Europa Point

Mar 21st, 2013 | By | Category: Sightseeing

You’re apparently interested in visiting, or relocating to Gibraltar, or you’d not be here checking us out. To facilitate your visit to Gibraltar, there are a few places that stand out as areas that you just can’t miss on your trip.

Well for the visitor to Gibraltar, the one who wants to know more about the area, and the separations that exist there, you will probably like to know that there are five very distinct parts of Gibraltar, and that each of them has something wonderful to offer to the person who takes the time to visit those areas and sample their offerings.

The history of the area, more even than the attractions are part and parcel of what has made Gibraltar area what it is today. It’s the vast array of things which have taken place here, and the marks they’ve left on the area around them that will give you a reason to explore still deeper into the Gibraltar area, and to take in the sights and sounds and flavor that are Gibraltar.

Europa Point GibraltarGibraltar is more than history, more than sites to visit that offer landmarks and scenic vistas, its a flavor as well. An atmosphere if you will, a co-mingling of a wild past and an exciting future that will slowly pervade your senses as you walk the area.

Some of the areas of Gibraltar aren’t going to offer you quite as much in history, or quite as much in scenery as the other, and some people will advise you to skip those areas, in deference to others. The reality is that history isn’t all there there is to Gibraltar, and you do want to take in all that the area offers.

Each and every area will have something to see or do, and as such should not be missed by the visitor to Gibraltar, being full of other things such as breath taking scenery and amazing waterways.

The waterways near Europa Point themselves are the scene of much history and controversy, sailed by pirates and freighters alike, the scene of triumph and tragedy, of ship wrecks that have taken place in the treacherous waters just as recently as 2007 and 2008.

Natural wonders exist here such as the cliffs of Gibraltar and the awe inspiring bay of Catalan, both of which are located in the eastern portion of Gibraltar. When given the opportunity, take in all of Gibraltar’s sections, and you will in fact take it away with you when you return home.

Europa Point is in fact the best of the best of the natural attractions that can be viewed by the Gibraltar visitor for more than one reason.

Of course, the scenery is fantastic and the buildings are amazing and the local color is there, and the monkeys are a serious draw, but the trip itself, the actual getting to this most southern corner of Gibraltar is going to be more than half the fun of actually going.

A trip to Europa Point is very much like reaching out to the edges of the earth, or at least, the very edges of Gibraltar and the European continent and being able to turn back and view it all, and more.

During your trip to Europa Point you will have the opportunity to see the continent of Africa, the Rif Mountains of Morocco, the Strait of Gibraltar, multiple smaller Spanish towns and the awe inspiring shoreline of Gibraltar as the gentle breeze wafts its way across the landscape and the waves come ashore reminiscent of the rocking of a cradle.

The end of Rock of Gibraltar is a flat area that shows you the unimpeded views of North Africa, lying across the Strait of Gibraltar, and you will additionally view Ceuta and the Rif Mountains of Morocco.

Also you will see the lovely Bay of Gibraltar and the smaller and rustic Spanish towns along the shoreline.

Europa Point GibraltarTraveling around Gibraltar can be done multiple ways, or to Europa Point is easy enough to accomplish, and you can always find a bus to take you there, or a tour taxi, which will offer certain other amenities to the traveler, but probably the best way for those who want a self guided tour and to do things in their own way, at their own pace, will be the bus, which runs at intervals all day long.

Europa Point was at one point linked up with the Eastern aspects of the Rock, that included Sandy and Catalan Bays by what was called the Dudley Ward Tunnel, closed in 2002 for safety reasons after a rock fall fatality.

Today, although the way is a bit more convoluted to get you there, you’re going to see a little bit of everything along the way, and once you do arrive, you’ll find that the trip was well worth your time and trouble.
There are three buildings, in fact three prime things to see when you arrive at the point, those being the Ibrahim-al-Ibrahim Mosque, the Roman Catholic shrine of Our Lady of Europe, and a lighthouse.

The Lighthouse

One of the first things your eyes catch on will be the lighthouse, stately and looming out over the area, its red and white stripes visible for miles, its light viewable over an area of about 25 KM.

The Lighthouse at Europa Point was built between the years of 1838 and 1841, and is currently the southern most lighthouse that Trinity House is responsible for, as well as being the only lighthouse outside of the UK for which they claim responsibility.

The Lighthouse was commissioned by Governor Sir Alexander Woodford, and quite often when spoken of in the native Llanito, you will hear it referred to as La Farola. One interesting thing about the lighthouse is that the Gibraltar Amateur Radio operators transmit from the area around the lighthouse once annually.

Ibrahim-al-Ibrahim Mosque

Another of the interesting buildings of Europa Point is the mosque, which is also called the King Fahd bin Abdulaziz al-Saud Mosque,and has a third name, that being the Mosque of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques.

Situated at, and visible en route to Europa Point, the building itself took about two years to build and was reported to cost more than £ 5 million. Ibrahim-al-Ibrahim Mosque was a gift from King Fahd of Saudi Arabia and opened officially on 8 August 1997.

The mosque is more than a simple house of worship, but is also a complex which contains a school, library, and lecture hall.

Ibrahim-al-Ibrahim Mosque was built to serve the needs of the Muslims in the territory who are currently more than 2000 in number.

Europa Point Gibraltar

Additionally, when one arrives at Europa Point, you can very clearly view the fortresses of Windmill Hill and the batteries of the south ridges.

Aside from the scenic aspects of Europa, it does afford other attractions as well, not the least of which is the argument about whether or not it is one of the pillars, or is not.

Europa Point has been named as one of the two Pillars of Hercules, with the second being Jebel Musa, on the northern wing of Africa.

Scholars point out that this may not be entirely accurate as the first pillar is likely the land of Gibraltar itself, and the argument continues to this day. Our personal view point is, discrepancies aside, the area is rich in beauty and history, enough so that such small arguments don’t generally matter much once you arrive on the scene.

Europa Point and the surrounding area is a virtually limitless view of what seems to be half the earth, unopposed by anything at all, and on a particularly clear day you will see the landscape of the continent of Africa. Europa point is widely viewed as the closest point between the two vast continents of Europe and Africa.

Enjoy your holiday in Gibraltar, and while you are here, don’t you dare miss Europa Point.

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