Friday, 31 July 2009

Excursion to Gibraltar

Chris was staying this summer at the Cortijo Blanco Hotel and asked for suggestions about a day´s excursion to Gibraltar with her children. They were going by bus. I wrote back to her:

"Hi Chris, a day out in Gibraltar makes a fantastic excursion. Take bottles of water for the children as you go because it will be a long day and they´ll need to keep drinking. When you get to the La Linea bus station in the morning, book your seats to come back in the afternoon. Try and get the earliest bus down to Gibraltar to give you more time in the cool of the morning.

Go on a week day rather, many of the shops shut on a Saturday afternoon. You can pay in pounds or euros. Try to keep some pounds just for your excursion to Gibraltar because if you change your pounds into euros in Spain and then back into pounds in Gibraltar at today´s exchange rate, it will be a painful experience. Keep an eye out for any electronic goods that you might be after, they are normally well priced compared to Spain and you can sometimes bargain the price down.

Just on the other side of the border after the Gibraltar passport control you can pick up a taxi or a bus. The Route 9 bus which runs every 10 minutes Monday to Friday from Gibraltar airport at the frontier and it takes you to the Market Place at the bottom of Main Street. The Route 3 bus which runs every 20 minutes Monday to Friday takes you from Gibraltar airport at the frontier right the way across Gibraltar to Europa Point on the other side of the Rock.

It's not difficult to get around Gibraltar without a car. Basically you start at the bottom from Market Garden and walk up Main Street to the top where you will find the cable car ticket office. On the way up there are all sorts of shops. Not long after leaving the bottom of Main Street Sacarello's Coffee House is a good place to stop and have a coffee. It´s an institution in Gibraltar and you can ask any local Gibraltarian to direct your there. It's one street down to the right from Main Street.

At the top of Main Street take the cable car ride from its start at the Gibraltar Botanical Gardens. The Rock of Gibraltar cable car takes you to the top of the Rock which the children will enjoy. The views are great and on a clear day you can see the little flat topped houses across the straits in Morocco, the Mediterranean sea on one side and the Atlantic ocean on the other.

Next to the cable car is the Wildlife Park which is stocked with exotic animals that have been imported into Gibraltar and siezed by Customs. I haven't seen it myself but am told by animal lovers it worth visiting. A Rock Tour by taxi or mini bus isn't expensive and is a quick and easy way of seeing nearly all there is. The tour will take you around Gibraltar and the includes St Michael's Cave which is an enormous natura grotto and the Ape's Den amongst other sights. The guides are licensed and give a great commentary on the way around. You will find more taxis and Rock Tour guides as you walk up Main Street.

The Gibraltar museum is worth visiting and has a great audio visual show about the origins of Gibraltar from 200 million years ago. It´ll also give you a good chance to rest your legs along the way. The Tourist Information office is about half way up Main Street in Gibraltarand you can pick up maps and brochures there.

Out to sea there are boat cruises and dolphin watching trips around the Bay and you can get their contact details from the tourist information office also although maybe the cruise will have to wait for your next trip!

I hope this gives you a taste of Gibraltar Chris and that you have a fun day out! Keep an eye on the time and your possessions and leave time to get back to the bus.

Best wishes from Marbella and thanks again for your contacts Chris,
Mike Drury"

2 Comments:

Anonymous Annette said...

Hi Mike
Great site..we are travelling to Marbella in May next year . my question is do we need to book in advance a day trip to Tangier....Gibraltar and Granada or can it be done once we arrive in Marbella . We are renting a small house and not staying in a resort or hotel ...where do we go to book such a tour ?

21 September 2009 06:49  
Blogger Mike Drury said...

Hi Annette,

Thank you very much for your kind words!

Another visitor to the coast before the summer tried hard to book in advance through different agencies but could not do it.

I gave her the name of our long standing friendly and efficient travel agent in Marbella, Rosi of Viajes Marleva E-mail Address: rosi@marleva.es and she sorted everything out.

Email Rosi and she will send you details of all the tours available. She will also tell you the nearest stop to where you are staying and the approximate time that your tour bus will pass your stop.

If you tell Rosi that you are from gomarbella (and therefore a serious traveller) she may not ask you for a deposit in which case you would just pay full amount of the excursion cost to the guide on the bus. This makes life much easier.

I hope this helps you Annette, please tell me how things work out and don't hesitate to write back if I can help with anything.

Have a great visit and thanks for your contact.

Mike

21 September 2009 14:59  

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