ADVERTORIAL • July 2019
A bijou Mediterranean headland with bags of culture, Gibraltar’s striking landscapes and storied history makes for a thrilling holiday escape. Dominated by the otherworldly silhouette of the Rock, a typical summer’s day on this pocket peninsula might see you tackle Moorish castles, spot wave-hopping dolphins or enjoy an afternoon tea by a postcard-perfect pool - and that’s only the start. Travel writer, Madévi Dailly, digs deeper
There’s something awe-inspiring about Gorham’s Cave Complex, a collection of four grottoes stretching deep into limestone cliffs on the eastern side of the Rock of Gibraltar. Having sheltered Neanderthals over a span of 100,000 years, this Unesco-protected gem – and working archaeological site – offers a unique glimpse at the culture and lifestyle of our hominid cousins. The World Heritage Site, naturally, has limited access, so book ahead at the Gibraltar National Museum for an insider’s tour and a chance to marvel at rare, abstract rock engravings. In summer, a late afternoon walk along the coastal Mediterranean Steps offers the visitor memorable views of this prehistoric landscape.
The perfect summer break calls for attractive digs, elegant rooms and hours spent lounging by a pool with a cocktail in hand. Thankfully, there’s no shortage of hotels worth writing home about in Gibraltar. Blessed with classic good looks, the largest outdoor pool in town and views over The Alameda Botanic Gardens, the historic Rock Hotel has been around since 1932. The O’Callaghan Eliott Hotel is more contemporary, with sea-inspired decor and breathtaking views of the Strait of Gibraltar. Or abandon terra firma for the luxe delights of Sunborn an exclusive superyacht hotel with a spa and casino to boot.
Looking for a great day out? Summer kicks off on 5 July with the Calentita Food Festival, an evening’s celebration for gourmets featuring food tents, cooking displays and dances. Athletes from around the globe converge on Gibraltar for the Gibraltar 2019 NatWest International Island Games XVIII (6-12 July), a chance to watch pulse-raising competitions in disciplines as diverse as sailing and beach volleyball. The likes of Take That, Liam Gallagher and Tom Walker are the headline acts at this year’s Gibraltar Calling (7-8 September), a two-day good-vibes festival in the spectacular Europa Point Stadium.
There’s much to love about Gibraltar’s high street – not the least of which the opportunity to shop VAT-free and in sterling currency. Bargain hunt on Main Street, a charming car-free stretch packed with well-known brands, antiques shops and cosy cafés to refuel in. Start at Grand Casemates Square, where the old fortress walls now house boutiques and watering holes. Pick up sherry tumblers and rainbow-hued vases from Gibraltar Crystal, who’ve supplied hand-blown glass to the Royal Yacht Britannia, no less. It’s worth having a poke around the side streets, too, where there’s treasure to be found in the old curiosity shops.