Gibraltar – the essential short break destination

THE British Rock of Gibraltar continues to grow as a top Mediterranean short break destination for UK travellers. Just two and a half hours from home, its sterling currency guarantees there will be no costly conversion rate and Gibraltar’s VAT free status gives visitors an added incentive to visit the shops.

Enjoying increased scheduled air services from the UK last summer Gibraltar has seen an increase on the number of weekly flights offered to the destination with scheduled service departures from Manchester offered with both easyJet and Monarch Airlines.

Gibraltar is small, just 6.8 square kilometres, but is packed with a range of activity appealing to all. Its compact nature means it’s mostly navigable on foot and transfer time from landing at Gibraltar International Airport to arrival at your hotel is swift.

With a growth in multigenerational travel, Gibraltar is increasingly appealing to all age groups with greater dialogue about its lesser known treasures.

Last summer the Gorham’s Cave Complex was granted UNESCO World Heritage Status. Gorham’s Cave is the last known site of Neanderthal survival, some 28,000 years ago. A new tour has recently launched which takes visitors by sea to the cave where Neanderthal engravings have been found.

The Rock of Gibraltar is often characterised by its Barbary Macaques. During WWII, Winston Churchill increased the number of resident Macaques to protect Gibraltar’s British legacy – it was believed that if the Macaques left Gibraltar so would the British. Less known, is that during WWII, servicemen assembled Spitfire planes from inside the limestone Rock ready to assist the war effort. Gibraltar’s caves are available to explore and for many young teenagers and adults resemble a living history book.

Another recently added attraction is the Windsor Bridge, Gibraltar’s first suspension bridge, which forms part of the Thrill Seekers Trail in the Upper Rock. 71 metres long, it is located between two Batteries and constructed over a 50-metre gorge.

Less known are Gibraltar’s beaches, small and extremely popular with both locals and visitors and with heat prolonging into autumn there’s still plenty of opportunity for sun, sea and sand.

Dolphin watching is a favoured activity by tourists with tours offered from Gibraltar’s marinas together with diving and sailing activities.

September 10th marks National Day and a week of celebrations kick starting the autumn Festival season. The newly rebranded MTV Presents Gibraltar Calling Music Festival will this year welcome Craig David, Clean Bandit, Bananarama, Go West and Fat Boy Slim to its line up. The 5th Gibunco Gibraltar International Literary Festival, November 16th-19th, will again bring together a cacophony of literati to deliberate over their latest literary sensations.

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