You only have to look at any photo of the west face of the Rock and you will notice that the upper half of the rock is mostly green. It is this upper part of the Rock that has been designated the upper rock ‘Nature Reserve.’ In order to enter you must first pay an entrance fee.
There are three ways to enter the Reserve.
- Jews Gate
- Moorish Castle
- Cable Car
See below, ‘How to get there’ for more details
Should you buy a Cable Car ticket and a Walkers Ticket you are free to roam the Upper Rock accessing the Skywalk, Windsor Suspension Bridge and varuious footpaths. However you will not be allowed access to any of the attractions e.g. St Michael’s Cave which are found within the Nature Reserve. You will be required to Nature Reserve Tickets. These can be purchased at the Cable Car and at the Gibraltarinfo kiosk on the Spanish side of the frontier. However please be aware that the tickets issued at the kiosk are vouchers only and will need to be redeemed at the Cable Car ticket office.
If you do purchase your tickets via this website or from the GibraltarInfo Kiosk located on the Spanish side of the frontier, you will be entitled to use the FREE shuttle service to and from the frontier to the Cable Car.
So, what does your money entitle you to?
The Nature Reserve is a protected area and where you will find some of Gibraltar’s most important historical sites. These include: St Michael’s Cave, Great Siege Tunnels, City Under Siege Exhibition, Moorish Castle, Apes Den, Mediterranean Steps, World War II Tunnels and the old Jewish Cemetery.
Now, this is where it starts getting complicated so please bear with me! In order to gain entrance into St Michael’s Cave, Great Siege Tunnels, City Under Siege Exhibition, O’Hara’s Battery, Skywalk, Windsor Suspension Bridge, Footpaths including Mediterranean Steps and Moorish Castle you must first purchase a Nature Reserve Ticket. This ticket will also gain you entrance into the impressive 100 Ton Gun which is located outside the Nature Reserve. (I warned you it would get complicated!!) Should you wish to visit the Skywalk, Windsor Suspension Bridge, O’Hara’s, Footpaths and Apes Den only you are required to purchase a Walkers Ticket.
Now, to really complicate things if you want to visit the World War II Tunnels (the entrance to which is located inside the Nature Reserve boundaries) you will need to purchase not only a Nature Reserve ticket but also a separate ticket for the tunnels themselves. Reservations are recommended by contacting mailto:email@example.com or tel:+350 200 71633
Gibraltar is a small place and you can walk or catch the bus to most places plus traffic is an issue. For this and other reasons we recommend that you leave your car on the Spanish side of the border and use the public transport. The easiest way to access the Nature Reserve is via the Cable Car. The Cable Car operates a continuous shuttle to the Top of the Rock every 10 to 15 minutes and it only takes approximately 6 minutes to reach the top.
Should you choose to wander around the Upper Rock Nature Reserve on foot you will be rewarded not only by the spectacular views but the abundance of flora and fauna. Gibraltar is home to a wealth of plant life – palms and jacaranda, lavender and jasmine, clematis, honeysuckle, geraniums and bougainvillea live side by side with many rarer species including two, Gibraltar Candytuft and Gibraltar Sea Lavender, named after the Rock itself. You will find many of these up the Rock. Look out for the information boards dotted around which will help you to know what to look out for.
Gibraltar is also a well known and popular bird look out. It is a key migration point and keen bird watchers return year after year to the rock in the hope of spotting the myriad of bird life that use the Strait of Gibraltar as their crossing point to and from north Africa. Gibraltar Ornithological & Natural History Society are the people to contact if you need more information on anything to do with the environment, plants and wildlife. They can be contacted through their website: www.gonhs.org
Summer: 0930 – 1915 hrs, last entry being 1845Hrs. The only exception will be the 100Ton Gun which will be opened from 0930 – 1845Hrs, last entry being 1815Hrs.
Winter: 0900 – 1815Hrs, with last entry being 1745Hrs
How to get there:
St Michael’s Cave is located with in the Upper Rock Nature Reserve therefore to enter into St Michael’s Cave you must first purchase a ticket for the Nature Reserve which will also gain you entrance into other sites. This can be purchased with your Cable Car ticket. For the more independently minded we recommend you travel to the Top Station via the Cable Car then walk the 0.8km down hill to St Michael’s Cave, please note you will need a Walkers Ticket. Once you have finished your visit into the cave you can then walk another 0.9km down hill to the Ape’s Den from where you can catch the Cable Car back down to the base station which is just a 5 minute walk from the shops of Main Street. However please be advised that the Cable Car will not stop at the middle station between the months of April to October inclusive.