TOP 10 Tours/Excursions in Gibraltar
Gibraltar has been a popular destination attracting visitors for centuries enjoying various types of tours in Gibraltar. Few places in the world can equal the Rock in terms of sheer physical presence. The Rock of Gibraltar is situated in a unique strategic location on the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula.
As a matter of fact, the Rock stands firm guarding the Strait of Gibraltar and linked to mainland Europe by a narrow isthmus. Moreover, Gibraltar is the only place in Europe where monkeys range free in the wild, reflecting the Rock’s rich natural diverse history. Gibraltar’s past is etched right here on the limestone, as well as expressed in the faces and customs of the people: British, Moroccan, Spanish, Genoese, Portuguese, Jewish, Maltese, Indian. A fascinating blend of cultures that have all left their stamp throughout our rich and varied history which dates back to Neanderthal times.
Most Popular Tours in Gibraltar
Gibraltar offers something for everyone today, ranging from a World Heritage Site and archaeological treasures to a wide variety of shops and restaurants. Not to mention it is also a stimulating world centre of business and commerce and a fast-growing events destination.
We have compiled the list below to aid visitors when deciding on what tours to consider when visiting Gibraltar.
Alameda Botanical Gardens
The picturesque Alameda Botanical Gardens was first opened to the public in 1816. There are a number of commemorative busts and cannons which date back to the 18th and 19th centuries on view at the location.
For most visitors, however, it is the beauty of the plants and trees which make the Alameda Botanical Gardens such a magical venue. Many plants or trees are native species while others are imported from around the globe. At certain times of the year, various cultural organised events take place in the gardens’ open-air theatre.
Two important monuments are located here, nonetheless, the pride of gardens goes to the General Elliot Column and the bronze cannons at its feet. At the entrance of the gardens is two of the four Russian guns given to Gibraltar by Britain. These canons were a gift to in the light the help provided during the Crimean War in 1858.
Tours of the Botanic Gardens are available from just £25 per person.
Finding itself located at a crossroad for bird migration, the Strait of Gibraltar is famous for its migrating birds. Moreover, the vegetation on the Rock provides a temporary home for many migratory birds species that stop to rest and feed before continuing their migration towards the desert and sea.
The diversity of 315 bird species recorded that migrate past the Rock means that Rock of Gibraltar is a prime location for birdwatching.
Gibraltar enjoys a very good raptor migration that can be very spectacular with thousands of Black Kites and Honey Buzzards visiting the rock. Short-toed and Booted Eagles can also migrate in large numbers with some days typically producing more than ten species of raptors, storks, and falcons.
Gibraltar’s most symbolic breeding bird is the Barbary Partridge, which is found nowhere else in mainland Europe but in Gibraltar. The species are typically hard to find, but patient observers may well stumble upon them in the Gibraltar Nature Reserve.
Birdwatching Tours must be pre-booked and are only available on Migration Periods.
Luxury Boat Trips
Gibraltar Boat Charters has become a trend experienced in the summer of 2021 and sure this will be the same for 2022.
Offering food/snacks plus a premium service it is no surprise that this tour has made it to the Top 10 List. Furthermore, Boat Charter Tours allow visitors to enjoy the picturesque views of the bay of Gibraltar onboard luxury and tranquillity on your own private luxury yacht for the day.
Some charters have water sports equipment, such as snorkelling, stand-up paddle, or dinghies which are great fun for families. Moreover, you can choose from 2, hour, 3 hour or 6-hour rentals of a luxury yacht for you and your loved ones.
Enquire now to find your perfect Boat Charters during your stay in Gibraltar.
Gorham’s Cave UNESCO Complex
The Gorham’s Cave Complex is of major importance in understanding the global story of human evolution and adaptation. Over the past 26 years, the Gorham’s and Vanguard Caves have been archaeologically excavated revealing results that suggest Gibraltar was the last refuge for the Neanderthals around 32,000 years ago.
As a matter of fact, Gibraltar has a long-lasting connection with the Neanderthals. The first complete Neanderthal skull was found in 1848 by Lieutenant Edmund Flint of the Royal Artillery, who presented it to the Gibraltar Scientific Society. This was eight years before the famous remains found in the Neander Valley near Dusseldorf in Germany, which gives its name to the Neanderthals. A second skull was subsequently found in 1926, named the Devil’s Tower Child.
Gorham’s Cave Complex was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in July 2016 for its exceptional testimony to the occupation of Neanderthal and early modern human populations through a period spanning approximately 120,000 years.
Now a popular tourist attraction in Gibraltar, Gorham’s Cave Complex is one of the best historical tours that you can enjoy during your stay in the Rock of Gibraltar.
Old Town Walking Tour
There is an abundance of history in Gibraltar from Neanderthals to WWII, and the inner town of the Rock of Gibraltar is no exception. On this walking tour of the old town of the rock, an expert guide will explain the importance of Gibraltar’s initial city during our history.
During the tour, visitors will learn about the ancient part of Gibraltar’s history dating back to the Moorish Occupation in 1309. Walking along Irish Town will allow you to appreciate the diverse architecture and history dating back to the Spanish Occupation in the 16th Century. You will also visit various iconic locations like the Garrison Library built after the Great Siege by Captain Drinkwater and the old Headquarters of the Gibraltar Chronicle (2nd oldest Newspaper in the world).
Further locations on the walking tour’s itinerary is the historic Convent (residence of the Governor of Gibraltar) and the Gibraltar National Museum to name a few.
Prices start from £35 per person and tours can be booked here.
Dolphin Watching trips are one of the most popular tours in Gibraltar. Furthermore, they are fun and the most enjoyable way of seeing these fascinating mammals up close. Gibraltar has a school of resident dolphins that make daily appearances in the bay and strait area. The local species are the Common Dolphin, Bottlenose Dolphin, and the Striped Dolphin.
Dolphins are very sociable animals, spending the majority of their life in the company of dolphin species. The groups of Gibraltar dolphins can range from very few to several hundred, living and working together. These dolphins can be found in various areas around the coast of Gibraltar where they feed on sardines, herring, squid, anchovies, and flying fish and dive to a depth of about 280 meters.
Get to witness the Rock of Gibraltar from another point of view on board a Dolphin Watching Trip.
Gibraltar Rock Tour
Rock Taxi Tours is one of the most popular tours in Gibraltar. This excursion is perfect for visitors wanting to explore and enjoy a luxury bespoke private tour of Gibraltar historical sites. The private tours consist of a detailed explanation and visit of the iconic historical sites of Gibraltar, with the company of a qualified guide.
Tickets to the Gibraltar Nature Reserve are always included in the price of all our Rock Tours. You will enjoy access to all the Upper Rock attractions, including but not limited to the Pillars of Hercules, St. Michael’s Cave, Great Siege Tunnels, and WWII Tunnels. In addition, all our private tours have the Skywalk and a meet and greet with our Gibraltar Monkeys the “Barbary Macaques or the Barbary Ape” as standard.
Choose from three Upper Rock Tours categories based on your needs and budget now starting from just £31 per person.
Military History Tour
Military History Tours are one of the most popular and on-demand tours in Gibraltar.
This is clearly of no surprise, due to the significance of Gibraltar as a Military Strategic location. This strategic importance dates back to the Greek Empire. Such importance is evident as Gibraltar is described as one of the Pillars of Hercules in Greek Mythology.
Military presence then became more evident during the Moorish invasion of Europe from 711 AD to the Spanish invasion of the rock in 1462. Luckily some of the Military Structures are still intact to date.
The obvious remaining Military Installations are from the 18th Century (Great Siege period) and both World Wars eras. It was during this period that Gibraltar’s military importance was greatly tested by enemies. Gibraltar became home to the Royal Navy and successful military operations were conducted by Allied Forces. One example is Eisenhower’s US Military Operation Torch onto North Africa.
On the Military History Tour, you will also get to see from first hand all the Moorish Installations, including the Tower of Homage which dates back to the Moors. There are also Spanish Military Fortifications still intact including the Charles V Wall.
The majority of the Military History emerges from British Occupation from 1704 to date.
This tour is only exclusively available via Victory Tours, book your tour here.
Barbary Macaque Experience
Visiting the Gibraltar Monkeys are considered by many to be the best tour in Gibraltar. They are very accustomed to being around people, however, visitors must understand these are still wild animals. As scavengers, they will often approach and sometimes climb onto people and will take any opportunity to steal food.
Feeding the macaques in Gibraltar is now an offence punishable by law. Anyone caught feeding the monkeys is liable of a fine up to £4,000.
Therefore, it is highly recommended that you always visit the Upper Rock with a qualified guide on an official tour. There are a number of tours in Gibraltar that allow you to safely meet and greet the Barbary Macaques. See the Private Rock Tours or via a specialised Barbary Macaque Experience with an expert guide.
Secret WW2 Cave – Stay Behind Cave
Only exclusively available to only 30 visitors a year, Stay Behind Cave is the most sought-after tours in Gibraltar.
Operation Tracer was a secret Second World War military operation in Gibraltar. The driving force for the idea was the 1940 plot by Germany to capture Gibraltar, codenamed Operation Felix. Operation Tracer was the initiative and idea of Rear Admiral John Henry Godfrey.
In 1941, Godfrey created the covert observation post that would remain operational, even if Gibraltar fell to the German. In effect, the post was to report on enemy capability and movements within the harbour for Intelligence purposes.
The six volunteers selected for the operation, included an executive officer as the leader, two physicians, and three wireless operators. The men had volunteered to stay inside the cave should Gibraltar fall to the Nazis. The volunteers fully understood that they would possibly need to remain sealed in the cave for about a year. The cave had provisions for a much longer stay if required up to seven years.
Fortunately, there was never the need for the Allies to use this post and as a result of the Nazis Empire collapsing. The Director of Naval Intelligence aborted the plan and closed the complex.
Rumours of a secret post, eventually nicknamed Stay Behind Cave, circulated for decades in Gibraltar, until its discovery in 1997.
Now under the possession and care of the Gibraltar National Museum, limited tours are available. To enquire about the availability of tours please click here.
Conclusion on Tours in Gibraltar
Gibraltar has a vast repertoire of historical facts and attractions that can appease to a vast spectrum of visitors. From Neanderthals Tours, to Wild Life encounters with specialised guides, tours of historical military installations, Gibraltar has it all!