Gibraltar Upper Rock Tips

If you are planning a trip to Gibraltar and intend to visit the Upper Rock there are several ways of doing this and you should understand these fully to get the best from your trip. The Upper Rock is a pay to enter area with a number of indoor attractions such as St. Michael’s Cave, Great Siege Tunnels, Moorish Castle etc.

Upper Rock tips by Jim Crone

Back to Upper Rock attractions and descriptions

I have spent many years walking, driving and using the cable car to get around Gibraltar’s Upper Rock Nature Reserve. I have chatted to countless tourists during my treks and have learnt that most tourists are aware of what there is to see, but poor planning causes their sightseeing to miss out on many things which make the Upper Rock fascinating and unique.

Most of you will fall into one of the following three categories. The information that follows should help you get around a little better. Please read all of the categories to fully understand the situation.

1. Day-tripper without car.
2. Longer stay tourist without car.
3. Tourist with car.
4. Any of the above but enjoy walking specifically.

I should mention at this point that I have no vested interest in any tourist related businesses and the following advice is based on my personal experience over many years.

Day-tripper without car

If you wish to see as much as possible during a single day then you should use either the Cable Car or Taxi Tour.

Gibraltar Taxi Tours
These provide the easiest way to see all of the Upper Rocks attractions. They depart from many points throughout Gibraltar. Many tourists are put off because the drivers tout for business and they think it is going to be too expensive and choose the Cable Car instead. This is thankfully not the case. The cost of a taxi tour has two elements, the first is based on a minimum of four adults at a cost per adult, the second is the addition of the Nature Reserve Entry Fee for each adult. It all works out at approximately the same price as a Full Price cable car ticket per adult based on a minimum of four. The drivers provide a good overview of Gibraltar’s history during the trip. The main problem with the Cable Car is the fact that a considerable amount of walking is required to visit all attractions, most tourists fail to visit all them, particularly during the high summer temperatures. For prices and further information please visit Taxi Tour website.

www.gibtaxi.com

Gibraltar Cable Car
This provides a thrilling way to get to the top. There is a range of ticket options, please be careful as you could spend a lot of money part of which may be wasted because you do not manage to visit all of the attractions.

All tickets include an Audio Tour via a personal headset which is issued at the Top Station. This provides extensive information about Gibraltar. The commentary is available in eight languages: English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Swedish, Portuguese and Hebrew. The headset must be handed back before leaving the Top Station.

The top cable car station divides the Upper Rock in half due its location. Almost all cable car users leave the Top Station and walk southward to visit St. Michael’s Cave after which they proceed to the Apes Den adjacent to the middle cable car station from which they return to town. They will have missed the attractions at the north end of the Rock such as the Great Siege Tunnels, WW2 Tunnels and Moorish Castle. If you intend to see all of the Upper Rock attractions there will be a great deal of walking involved, very few people achieve this, particularly during high summer temperatures, this means most tourists unwittingly waste part of their ticket value.

Visit the Cabel Car official website for ticket prices

Please note that the famous semi wild Rock Apes can be seen at the Top Station. Before leaving the cable car make sure all of your bags are secure, the monkeys will snatch bags in the hope that they contain food or sweets. Look and enjoy, but DO NOT FEED.

Longer stay tourist without car

If you are a longer stay tourist without a car you should devote a couple of days to experiencing the Upper Rock Nature Reserve. Please read the section above to understand the nature of taxi tours and the cable car.

If there are several of you, and you are all fit and enjoy walking and exploring then my advice is to see the indoor attractions by using a taxi tour on one day and then use the cable car on a subsequent day for a walking experience. Travel to the top with the cheapest cable car ticket which is a SINGLE WITHOUT ATTRACTIONS after which you will have loads of energy left for exploring. If you are on your own then you will have to consider your options a little more carefully because Taxi Tours are based on a minimum of 4 people, you might be able to share.

Tourist with car

Please read the sections above to understand the nature of taxi tours and the cable car.

If you decide to take a car up the Rock you will pay for access to the Nature Reserve (per person plus car charge), you will not be able to travel to some of the places which taxi tours have access to, such as the highest point. I strongly advise you not to take a car up the Rock. Many who do, get lost in the one-way system or get caught in minor traffic jams and see only a few of the attractions and understand little of what they are looking at.

Walking up the Rock

Please read the sections above to understand the nature of taxi tours and the cable car.

Walking up the Rock from town is only for the serious walker. Some gradients are steep and some of the interesting places like Mediterranean Steps are mountain terrain where appropriate footwear is necessary. Mediterranean Steps should only be attempted by those with mountain trekking skills.

You can walk to the Nature Reserve either via the main entrance at Jews Gate or via the Moorish Castle or via the old public footpath from town arriving at Devils Gap Battery, and continuing onward to the Apes Den, St. Michael’s Cave and upwards to the top.

The Upper Rock Nature Reserve has a number of paths and tracks which are only accessible by walkers. Mediterranean Steps is Gibraltar’s most noteworthy mountain path.

1. Public footpath from town
2. Charles V Wall is discussed in 1 above.
3. Douglas Path
4. Mediterranean Steps
5. Royal Anglian Way

All of the above are discussed further in the Upper Rock section of this website.

UPPER ROCK NATURE RESERVE ADMISSION FEES

Includes St Michael’s Cave, City Under Siege Exhibition, Moorish Castle, Great Siege Tunnels

Open Daily 9:30 – 19:00 (Extended during summer)

Adults £8.00
Children £4.00

£1.50 for each private vehicle.

£0.50 for each person not visiting any indoor tourist site but simply walking in the area of the Upper Rock.

Where a person pays £0.50 for entry as a walker and subsequently wishes to visit an indoor tourist site, the admission fee shall be £7.50 for an adult and £3.00 for each child.

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