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Visitor's Guide to the Rock of Gibraltar

Bindu swetha May 30, 2020
Located on the southernmost tip of Iberian peninsula, the 6.8 sq km of the Rock rises to 426m with cliffs on the northern and eastern side!
The Rock of Gibraltar is a place full of surprises - from being a melting pot of Spanish, North African and English cultures to being home to Barbary macaques (monkeys) and its sub-tropical climate!
The Rock 
This monolithic peninsula has a limestone base which is riddled with caves and tunnels. Atop its base, one can find unique vegetation and birds of different species. Due to its natural splendid views and simulating walks, the place is popular amongst nature lovers!
The Name 
The Islamic conquest of Gibel Tariq began from Gibraltar in 711, which remained under the Moorish rule for about 800 years! That's why the Arab General, Tariq, named this mountain after himself - Gibraltar that translates into Tariq's mountain!
Political Scenario 
Being one of the 14 British overseas territories and the only territory that is a part of EU, the 'Gib' as locals call it, has its own parliament. All the other policies are self-governing except defence and foreign policy which is governed by Westminster in London!
Top Attractions 
The Apes at the Top Station, Skywalk, Apes Den, St. Michaels Cave, the Great Siege Tunnels, the Upper Rock Nature Reserve are some of the main attractions in the region.
You need to get onto a cable car on the Red Sands Road to reach the top of the rock and then walk your way down covering all the main attractions! It takes about 3 hours to explore all the attractions.
Main Street 
The town lies to the east slope of the Rock where the Main Street cuts through the middle of the town. You must pay a visit to the Gibraltar Museum which is one of the best kept Moorish baths in Europe. Also, the exhibits at the museum are related to Gibraltar's history.
The Nelson's Anchorage is another spot to visit where Admiral Nelson's body was brought to the spot after the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805!
Barbary Apes 
Gibraltar's famous residents, the Barbary Apes, are monkey-like tailless apes! Estimated to be about 200+ in numbers, these apes attack tourists who have food. Legend says that if the population of apes decline, the British Rule will come to an end!
Top of the Rock 
The views from the top of the rock at about 426 m are amazing to witness! The strait to Morocco to the east of the Rock and the Sandy Bay, Catalan Bay and Eastern Beach on the other side, are memorable views to witness.
Upper Rock Nature Reserve 
There's dense Mediterranean scrub vegetation of about 530 plant species including some rare ones that grow on the alkaline limestone soils. There are a lot of different bird species which is a treat for birdwatchers, especially during the spring and summer migration period.
The St. Michael's Cave is a natural grotto that has stalagmites and stalactites that serve as a perfect background for musical performances!
Great Seige Tunnels 
Manually carved with sledgehammers and gunpowder, these labyrinth of tunnels has picture galleries which represent the military strength and history of the place. You can hire a guide to visit the caves (about 50 miles) that aren't accessible to the public and were used during World War II.
Travel Tips 
While crossing the border, you can face long queues which is frustrating. So it is better to cross the border on foot rather than driving over the border.
Gibraltar's currency is only accepted on the rock, so spend your money wisely!
Daily flights operate from the UK to the Gibraltar airport (GIB). Alternatively, you can take flights to Malaga and Jerez airports and then take a bus to reach the rock.
Watch out for monkeys, they are in plenty at the Rock! Don't feed them, else you might face some legal consequences.