hris was staying this summer at the Cortijo Blanco Hotel and asked for suggestions about a day´s excursion to Gibraltar with her children. They were going by bus. I wrote back to her:
"Hi Chris, a day out in Gibraltar makes a fantastic excursion. Take bottles of water for the children as you go because it will be a long day and they´ll need to keep drinking. When you get to the La Linea bus station in the morning, book your seats to come back in the afternoon. Try and get the earliest bus down to Gibraltar to give you more time in the cool of the morning.
Go on a week day rather, many of the shops shut on a Saturday afternoon. You can pay in pounds or euros. Try to keep some pounds just for your excursion to Gibraltar because if you change your pounds into euros in Spain and then back into pounds in Gibraltar at today´s exchange rate, it will be a painful experience. Keep an eye out for any electronic goods that you might be after, they are normally well priced compared to Spain and you can sometimes bargain the price down.
Just on the other side of the border after the Gibraltar passport control you can pick up a taxi or a bus. The Route 9 bus which runs every 10 minutes Monday to Friday from Gibraltar airport at the frontier and it takes you to the Market Place at the bottom of Main Street. The Route 3 bus which runs every 20 minutes Monday to Friday takes you from Gibraltar airport at the frontier right the way across Gibraltar to Europa Point on the other side of the Rock.
It's not difficult to get around Gibraltar without a car. Basically you start at the bottom from Market Garden and walk up Main Street to the top where you will find the cable car ticket office. On the way up there are all sorts of shops. Not long after leaving the bottom of Main Street Sacarello's Coffee House is a good place to stop and have a coffee. It´s an institution in Gibraltar and you can ask any local Gibraltarian to direct your there. It's one street down to the right from Main Street.
At the top of Main Street take the cable car ride from its start at the Gibraltar Botanical Gardens. The Rock of Gibraltar cable car takes you to the top of the Rock which the children will enjoy. The views are great and on a clear day you can see the little flat topped houses across the straits in Morocco, the Mediterranean sea on one side and the Atlantic ocean on the other.
Next to the cable car is the Wildlife Park which is stocked with exotic animals that have been imported into Gibraltar and siezed by Customs. I haven't seen it myself but am told by animal lovers it worth visiting. A Rock Tour by taxi or mini bus isn't expensive and is a quick and easy way of seeing nearly all there is. The tour will take you around Gibraltar and the includes St Michael's Cave which is an enormous natura grotto and the Ape's Den amongst other sights. The guides are licensed and give a great commentary on the way around. You will find more taxis and Rock Tour guides as you walk up Main Street.
The Gibraltar museum is worth visiting and has a great audio visual show about the origins of Gibraltar from 200 million years ago. It´ll also give you a good chance to rest your legs along the way. The Tourist Information office is about half way up Main Street in Gibraltarand you can pick up maps and brochures there.
Out to sea there are boat cruises and dolphin watching trips around the Bay and you can get their contact details from the tourist information office also although maybe the cruise will have to wait for your next trip!
I hope this gives you a taste of Gibraltar Chris and that you have a fun day out! Keep an eye on the time and your possessions and leave time to get back to the bus.
Best wishes from Marbella and thanks again for your contacts Chris, Mike Drury"
PS: Important Update: 6/03/2012 Rowland Warren has just written in to say there are NO left luggage lockers at the La Linea bus station. I went down to La Linea to take another photo, which you see above, of the interior of the bus station and the left luggage lockers have gone, replaced by closed ticket office windows which will probably never be used. Rowland said however that there are Left Luggage facilities across the border at the arrivals building of Gibraltar airport. The Left Luggage office was unmanned, but is adjacent to a
manned information desk where, having explained situation, they were quite happy
to accept his bag after scanning and examining his passports. Please read the full description in the Comments section below.