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Gibraltar is situated at the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula. It is recognised historically as the southernmost point of Europe and is also strategically positioned at the western end of the Mediterranean, forming one of the ancient Pillars of Hercules. The nearby countries are Spain to the north and Morocco (North Africa) to the south, on the other side of the strait 24 kilometres (15 miles) away. The Rock is mainly Jurassic Limestone some 200 million years old.
Latitude 36 7’ North, longitude 5 21’ West.
Height: 426m (1400ft) - highest point is at O’Hara’s Battery.
Length: 5 km (3.10 miles) approx.
Area: 6.55sq km (4 sq miles) approx.
Circumference Length: 16 km (10 miles) approx.
Average width: 1.25 km (1 mile) approx.
The climate of Gibraltar is considerably affected by local topography and the proximity of the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean. Because of its location, on the edge of Europe, close to Africa and as guardian of the strait, linking the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, Gibraltar is at a place of meteorological extremes.
Gibraltar's weather is governed by winds that blow through the strait from easterly or westerly directions. In summer, the mainly dry season, the wind from the east or ‘levante’ brings warm and humid conditions and generates a rather persistent 'Rock top' cloud that hangs over the city area. Sea fog is not uncommon on these occasions. The westerly wind, however, brings hot, clear and mostly dry weather. Summer is dry and warm with an average of 10.5 hours of sunshine per day.
The summer drought frequently lasts 90 consecutive days. The temperature in summer ranges from 27 - 34°C. Winter in Gibraltar can be a mixture of mild, wet and cool weather. On average only 30% of days are classified as 'wet', although rainfall amounts can be variable in the extreme. The temperature in winter ranges from 10 -18°C.
The official language is English and all residents follow the British education curriculum, sitting their GSCE's and A'Levels as they would in mainland UK. However, Spanish is widely spoken, in fact it is the unusual unofficial ‘dialect’ call ‘Yanito’, a mixture of English, Spanish and some Italian words, which is frequently spoken among the locals.
To some outsiders who only speak either English or Spanish, 'Yanito' may sound vaguely familiar, as speakers appear to switch languages in mid-sentence. One feature of the language is the pronunciation of English words with a Spanish intonation. All Gibraltarians, also speak standard Spanish when conversing with Spanish speakers.
It seems that, in the first decades of the 19th century, 'Yanito' was full of Genoese words, later substituted mainly by Spanish and some English words. There has been a Jewish community in Gibraltar for many years and this has resulted in a significant Jewish influence on the language.
The first bank notes issued in Gibraltar date back to 1914 and the legal tender in Gibraltar is Gibraltar Government Sterling notes and coinage, although United Kingdom sterling notes and coinage are equally welcome. Sterling is always considered at par with local tender. Credit cards and Euros are widely accepted.
However, should you wish to exchange your foreign currency there are plenty of banks and Bureaux de Change that will charge no commission on the exchange of bank notes. Although most places will generally offer the same exchange rate, if you are changing significant amounts it is advisable to search for the cheapest rate going. It is also recommended that when paying in a foreign currency at a private business that you ask at what rate you will be charged.
USEFUL TELEPHONE NUMBERS:
EMERGENCY ONLY 199
EMERGENCY ONLY (Mobiles) 122
Fire and Ambulance 190
Local Directory Enquiries 11811
International Directory Enquiries 11888
Royal Gibraltar Police (non emergency) +350 200 72500
Fire Department (non emergency) +350 200 79507
Ambulance Service (non emergency) +350 200 77390
St Bernard's Hospital +350 200 79700
Primary Care Centre +350 200 72355
Museum +350 200 74805
Taxi +350 200 70027
Cable Car bottom station +350 200 12765
Gibraltar Customs Department +350 200 78879
Airport enquiries +350 200 12345
Clamp towaway +350 200 76999
Customs enquiries +350 200 78879
Gibraltar Veternary Clinic +350 200 77334
Passport Office +350 200 76945
Post Office +350 200 75624
Births, Marriages and Deaths +350 200 72289
Companies and trademarks +350 200 78193
Civil Status, Passports, Visas +350 200 71543
TOURIST INFORMATION OFFICES
GIBRALTAR HERITAGE TRUST
The Main Guard, 13 John Mackintosh Square
Tel: +350 200 45000 / +350 200 74950
Mon-Fri: 09:00 – 16:30
Sat: 09:30 – 15:30
Sun: 10:00 – 13:00
Public holidays: 10:00 – 13:00
FRONTIER INFORMATION OFFICE
Customs Building, Winston Churchill Avenue
Tel: +350 200 50762
Mon-Fri: 09:00 – 16:30
Sat, Sun & public holidays: Closed
North Mole, Gibraltar
Tel: +350 200 47071
Opening times: When vessel is in port, see monthly schedule on http://gibraltarport.com/schedules
*Information courtesy of Gibraltar Tourist Board*
BANK & PUBLIC HOLIDAYS:
New Year's Day - Monday 1st January
Commonwealth Day - Mon 12th March
Good Friday - Friday 30th March
Easter Monday - Monday 2nd April
Workers Memorial Day - Mon 30th April
May Day - Tuesday 1st May
Spring Bank Holiday - Mon 28th May
Queen's Birthday - Monday 11th June
Late Summer Bank Holiday - Monday 27th August
Gibraltar National Day - Monday 10th September
Christmas Day - Tue 25th December
Boxing Day - Wed 26th December
Guide to the
Rock of Gibraltar
"All good things come in little packages"
- Tito Vallejo
In the Mighty Rock
- Edward Macquisten
(Chief Executive, Chamber of Commerce)
Free City Tours
"The concept of a city tour where there is no set charge and tourists show their appreciation by leaving a tip is becoming increasingly popular across Europe and beyond. An increase in budget-conscious travel, a growth of savvy operators, and the ease of word-of-mouth internet marketing is helping drive the trend."
- The Guardian