Cruising around Gibraltar


Strategically important, Gibraltar was reluctantly ceded to Great Britain by Spain in the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht; the British garrison was formally declared a colony in 1830. In a referendum held in 1967, Gibraltarians voted overwhelmingly to remain a British dependency. Although the current 1969 Constitution for Gibraltar states that the British government will never allow the people of Gibraltar to pass under the sovereignty of another state against their freely and democratically expressed wishes, a series of talks were held by the UK and Spain between 1997 and 2002 on establishing temporary joint sovereignty over Gibraltar.

In response to these talks, the Gibraltarian Government set up a referendum in late 2002 in which a majority of the citizens voted overwhelmingly against any sharing of sovereignty with Spain. Since the referendum, tripartite talks have been held with Spain, UK, and Gibraltar.

Current Weather Report

Click for Gibraltar, Gibraltar Forecast


Location: Southwestern Europe, bordering the Strait of Gibraltar, which links the Mediterranean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, on the southern coast of Spain
Geographic coordinates: 36 8 N, 5 21 W
Map references: Europe
Area: total: 6.5 sq km


12 km

Maritime claims

Territorial sea: 3 nm


Mediterranean with mild winters and warm summers


A narrow coastal lowland borders the Rock of Gibraltar

Elevation extremes

Lowest point: Mediterranean Sea 0 m
Highest point: Rock of Gibraltar 426 m


Self-sufficient Gibraltar benefits from an extensive shipping trade, offshore banking, and its position as an international conference center. The British military presence has been sharply reduced and now contributes about 7% to the local economy, compared with 60% in 1984.

The financial sector, tourism (almost 5 million visitors in 1998), shipping services fees, and duties on consumer goods also generate revenue. The financial sector, the shipping sector, and tourism each contribute 25%-30% of GDP. Telecommunications accounts for another 10%. In recent years, Gibraltar has seen major structural change from a public to a private sector economy, but changes in government spending still have a major impact on the level of employment.


Airports: 1 (2005)
Airports - with paved runways: total: 1
Roadways: total: 29 km

Merchant marine

Total: 160 ships (1000 GRT or over) 1,110,970 GRT/1,386,556 DWT
By type: barge carrier 3, bulk carrier 1, cargo 102, chemical tanker 20, container 14, passenger 3, passenger/cargo 1, petroleum tanker 11, roll on/roll off 4, specialized tanker 1
Foreign-owned: 148 (Belgium 1, Finland 1, France 1, Germany 106, Greece 9, Iceland 1, Ireland 1, Italy 5, Latvia 2, Norway 9, Sweden 5, Taiwan 1, UK 4, US 2) (2005)

Ports and terminals


Other Sailing Destinations in the Region

Albania - Algeria - Bulgaria - Croatia - Cyprus - Egypt - France - Georgia - Gibraltar - Greece - Israel - Italy - Lebanon - Libya - Malta - Monaco - Morocco - Romania - Serbia and Montenegro - Slovenia - Spain - Syria - Tunisia - Turkey - Ukraine

Further Reading

Back to "vacations"