Gibraltar: Europe's last colonial territory is a myth and a political debate. Gibraltar's strategic value has always been of great importance because of the control of the entry and exit to the Mediterranean through the Gibraltar Strait.
Gibraltar is also a famous offshore and tax haven in Europe. About 30 000 lives in Gibraltar but more registered offshore companies than homes. Around 7 million tourists visits Gibraltar every year.
The currencies used in Gibraltar are: Euro, Sterling pound and Gibraltar pound (absolutely worthless outside Gibraltar).
The Spaniards ruled the Rock of Gibraltar for 400 years. In 1713 Gibraltar passed to the British as part of the Utrecht Peace Agreement. Since then, the Spaniards has for many years claimed to get Gibraltar back.
During the time of General Franco Spain closed the border between Spain and Gibraltar, that was in 1969. And so it remained until 1985 when the border between Spain and Gibraltar was re-opened, first only to the Spaniards and those who were resident in Gibraltar. Later on the border was opened for all nationalities.
The Spanish blockade intended to force the Brittish occupants out from the territory. The isolation lasted for 15 years. But Gibraltar is still a British crown colony.
You are now allowed to drive your own car into Gibraltar, but on the way back, to pass Spanish customs and passport controls can take up to several hours, and it is extremely difficult to park in the overcrowded city of Gibraltar.
All travel agencies along the coast sells day trips to Gibraltar. Intercity buses also go from all the towns on the Costa del Sol to La Linea, the town on the Spanish side of the border to Gibraltar.
Another option is to park the car in La Linea and walk across the border. The typical red double-decker busses stops on the right hand side of the road when you have passed customs and takes you into the heart of Gibraltar: Main Street!
Few people travel to Gibraltar as a holiday destination in itself, although there are tourist attractions such as water sports, dolphin tours, restaurants and hotels. Gibraltar is more a place that is well worth a day visit. It takes a little more than an hour to drive to Gibraltar from the Costa del Sol. Shopping is one of the highlights in Gibraltar: Cigarettes, perfume, liquor and chocolate are the most common souvenirs. The electronics that are sold are not so attractive any more, the latest models are often not available, and the prices are not so low compared to Spain as they were before. The Spanish customs also controls the value of the goods that you bring back to Spain.
The top of the rock is easily accessible. Once up on top the views are great, and the monkeys are many! It is not allowed to feed the monkeys and they can sometimes be aggressive.
If you want to visit the beach, there are several to choose from. On the Atlantic Ocean side the beaches are Camp Bay and Little Bay. On the other side of the cliff the village of Catalan Bay. Previously a fishing village. Today it is a popular swimming place.