Can I organise my own bus trip to Gibraltar from San Pedro de Alcantará?
Chris was staying at the Globales Cortijo Blanco Hotel and asked about a bus outing to Gibraltar with his children. I suggested a taking a minimum fare taxi from the hotel to the bus station in San Pedro de Alcantará. Here the family would board the long distance bus to La Linea de Concepción next to the frontier. A taxi from the hotel to the bus station would save his children’s energy for later during the day. I added “Hi Chris, a day out in Gibraltar will make a fantastic family excursion. Take bottles of water especially for the children, because it’ll be a long day and you´ll all need to keep drinking.”
What happens when you cross the Gibraltar frontier?
Before you leave the La Linea bus station. Remember to book your return seats to come back in the afternoon. Try and get the earliest bus down to Gibraltar to give you more time exploring in the cool of the morning. Go on a week day rather, many of the shops shut on a Saturday afternoon. It’s only five minutes walk from the the bus station to the border but getting out of Gibraltar can sometimes be unpredictable. Allow time to get back to the bus station.
When you get to the frontier. You’ll see the fast moving pedestrians’ queue. Present your passport at an electronic passport reader machine or show an immigration official. Here’s a good tip: Just as you come out of the Gibraltar passport and customs office, there’s a little office on your right where you can book tours around the Rock in advance. A few metres on you’ll see the the taxi rank and bus stops. My suggestion is that rather than walk into Gibraltar take a taxi or mini bus. The children would love to crossing Gibraltar aiport runway on foot but save that energy for later.
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. I suggest you start your tour of Gibraltar at Market Place.
What can I see and do in Gibraltar?
Start at the bottom of Main Street from Market Place. Walk through lovely Casemates Square with the open air cafés and bars . Gibraltar Crystal and Glass Blowing is on your left. Definitely worth a visit. Continue up busy Main Street with perfume shops, High Street fashion shops, cafés, pubs, banks, churches etc. Sacarellos Coffee House (Tuckeys Lane) is a wonderful place to stop on your way up or on your way back for coffee, teas, lunches or snacks .
Half way up Main Street you will see Piazza Café and John Mackintosh Square. Just off the square you’ll find the Gibraltar Information Office. Carry on up Main Street checking out the wonderful array of clothing shops, book shops, toy shops, past Governor’s House until you see the directions for the Cable Car behind Trafalgar Sports Bar. Not far up Main Street is the Gibraltar museum. It is well worth a visit.
A Rock Tour by taxi or mini bus isn’t expensive. It’s a quick and easy way of getting up and down the Rock and through it! Just up Main Street from the Gibraltar Information office you’ll come across the taxis, mini buses and Rock Tour guides. Look out for sandwich boards advertising the tours. For single travellers or couples you can keep the cost down sharing a tour with one or two other tourists. The tours take you around the Rock and through it. You´ll see St Michael’s Cave, an enormous natural grotto and the Ape’s Den amongst other sights. The taxi and mini bus guides are all licensed and give a great commentary on the way around. Ask as many questions as you like. The drivers are all very knowledgeable.
The Cable Car station is at the top of Main Street and starts next to the Gibraltar Botanical Gardens. After a leisurely walk up Main Street take a cable car ride to the top of the Rock. The children will love the ride up and down. The views are great and on a clear day you can see the little flat-topped houses in Morocco all the way across the Straits. On one side you have the Mediterranean and on the other side the Atlantic ocean.
The Wildlife Park is right next to the Cable Car station. It is stocked with exotic animals imported illegally into Gibraltar and seized by Customs. I’m told by animal lovers that it’s well worth visiting.
The Gibraltar Tourist Information office is about half way up Main Street and you can pick up lots of maps and brochures. You won’t need a map until you get there.
The Gibraltar Museum just up from the information office is fascinating. It has a great audio-visual show about the origins of Gibraltar from 200 million years ago. The children will love it. They’ll have a good chance to rest their legs along the way. It has a great shop too.
Dolphin watching and boat cruises are very popular around the Bay. Get the details at the Gibraltar Tourist Information office and if you have time, a taxi can take you straight down to the harbour. Leave time to get back to the La Linea bus station though!
Last suggestion. If you are running out of time then take a taxi back to the frontier. You don’t want to miss your return bus! From San Pedro bus station, get a taxi back for the short ride to the hotel. I hope you have a great day!