Top 10 things to do when visiting Gibraltar

1 - Sail around the Bay and perhaps anchor for a swim before lunch - The Bay was well known throughout history whether it be ancient Greek mythology or more recently as the landing place of Nelson’s body after the Battle of Trafalgar. Gibraltar Bay is sheltered from the East, West and North and there are several coves and modern marinas to explore. If you are an RYA student sailing with Jolly Parrot you will sail in the Bay at some time during your course.

2 - Visit the African Continent! - How many sailing schools can boast two continents and three countries all within a day’s sailing? We regularly cross the Straits to the Spanish Enclave of Ceuta on the Moroccan Coast, either during our sailing courses or on a yacht charter (normally at weekends). Crossing the infamous Straits is challenging for RYA Day Skipper students and requires a thorough understanding of tides, currents, sea conditions, navigation and course to steer calculations. Once there, there is plenty to see and lots of places to eat local cuisine in breathtaking surroundings.

3 - Visit some of the many exciting Atlantic and Mediterranean ports along the Spanish Coast. All have their own character and each has its challenges for the inexperienced yachtie. Stern-to or bow-to mooring is the norm in the Mediterranean and there is lots to practice both in Gibraltar and along the Spanish Coast.

4 - Enjoy a night out in one of the many vibrant marinas along the coast or in Gibraltar itself. The nightlife is good - just make sure you don’t overdo it - there is work to do the next morning!

5 - Visit the many miles of Siege Tunnels dug into the famous rock during the Napoleonic and Second World Wars. There are reportedly many more miles of tunnels in the rock than there are roads around it!

6 - Climb the Mediterranean Steps and take advantage of the amazing views of the Mediterranean and North Africa from it’s peak. If climbing the steps is a little too much like hard work, take the cable car to the viewing platform and then take your chances with the famous Barbary apes that reside on the Rock of Gibraltar!

7 - Visit Europa Point Lighthouse and the adjacent Mosque. Europa Point is one of the southernmost lighthouses in Europe and leads shipping out of the Mediterranean and into the great Atlantic Ocean. The Rock has had many influences over the years including occupation by the Moors in centuries past.

8 - Visit St Michael’s Cave and wonder at the stalactites - and mites. Remember ‘mites go up and tites come down’..

9 - Check out the Northern base of the Pillars of Hercules. Currently under renovation, the monument marks the location of the Northern Pillar of Hercules. Gibraltar and Ceuta (on the Moroccan Coast) were, according the Greek Legend, the two bases for the Great Pillars of Hercules that marked the edge of the known World and the entrance to the Western Mediterranean. Known as the edge of Purgatory by some legends, the Great unknown of the Atlantic Ocean lies beyond.

10 - If purgatory sounds a little less than inviting, perhaps stay closer to shore and spend a half day Dolphin Watching either on a formal tour or (if you are one of the Jolly Parrot’s RYA students) from the deck of your very own school yacht! Of course, we can’t guarantee you’ll see dolphins, but we normally see lots on at least one day of a five day course.