Gibraltar is a British overseas territory located on the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula at the entrance of the Mediterranean, overlooking the Strait of Gibraltar. The territory itself is a peninsula whose isthmus connects to the north with Spain. The Rock of Gibraltar is the major landmark of the area and gives its name to the densely populated town.
The Rock of Gibraltar is a popular tourist attraction. Most of The Rock's upper area is covered by a nature reserve. Gibraltar is also a popular shopping destination, and all goods and services are VAT free. At the Gibraltar Museum, there’s a replica of the Gibraltar Skull - the first Neanderthal skull found in Europe - and caveman tools and ornaments excavated from the Rock’s caves. There are also exhibits from the Phoenician, Greek, Roman, Moorish, Spanish and British periods of the Rock’s history, a comprehensive collection of prints and lithographs, and a large-scale model of the Rock made in 1865. The Marina Quay and Queensway Quay provide the opportunity to sample seafood in waterfront restaurants. St Michael’s Cave is situated 1,000 feet above sea level, and was known to the Romans for its stalactites and stalagmites. It is part of a complex series of interlinked caves, including Leonora’s Cave and Lower St Michael’s Cave. Today, it is used for concerts and ballet. The Upper Galleries, hewn by hand from the Rock in 1782, house old cannons and tableaux evoking the Great Siege (1779-1783).
The cuisine of Gibraltar is the result of the rich diversity of civilizations that held The Rock during its history; from the Berbers of North Africa to the Andalusians and British. The culinary influences include those from Malta, Genoa, Portugal and Andalusia. This marriage of tastes has given Gibraltar an eclectic mix of Arabic, Mediterranean and British cuisines. Calentita, a baked bread-like dish made with chickpea flour, water, olive oil, salt and pepper, is considered Gibraltar's national dish.
Within Gibraltar, the main form of transport is the car. Motorbikes are also very popular and there is a good modern bus service. Unlike in other British territories, traffic drives on the right, as the territory shares a land border with Spain. There’s a cable car which runs from ground level to the top of The Rock, with an intermediate station at Apes’ Den. Gibraltar maintains regular flight connections to London and Manchester. Gibraltar Airport is unusual not only due to its proximity to the city center resulting in the airport terminal being within walking distance of much of Gibraltar but also because the runway intersects Winston Churchill Avenue, the main north-south street, requiring movable barricades to close when aircraft land or depart. The most popular alternative airport for Gibraltar is Málaga Airport in Spain, 75 miles to the east, which offers a wide range of destinations, second to Jerez Airport which is however, closer to Gibraltar. Gibraltar receives a large number of visits from cruise ships.
Gibraltar's climate is Mediterranean/Subtropical with mild winters and warm summers. There are two main prevailing winds, an easterly one known as the Levante coming from the Sahara in Africa which brings humid weather and warmer sea and the other is Poniente, which is westerly and brings fresher air and colder sea. Rain occurs mainly in winter, with summers being generally dry.