When visiting Gibraltar, we planned our days as follows: Day 1 – The Upper Rock Nature Reserve; Day 2 – Old Town and Ocean Village (including dolphin watching boatride); Day 3 – Europa Point and Town area. We’ve already posted about Days 1 and 2, so today I’m going to tell you about our visit to Europa Point.
What’s Special about Europa Point?
Europa Point is the southern-most point of Gibraltar. Here you can look across the strait to Africa (on a clear day), and this is where the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea collide.
It’s a flat area that has several standout features, which includes a beautiful lighthouse, an impressive mosque, a large Christian chapel, an underground water store and (as is common throughout Gibraltar) cannons and fortifications. As well as a large car park, there’s a substantial children’s play area and a café.
How to get there
We took local transport, catching the number 2 bus from the town centre. Gibraltar isn’t very big, so it doesn’t take long to get anywhere. Europa Point is a bit of a trek if you wanted to walk though. The bus took about 10 minutes. If you have your own/hired transport, as mentioned already there’s plenty of places to park.
What is there to see?
Trinity Lighthouse at Europa Point
We wanted to visit Europa Point to see the lighthouse, and it didn’t disappoint.
Trinity Lighthouse at Europa Point has a typical red and white striped tower. It is 20 metres tall but 49 metres above sea level. Its beacon flashes every 10 seconds. It was built in 1841 and is operated by Trinity House, based in England. The lighthouse was fully automated in 1994. It is stunning!
This mosque is the only purpose-built mosque in Gibraltar. It was opened in 1997 at a cost of £5 million. It also contains a school, library and lecture hall and caters to Gibraltar’s 1000-strong Muslim community.
The mosque, also known as King Fahd bin Abdulaziz al-Saud Mosque or the Mosque of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, was a gift from King Fahd of Saudi Arabia.
The Shrine of Our Lady of Europe
This Roman Catholic parish church has a long history that includes several attacks and a considerable time spent in military hands. It was a storage facility during World War II but handed back to the church in 1961. It was then restored. The chapel is home to the Statue of Our Lady.
Harding’s Battery at Europa Point (which used to be known as Harding’s Point) was named after Sir George Harding, who was Chief Engineer to Gibraltar in 1844. After being abandoned, the Battery was restored in March 2010 and the magazine was converted into a visitor centre with displays about local history. The £4.4 million restoration work on Europa Point was officially re-opened in October 2011 by Gibraltar First minister Peter Caruana.
The Sikorski Memorial at Europa Point honours the 1943 Gibraltar B-24 air crash of July 1943. In this incident General Władysław Sikorski, Commander-in-Chief of the Polish Army and Prime Minister of the Polish government in exile, along with fifteen other people were killed. There have been two earlier memorials but to give more space for ceremonies the new memorial was rebuilt at Europa Point in 2013 using sandstone from Poland.
It is located between Europa Point Lighthouse and Harding’s Battery.
The Europa Point Express Café
Perfectly located in the centre of Europa Point is the café … right next to the children’s play area, and there was a lot of seating and tables too ? Next to the play area was an ice-cream van. Ice cream and slushies were the children’s preferred treat, while we had a coffee.
The café serves a range of hot and cold drinks, along with sandwiches and made to order food. It was very popular, but with lunch planned back in the town we stuck to just coffee.
Europa Point is a lovely visit, on a clear-weather day so you can take in the view across the Strait to Africa. The children can play in the playground, while you sit drinking coffee! You can watch the endless cargo ships sail into view – and out of view again! This is a great place to do some sea-bird watching too. There are lots of display boards around telling you what to look out for. We enjoyed our short visit – it was well worth the bus ride x