Gibraltar National Tourist Board
Engineer's Battery, Rosia, Gibraltar
Phone: (350) 74950 Fax (350) 74943

Physical geography

The Rock of Gibraltar (36ۧ' N latitude and 5䓕' W longitude) is a narrow rocky peninsula, two and a quarter miles in area, jutting out steeply from the adjoining coast of southern/western Spain. Gibraltar runs from north to south for a length of nearly three miles, and is approximately three-quarters of a mile wide for most of its length, but is narrower at the southern end.


The climate is mild and temperate. Gibraltar has a Mediterranean climate and temperatures range from 13.9°C to 33.3°C. The average annual rainfall is 32 inches.

Economic geography

There are no agricultural or manufacturing sectors of any significance. The economy is a 'service' economy largely dependant on MOD (Ministry of Defence), tourism expenditure and its development as a financial centre.


The total civilian population borders on the 29,000 mark. Gibraltarians number just over 20,000 whilst the remaining number is made up of some 5,000 other British subjects and 3,000 aliens.

The main elements in the ancestry of the Gibraltarians are Italians, British, Portuguese and Spanish.

A brief history

Gibraltar was possessed succesively by the Phoenicians, Carthaginians and Romans, but remained uninhabited until the invasion of Spain by the Moors. Gibraltar was held by the Moors and the Spaniards alternatively until 1704 when during the war of the Spanish succession it was captured by British forces under the command of Admiral Sir George Rooke and ceded to Britain by the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713. It has remained British ever since despite many attempts to recapture it. One of these attempts was made by united Spanish and French forces - the Great Siege - which lasted from 1779 to 1783.


The majority of the population is Roman Catholic. There are minority groups of other religions including Protestants, Jews, Moslems and Hindus.

Languages spoken by nationals

English is the official language, although Spanish is also widely spoken.


Greenwich Mean Time plus one (GMT + 2 March to September).


Local pound notes are equivalent to sterling. Both currencies are legal tender in Gibraltar.

Official holidays (all offices and shops closed)

Monday 2 January, New Year's Day Holiday; Monday 13 March, Commonwealth Day; Friday 28 March, Good Friday; Monday 31 March, Easter Monday; Monday 1 May, May Day Holiday; Monday 29 May, Spring Bank Holiday; Monday 12 June, Queen's Birthday; Monday 28 August, Summer Bank Holiday; Tuesday 10 September, Gibraltar National Day; Monday 25 December, Christmas Day; Tuesday 26 December, Boxing Day.

What one should not fail to see

St Michael's Cave, 1,000 ft. above sea level, makes a unique auditorium for concerts with its beautiful display of stalagmites and stalactites. A Swiss-built cable car takes you to the top of the Rock, stopping at the Apes Den on the way up. The Upper Galeries, hewn out of solid rock in the 18th century at the time of the Great Siege, offer a splendid view of the Spanish mainland, North Front Airport and the frontier.

The Moorish Castle was built by the Moors during their conquest of the Iberian peninsula.

The Tower of Homage displays the scars of the 14 sieges it has withstood.

The Gibraltar Museum displays the life of the people of Gibraltar from the Stone Age to the present day and covers the natural history of the Rock.

Most favourable seasons for sojourns and touring

See under Climate.

How to dress

Very light clothing is recommended for the summer months. For the rest of the year it is advisable to wear relatively warm clothing, including a raincoat.

Main holiday resorts

Catalan Bay and Sandy Bay.

Main holiday sports

Swimming, fishing, scuba diving, tennis, shooting, badminton, squash, basketball, sailing and climbing.

What to eat and drink

There are a good many restaurants in Gibraltar. Catering for different tastes presents no problems. There is a wide choice, ranging from the best of British cooking to Indian, Spanish, Chinese, Italian and French cuisine.

There are many shops in Main Street specialising in gifts. The range is quite enormous, whether it be delicate glassware, priceless porcelain, an unusual piece of pottery, leatherwear from Morocco, perfumes, spirits, tobacco, jewellery, silks from the East or Cashmere.

Frontier formalities

Valid passports must be presented by all persons entering Gibraltar. Visas are not required except by stateless persons and nationals of: Afghanistan, Albania, Argentina, Bhutan, Bulgaria, Chad, China (People's Republic), Cuba, Czech Republic, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Hungary, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Mongolia, North Korea, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Vietnam, Yemen Arab Republic and Yemen People's Democratic Republic.

Main travel routes

The Spanish frontier gates with Gibraltar were opened 5 February 1985. Consequently it is now possible for pedestrian and vehicular traffic of all nationalities to enter and leave Gibraltar through the land frontier with Spain.The Rock may also be reached by air via London and Manchester and Tangier in Morocco. The ocean traveller may choose from several cruise liners that call at Gibraltar.


Night entertainment in Gibraltar: Casino, night clubs, discotheques.

Representatives abroad

Great Britain: Gibraltar Information Bureau, Arundel Great Court, 179 Strand, London WC2R 1EH. Phone: (0171) 8360777. Fax: (0171) 2406612.

We have been able to publish the present tourist information on Gibraltar thanks to the co-operation of the National Tourist Board in Gibraltar.