For those going on semi-private tours in Gibraltar there are few Gibraltar attractions more panoramic than Europa Point. From below the lighthouse and our own minaret we can look at where a whole history of civilisations clashed and warred for control of the Mediterranean.
The Ibriham-al-Ibrahim mosque at the site, a £5million gift from King Fahd of Saudi Arabia, is testament to 700 years of Moorish rule in the whole area. But this empire which spread until southern France and Portugal was not the only one that passed through the area.
Much before that, the Phoenicians and ancient Greeks traded under the shadow of the Rock of Gibraltar. Their tradition led the Romans to name the Rock and Jbel Musa the two pillars of Hercules, marking the entrance to the Mediterranean a majestic site.
And how was the Rock formed, you might ask. Well, five million years back, long before you could take Gibraltar Rock tours, a huge waterfall opened between Jbel Musa and the Rock of Gibraltar. The Atlantic flowed into the Mediterranean desert for 100 years, forming the Straits of Gibraltar.
While this view fills the panorama, to the left and right we can see the two Spanish settlements of Algeciras and Ceuta. The port on the Spanish mainland is one of the biggest in Europe, while Ceuta on the African mainland is one of two Spanish exclaves on the African continent.
Impossible to miss is the Gibraltar Trinity Lighthouse, erected in 1841 around 49 metres above the sea level. Although it was once manned by personnel who lived below the red and white painted circular building, it is now fully automated and can shine its light 37km out to sea.
Alongside the lighthouse, Gorham’s Cave is now a UNESCO world heritage site after the Gibraltar skull was found here. It contains the first recorded painting by Neanderthals 37,000 before the Common Era and is in continual excavation under the watchful eye of the UN.
Recently, a university was added to the Gibraltar attractions in the area too, making it a centre for learning as well as leisure. It reflects well the multiple inferences that converge on this point to make it a central pillar for all Gibraltar private tours while giving you a 180 degree view to remember.