The Rock of Gibraltar

Rock Of Gibraltar aerial view

This is the focal point for all visitors to The Rock of Gibraltar. The nature reserve is a serious study area for botanists and bird watchers but also provides tourists with sightseeing activities such as the famous semi-wild apes, caves, tunnels, large military guns and many more sites of historical and geological interest.

Walking

The Upper Rock Nature Reserve has a number of paths and tracks which are a must for ramblers and nature lovers. Mediterranean Steps is Gibraltar’s most noteworthy mountain path with breathtaking views and captivating scenery.

Upper Rock Tips

If you are planning a trip to Gibraltar and intend to visit the Upper Rock there are several ways of doing this and you should understand these fully to get the best from your trip. The Upper Rock is a pay to enter area with a number of indoor attractions such as St. Michael’s Cave, Great Siege Tunnels, Moorish Castle etc.

Cable Car Station Grand Parade

The cable car is one of three main ways of accessing the Upper Rock area, the others being Taxi Tours and Walking. Driving up the Rock is possible but not recommended, please read the Upper Rock Tips opposite for ticket prices and other information.

Top Cable Car Station

The top cable car station is at the mid point of the north/south ridge line of Gibraltar. The views are spectacular from the various terraces around the building. From here visitors can walk southwards to visit attractions such as St. Michael’s Cave or northwards to attractions such as The Great Siege Tunnels. Please read the Upper Rock Tips opposite for ticket prices and other information. The Signal Hill military station is in ruins and can be explored upon leaving the cable car station, it is not an official tourist site.

Rock Apes

The Rock Apes are a species of tailless monkeys called Barbary Macaques. They are found in Morocco and Algeria, with those in Gibraltar being the only free-living monkeys in Europe.

Jews Gate

The Pillars of Hercules monument is located here. The views across to Africa are spectacular on a clear day. The famous Mediterranean Steps walk ends or starts here, depending on which way you are going.

O’Hara’s Battery

The massive 9.2 inch gun at O’Hara’s Battery has a range of 16 miles which effectively closes the gap between Europe and Africa. This battery and its underground facilities can be visited by arrangement with the Gibraltar Tourist Board.

St Michael’s Cave

This cave has interested visitors to Gibraltar ever since the Romans. The cave consists of many passages with impressive displays of rock formations. The massive Cathedral Cave is the focal point for visitors.

Lower St Michael’s Cave

Whilst blasting an alternative entrance to St. Michael’s Cave in 1942, a further series of deeply descending chambers ending in a mini lake were discovered and named Lower St Michael’s Cave. Guided visits to this cave must be arranged independently.

Great Siege Tunnels

During the Great Siege (1779-1783) work started on a series of tunnels which are an impressive part of Gibraltar’s military heritage.

Princess Caroline’s Battery and Military Heritage Centre

This is a small exhibit in the underground facilities at Princess Caroline’s Battery. The exhibit contains artefacts from the Battery as well as a Memorial Chamber containing the Roll Call of the Regiments that have served in Gibraltar since 1704.

TUNNEL TOURS

Tunnelling has a long history in Gibraltar. There are over 30 miles of tunnels within the Rock creating a fortress within a fortress. Major tunnelling took place during WW2 and a section of this can be visited, the starting point is at Hay’s Level adjacent to the Moorish Castle Tower of Homage. The guided tour has a separate charge independent of the Upper Rock Nature Reserve entrance fee. The tour is excellent and is recommended if you visit Gibraltar.

Princess Anne’s Battery

Constructed on Willis’s Plateau, this is the only intact battery of 5.25 inch AA guns anywhere in the world. The name has been a source of confusion in that most people refer to the battery as Princess Caroline’s Battery because access is via the junction with Willis’s Road alongside Princess Caroline’s Battery (which houses the Military Heritage Centre). The battery is actually on the site of the much older Willis’s Batteries.

City Under Siege Exhibition

The exhibition is housed in a collection of buildings, built by the British, which date back to the beginning of the 18th century. The exhibition graphically depicts the extreme harshness of the conditions under which both civilians and military personnel barely survived the long four years of the Great Siege (1779- 1783). Graffiti of the time is still clearly visible on many of the walls.

Moorish Castle

The Moorish invasion of Europe started from Gibraltar in 711, a conquest lead by Tarik Ibn Ziyad. The Moorish Castle Complex is made up of various buildings, gates, fortified walls and its most dominant feature, The Tower of Homage.

Devil’s Gap Battery

Although not an official tourist exhibit, the battery is the first significant large gun emplacement which is reached via the old public footpath from the town. The 6 inch guns are still in place and the location offers great views over the town and bay.

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