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Gibraltar: gateway to the Costa del Sol

If you are lucky enough to have been on a Mediterranean cruise, it is likely that you will have stopped off at Gibraltar for a spot of tax-free shopping (diamonds, cigarettes, high-end cosmetics…). And perhaps to look around, it is certainly an interesting place to visit.

Gibraltar Airport is such a joy of an airport to travel in and out of. The runway straddles the main road into this British Overseas Territory, as a consequence, there are not many flights a day resulting in a delightfully quiet airport where you can have a drink on the viewing platform overlooking the runway.  And is conveniently located to the western end of the Costa del Sol.  If you are holidaying in Marbella – or anywhere in this very popular-for-2nd-homes coastal area – I recommend you check it out.  It may be slightly further to travel from Gibraltar airport, but well worth it.

Gibraltar is a headland (not an island as is often supposed) on Spain’s south coast. It was first settled by the Moors in the Middle Ages and later ruled by Spain. The ‘Rock’, as Gibraltar is affectionally known, was ceded to the British in 1713. Layers of fortifications include the remains of a 14th-century Moorish Castle and the 18th century Great Siege Tunnels, which were expanded in WWII. There’s plenty to see and do in Gibraltar; you can ascend the Rock – via cable car – and take in the views from the top.  Beware of famous monkeys snatching you bag and munching any food you may have with you!  click here for fabulous virtual tour.

Gibraltar is a self-governing and enjoys a Mediterranean climate and a unique mix of cultural influences. English is the official language and the pound the official currency. And the local notaries are regulated in the same way all our MyNotary notaries in England and Wales are.

There is a thriving business community helped along by the favourable tax regime – more on this topic next month.