THE ENTRANCE TO THE NATURE RESERVE IS THE PLACE TO START, IF YOU FEEL LIKE A WALK AROUND THE SOUTHERN AND EASTERN SIDE OF GIBRALTAR. THE VIEWS ARE FANTASTIC, BUT IT IS NOT FOR THE FAINT HEARTED!
“And Her Britannic Majesty, at the request of the Catholic King, does consent and agree, that no leave shall be given under any pretence whatsoever, either to Jews or Moors, to reside or have their dwellings in the said town of Gibraltar”
(Article X – Treaty of Utrecht 1713)
Under the rules of the above-mentioned article Gibraltar had a problem, what to do with a fairly sizeable Jewish population? The area ‘Jew’s Gate’ is thus named because of the old Jewish cemetery dating back to the 1700’s. The cemetery was placed here specifically away from the prying eyes of any Spanish visitors, so the article was never seen to be broken. The last burial there was in the 1860’s but the cemetery is beautifully maintained to this day. It is now the official entrance into the Nature Reserve through which taxi’s and buses must pass.
Next to this is the entrance to the Mediterranean steps, roughly an hour long and strenuous walk through the fauna of Gibraltar that stretches all around the southern end of the Rock snaking upwards towards O’Hara’s battery. By the end of this walk you will have seen examples of the wild flowers unique to Gibraltar such as Candytuft, Thyme, Chickweed, Campion and Saxifrage. The views of the south and along the eastern side are worth the effort. As the name implies there are a lot of steep steps so if you intend to tackle it in the summer take a floppy hat, sturdy shoes or trainers and plenty of drinking water.
A Walkers Ticket (NB available and valid until 31st March 2020) or Nature Reserve ticket is required to access the Med Steps.