Sitting at the very south of Spain lies a little corner of Britain. You will find red letterboxes, fish and chips and pots of tea, all just a stone’s throw from Spain. Lying at the point where the Mediterranean meets the Atlantic Ocean, it is only 3miles long and 1 mile wide. Gibraltar lies just 15miles across the straits from Morocco, in Africa and has thus played an important role in world history. From Europa Point, the southernmost tip, you can see Africa on a clear day. This strategic piece of land has been British soil since 1713 – longer than America has been American! Dominated by ‘The Rock’, an enormous limestone mound, the small town at its foot is home to 32,000 people and even an airport! It is famous for its barbary monkeys, who are partial to stealing cameras and ice creams from tourists. Heavily fortified over the years as army fortresses and garrisons and with a large naval base, and with a high street full of British shops, Gibraltar is full of interesting tales for history lovers and stopping points for those in need of some tea bags! With its proximity to Spain, just across the runway, it is a contrast that has to be seen to be believed!
All visitors to the Gibraltar must be in possession of a passport that is valid and has been issued within the last ten years. Your passport should be valid at least three months beyond the period of stay. It is advised to have one blank page in your passport. EU nationals who are in possession of a valid national identity card. It must not expire whilst you are in the country. Please be sure to fill out the "Emergency Next of Kin" section in your passport
EU Nationals, US, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand citizens do not require a visa to enter Gibraltar for up to 3 months. As a general rule, those persons who require a visa for entry into the United Kingdom will also require a separate visa for entry to Gibraltar.
Please note, Gibraltar is outside the Schengen area so any person holding a Schengen visa and intending to enter Gibraltar from Spain should ensure that they will be able to return to Spain. All other nationalities must check the visa entry requirements before your departure.
• Consular Information
The UK, a number of European and a few international countries have consulates in Gibraltar. However, embassies for other countries, including are located in other European cities, offering coverage to Gibraltar. Please check with your relevant government for the relevant contact details.
N.B. Please note, visa and entry requirements, regulations and restrictions can vary on a regular basis. Please ensure you check in good time prior to travel the current requirements applicable to you.
UK guests please see FCDO website for lates entry and exit advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/gibraltar
US guests pelase see Travel State website: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/Visa-Reciprocity-and-Civil-Documents-by-Country/Gibraltar.html
HEALTH, INSURANCE AND SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS
• Travel Insurance
It is company policy that all passengers must have valid travel insurance prior to travelling, to include but not limited to health insurance and cancellation insurance. It is vital that ALL members of the travelling party are fully insured for the dates of travel. All pre-existing medical conditions must be declared to the insurer and the correct cover must be taken in regard to the specific type of holiday you are taking.
The details of your insurance must be advised to The Big Journey Company at least 6 weeks before your departure date. Please make sure to write down important information from your insurance policy, such as the company’s 24hr emergency telephone number (including dial code from abroad) and your policy number and take these with you on tour.
• General Health
Please talk to your doctor or travel health clinic in person at least eight weeks before you travel, where a health professional can provide you with the necessary health information for your personal needs.
Wearing sunscreen, drinking plenty of water, washing your hands properly before eating and avoiding insect bites should keep you healthy on tour.
We recommend you carry a simple travellers’ first-aid kit containing any basic items that you feel may be required, including remedies for minor stomach complaints.
If you do need to see a doctor during the tour, please speak to your Big Journey Company tour escort.
• Passengers with Disabilities or Reduced Mobility
Our Gibraltar tour is an Activity Level 2 and will require moderate physical activity and include various forms of transport. Please check our Activity Levels description page to see if this level is suitable to you or contact us if you require further information on the activities involved in the tour.
If you or any member of your party has any medical problem or disability which may affect your holiday, please provide us with full details before we confirm your booking, or as soon as possible at the time they occur, so that we can try to advise on the suitability of your chosen arrangements. Please note, we may require you to produce a doctor’s certificate certifying that you are fit to participate in the tour.
• Medical Conditions and Personal Medication
Please advise us prior to travel if you have any medical conditions requiring special attention during your trip. If you have a specific medical condition, it is wise to carry the relevant doctor’s prescription with you.
- Pack a sufficient supply of any medications you are taking, copies of the prescriptions and the telephone/fax numbers of your doctor.
- Please note, some countries require that prescription drugs be carried in their original container, with the label clearly visible. In the event of you losing your medication, a qualified pharmacist should be able to source a replacement.
There are currently no vaccination requirements for international travellers, but please consult your doctor before travelling for the latest immunisation information as well as advice according to your unique medical needs.
• Travelling with CPAP or other Medical Machines
Please inform The Big Journey Company that you are travelling with such a device as early as possible, and well before you travel. This is especially important in places where there may be issues with power supply, such as on safari or smaller cruise ships. Also,
- Check that you have the correct electrical and voltage adapters for the country and accommodation you are visiting;
- Check with your airline that they allow your device to be carried as additional hand luggage and ensure that your device is easily accessible and properly labelled as medical machinery;
- Always carry a letter from your medical practitioner prescribing its use for you;
- Ensure you have details of your machine separately in case of the need to secure repairs/replacements whilst you are travelling;
- Check with your medical practitioner about the use of tap or bottled water in the event that distilled water cannot be sourced in the country you are travelling to.
Please note, if you require distilled or ionised water, you must inform The Big Journey Company of this at least two weeks ahead of travel, so we are able to make preparations with our ground agents. There will be an additional charge for this.
• Special Dietary Requirements
Please let us know in good time prior to travel if you have any special dietary requirements (e.g., vegetarian, vegan, diabetic, gluten-free, etc.). We will make every effort to accommodate your request with the resources available to us.
• What to Pack and Wear
We would recommend comfortable clothes and comfortable walking shoes for this tour. Feel free to include a few smart-casual outfits for dinner if you wish, however there is no pressure to follow a dress code.
The weather should largely be pleasant throughout the journey, however it is always good to be prepared for every eventuality, so make sure you pack a light jacket in case of rain. Insect repellent and sun cream are also essential items. Don't forget your camera, with charger/spare batteries and memory cards.
• Luggage Allowances
International airlines are often strict about the size and weight of checked in baggage and carry-on luggage. Prior to your departure, please contact your airline or visit their website for specific luggage requirements, as size and weight limitations may vary according to the airline and destination.
Luggage handling is not included in our Gibraltar tours. It may be available at the hotel for a local charge.
Laundry services are available in some hotels on the tour.
The main language of Gibraltar is English. Locals often speak Spanish too.
The time zone in the UK is GMT +1, 1hr ahead of London and the same as Spain.
Gibraltar generally has a warm climate, hot and humid. However, given its position at the junction of the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, days can be windy, blustery and wet. Summer will see very warm temperatures, with little shade, whereas the spring and autumn will experience a bit of rain.
In Gibraltar, they use the same plug as in the United Kingdom, the standard voltage is 220-240V. You will require a UK plug adapter (three square pins), and/or converter depending on which electrical appliances you bring with you. Please note, Gibraltar uses different plugs and voltage to the rest of continental Europe.
MOBILES & INTERNET COMMUNICATION
Gibraltar has a well-developed communications infrastructure. A number of cellphone/mobile phone providers offer coverage and there are well-established landline phone networks. Internet and Wi-Fi are easily accessible in most urban areas and most hotels and restaurants provide free WIFI. Please check data roaming charges for Gibraltar and the UK, as well as Spain with your service provider before leaving home as these can quickly become very expensive. Due to the proximity of the two countries, signal can jump between the Gibraltar and Spanish networks and roaming charges may differ.
The currency of Gibraltar is the Pound Sterling £ (GBP). Credit cards are widely accepted at almost all shops, bars and restaurants nowadays, even for small transactions. Though legal tender, you may struggle to spend GBP notes issued by the Bank of Scotland or Ulster Bank in Gibraltar, as they are not common tender.
Please note, although Gibraltar notes are denominated in "pounds sterling", they are not legal tender anywhere in the United Kingdom.
Many transactions are now carried out ‘contactless’. Nevertheless, it is advisable to carry money in cash with you as well. ATMs are widely available.
Important Note for US Travellers – The UK was one of the first to adopt chip-and-pin and contactless credit cards, and they are used for everything nowadays. Cards with magnetic strips on the back (commonly used in North America) may not work with certain automated machines where contactless payment or chip and pin is the only option. It may be advisable to contact your card issuer to see if you can get a new chip and pin card.
Visa and Mastercard are the most widely accepted credit cards however many places do not accept cards such as Diners Club or American Express. If you intend to use any of your debit or credit cards whilst away, please make sure that you contact your bank before you leave to inform them that you will be travelling in order not to cause any problems using your cards or whilst on the trip. You might want to carry some extra cash in your wallet to use in these situations just in case. You may be asked to provide ID if you cannot pay by chip and PIN.
Prices in Gibraltar are very similar to those in the UK, but higher than those in Spain. However, many items including cigarettes, tobacco and alcohol can be bought ‘Duty Free’, making them considerably cheaper than in Spain, but limits apply on bringing these items back into Spain.
• Bank Opening
Banks in Gibraltar are usually open 9am – 4pm Monday to Friday.
After feedback from previous guests, we offer a group tipping package for this tour. Look out for more information in your pre-tour emails.
In Gibraltar, in contrast to Spain just a mile away, you will find traditional British food. Many restaurants will serve English Breakfast, fish and chips, Shepherd's Pie or a Chicken Tikka Masala, all to be washed down with a good pot of tea or a pint of beer.
Some meals are included as part of your tour – please check your individual departure for the relevant meal inclusions.
The tap water in Gibraltar is safe to drink. Bottled water can be bought at supermarkets, kiosks and many shops.
The UK offers lots for visitors to buy. From its clothing shops, its handicrafts, pottery, food and drink, artwork and trinkets, you will be sure to bring something home with you.
• Opening Hours
In Gibraltar, most retail shops are open from 9am – 5pm Monday–Friday. On Saturdays, most shops close at 1.30pm, with a few open until 4pm. Shops are closed on Sundays, unless a cruise ship is in port.
• VAT/Tax Refund:
Numerous shops in Gibraltar offer a VAT refund when leaving the country. Please ask the salesperson whether tax-free shopping applies to the shop in question.
SAFETY & SECURITY
Crime levels in the Gibraltar are generally low. However, there’s a risk of petty theft, particularly at the airports, in popular tourist spots and shops. Please take sensible precautions to protect your belongings, particularly your passport, money and credit cards. When in large crowds or major tourist destinations, you should remain vigilant and follow the advice of local authorities.
When on 'The Rock', please take care around the barbary monkeys. Although they are accustomed to tourists, they are well known to steal hats, glasses, cameras, etc as well as steal food, especially ice creams and can attack.
Smoking is banned in indoor public places. There are usually designated outdoor areas where people can smoke.
Gibraltar is predominantly Christian, though recently a mosque has been built at Europa Point for the growin muslim population.
Gibraltar offers photo opportunities one after another. You will return with many photos that can never be repeated. Remember to pack your camera, along with the charger, spare batteries and a spare memory card!
ARRIVAL IN GIBRALTAR
Please note, standard hotel check-in is around 3pm, so should you arrive earlier than this, your room may not be available upon arrival. For those arriving early morning, we will do everything we can to work with the hotel to get you an earlier check-in subject to availability. Entry into Gibraltar is over the airport's main runway and is often restricted during hours of flight operation.
TOUR HOTEL INFORMATION
Please check your tour paperwork for hotel information attaining to your tour departure.
OTHER COUNTRIES ON TOUR ITINERARY
For those continuing their stay in Spain or other European countries, please check the relevant Travel Tip pages for information on these countries.
FLYING & TRAVEL HINTS
• Photocopy the personal information pages of your passport; leave one copy at home with a friend or family member, and take a copy with you, but pack it separately from the passport itself.
• It is advisable to carry all your travel documentation as well as valuables and essential items in your hand luggage, such as camera, toiletries, reading material etc.
• Duty-Free shopping is always tempting, but please check the current Duty-Free limits applicable in the country of your destination.
• Longer flights can be made a little more enjoyable by wearing loose clothing and good, comfortable shoes. Walking in the aisles regularly, eating sensibly and drinking plenty of fluids (not alcohol) is also advised.
• Where possible, try to get some sleep during the flight and upon arrival at your destination, most people adjust better to the local time if they wait until the evening before sleeping – this should relieve some of the effects of jet lag.
If you have any other questions that we have not covered here; then please send us an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note, the above information is provided as a guideline only. Although every effort has been made to provide complete and accurate information, The Big Journey Company makes no warranties, express or implied, or representations as to the accuracy of content on this website. The Big Journey Company assumes no liability or responsibility for any error or omissions in the information contained in the website.
Updated Feburary 2023