The iconic Rock of Gibraltar dominates this spectacular Iberian Peninsular landscape. The Rock boasts many hidden gems and interesting artefacts, rich in natural beauty, wildlife and history.
A small country such as Gibraltar can make one feel a little disconnected, a minor drawback especially when you have the beautiful beaches, the nature reserves and Spain across the border.
Gibraltar with its Mediterranean climate is filled with scenic natural beauty including the Rock and the clean sandy beaches. Set up a business with favourable tax benefits and enjoy the relaxed family culture and very low crime rate.
What’s the population of Gibraltar?
The saying “good things come in small packages” definitely rings true for Gibraltar, with its land area no more than 6.8 km² and a population of approximately 34,571 friendly inhabitants.
The official language of Gibraltar is English. The Gibraltar’s language has evolved from history, descendants and various ethnic mixes which all make up a huge pot of languages singularly known as “Llanito”.
Where is Gibraltar located in the world?
Gibraltar is located in one of the most strategic geographical areas in the world, at the most southern tip of Spain, with clear views to Morocco across the Straits of Gibraltar, where the Mediterranean meets the Atlantic.
It’s Gibraltar a country?
Gibraltar is an overseas territory of Britain with a currency very similar to that in the UK, known as the Gibraltar pound, minted since 1927 by the Gibraltarian Government. Although not legal tender in the UK, the coins follow the same weight and size and may be found in circulation in the UK. Within Gibraltar, the British Pound is widely accepted.
Gibraltar is self-governing with its own Chief Minister, local government, laws and regulations, but the UK plays a significant part of daily life in Gibraltar as it is a British Overseas Territory and has been since Gibraltar fell into British hands as a result of the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713.
Gibraltar become British during the War of Spanish Succession in 1704, England captured Gibraltar and formal British sovereignty occurred in 1713 when Spain ceded Gibraltar to Britain under the Treaty of Utrecht
Gibraltar’s strategic location has provided it with an incredible history, with numerous invasions and sieges. It is famous in particular for its impressive military and naval dominance and historical defence tactics. Gibraltar is fiercely independent and well known for its historical political and military game playing with Spain.
The national flag of Gibraltar depicts a red and white field with the iconic fortress and hanging golden key. It derived from the heraldry of the Kingdom of Castile, a medieval Spanish Kingdom.
It’s Gibraltar an island?
A common misconception is that Gibraltar is an island. However, a thin strip of land, supports Gibraltar airport providing easy access across the runway to Spain.
With regular flights from Gibraltar Airport to London, Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester and Edinburgh, it is incredibly convenient. For international flights, Malaga and Seville Airports are less than 2 hours’ drive.
Where can I live in Gibraltar?
Gibraltar is often thought about as four main areas for residential property, and it is usually a matter of opinion as to which is the best place to live in Gibraltar.
Gibraltar’s Old Town is a quirky, interesting place rising above the city on the northern end of the Rock and crowned by Moorish Castle. This is a highly residential area with a mix of architectural styles, from modernised homes, to older apartments build around the traditional patio – a lovely, old-fashioned style of living.
The western fringes of Gibraltar around its beautiful marinas are the setting for some world-famous luxury developments. Ocean Village, with its luxury apartments, rooftop gardens and swimming pools, marina and sea-front restaurants is highly desirable, as is the quieter but lovely Queensway Quay development with its luxury marina and historic setting.
Gibraltar’s South District is highly sought-after. It is a little more ‘out of town’ and quieter but it does boast some great luxury developments and also some outstanding private villas.
On the Eastern coast, Gibraltar is quieter, but there are some gorgeous properties around the edges of the historic Catalan Bay, an old fishing village that has its own hotel and perhaps the prettiest beach in Gibraltar.
Benefits of living in Gibraltar
The Rock is most famous for its Barbary macaques which have inhabited the Rock for centuries and have more claim to this wondrous location than any other living thing.
Experience the Cable Car for a 10-minute journey to 412m above sea level and enjoy breathtaking views of the sparkling blue Mediterranean and the Rif Mountains in North Africa.
Gibraltar has great beaches including Camp Bay, Sandy Bay and Catalan Bay. Each has excellent facilities for picnicking, sunbathing, and swimming in the clear waters of these beautiful locations.
Boasting fantastic restaurants, from traditional British fish and chips, smart wine bars, Spanish tapas bars and floating five-star restaurants to lively cafe quarters converted from historical artillery bastions, there is something for every taste.
Tax benefits of living in Gibraltar
With tax rates from 10% to 29%. Gibraltar favours entrepreneurs, especially those with a high net worth or those possessing specialist skills. Gibraltar provides attractive maximum tax incentives with high earners paying a capped tax rate regardless of their earnings and residency, providing the individual owns property in Gibraltar.
What to do in Gibraltar?
Gibraltar is a place of surprises. Like any European city, it has a bustling city centre with excellent shops. You can get some great duty-free bargains here, and enjoy browsing lots of things to buy, from high street fashion to high end couture, brand name sportswear to fine jewellery, from video games to top-of-the-range electronics.
There’s also something of a local tradition of strolling down Main Street on a Saturday morning. Many people turn out, browse the shops, take their morning coffee and churros in one of the many bars and café’s (that’s our favourite bit!). And there’s often events going on in the local squares, the Piazza and Casemates.
Gibraltarians love music and there are several music festivals every year – jazz, rock, pop, electronic music, world music…there’s always something of interest going on. Drama and dance is really popular too, with numerous shows every year. We also have our own annual Comicon, with visits from Spiderman, Superman, Wonderwoman….! Gibraltar nightlife is buzzing, especially on a Friday, the clubs and casinos at Ocean Village being the ‘in’ place to be.
If you love sport, there’s a world class stadium here – built for the Island Games of 2019 – and there’s so many sports to choose from, and football fans can enjoy international games now that Gibraltar’s national and local teams play in the UEFA tournaments. And let’s not forget that from Gibraltar, some of the world’s best golf courses are just a short drive away.
Or perhaps you prefer to play sports online? There is an association here for e-gamers and also groups supporting software developers, business startups, women in businesses, girls in tech industries…I’m running out of space to list them all.
In Gibraltar, we love eating out and we love live entertainment. There is no end of choice of places to eat; fine dining at marina-side restaurants, themed bars and cafés, not to mention lots of other diners offering food from across the world.
Gibraltar’s points of interest
Lots! Gibraltar might be small, but it’s fascinating with a really interesting history. You have to be here to really appreciate it. It’s a small mountain jutting up from the sea, with a city at its foot.
Just think about its history. It was known by the Greeks and the Romans as one of the Pillars of Hercules, guarding the entrance to the Mediterranean. The Rock is riddled with caves and Neanderthal remains were discovered in its World Heritage site, the Gorham’s Cave Complex. And it seems to have been a fortress for centuries: take a stroll around the Upper Rock and you’ll see old cannon, or encounter an exhibit telling you about its role during the Second World War.
Oh, and there’s the stunning St Michael’s Cave. A naturally formed cave, St Michael’s Cave is known world-wide for its breath-taking stalagmite and stalactite formations. There is a lower cave too, with a freshwater lake and, of course, its local legends of hauntings…
The caves and tunnels are quite interesting to visit. They were dug out by the British during the Napoleonic wars and to defend Gibraltar from a number of sieges. There were many more built during the Second World War, including an underground hospital. There are tours that you can go on to explore these.
And everyone has heard about the famous Apes. These are packs of wild apes (although many are used to seeing tourists staring at them!) that wonder the upper reaches of the Rock. There’s an Apes Den that you can go to visit to get a bit closer, although you need to always remember these are wild animals in their own habitat and you need to be cautious!
Gibraltar can be enjoyed on foot and by tours. There are rock tours all the way to the top of the Rock, and there are also tours by sea. These are amazing, and bring you close to local marine life including dolphin, sea turtles, sun fish, flying fish…there have even been fin whales spotted in the Strait recently!
Gibraltar has a really helpful tourist office, and you don’t have to be a tourist to use it! They provide loads of useful information, including maps showing the pathways around the Upper Rock if you’re feeling energetic!
That’s just a sampler. You can peel off the layers of Gibraltar little by little, and the best way to do it is to come and live here!
Living in Gibraltar is everything anyone of any age or background might want it to be. Gibraltar is a lively, vibrant, energetic city. It’s friendly and welcoming with a young outlook and a growing community of young professional people from all over the globe.
Gibraltar also has strong traditional values. It has a close-knit, family-orientated community. There is a sense of caring here, with lots of respect paid to older persons, both older Gibraltarians and those who want to retire to Gibraltar and enjoy the gentle, usually sunny weather. And for families with kids, you couldn’t want for more!
Gibraltar’s close community is caring towards its children and there are loads of sporting and leisure activities for kids to get involved in. Kids can take part in almost anything you can imagine: dancing, martial arts, arts and crafts, youth clubs, football and rugby, gymnastics, ice skating, acting and music…there’s too much to list! And of course, in the summer, we all head for one of Gibraltar’s beaches!
There are great schools here too, with an excellent education system based on the UK’s National Curriculum. Kids start their education from the age of three at government-run pre-schools and can move on to a range of schools, a college and its own university.
That strong sense of community means Gibraltar is one of Europe’s safest cities for children and young people.
Gibraltar’s health services are also superb. Medical and hospital services are available free to residents working in Gibraltar. There are also numerous private health care clinics, dental and orthodontal services, ophthalmologists, health therapy clinics…everything you would expect from a twenty-first century city.
We all know that Gibraltar is a small city, right? So, everything is within easy reach. And getting here is easy, so your family and friends can come visit whenever they want! Transport links are excellent, with bus and taxi services, an international cruise terminal, a number of marinas, and an international airport with direct links to UK cities. There are also good road links through the land border with Spain and driving here from the Costa del Sol is a breeze!
Of course there are pros and cons about living in Gibraltar. It is small, and because it’s busy, during weekdays it can be noisy. But there is something about Gibraltar that makes living here so pleasant. Like we tell all our friends: it’s great!
We are asked time and again: what’s it like, living in Gibraltar? And every time we find there is so much to say about the place and the lifestyle. But if we have to put it into one short reply, it would be: “It’s great!”