It is often called the California of Europe because of its outlying geographical location and because the people who live here have a relatively high income rate. Along with Monaco and Vatican City, Gibraltar is one of the three smallest territories in Europe.
The Rock and the city of Gibraltor, which the strait is named after, lie on a narrow peninsula on the shores of Europe, at the entrance to the strait. To the west, the strait opens out onto the Gulf of Cadiz which then opens onto the Atlantic Ocean.
Rising 426m, the Rock of Gibraltar is the highest point on the territory. It is also a natural reserve home to the famous Barbary macaque, the only wild monkey in Europe.
Dominated by the huge Rock of Gibraltar, the Gibraltar peninsula has two sides to it. While the west of this territory, home to the Port of Gibraltar, is urbanised, the east is more natural and wild. Though the coast is for the most part rocky and steep, there are a number of beaches that have been reworked to make them accommodating. These are situated on the east and south-west coasts, close to the Europa Point.
Facing the Port of Algeciras, the city of Gibraltar is made up of two distinct parts, the old town, huddled at the foot of the rock, and the newer part of the city, where groups of ugly buildings serve as a backdrop to the port below.
Gibraltar's culture is a reflection of its people: diverse. The people here are of all different origins (most notably from England and Spain), which contributes to the unique culture of this region where northern and southern Europe come together on the same territory. In addition to the British and Spanish influences you can add those from Genoa, Malta and Portugal.
Christianity was the base that brought all of these people together. After the 19th century, a Jewish community settled in Gibraltar, soon followed by an Indian (Hindu) and Moroccan (Islam) community.
This melting pot has made Gibraltar a very unique place in the world, where several different religious communities live together in harmony in a limited geographical area.
Gibraltar's culture is thus not only rich and varied, but the country has also produced many talented artists, such as Albert Hammond and John Galliano, to name just a few.
Although the Rock has limited space to offer to its animal species, it is still home to some surprising creatures, such as the famous monkeys that have their picture taken by all of the tourists. Less known than the monkeys, birds and dolphins that approach during their seasonal migrations constitute an excellent reason to go to Gibraltar.