Gibraltar Sarah Latham Copyright

Looking to spend a weekend in Gibraltar? For a relaxed and beautiful holiday, discover the best way to explore this tiny country (less than 7km2!) over a weekend.

Suggested read: The most Instagrammable places in Gibraltar.

First things first: Where is Gibraltar?

Gibraltar is found tucked at the bottom of Spain, with views overlooking Spain and Morocco. This tiny country is considered a British Overseas Territory and has a long history of rulership between Spain and the United Kingdom. Although it is considered British, you will need to pack your passport to enter Gibraltar on a flight from England. There are a few flights each day between London and Gibraltar, with flight time averaging just under 3 hours. A Gibraltar weekend away is a fantastic mini-break from London.

Gibraltar Sarah Latham Copyright Catalan Bay

Weekend in Gibraltar: Friday

Hop off your plane at Gibraltar International Airport and begin your weekend away in Gibraltar. Gibraltar International Airport is unique – due to the limited size available in Gibraltar, the airport runway actually intercepts the main road entering and exiting Gibraltar. Whenever a plane is landing or taking off the road is closed but outside of this time you can drive and walk across the runway – under heavy supervision from the surrounding towers, of course. It is a very unique way to start a weekend trip to Gibraltar so don’t forget to snap a few photos.

As mentioned above, Gibraltar is a tiny country and as a result on your Gibraltar weekend trip it is very easy to walk to where you want to go – including the airport! When we landed we saw that our hotel was only a flat 17 minute walk (crossing the runway, of course) so we decided to walk rather than take a taxi. If this isn’t an option for you though, there are taxis available at the Gibraltar International Airport.

We checked into our accommodation: the Sunborn Gibraltar. This is another unique aspect of a Gibraltar weekend away – this luxury hotel is actually set within a docked cruise ship. Located in the Ocean Village part of town, this hotel is a great base for your Gibraltar weekend trip as it is both beautiful and conveniently placed for your eating, drinking and exploring needs. Plus, it comes with a small rooftop (or is that boat top?) pool!

Sunborn Gibraltar Sarah Latham Copyright

Spend your Friday night of your Gibraltar weekend away exploring the Ocean Village area, which is full of many restaurants and bars.

Weekend in Gibraltar: Saturday

Rise and shine, it’s Rock of Gibraltar time! The most Instagrammable and famous thing to do on a Gibraltar weekend trip is explore the Gibraltar Rock. Situated in the middle of town (and country), the Rock of Gibraltar is the defining feature of this country and a must do for anyone spending a weekend in Gibraltar. Officially described as a “monolithic limestone promontory” – have a Google to find out what that means – you can spend a good number of hours on your Gibraltar weekend exploring this iconic landmark and the Nature Reserve found at the top. And yes, this is where you’ll find the famous Gibraltar monkeys!

Gibraltar Cable Car

While you can choose to hike to the top of the Rock of Gibraltar (you can read another blogger’s account on how to hike the Rock of Gibraltar here), the most popular way is to take the Gibraltar Cable Car. When I visited a Cable Car return ticket was £19pp; however, as we wanted to explore the Nature Reserve at the top, we purchased the combined Cable Car and Nature Reserve ticket for £37pp. You can find out more about Gibraltar Cable Car tickets here with other options on how to combine tickets, especially if you are wanting to hike one of the journeys as part of your Gibraltar weekend trip. We visited on a Saturday in May and as it had been raining earlier in the day, the cable car was exceptionally busy – which I imagine is how it will be in peak summer. It took us over 30 minutes in line waiting so please factor this into your Gibraltar weekend itinerary timings. The view was beautiful on the quick ride up to the top.

Gibraltar Sarah Latham Copyright

Gibraltar Monkeys: Barbary Macaques

As soon as you arrive at the top of the Rock of Gibraltar you’ll encounter the famous Gibraltar monkeys. A must do for anyone visiting Gibraltar for the weekend, the Gibraltar monkeys are the only wild colony of monkeys in Europe. Rumour has it they made their way into Europe via a secret tunnel that connects Northern Africa to the Rock of Gibraltar, but, let’s be real, they probably came over on boats by early explorers… The Barbary Macaques, while originally from the Atlas Mountains in Morocco, run wild across the top of the Rock of Gibraltar and the Nature Reserve. Remember monkeys are wild animals and although they may look cute and cuddly, they are not. If they feel threatened or you are too close they won’t hesitate to attack you so please be mindful on your weekend in Gibraltar and appreciate the animals from an appropriate distance – or be like me and use a Zoom lens!

St Michael’s Cave

One of the most impressive places on the Rock of Gibraltar is St Michael’s Cave and it is a must do for those exploring Gibraltar over the weekend. This cave is found within the Nature Reserve at the top of the rock (and so it is worth buying an entry ticket for the nature reserve when visiting Gibraltar for the weekend!). I’ve been in a fair few caves in different places around the world, but this one definitely took my breath away. The light installations gave the cave a completely magical feeling and the angel mark on the wall was very impressive.

Gibraltar Skywalk

One of the most Instagrammable places to visit on your Gibraltar weekend itinerary is the Gibraltar Skywalk. Situated 340m above sea level, step out onto the glass to enjoy incredible views across Gibraltar, Morocco and Spain – that’s three countries and two continents! You will find the skywalk as you walk along the path at the top of the Nature Reserve and it is a must photo opportunity for those visiting Gibraltar for the weekend. Top tip: Get someone to stand at the higher section of the lookout to snap a photo of you on the Skywalk like the one below:

Gibraltar Sarah Latham Copyright

Take in the views

Everywhere you look at the Rock of Gibraltar, you’ll experience stunning views – which is why this experience is a must on a sunny, clear day – so hope that the Gibraltar weekend you choose has this! As you walk along the Nature Reserve path, be sure to stop and enjoy the beautiful views of Gibraltar, Spain and Morocco.

We ate lunch at the Rock of Gibraltar but did not rate the Mons Calpe Suite food or service at all – it was quite tacky and the service staff were very rude. My friend even got stuck in the toilet due to a dodgy door lock, and after they had to use a knife to get her out they didn’t even put a sign on the cubicle to warn others. From our experience, I would avoid eating at Mons Calpe Suite and head back down to the town of Gibraltar for a delicious lunch there instead. However, before you go, snap a picture at the lookout beside the restaurant – this is one of the limited areas at the Rock of Gibraltar you can experience without a Nature Reserve entry pass.

Saturday Night Dinner in Gibraltar

Gibraltar is teaming with restaurants and bars, which makes it a great spot for a weekend in Gibraltar if you’re a foodie. There is a LOT of British cuisine (aka. pub feeds, English breakfast) available but thanks to its proximity to Spain there is also a lot of Spanish food available and as a result we made sure to include tapas in our Gibraltar weekend itinerary. We ate at Tapas by Gauchos and it was delicious with great service. Would recommend checking out this place on your Gibraltar weekend trip.

Gibraltar Sarah Latham Copyright

Weekend in Gibraltar: Sunday

Round up your last day of your Gibraltar weekend with a visit to what is surely one of Europe’s best kept secrets: Catalan Bay. I had never heard of Catalan Bay before researching our weekend trip to Gibraltar and when I first read about the seaside village with colourful houses I was intrigued, but it was even better in real life! Found on the east side of Gibraltar, Catalan Bay is slightly out of the way of the other sights in Gibraltar – but still not too far due to Gibraltar being so small. You can find this bay a 25 minute walk from the Ocean Village side of Gibraltar. I would recommend visiting midday to ensure cafes and such are open, bring a book to read and swimmers to enjoy the beach. This is one of the highlights of my weekend in Gibraltar and one of the most Instagrammable places I have visited.

Suggested read: Catalan Bay: The hidden gem of Gibraltar.

Finally, spend your weekend in Gibraltar exploring the bustling streets of Gibraltar. It is likely you’ll already have done a bit just in walking around between Gibraltar attractions, but it is always lovely wandering streets, stopping for a drink or a meal at some of the many cafes and soaking in the atmosphere. Have a fantastic time spending a weekend in Gibraltar

Gibraltar Monkeys Sarah Latham Copyright

Looking for more activities to do on a Gibraltar weekend away? You can also go dolphin watching, visit the memorials, explore the Moorish Castle and see Europe’s most southerly mosque.

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