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Gibraltar


Gibraltar Gibraltar is on the coast in-between Cadiz and Sotogrande, located 10-minutes away from the main N-340 road at San Roque. The nearest golf courses are 'Alcaidesa' and 'Dehesa Montenmedio'. You can also play at San Roque, Almenara and Benalup Golf. Gibraltar is around 30 minutes drive away from Castellar.

Gibraltar is a British Crown colony and is the closest point between Africa and Europe. It was named after Gibel Tarik, the general of the Arabic army who occupied it at one time. It has been of significant value for many centuries due to its strategic defensive position between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic and over the years there have been many sieges and conflicts to decide the fate of the Rock.

Modern day Gibraltar is one of the most fascinating areas to visit on the Coast because of its wealth of history and excellent business facilities. Gibraltar can either be reached by crossing the border (for which you will need your passport) or by flying into Gibraltar's small airport. Every year nearly 4 million people cross the border.

Gibraltar is one of Europe's main offshore finance and banking centres, with many foreign businesses maintaining accounts there. The currency used here is sterling, with euros also being acceptable.

Shopping in Gibraltar is one of the highlights of any visit with many independent cut-price stores lining Main Street. There are numerous craft shops selling embroidered linen as well as many good clothes shops that specialise in leather and denim wear. Electronic retailers are the most popular however, offering the latest technology at reduced prices. Do your homework before you arrive though, since not all items are cheaper in Gib than they would be in Britain or Spain. There are also a few well-known chain stores here such as The Body Shop, BHS and Marks & Spencer.

Gibraltar is distinctively British, a fact that can immediately be ascertained by the type of restaurants and pubs situated here, most of which serve typically English food and ale. Most Gibraltarians are bilingual, speaking English and Spanish, although they sometimes speak both languages at the same time, a dialect that is known locally as "llanito".

If you are determined to shop AND see all the best sights you will probably find that you need a couple of days on the Rock. Despite its almost ludicrously small size Gibraltar is absolutely packed with history and unusual sights. You might consider starting with a trip on the cable car to the top of the Rock from where you will be able to see the whole Coast and the northernmost tip of Africa.

The Rock of Gibraltar itself has been swiss-cheesed by a maze of tunnels and holes, which were created during the great siege of 1779 and cover over 80 kilometres of passages and storerooms. Some of these tunnels can be visited for a small entrance fee and you will find that even a brief walk through a few of them offers a fascinating glimpse of what conditions must have been like during the siege. St. Michael's Cave served as a bombproof military hospital during WWII and today, because of its excellent acoustics, is a concert hall.

Perhaps the most visited of all the sights in Gibraltar are the ‘apes’, which are actually Barbary Macaques (a type of tailless monkey), which have lived on the Rock for hundreds of years and have become quite friendly to visitors. The famous saying is that when the apes leave the Rock the British will follow so, to ensure that the status quo would be maintained, Winston Churchill introduced two dozen new apes when the population was declining.

If you do decide to enter Gibraltar via La Linea beware of the border queues, which can be horrendous, particularly later in the day. It isn't unusual to have to queue for up to an hour to enter the Rock early in the morning and then to be forced to wait even longer for the Guardia Civil and customs officials to check your vehicle and shopping bags on the way out. Although a large part of the border problem is nothing more than Spanish bureaucracy at its bloody-minded worst, it is certainly true that tobacco smuggling from Gib is a major problem for the police.
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