Mediterranean Cruise Advice

Cruises to Gibraltar

Visit the famous Rock

There is nothing quite like waking up to the sight of the famous Rock of Gibraltar, particularly if it is your first visit. There is so much to do at this port that it really is worth doing some advance research to decide on your priorities, even more so if your cruise ship leaves port early afternoon as ours did.

Cruise lines visiting Gibraltar include P&O, Celebrity, SagaThomsonFred Olsen, NCL and Royal Caribbean.

 

Port of Gibraltar

Port of Gibraltar

Gibraltar has several attractions, not least of which is its duty free shopping. Excursions on offer will take you to various places including the Alameda Gardens, Trafalgar Cemetery, Cable Car, St. Michael’s Cave, Great Siege Tunnels, Trinity Lighthouse and Ibrahim-al-Ibrahim Mosque at Europa Point.  Some of these are easy enough to visit under your own steam and some are not.

A trip to the top of the Rock has to be the highlight and was certainly top of our list. The Rock can be accessed on a ships excursion, private tour or taxi, or via the cable car. The cable car station is located at the far end of Main Street, and is about a 45 min walk from the ship. You would need to check opening times on their website but on the day of our visit it opened at 9.30am. There is very often a queue so it pays to get there early, allowing plenty of time.

We left the ship at about 8.30am when the morning light was particularly lovely.

 

P and O Cruises Oriana in Gibraltar

P and O Cruises Oriana in Gibraltar

The pedestrian route into town is well marked by signposts.

 

Pedestrian Walk from port of Gibraltar

Pedestrian Walk from port of Gibraltar

You’ll pass this statue commemorating the Evacuation of the Gibraltarians 1940-1951

 

Evacuation of the Gibraltarians

Evacuation of the Gibraltarians

You will also see this map, which will help you to get your bearings

 

Gibraltar Map

Gibraltar Map

You will need to head through the archways to Casement Square

 

Arch to Casement Square

Arch to Casement Square

Continue south along Main Street (you can look at the shops on the way back!)

 

Main Street Gibraltar

Main Street Gibraltar

You will need to pass through the Southport Gates to the cable car station, which is on Red Sands Road.

 

Southport Gates Gibraltar

Southport Gates Gibraltar

Rock of Gibraltar Cable Car

 

Gibraltar cable car

Gibraltar cable car

Queuing at the Cable Car will probably take longer than the ride itself which is a very steep and hair raising 6 minutes. Not for anyone with a fear of heights!

There are, of course, fabulous views from the cable car

 

View from cable car

View from cable car

 

View over Gibraltar

View over Gibraltar

At the top of the rock there are plenty of viewing platforms, telescopes and a coffee/souvenir shop with wifi.

 

Viewing platforms and cafe

Viewing platforms and cafe

 

Rock of Gibraltar Cafe

Rock of Gibraltar Cafe

And, of course, incredible views!

 

View towards the Port of Gibraltar

View towards the Port of Gibraltar

 

View over the Rock of Gibraltar

View over the Rock of Gibraltar

The famous apes can be experienced close up or from a distance if you prefer (as we did!)

 

Apes of Gibraltar

Apes of Gibraltar

The cable car costs 12 euros pp for return trip. For the latest opening times and costs please check out the Visit Gibraltar website.

St. Michael’s Cave can be reached on foot from the cable car station and is included on some excursions. We’ve saved that and the Great Siege Tunnels for our next visit!

 

Alameda Gardens

The Alameda Gardens are at the foot of the cable car and so are a good place to visit after a trip to the top of the rock. These gardens were laid out in 1816 and revitalized in the 1970s. They contain some fascinating plants from across the world and some shady spots that are very welcome on a hot day.

 

Alameda Gardens

Alameda Gardens

 

Alameda Gardens - sunken garden

Alameda Gardens – sunken garden

Alameda Gardens Fountain

Alameda Gardens Fountain

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The Trafalgar Cemetery

 

Trafalgar Cemetery Gibraltar

Trafalgar Cemetery Gibraltar

This is located near the Southport Gate and so can be visited on the way back to the ship. Although the name commemorates the Battle of Trafalgar, most of those who died in this battle were buried at sea, with only two graves being of those who died of wounds in this battle.

 

Trafalgar Cemetery Gibraltar

Trafalgar Cemetery Gibraltar

Although it can be very frustrating to be leaving such a great port as Gibraltar so early in the day, it does allow for some fabulous views of the rock on departure.

 

Rock of Gibraltar

Rock of Gibraltar

You can find out more about Gibraltar at www.visitgibraltar.gi

Also if you do not want to do your own thing or take an excursion from the cruise line, check out the local tour operators such as Gibraltar Official Rock Tours.

 

TOP TIP for 

Cruises to Gibraltar:

Make sure you take the cable car to the top of the rock to enjoy the spectacular views.

 

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