Reservations 877·97·CRAFT  (877·972·7238)

Gibraltar, British Territory

Gibraltar, part of the British Overseas Territory, was formally ceded to Great Britain as part of the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713, which ended a European war over Spanish succession. A 2.6 square mile territory, Gibraltar, known as "the Rock" for its massive 1,400-foot high Jurassic-era limestone promontory, is situated at the southern end of the European continent on the Iberian peninsula and connected to mainland Spain by a narrow isthmus. Europa Point looks out over the Strait of Gibraltar and is a mere 12 miles from North Africa. Its strategic location has made it a prized outpost by seafaring nations.  Claimed over time by the Phoenicians, the Greeks, the Romans, and others, Gibraltar was settled by Arabs under Tarek ibn Ziyad in the 8th century. The name "Gibraltar" derives from a Spanish derivation of Arabic words for "mountain" and "Tariq." Since Gibraltar became an Overseas Territory, Britain has had to defend its rule, notably during the Great Siege (1779-1783) during which time numerous tunnels were constructed to safeguard Gibraltar. Many years later those tunnels allowed the Allies in WWII to protect Gibraltar and ensure critical naval access to and from the Mediterranean.


Today, economically thriving Gibraltar is called a "bit of Britain in the Mediterranean."  A source of occasional friction with Spain, which would like to share control, Gibraltar's residents have twice in referenda overwhelmingly stated a preference to remain under British control. In addition to English and Spanish, locals sometimes speak Llanto (Yanto), a Spanish-English hybrid that also incorporates words from Arabic and other languages.