It may be small but Gibraltar is packed with interesting places to visit and things to do, and its climate in the summer is lovely, often cooled by sea breezes while southern Spain is sweltering in the heat. It is definitely an inviting place to be outdoors by day or at night, and its unique location between Spain and Africa means there are impressive views, no matter which way you look.
Music plays an important role in Gibraltar’s entertainment programme all through the year, and the variety of concerts and events means there is something to please all tastes. The Summer Nights festival, for example, is planned as something the whole family can enjoy together; the activities will take place between 13 July and 12 August in venues such as Chatham Counterguard, Governor’s Parade, John Mackintosh Square, Casemates Square and Ocean Village. Visitors and residents can look forward to evenings filled with music, dance, singing and loads of fun for the younger family members, including bouncy castles and face painting, between 8 and 11.30pm.
For those keen on international DJ sessions, the Dazed & Confused music festival will be taking place in the Outdoor Area of the Victoria Stadium from 2 till 11pm on 15 July. Tickets cost from £20 to £25 and further information can be found on the Facebook page dazedandconfusedmusic.
Modern music lovers should also put 29 July in their diary, as that is the day the Festival of Colours takes place at the Europa Point Cricket Pitch, from 2pm onwards. This year’s event will include a new Underground Stage as well as the Main Stage. Some 2,600 people attended last year, and the organisers are promising that this year will be even bigger and better. Those attending must be aged 16 or over.
August kicks off with the Gibraltar Electronic Music Festival at the Muga Sports Complex/Victoria Stadium on 5th, but those who are excited by powerful motorbikes should also note that the Harley Davidson Rally will be taking place on the same day. The bikes will gather in Casemates Square between 10am and 1.30pm, and after an address by chief minister Fabian Picardo they will take off on the Gibraltar Rock Ride at 2pm. At 2.40pm, a concert is due to take place at Lathbury Barracks retrenchment block.
All the fun of the annual Gibraltar Fair can be enjoyed between 19 and 27 August, with fairground attractions, food stalls and live music between 8.30pm and midnight.
In Gibraltar the summer continues well into September, and nobody will want to miss the biggest live music event of all on 2nd and 3rd: the Gibraltar Music Festival, which is now called MTV presents Gibraltar Calling. Some major artists will be performing and people travel from considerable distances to see their favourites in concert. For further information about the line-up and ticket prices, visit www.gibraltarcalling.com
Of course, some people prefer to spend their time in Gibraltar visiting the places of interest and there are certainly plenty of those.
Tunnels and caves
Nobody should leave without seeing the famous Barbary macaques, the Great Siege tunnels, St Michael’s cave, Europa Point, the Moorish castle, the Trafalgar cemetery, the King’s Chapel, to name just a few.
It is easy to take a reasonably-priced taxi tour of the main sites, and there are also boat trips to see the Gorham’s Cave complex, which became a World Heritage Site last year, from the sea.
Gibraltar’s beaches are small and tend to be crowded in the summer, but there are public and hotel swimming pools which are ideal for cooling off, especially after a few hours enjoying something else at which Gibraltar excels: shopping. Main Street is definitely a place to shop until you drop, but don’t worry - when you do, there are some very good bars and restaurants in which to recover.