Gibraltar takes its name from Tariq ibn Ziyad, the governor of Tangier in Morocco who initiated the conquest of the Iberian Peninsula from this high rock at the beginning of the eighteenth century. He called it Djebel Tariq (‘mountain of Tariq’), which was eventually corrupted to Gibraltar. The British secured Gibraltar following the Treaty of Utrecht (1713) and until today the highest point of the rock is a British military base (and inaccessible for tourists). An extensive and complicated system of tunnels runs through the 426 meters high rock.
Almost 30,000 people live in Gibraltar.
Gibraltar, often called 'The Rock' by the British, is an overseas territory of Great Britain in the far south of Spain. The border is only 12 kilometers long and on the other side of the border lies the Spanish La Línea de la Concepción (often simply called La Línea). The Strait of Gibraltar separates Europe from Africa; on the other side of this strait lies the Spanish enclave of Ceuta.
Not too long ago, military expenditures formed the main source of income for Gibraltar. This has changed significantly in the last twenty years. In 1984 military activities constituted 60% of local economy; nowadays it's only 7%. The economy is now dominated by four sectors: financial services, companies involved in online gambling and gaming, tourism and shipping.
Gibraltar Airport is situated north of Gibraltar, near the border with Spain. Winston Churchill Avenue runs from the center to the airport, right across the runway. You therefore sometimes have to wait when planes land or take off.
The city has good public bus transport and a cable-lift runs to the top of the rock with a way station at Apes’ Den. On the other side of the border, in La Línea, there are bus connections with many places in the south of Spain, including Seville, Málaga, Cadiz, Granada and Algeciras.
In a British colony you would expect cars to drive on the left, like in Great Britain. This is not the case: cars drive on the right for the system to connect with that in Spain. There are often long lines at the border (from Gibraltar to Spain and the other way around) and parking facilities in Gibraltar are limited. Many people therefore park their rental car in La Línea to cross the border by foot.
Gibraltar has a good choice of accommodations ranging from budget guesthouses to luxurious hotels. In summer months it gets fairly busy. We recommend booking your hotel room well in advance if you want to visit Gibraltar in that period.
For more information about Gibraltar, we recommend Google and the following sources: