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Visiting Gibraltar in early October?

Visiting Gibraltar in early October?

Old Apr 3, 17, 7:04 pm
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Visiting Gibraltar in early October?

With Gibraltar in the news about its future, I've been seeing so many reports especially when I was in London last week that I'm getting more and more interested in visiting Gibraltar. My idea is to fly to Heathrow on Delta (Terminal 3) and then take BA also from T3 to GIB which would get me there in the late afternoon on a Wednesday and leave on a Friday to LHR.

I want to see the WWII tunnels, the top of the Rock, Europa Point, and the town itself. I have no interest in renting a car and I'd like to stay in Gibraltar and not have to deal with crossing the border 2X/day.

Does anybody have recommendations about hotels? Has anyone gone to Gibraltar in early October? Any input is greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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Old Apr 3, 17, 11:09 pm
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1- flying US-LHR-GIB aint gonna be cheap. If you dont plan to spend any time in the UK, check what it will cost flying with ROYAL AIR Morac via Moraco. Or you can fly with IB TO AGP and then taxi or bus it to GIB

Hotels heard the best is at a ship docked in the marina or The Elliot, neither will be cheap. Most suggest the Marriot across the border in Spain
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Old Apr 4, 17, 3:51 am
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If you cross the border on foot, it's really not a hassle at all. You just kind of walk in the general direction of a border agent with your passport open and get waved through. (It's literally only an hour's walk from the border to the southern tip so don't worry about getting around)

It really is worth your time to combine a trip to a bit of southern Spain if you're there already.

Also second flying into AGP.
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Old Apr 4, 17, 8:48 am
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I will be going to London anyway so I thought I would go to Gibraltar first.

So walking between the borders is quick and easy? I thought there would be long lines of people commuting to work and commuting home. Is it possible to get a local bus after the border crossing to go to various points in Gibraltar?
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Old Apr 7, 17, 11:14 am
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I don't know about a bus, but I crossed the border in the morning on foot, saw everything all the way up to the WWII tunnels, cave, monkeys, etc and still had plenty of time in the town before I left in the late afternoon. You might be thinking Gibraltar is a lot bigger than it is. Unless you have a condition that prevents you from doing some light walking I don't see any need for a bus or taxi.

Crossing the boarder is breeze, even with a US passport (they would not even stamp it). On the way back out it took a bit longer (5 minutes) since the tax on cigarettes is lower in Gibraltar than Spain (a few years ago anyway) and they had to make sure they were not bring back more than so many cartons.
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Old Apr 7, 17, 1:42 pm
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Originally Posted by Analise View Post
With Gibraltar in the news about its future, I've been seeing so many reports especially when I was in London last week that I'm getting more and more interested in visiting Gibraltar. My idea is to fly to Heathrow on Delta (Terminal 3) and then take BA also from T3 to GIB which would get me there in the late afternoon on a Wednesday and leave on a Friday to LHR.

I want to see the WWII tunnels, the top of the Rock, Europa Point, and the town itself. I have no interest in renting a car and I'd like to stay in Gibraltar and not have to deal with crossing the border 2X/day.

Does anybody have recommendations about hotels? Has anyone gone to Gibraltar in early October? Any input is greatly appreciated. Thanks.
October is a good time to visit Gibraltar; not too hot, not too cold.

You can see the place in one day: it is TINY. The monkeys are interesting. The people are an interesting mix and they speak Spanish with an Andalucian accent. Yet the food is much better (and cheaper) on the Spanish side.
If I were you, I would fly into Malaga or Cadiz and factor in a day trip to Gibraltar. Don't spend all your money in this tax haven!
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Old Apr 8, 17, 4:09 am
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When I crossed the border on foot there were no officials there at all. This was before I became British so I sought out a Spanish official later, who wasn't very interested in my passport either.

For a US citizen I would recommend the original plan as in the OP. Or, fly into Spain, go to Gibraltar and back, then fly out of Spain.

Otherwise, you will have a Gibraltar entry stamp but no Schengen entry stamp; or a Schengen entry stamp and no Schengen exit stamp. This probably won't cause any problems, but it could.

Alternatively fly in and out of GIB, but cross the border to stay overnight in a cheaper hotel in La Linea, then (barely) cross the border the next day for your flight. I stayed in a hotel which was 5 minutes walk from the border - I can't remember what it was called but it may have been the Ohtels Campo de Gibraltar based on a Google search; the hotel I stayed in was fine, similar to an older UK Hilton (if you know what I mean)
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Old Apr 8, 17, 4:10 am
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Originally Posted by :D! View Post
When I crossed the border on foot there were no officials there at all. This was before I became British so I sought out a Spanish official later, who wasn't very interested in my passport either.

For a US citizen I would recommend the original plan as in the OP. Or, fly into Spain, go to Gibraltar and back, then fly out of Spain. Otherwise you will have a Gibraltar entry stamp but no Schengen entry stamp; or a Schengen entry stamp and no Schengen exit stamp. This probably won't cause any problems, but it could.

Alternatively fly in and out of GIB, but cross the border to stay overnight in a cheaper hotel in La Linea, then (barely) cross the border the next day for your flight. I stayed in a hotel which was 5 minutes walk from the border - I can't remember what it was called but it may have been the Ohtels Campo de Gibraltar based on a Google search; the hotel I stayed in was fine, similar to an older UK Hilton (if you know what I mean)
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Old Apr 8, 17, 4:10 am
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oops double post
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Old Apr 10, 17, 4:46 pm
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Originally Posted by Analise View Post
My idea is to fly to Heathrow on Delta (Terminal 3) and then take BA also from T3 to GIB which would get me there in the late afternoon on a Wednesday and leave on a Friday to LHR.
Obviously given your point of departure, there are two aspects to your trip getting across the atlantic, getting to Gibraltar.

If you want to fly to GIB, your airline options are:
  • British Airways (from LHR T3, daily or twice daily), codeshare with AA
  • easyJet (from London Gatwick daily/twice daily, Manchester (3-4/week), Bristol (3/week)
  • Monarch (from London Gatwick, London Luton, Birmingham, Manchester)
  • Royal Air Maroc (from Casablanca and Tangier - Thursdays and Sundays only)

Only BA and RAM will sell connecting tickets, easyjet and monarch are strictly point-to-point airlines.

But do not rule out a do-it-yourself connection in the UK (with a good time buffer or overnight as safety margin)

As you will be in London anyway, I would strongly suggest flying to/from GIB directly. (use separate tickets with appropriate protection to bring cost down if need be).

I want to see the WWII tunnels, the top of the Rock, Europa Point, and the town itself. I have no interest in renting a car and I'd like to stay in Gibraltar and not have to deal with crossing the border 2X/day.
You can see the main sights of Gibraltar in a day, but there are other things to see to fill two days if you want / are interested.

Does anybody have recommendations about hotels?
This bit is easy, there are 4 main hotels in Gibraltar. And all are very different from each other in nature/location.

So, in no particular order, we have:
  • The Caleta - the only hotel on the east side, next to beach, but a walk to everything else.
  • The sunborn - new yacht hotel at Marina Bay / Ocean village, near bars restaurants etc. newest of the top 4.
  • The Eliot - only hotel in the middle of town, but far quieter than the sunborn. has pool on roof.
  • The Rock Hotel - just beyond the old city walls and slightly up the rock. Very close to alameda gardens, and cable car bottom station.

All of the above 4 are fine. Lots of business customers.

Personally, I'd discount the Caleta, as I think you would find the location annoying compared to other options.

Any think else is at least a division or two below these.
All other hotels would certainly not meet the expectations of most on FT. (with land in short supply, there are limited hotel options).
Of the other hotels, Bristol is better than the rest, but we are talking basic and tired. And everything else is very basic.

Top 4 listed above are fine.

In terms of hotels across the border, the 'othels La linea' is the most walkable from the border, as is the AC - but it is further
But this far out, I'd see if you could get a deal on something in Gib, for convenience.

Last edited by David-A; Apr 10, 17 at 5:40 pm
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Old Apr 10, 17, 4:53 pm
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Originally Posted by Analise View Post
So walking between the borders is quick and easy?
Historically, walking is very quick and easy.
that is because it is hard to create a politically motivated queue with people. Not a lot you can do to slow it down.

Vehicles are different. Very easy to make a queue appear and disappear at will with only minor adjustment to operating practices. (and these differences have no really affect on how extesnive or not the check is - you can have quick good checks, and incredibly slow vehicle queues with essentially no check happening!)

I thought there would be long lines of people commuting to work and commuting home.
There is a queue in the morning, pre 9am. (Ten thousand plus people cross the border each day to get to work). But for people (rather than cars) it is rarely a long queue, and usually clears just after 9am.
Returning to spain, there are queues from mid afternoon, into the evening, but outside the peak (4pm-6.30pm) period there is rarely any kind of queue at all for pedestriahttp://www.flyertalk.com/forum/editpost.php?do=editpost&p=28156988ns. even in the peak, it normally is not very long, but I'd stay clear if you could. For vehicles it can be a long queue until 8pm, or even until midnight if they are in a bad mood in Madrid. It is simply hard to create a queue with people, outside of natural periods.

Is it possible to get a local bus after the border crossing to go to various points in Gibraltar?
There are various options for how to do this, don't worry about it - can advise more nearer the time.
Bus routes are currently changing a bit, but there are options. in short, do NOT worry about HOW you will see Gibraltar, very straight forward.

one question: How much walking do you like to do? this would affect the options I would advise.

Last edited by David-A; Apr 10, 17 at 5:40 pm
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Old Apr 10, 17, 5:26 pm
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Originally Posted by HalconBCN View Post
The people are an interesting mix and they speak Spanish with an Andalucian accent.
Perceptions on language can be VERY misleading in the area of language. In terms of accent (when speaking Spanish), I understand that is true - in a majority of cases (although not all) but more locally I gather it is a Cadiz accent rather than a med-coast accent as might be expected, with the reasoning put forward of skilled manual workers moving between dockyards historically).

However, in terms of accents encountered by the visitor, we should say a decent number (majority) of the front line service jobs where you will encounter people are held by Spanish nationals who have crossed the border.
- Very few Gibraltarians are in service sector jobs (by %) - especially not the jobs 'on show'.
- There is a very good diversity of Spainish nationals holding service sector jobs, with varying levels of formality in their own Spanish, and varying levels of English. Some have absolutely exceptional perfect English.
(But it would be wrong to suggest that is all Spanish nationals are doing, many are also working in highly skilled office jobs too).

The reason I say this, is just to keep in mind that who you speak to might well not be a Gibraltarian.
Now, lets look at the people of Gibraltar, the Gibraltarians and the languages used in Gibraltar.

Gibraltar is first language English. It is the language used in business, in schools, in law, in the media (print/radio/tv), etc. There are many families and people who are 100% first language english, never every using spanish - unless speaking Spanish intentionally. And NOT all people do speak Spanish. However most (but not all) also speak Spanish - to varying levels, and with varying levels of comfort.

Some, but not all will use a mix of English and Spanish at home or when talking socially. Sometimes it is a literally a mix without thought. Other times select words are swapped - when the word in the other language has a better meaning for the situation. And sometimes conversation will be in one language until such a word is encountered - at which point it will then switch and continue in the other language - until another such word has been encountered. There is also a local dialect, Yanito, which has words of it's own (and special meanings).

In terms of perceptions, keep in mind - not only that people you might encounter may actually be Spanish - also keep in mind people will try to speak to you in a language they assume you will understand (either by what you are carrying, or something you have said to someone else). The net result of this is that:
Many Spanish language visitors assume the people of gibraltar are predominantly speaking Spanish, when this is not true - it is just what they have experienced.
And many non-spanish language visitors also think this, becasue they have seen people speak in Spanish, so erroneoulsy conclude the English is for customers/business only.


There has been over recent decades a rise in English language dominance, and also a decline in spoken Spanish. The reasoning for this is varied. But this post is long enough already so I will save that for another day. (Factors range from obvious to the outright unexpected!)

However, the people of Gibraltar do not see language as a factor that should be interpreted by anyone with regard to any aspects of their identity. They are entirely comfortable with their own identity - Gibraltarians - British citizens living at home in Gibraltar. But note, when we say the word 'British' we are NOT saying 'UKish' - the concept of being British is something much broader in scope than the UK. Gibraltar is British, and the UK is also British (as are various other places) but we are not part of Gibraltar. People who don't understand this point often find the 'British' bit hard ot understand, because they are associating it with the geographic location of the UK. We are no more UK'ish (for want of a better term) than a Scot is Welsh, etc. Get your venn diagrams out! Sometimes when people see the Union Jack flag being flown, they see it being waved in the 'flag waving / chest beating simpleton' context that flags often get flown in the UK. What they don't appreciate is that is flown NOT to say 'the UK', but because it is also seen as the flag of a wider British identity (heck if it gets used to denote 'English language' choice on website, it can clearly mean different things!). Also, we do have 'integrated constitutional ties' with the UK, but we are NOT part of the UK, and are not 'ruled by London', etc. or other journalistic non-sense.

Indeed, on the flag point, the Gibraltar flag is one of the few flags of British places (or former British places) that does not have a union jack in the corner. the Gibraltar flag actually dates from queen isabella of Spain, during the period of over 200 years when Gibraltar was Spanish (between when it was Moorish - 700+ years and British - 300+ years).

- We are entirely comfortable in our own distinct identity. British (in the wider sense, a sense shared by other non-UK places) but not part of the UK, and at home in Gibraltar. Also it is also NOT an identity defined in any way as 'anti' Spanish, or hostile to Spain. Spain is our neighbour, we seek good close friendly and normal relations with Spain. These exist at the local level, and many family relationships cross borders (as you get in many border regions). We just do not wish to be forced to become part of another country against our freely and democratically expressed wishes. 300 years is plenty of time for your own distinct identity to emerge.


Sorry for the length of this post, hope it makes sense - and crucially hope it helps people to understand how people see and identify themselves.
Not looking to have a political discussion, either here or in OMNI, but in the interests of better understanding, happy to clarify anything.

Last edited by David-A; Apr 10, 17 at 5:32 pm
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Old Apr 10, 17, 5:37 pm
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Originally Posted by :D! View Post
I stayed in a hotel which was 5 minutes walk from the border - I can't remember what it was called but it may have been the Ohtels Campo de Gibraltar based on a Google search
The Ohtels was originally an 'Iberostar', then it became an 'Asur', now it is Ohtels. (It may even have had a 4th brand in there, but I don't think so.)

That hotel is perfectly walkable, but I'd suggest the OP sees if they can get a deal at The Rock, The Eliot, or the Sunborn - this far out.
However there is not denying prices are lower in Spain, as there is simply more land available, also wages are a little lower, but it is more land prices.
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Old Apr 11, 17, 3:25 pm
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Originally Posted by David-A View Post
The Ohtels was originally an 'Iberostar', then it became an 'Asur', now it is Ohtels. (It may even have had a 4th brand in there, but I don't think so.)
Ah that rings a bell, I must have stayed there when it was an Asur. It was like 50 euros or something and I also chose it because I wanted to get a bus to Malaga at 7am

Thanks for the exposition on language in Gibraltar
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Old Apr 12, 17, 9:27 am
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Originally Posted by HalconBCN
October is a good time to visit Gibraltar; not too hot, not too cold.

You can see the place in one day: it is TINY. The monkeys are interesting. The people are an interesting mix and they speak Spanish with an Andalucian accent. Yet the food is much better (and cheaper) on the Spanish side.
If I were you, I would fly into Malaga or Cadiz and factor in a day trip to Gibraltar. Don't spend all your money in this tax haven!
The weather does l look good. I hope it's not too windy for the cable cars to be suspended. I guess I'll cross the bridge….

Originally Posted by :D! View Post
For a US citizen I would recommend the original plan as in the OP. Or, fly into Spain, go to Gibraltar and back, then fly out of Spain.

Otherwise, you will have a Gibraltar entry stamp but no Schengen entry stamp; or a Schengen entry stamp and no Schengen exit stamp. This probably won't cause any problems, but it could.
I will fly in from the UK. I hope my passport gets stamped with a Gibraltar entry stamp.

Originally Posted by David-A
As you will be in London anyway, I would strongly suggest flying to/from GIB directly. (use separate tickets with appropriate protection to bring cost down if need be)
That is exactly what I'll be doing. I'll fly on DL arriving at 07:50 and take the BA flight leaving at 12:25.

So, in no particular order, we have:
The Caleta - the only hotel on the east side, next to beach, but a walk to everything else.
The sunborn - new yacht hotel at Marina Bay / Ocean village, near bars restaurants etc. newest of the top 4.
The Eliot - only hotel in the middle of town, but far quieter than the sunborn. has pool on roof.
The Rock Hotel - just beyond the old city walls and slightly up the rock. Very close to alameda gardens, and cable car bottom station.

All of the above 4 are fine. Lots of business customers.

Personally, I'd discount the Caleta, as I think you would find the location annoying compared to other options.
I'm looking at the Rock. The Eliot seems to be going through miserable construction and when I've reached out to the manager regarding when the end date is, she hasn't responded. I emailed her twice. The Rock, however, has answered my questions within a day. They'll even provide transfer service from GIB to the hotel for just £7.

In terms of hotels across the border, the 'othels La linea' is the most walkable from the border, as is the AC - but it is further
But this far out, I'd see if you could get a deal on something in Gib, for convenience.
That is exactly what I'm doing.

Bus routes are currently changing a bit, but there are options. in short, do NOT worry about HOW you will see Gibraltar, very straight forward.

one question: How much walking do you like to do? this would affect the options I would advise.
A lot. I walk all over Manhattan. I want to see Europa Point for example. Would you know how long of a walk it is between Europa Point and the Rock Hotel?

Also, it looks like I can get an unlimited bus ticket/pass for the day. Or is it 24 hours from when I purchase it? I will want to have dinner, for example, in town and not at the hotel. But I will want to take the bus back up to the hotel; I believe I have a choice of the #2 or #3 bus? The unlimited day pass would be helpful.

I have British £; I don't want to go to a cash machine to get Gibraltar pounds as I know they won't be accepted in the UK. I'll be flying to London from GIB and spending about 4 days there before returning to JFK. So I hope to use my credit card whenever I can and use cash for the bus, lunch/coffee, and bottled water.

Thank you for your extensive answers, David-A.
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