Taking into account the whole ‘wild apes’ and ‘dolphin tours’, it is fair to say that Gibraltar has plenty to offer families making the trip with the little ones in town. There are also plenty of nooks and crannies to explore, caves to get excited about and tunnels to deep dive into. If all else fails, head to the beach.
The Rock dominates Gibraltar, although it does sadden us to point out that we’re not talking about Dwayne Johnson. This humongous mass of limestone will be your first image of Gibraltar and probably your last, although it is what lies in and on the Rock that is of the most interest. The Rock stretches 1,398ft into the sky and offers some quite magnificent views of the coast and the town, creating a sight so stunning that it was deemed one of the two Pillars of Hercules, the other being Mons Abyla above Ceuta. The sheer face of the Rock is its most iconic spot, although it goes without saying that this is best seen from afar. The Cable Car takes visitors to the top of the Rock from 09:30 through to 19:15 everyday, with the last car down leaving the station at 19:45. Don’t get stuck on top of the Rock, as you will likely have to become a macaque in order to survive. The Rock is full of sights and attractions, but it is difficult to look beyond the Rock itself as the main event.
Much like Gibraltar, the dolphin is a curious beast. It is a delightful coincidence that the highly-intelligent (but not on land) mammals spend plenty of time in the coast around Gib, and dolphin-watching tours are available throughout the season. The common, bottlenose and striped dolphin are the most common species seen, although you’ll likely be overjoyed at whatever you get, unless you are a dolphin expert or something like that. Dolphin Adventure and Dolphin Safari are your two Dolphin-Watching tour options in Gib, and you can’t really go wrong with either.
The Great Siege Tunnels came first, but the World War II Tunnels are the real main event of Gibraltar’s tunnels. The introduction of machinery obviously helped, but the urgency of fascism’s onslaught added an extra layer of chaos to the construction of this network. Work took place day and night and day again, creating a quite incredible underground city that contained power stations to keep soldiers going, barracks, hospitals and all the rest. These tunnels allowed trucks and ambulances to drive straight into the Rock, which blows our mind every single time. North Africa and Rommel were invaded by here, and the tunnels went from a strategic necessity to an eventual tourist attraction, 24 miles of magic that feels like a different world to that on the other side of the Rock.
There are more than 150 caves found in the Rock of Gibraltar, but only one gets to take home the ‘most-visited’ prize. St. Michael’s Cave gets that honour, in no small part because of its awe-inspiring collection of stalactites and stalagmites. All of the formations are lit up in a variety of vibrant colours in order to accentuate the majesty of it all, creating magnificent photo opportunities for more than a million visitors every year. The cave was initially supposed to be an emergency hospital during World War II but never functioned as one, instead developing naturally into the wonder we see today. The splendid acoustics aren’t wasted either, with the occasional concert or gig held in this stunning spot.
Built in 1841, the Europa Point Lighthouse is in many way’s the very end of Europe. That all depends on your direction of view of course, but we enjoy sitting by this iconic cylindrical tower and believing that we have made it to the end of the famous continent. The lighthouse sits at the opening of the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, making it a strategically vital piece of architecture, although the construction of a new football stadium nearby has put its future under threat. Visit the end of Europe while you can.