The Rock

St Michael's Cave

View of Africa

the Rock St Michael's Cave View of Africa

When you drive to the British colony of Gibraltar (only 1.5 hour from Cortijo de los Flamingos) you can see this geological giant from far far away but there are no road signs until the last minute. That is small reminder that Spain still wants get the “Rock” back.
It is one of the two Pillars of Hercules, split from the other, Jebel Musa in Morocco, which marked the edge of the ancient word of the Greeks and Romans.

Today, Gibraltar is a thriving port and there are a large number of attractions. Climbing the rock is an obvious choice for tourists. It's a huge limestone ridge that rises up to 426 meters with sharp cliffs on its northern and eastern sides.
Over 600 different species of flowering plants grow on The Rock. The Gibraltar candytuft (Iberis gibraltarica) grows on the Rock – that is the only place in Europe where you can find it in wild. That is the symbol of the Upper Rock Reserve. The reserve is home to around 240 Barbary Macaques known as apes.

To reach the Apes’ Den and the Upper Rock you can take the cable-car. At the top station the views are overwhelming: over the Bahía de Algercías from one side and across the Strait of Gibraltar to Morocco on the other.

On your way back down it is really worth to visit the St Michael’s Cave (the entry is included in the main ticket to the Upper Rock Nature Reserve) – huge natural grotto full of stalagmites and stalactites. Walking further down will lead you to the Great Siege Tunnels which are a sightseeing opportunity that is completely unique to Gibraltar. They have played an important role in Gibraltar's past. Slowly and painstakingly dug out of the rock by the British military between 1779 and 1782, the tunnels were used to transport heavy guns to a promontory from which they wanted to defend Gibraltar from Spanish and French invaders. Many of the guns were used from inside the cave, which allowed the soldiers to shoot at the enemy while being protected from return fire by the rock wall.

While coming to Gibraltar be prepare for border documents control. The border is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for vehicles and pedestrians. Citizens of countries such as the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand require a passport upon entering Gibraltar but no visa is needed. Nationals of the European Union who possess a valid identity card would not need a passport to visit Gibraltar.
To avoid long vehicles queues at the border, you can leave your car in La Línea car park and walk across the border.