A Lucky Golden Hour in Gibraltar

Posted on 08. Jun, 2012 by in Destinations, Europe Travel, Gibraltar, Spain

Gibraltar is a pretty special place, for so many reasons.

  1. First of all, it’s only a few hundred meters from Andalusian Spain, but it’s a British territory.
  2. Second of all, the border is actually on the airport’s tarmac.
  3. And third of all, and perhaps most importantly, security is very, very loose.

We drove into the island in the evening - the sun was on its way down, its golden rays blinding us. We knew we were going to be a little tight for a visit of The Rock (not the bulky actor I assure you), but we wanted to at least drive around the island for the sake of it, even though we would miss the monkeys and the rest.

The island of Gibraltar

First step: passport control. You can definitely tell that Gibraltar either doesn’t have a big security budget, or just doesn’t give a damn. We drove right past the officer (on the airport’s tarmac) with our Canadian passports in hand, and he just waved at us, smiling - we didn’t even stop the car! I like to think Canadians have a good reputation abroad, but I didn’t know it was THAT good.

Anyhow. Time was closing on 8PM by then, and we knew we had to be quick.

Gibraltar is an amazing place to drive in. Steep, very steep roads with a tiny teeny little cement block that prevents you from falling down should you lose control of your vehicle. Very reassuring for the backseat passengers who are deathly scared of heights - and who just happens to be sitting on the wrong side of the car.


Despite our slightly panicked state, we did get to the gate for the monkeys park, and it was absolutely deserted. Employees included. And yet the gate was open. My mischievous friends and I did not think twice about this one - we parked the car right there (probably forbidden) and we entered the park after what appeared to be after hours (definitely forbidden).

But damn it was worth it.

Sunset over the Mediterranean

There we were. 5 outlaw Canadians just hanging out with the famed monkeys of Gibraltar, alone, and feeling like the coolest people on the planet. And at that particular moment, I really think we were.

Our visit to Gibraltar was definitely short-lived. We didn’t even get to Europa Point, or the caves, or any other great things to see on the island.

But when I consider how unique our moment there was, I don’t really care about the other attractions. My time with the monkeys was priceless, and I still smile thinking about it today. And that was 3 years ago.

I seriously recommend adding a daytrip to Gibraltar to anyone planning a trip to Spain (although you might want to go at actual opening hours). Gibraltar is a wonderful place and makes for a great addition to an Andalusian getaway!

Have you seen the famous monkeys of Gibraltar? Is Gibraltar a place you would like to visit? 


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10 Responses to “A Lucky Golden Hour in Gibraltar”

  1. Joa

    08. Jun, 2012

    Merci pour ce bel artcile, tu m’as fait sourire. Moi ce que je me souviendrai toujours c’est d’avoir du conduire de reculons dans une route hyper étroite en vous ayant demandé au préalable de sortir de la voiture, tsé juste au cas où.

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  2. Christine

    10. Jun, 2012

    I was going to scold you for not telling me you where visiting the area where I live, but then I read how this was 3 years ago. :) Gibraltar sure is an interesting place, isn’t it? Love the views from the top…nothing quite like seeing a UK territory, Spain and Morocco all from one spot!

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  3. Audrey | That Backpacker

    16. Jun, 2012

    Kissing monkeys!!! That is so cute! :D And I really like the shot of ‘the Rock’.

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  4. Sounds like their security is more Spanish than British!

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  5. Liv

    17. Jul, 2012

    You have to love the cheeky rock apes on Gibraltar. One stole a bag of peanuts from my younger brother years ago. I am sure they have kept up the cheekiness since too!

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  6. I had heard that Gibraltar wasn’t really worth visiting. Now, I’m wishing I had gone!

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    • Marie-Eve Vallieres

      08. Aug, 2012

      Well it’s not the 8th world wonder - but it definitely makes for a nice daytrip from southern Spain if you ask me.

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