Planning a Trip
If you're driving to Gibraltar, you arrive first in the Spanish town of La Línea. From the western part of the Costa del Sol, take the N-340 east toward La Línea, turning south at the signpost into town. If you are in the eastern Costa del Sol -- say Estepona or Marbella -- follow N-340 southwest to the turnoff for La Línea. Park your car and proceed through Customs, crossing the border into Gibraltar.
Warning: If you decide to take your rented car into Gibraltar, expect long delays. Spain, as if by deliberate policy, doesn't make the border crossing easy.
There are no buses that take you right into Gibraltar from the Costa del Sol. However, all the major towns on the coast are linked to La Línea, the Spanish border town. The most frequent run is from Algeciras and takes 40 minutes. Departures are daily every half-hour from 7am to 10:30pm; a one-way fare costs 3€ ($4.80). For bus information, visit www.andalucia.com.
You can also fly directly from London to Gibraltar (with no touchdown in Spain) on British Airways (tel. 350-793-00). The flight takes 2 1/2 hours from London, and there are two planes per day. Flights usually cost from £170 to £235 ($340-$470) one-way, but expect higher fares because of rising fuel costs. For more information, call the Gibraltar Airport at tel. 350-730-26.
Whether you arrive by car or bus, once you clear Spanish Customs and then Gibraltar Customs, bus no. 9 or 10 will take you into the center of town or to the base of the funicular station, where you'll be taken "upstairs" to see the major attractions of the "rock nation," all of which tower over Gibraltar . For bus information and schedules, call Empressa Portillo, Calle San Bernardo 1 (tel. 90-214-31-44; www.ctsa-portillo.com) in Algeciras. A one-way trip costs 1€ ($1.60).
If you're walking, go left onto Avenue Winston Churchill when the road forks with Corral Lane.
Since driving is difficult, you can explore Gibraltar on foot, by cable car, by bus, or by inexpensive taxi tour. Bus nos. 9 and 10, which are caught at the border, are used mainly for getting from one point to another in Gibraltar. Once you've reached either the town or the top of the cable-car station, you can explore on foot. If you plan to use the buses frequently, you can purchase an unlimited day pass right on the bus for 2€ ($3.20).
The most convenient way to explore the Rock is in a taxi operated by Gibraltar Taxi Association (tel. 350-700-27 or 350-700-52; www.gibtaxi.com). The drivers know the terrain well and can easily navigate the twisting, narrow streets. For only £90 ($180), they'll take you to all the major attractions. With a minimum of four participants, these tours last about 1 1/2 hours. Of course, if you want to see everything, more extensive tours can be arranged. Your group can either select the so-called "Official Rock Tour" or create your own tour based on our recommendations below.
You can catch a taxi at the stands at the Gibraltar/La Línea frontier or in the center of town at such points as Cathedral Square, Coach Park, Casemates, and Piazza-Town Centre.
For tourist information, go to the Duke of Kent House, Cathedral Square (tel. 350-749-50; www.gibraltar.gov.uk), where you'll encounter the most unhelpful staff on the Iberian peninsula. Hours are Monday to Friday from 9am to 5:30pm. There's a small information booth at the Spanish border that's open daily from 7am to 10pm.