Welcome to The Rock of Gibraltar
Ever since neolithic times humans have recognised the advantages of living in Gibraltar. Over the centuries this outcrop of rock on Europe’s most southerly tip has been fought over and passed from Empire to Empire. Today, however, Gibraltar is a stable, thriving and dynamic modern state with a diversified economy and membership of the European Union (with exemption from CAP and the Customs Union).
Designated as an Overseas Dependant Territory of the United Kingdom, Gibraltar is located at the gateway to the Mediterranean and the Rock has been a major British military base for over 300 years. In recent years the role of the military and the number of troops stationed here have decreased and today the military prescence is largely invisible apart from the airstrip which all visitors to Gibraltar must cross when entering via Spain. This is expected to change when a new tunnel under the runway opens along with the new International Airport terminal.
The Upper Rock
High above the town lies the lush green nature reserve known as the Upper Rock. This area is the focal point for most visitors to Gibraltar and contains many of the most famous tourist attractions, such as; St Michael’s Cave, The Siege Tunnels and, of course, the ape sanctuary. It is also a very important ornithological site as hundreds of thousands of migratory birds travel over the Rock en-route from Africa and beyond.
The Town Area
With Casemates Square at one end and the cable car to the top of the Rock at the other this area of Gibraltar comprises most of the shops, offices, restaurants and bars. On almost any day the picturesque Main Street will be crammed with visitors, many from the cruise ships that regularly stop at Gibraltar checking the duty free shops and historic architecture. The Gibraltar Museum at the top end of Main Street is well worth a visit.
The Southern Area
At the tip of Gibraltar, Europa Point looks over the Mediterranean and the bay from which Nelson’s body was brought ashore after the Battle of Trafalgar. The large mosque at Europa Point was a gift to Gibraltar from the King of Saudi Arabia, King Fahd bin Abdulaziz al-Saud. Also worth seeing are the 100 tonne gun and Parson’s Point, a fascinating WW2 military post where you can easily imagine the conditions under which the soldiers were forced to exist whilst defending Gibraltar.
Ocean Village & Marina Bay
The centre of the modern thriving business orientated Gibraltar, Ocean Village, is a popular place with locals and visitors alike. You can enjoy a stroll around the marina looking at the fabulous yachts followed by a drink or food at one of the harbourside bars and restaurants. In Ocean Village you’ll also find the Dolphin sailing tours that take visitors to see the many dolphins and whales in the Strait.
A Virtual Tour of Gibraltar
Gibraltar : Quick Facts
Main Language: English
Currency: £ Sterling (GIP)
Political Climate: Stable
Climate: Around 300 days of sunshine, warm summers, mild winters.
Location: Southwestern tip of Europe, Strait of Gibraltar, entrance to the Mediterranean, accessible by land, sea and air.
Status: Self governing UK overseas territory; part of the Commonwealth; entered the EC in 1973 at the time of UK accession, though the Common Agricultural Policy, Value Added Tax and the Common Customs Tariff do not apply to Gibraltar.
Area: 6.54 sq km (2.53 sq mi)
Tax System: Low tax jurisdiction; VAT Free, No Capital Gains, Estate Duty, Wealth, Inheritance, Gift or other capital taxes.
Infrastructure: International airport; excellent road links into Europe and Africa, British-European business hub with advanced fibre-optic communications, high resilience and very secure; First-class financial services.
Society: Mixed cultures, pleasant, high quality of life with increasing luxury and affordable property developments, safe place all-round.
Economic State: Robust, vibrant economy, GDP £869 million (+8.0% from previous year).
Legal System: Modelled on the British Legal system; well regulated jurisdiction.
Main Economic Sectors: Financial Services, Maritime, Tourism and E-Gaming.
Tourism: 10.3 million visitors, holiday hot spot; beach weather; ample history; various tourist sites; large, protected nature reserve; abundance of flora and fauna; duty-free shopping; numerous restaurants, bars; something for everyone.
Shipping: Commercial Port; Registrar of Ships; one of the top bunkering ports in the world; Cruise Liner hot stop, quality Maritime Services; numerous Marinas.
Time zone: GMT +1