Why choose Gibraltar?
Located close to the southernmost tip of the Iberian Peninsula, Gibraltar sits a short distance away from Morocco. The water between them is the Strait of Gibraltar which forms the Mediterranean Sea’s only ocean opening. As a British overseas territory bordering Spain, Gibraltar enjoys the diversity that these two cultures bring.
Although famous for the Rock of Gibraltar and the Barbary Macaque monkeys to which it is home, Gibraltar has an interesting, and often politically turbulent past. Thanks to its geographic location, and the fortress-like rock, Gibraltar has long been seen as a key strategic military location. Dating back to at least the seventh century AD, many battles have been fought over its sovereignty. Today, it is an important location for the British Armed Services and is home to a Royal Navy base.
My experience exceeded all of my expectations by a country mile. Given that we were recommended by a friend who had already done the same course, we had high expectations anyway, but the whole experience was even better than imagined. The opportunity to visit other countries, sail across a busy shipping channel, do a night sail and the frankly amazing weather made it all the more enjoyable.
Probably the first consideration when choosing Gibraltar is the climate. Minimum average temperatures range from 10℃ (50℉) in January through to 20℃ (68℉) in July, August and September. Maximum temperatures average 16℃ (60℉) in the winter, peaking at a toasty 27℃ (80℉) in July and August.
Rain is rare, and it is not unusual to go three to four months without. When it does rain, it tends to be heavy but short lasting—a well timed top-up if you like.
I thought the sailing was excellent. The winds in Gibraltar are excellent, the tides interesting but not really tricky and the busy harbour is perfect. I didn’t realise when we booked (we came for the warmth) but actually this is really important. We had everything from a calm (only lasted a few minutes) to force 7 gusting [to] 8. Perfect for training and crew confidence building. Compared to a venue where a whole week could be light airs this was perfect. I am assuming that the wind in the Strait is pretty consistent all year round though you would know that better that I.
A two week course can take you on a round trip to places as far as Lagos in the far west of the Algarve, or to Marina del Este or Motril in the east. A one week course gives you the opportunity to go to Cádiz or sometimes as far as Benalmádena. Southerly trips to Ceuta and Morocco are made nearly every week. With a sailing area that spans two continents and four countries, Allabroad has the ideal location for you. Please see our About the Cruising Area page for more details.
Gibraltar has its own airport located only ten minutes walk from the busy marina where you will find the Allabroad offices and yachts. There are not many places where you can step off a plane and be at your destination in minutes, without the need for a taxi.
For those flying from European airports, Malaga is the airport of choice. It is approximately 75 miles to the east, with bus and car hire options available.
The Rock of Gibraltar
The imposing Rock of Gibraltar is the first thing most people notice on arrival. It contains some of the most extensive military fortifications in Europe, and is a popular tourist attraction. The upper rock contains a nature reserve, and is home to the famous Barbary Macaques. Botanists and bird watchers regularly visit the area, as the views of the surrounding area are magnificent. There are many miles of tunnels and caves in the Rock, some of which are open to the public for exploration. The Great Siege Tunnels and the labyrinth of passages in St Michael’s Cave are definitely worthy of a visit.
The town centre
The town centre is surrounded by large fortress walls, some of which date back many hundreds of years. A number of the buildings in the upper part of the town are linked by narrow passages and steep steps. The Gibraltar Museum has a rich selection of military and archaeological artefacts, together with a wealth of information about the history of Gibraltar.
The town centre also contains a great variety of duty free shops, bars and restaurants. Shops range from the well known United Kingdom big names to independent local vendors. The bars and restaurants cater for many tastes, including Italian, Indian, French, Moroccan, English, Spanish, Peking and Szechuan.
Dolphin safaris and whale watching
Both of these are perfect ways to entertain the family. Take a dip with the dolphins in the warm waters of the Mediterranean, or take a dolphin safari trip in a glass bottomed boat.
Whale watching safaris are also available, and it is often possible to see pilot, orca, sperm and fin whales.