The Monkey Thieves at the Rock Of Gibraltar and Why You Should Visit Anyway


Rock of Gibraltar

The Rock of Gibraltar

Denise and Ray joined us on our annual Nomads4Life Cruise on the Norwegian Cruise Line Spirit ship. They chose to go to the Rock of Gibraltar for their Malaga, Spain excursion. If you’ve ever seen an old advertisement for Prudential Insurance (“get a piece of the rock”), then you’ve seen pictures of the Rock of Gibraltar. Seeing it up close is another thing, and we asked Denise and Ray their thoughts.

As an FYI, if you go to Gibraltar on a cruise, you will need to bring your passport even if you’re doing an excursion because it’s a British Territory in Spain’s south coast.

Denise and Ray at Rock of GibraltarHere’s what Denise had to say about their visit.  They clearly enjoyed it even though Denise had her souvenirs stolen by a monkey in the nature preserve.  monkey at the Rock of Gibraltar

1) How many countries had you visited before Gibraltar?

Somewhere in the twenties

2)  Why visit Gibraltar? How would you describe it to someone who’s considering visiting? 

Because it’s the Rock of Gibraltar! It’s legendary and historic. It’s awesomely majestic.

3) How long did it take to arrive?

1.5-hour drive from Malaga but you have to cross a border and go through customs as Gibraltar is a territory of the UK, which I did not realize. Gibraltar is bordered by Cadiz province in Southern Spain

4) Is it worth the visit?

Gibraltar is worth a visit. It has very pretty, quaint villages and restaurants, wonderful tax-free shopping, and golden sand beaches. People actually live there and there is a lot of construction going on. They even have an airport.

view of the Rock of Gibraltar Flags at the Rock of Gibraltar
5) What should people see if they only have a short time like you did on a cruise excursion?

When you visit, definitely take the cable car up to the nature preserve to see the Gibraltar monkeys– which technically are a type of ape. They are cute as they are clever and cunning. Hold tight to your bags and snacks as they will watch you carefully, catch you off guard and rob you before you even have a moment to react. They are very quick and have realized that unsuspecting visitors are often good targets for their chicanery- especially since those visitors often have food but are prohibited from feeding the monkeys (£4000 pound fine!)

Gibraltar also has a long history of glassmaking so definitely check out the glass factory and watch a live example of traditional glass blowing. You can also buy /design glass products which they will ship directly home to you via DHL. British shops such as Marks and Spencer’s and Debenham’s coexist with smaller boutique establishments to create a quaint yet sophisticated atmosphere. Also definitely check out the changing of the guard at the governor’s residence. It’s a small ceremony but still neat to observe.


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  1. The Rock of Gibraltar is legendary and I guess one of the places that occupies a place of honour in the English language as a phrase that is akin to Rome(Rome was not built in a day, etc., etc.,) Would love to get there some day. Of course monkey business happens everywhere!

  2. I’ve been curious about visiting Gibraltar for ages. I’ve heard that those monkeys were cheeky but I didn’t realize there was such a huge fine for feeding them. Looks like a wonderful way to spend a day going up a cable car and touring this small British enclave. And now I know that the rock in the insurance ads was this one!

  3. Ahh those monkeys! A 4000 pound fine sure is hefty. In Malaysia in the Batu Caves, they have these monkeys that are notorious for stealing things, especially food. So now we know not to bring any as they just wreck havoc. I find glassmaking aboslutely fascinating so I rekcon I’d love this. Would love to visit Gibraltar one day!

  4. Haha.. i have been to uncountable number of tourist places in india with monkeys and they behave the same way. Infact i am surprised and suspicious when monkeys don’t try to rob or steal. This is the first time I heard about Gibraltar and it looks totally awesome. Great fun interview

  5. Those cheeky monkeys. We tried to get there last year when we were in Malaga but just did not make it. Can’t wait to actually visit next time when we are in Spain.

  6. Ohh haha, I love these situations, they can be more memorable than the view! 🙂 I once had a few chasing me down a hill, it was definitely an experience! Also, Gibraltar has such a beautiful view!

  7. We spent five nights in Gibraltar last year taking care of a cat. It was fun hiking around the rock, we cheated too and went up by cable car. Loved the monkeys but some were a bit aggressive. Didn’t know about the glass making, would have liked to have seen that!

  8. It’s so interesting that’s its a territory of the UK. I always assumed it was a part of Spain! It sounds like a really interesting and unique place to visit.

  9. Yes, I saw that commercial. This is so cool to see this up close. I would have to agree that it’s legendary and awesomely majestic.

    Happy to know that its worth the visit. The tax-free shopping is also one good reason to visit.