: animal conservation and education park
  • Gibraltar Botanic Gardens: botanical gardens established in 1816
  • Túneles de Asedio: series of defense tunnels built during the Great Siege of Gibraltar in the 18th century
  • Gibraltar National Museum: museum hosting exhibits related to the history of Gibraltar, as well as home to 14th century Moorish baths

The Rock of Gibraltar

The Rock of Gibraltar deserves a special mention as it dominates the landscape and defines the history of Gibraltar. It has rich flora and fauna, it has been used as a military base, it was one of the mythical Pillars of Hercules and was home to Neanderthal populations!

The Upper Rock hosts an impressive nature reserve with flowers, trees, caves and hiking trails. The rock is also the only place in Europe where the Gibraltar candytuft (Iberis gibraltarica), a beautiful flower native to Africa, grows in the wild. 

Apart from its natural beauty, the Rock of Gibraltar is also home to the Barbary macaque, the only wild monkey population in Europe!

You can take the cable car and head to the top of the Rock for a breathtaking view of the Mediterranean Sea, the Atlantic Ocean, as well as Spain and northern Africa. It is definitely one of the must-sees in Gibraltar!

Good to know: Although the Barbary macaques of Gibraltar are quite friendly and relaxed, they may get sneaky and aggressive, so make sure you approach with caution and love!

Saint Michael's Cave in Gibraltar

The awe-inspiring interior of Saint Michael’s cave

Nightlife in Gibraltar

In Gibraltar, you can enjoy lively nights combining Mediterranean-style bars, as well as typical British pubs and Spanish-style restaurants! You can enjoy cocktails by the beach at popular beach bars, enjoy a pint or gin at one of the local drinking holes, or dine under the stars.

There are also music festivals, street performances and the super fun National Day of Gibraltar on the 10th of September, when locals have fun and celebrate with fireworks, drinks and street parties!

So, where is the nightlife in Gibraltar? Most clubs and bars are located in Ocean Village Marina, Casemates Square, Chatham Counterguard and Town Range. These areas are great if you want to go dancing till morning or simply enjoy an atmospheric walk through the city center.

Food in Gibraltar

Unbuckle your seatbelts if you’re visiting Gibraltar, as the local cuisine is a mix of Spanish, British, Moroccan, Portuguese, Maltese and Italian dishes! The plethora of culinary traditions and cooking techniques offers a wide variety of recipes for all tastes. 

From the all-time-classic fish and chips of Britain to Genovese delicacies, Gibraltar was made to please foodies

Here’s what to try in Gibraltar:

  • Fish and chips: a staple of British cuisine, very popular in Gibraltar
  • Rosto: penne pasta with tomato sauce and meat
  • Calentita: unleavened bread made with chickpea flour
  • Menestra de verduras: hot vegetable stew/salad
  • Rollitos: fried beef rolls with vegetables
  • Fideos al horno: baked pasta topped with grated cheese or bechamel
  • Boquerones rellenos: deep-fried anchovies filled with cheese or potatoes
  • Pan dulce: sweet bread filled with dried fruit and raisins
  • Japonesa: fried donut filled with custard
  • Torta de acelga: chard pie

Gibraltar tips

See useful tips for your trip to Gibraltar:

  • Do I need a visa to visit Gibraltar? If you are a UK or EU national, you don’t need a visa to enter Gibraltar. However, it is always recommended to carry your passport with you. You can apply for a Gibraltar visa online or at your country’s British Embassy.
  • UK citizens can live and work in Gibraltar without a resident permit.
  • The official language of Gibraltar is English, although many locals also speak Spanish due to the country’s proximity.
  • The Gibraltar pound is the official currency of Gibraltar. UK coins and notes are also accepted, while some shops also accept payments in euros but this is not standard practice.
  • The best time to visit Gibraltar is from May to October. Gibraltar experiences quite high temperatures during the summer months, but it’s cooler than other Mediterranean destinations.
  • Most goods and services in Gibraltar are more expensive than in Spain.

Lighthouse at Europa Point in Gibraltar

The lighthouse of Europa Point in Gibraltar

Useful information about Gibraltar

In Gibraltar, you will find lots of accommodation options with daily room prices starting from €40. There are hotels, long-term vacation rentals, private villas with pools, as well as rooms by the beach. We recommend booking accommodation the soonest as Gibraltar is quite small and really popular in the summer.

British citizens and EU nationals presenting their European Health Insurance Card are entitled to free treatment in Gibraltar. As for hospitals, civilian general health services are offered at St Bernard's Hospital and the adjacent Primary Care Center. These are both located on the northern side of the port area, close to the ferry terminal.

As for traveler services, Gibraltar has everything you need. There is a bustling shopping area downtown, several entertainment options, as well as pharmacies, gas stations, car rental shops, parking lots and supermarkets.

Good to know: Although there are quite a few parking lots, bear in mind that parking spaces are rather limited and slightly expensive.

Important phone numbers for your stay in Gibraltar

Here is some useful contact information for your trip to Gibraltar:

  • European emergency number: 112
  • Gibraltar Port Authority: +35020046254
  • Gibraltar International Airport: +35020012345
  • St Bernard's Hospital: +35020079700
  • Primary Care Center: +35020072355
  • Ocean Views Mental Health Facility: +35020078807
  • Ambulance services: 190
  • Fire department: 190
  • Police: 199

Transportation in Gibraltar

Gibraltar is just 7km² which means it is perfect for walking around with ease! If you want to head up to the Upper Rock area, you can by all means go there on foot, but we recommend taking the cable car, as it is easier, more comfortable and offers breathtaking views! There is roughly one cable car every 10 minutes.

As for public transport, there is a good bus network with multiple stops in the city center, across the coast and at most of the city’s attractions. There are 5 main bus routes.

If you prefer private transfers, you can get around by taxi. You can find taxi ranks at the border with Spain, at Casemates square, at the cruise terminal and more popular locations. Many locals and visitors also ride bikes and motorcycles to get around.

Tip: You can rent a bike from the tourist information point at Casemates Square and explore the city center!

Cable car going up the Rock of Gibraltar

Breathtaking view of Gibraltar from the cable car

Where to book Gibraltar ferry tickets online

On Ferryhopper, you can stay on top of all Gibraltar ferry updates and book tickets to North Africa with the available companies and routes with no extra fees. Check Ferryhopper’s Map of ferries for available ferry crossings from the southern coast of the Iberian Peninsula and plan your ferry trip with confidence!

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