Monkeying around in Gibraltar

Gibraltar is a British overseas territory located at the entrance of the Mediterranean Sea, bordering with neighbouring Spain, Andalucía. The rock stands at 426 metres and made of Limestone, created during the Jurassic period. Over the years the rain water has impacted on the Limestone mineral Calcite and now the Rock of Gibraltar is said to have over 200 caves.  One of the most prominent and popular is St Michael’s Cave.  In ancient times and the Rock’s history it has been said that the Rock of Gibraltar is one of the two pillars of Hercules and that the City of Atlantis lay beyond them.

A great way to visit Gibraltar is by cruise ship.  The dock is within walking distance to the town and Cable Car.  With only a few hours in port here are some of the not to miss highlights.

Rock of Gibraltar Monkeys

Rock of Gibraltar Monkeys: Lots of Monkey business going on at Monkey Den by the Barbary Macaques
Lots of Monkey business going on at Monkey Den.

No visit to Gibraltar would be complete without seeing the free roaming Barbary Macaques, otherwise known as the Rock of Gibraltar Monkeys. The only free roaming Macaques in Europe. The Rock of Gibraltar Monkeys are thought to have been introduced to the island either by the British Solders or it is said that there is a subterranean tunnel/passage connecting Africa and Gibraltar and that they could have crossed the 15 miles into Gibraltar this way.  And now the Barbary Macaques are in residence by the Queens Gate and in the area of The Great Siege Tunnels.  The population of 250 Barbary Macaques a species of tailless monkey can also be found in Morocco and Algeria.

There is a belief that still holds that as longs as the Rock of Gibraltar Monkeys exist that Gibraltar will be under British Rule. Back during World War 2 the numbers of Macaques were dwindling and Winston Churchill ordered that they be replenished from both Morocco and Algeria because of this belief.  since 1915 the Rock of Gibraltar Monkeys were taken care of by the British Army nowadays the Government of Gibraltar has this responsibility.

Rock of Gibraltar Monkeys: The Barbary Macaques are very curious. Please keep valuables in a sealed bag!
The Macaques are very curious. Please keep valuables in a sealed bag!

They are highly entertaining and if watched can be observed going about there everyday monkey business.

St Michael’s Cave

Has been known for over 2000 years, back in Roman Times thought to have been bottomless. The cave has had many uses over the years including a stronghold during the 18th Century, a hospital and during World War 2 an ammunitions store. Its a great sight to see with the many stalagmite, stalactites, helicites and much more natural structures.

The Rock of Gibraltar Cable Car

Taking a ride in the Cable Car is a great way to get to the Top of the Rock.  Enjoy the panoramic views heading out of the Strait of Gibraltar to Africa. And to watch the monkeys getting up to their own tricks from an enclosed air-conditioned viewing area. The journey takes approx. 6 minutes to get up to 412 metres above sea level and approx. £10 return.

As well as these there are various walking tours and boat tours for Dolphin watching.

Rock of Gibraltar at Sunset
Rock of Gibraltar at Sunset

Annual Gibraltar Festival’s

Some of the annual festivals not to miss includes Gibraltar National Day 10th September.  Everyone gathers together wearing red and white, Gibraltar’s National colours. With a host of lively fun events taking place throughout the city including a firework display.

The World Music Festival takes place in June, Sunset Festival in July and the Literally Festival in November as well as many more.

Gibraltar is a year round destination with its Mediterranean climate.  High season is April till September and low from October till March.  Prices remain consistent throughout the year.

Have you visited Gibraltar? We would love to hear what your highlight’s were. Please comment below. Thanks.

About MichelleDeansHarding


  Michelle has a love of travel and photography, which has currently taken her to six continents. Experiencing other cultures/history and food both independently and while working on-board luxury cruise ships. Discover more about Michelle, her enthusiasm for travel and photography via:

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One Response

  1. Avatar for MichelleDeansHarding


    Hi, I’m going to Gibraltar in February of next year. It’s my goal to see the rock and monkeys but I’ve since decided to skip the dolphins so as to start my time in Morocco earlier. In all honesty, is a day all I’ll need to get the best of Gibraltar?

    Thanks in advance. I linked you to my own travel blog; any thoughts would be appreciated.


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