A day trip from Seville to Gibraltar

I’m a bit of a history lover, so when I saw how close Sevilla is to Gibraltar, I thought it would make for a great day trip.

After reviewing a lot of options, from organized tours to taking a bus, we decided to just rent a car. Our hotel was near the airport in Sevilla, so it was easy to take a €3 bus ride on the EA there to pick up our rental. We used our Costco membership to get the best price, but instead of booking through the Costco Travel portal, we entered their corporate code directly into the Alamo website. This allowed us to select an automatic transition vehicle, which we were having trouble guaranteeing through the portal.

We decided to get the car the night before we left because the car rental companies at the airport didn't open early enough for us and tended to close early most days. Friday was a late night, so we picked up the rental at 10pm and returned at 10pm Saturday. The counter would be closed, but unlike some U.S. rental companies, which charge you when the vehicle is “checked in” by staff the following morning, Alamo in Spain is willing to honor the 24 hour rental period because your entry is verified by a license plate reader entering the garage. This also allowed us to leave straight away in the morning.

We also pre-paid for the gasoline, which is something I almost never do. We did this because 1) we knew we’d use an entire tank of gas 2) we could maximize reward points because it would charge as a car rental instead of fuel charge and 3) it was cheaper per liter compared to the nearby gas stations.

6am - Breakfast at hotel

6:30am - out the door and on the way

Almost immediately after we turned onto the highway we encountered a sobriety checkpoint. I had begrudgingly purchased an International Driving Permit a few weeks earlier from AAA, but felt a wave of relief pass over me knowing I would have all of my documentation if needed. While the officers chatted at length with the driver in front of us, he just waved on everyone else.

From there, we decided to take the free roads down to La Linea de la Concepción. It added about 25 minutes to our drive in the morning, but saved about €8 each way. Traffic was bad heading to Seveille in the afternoon on the autopista, so it really only added about 10 minutes coming back.
Monkeys are cute, but please don't touch
9am - arrive at La Linea de la Concepción
We read traffic can be bad when driving between Spain and Gibraltar, so we decided to park in La Linea and walk across. We discovered, after a quick internet search, that we can park for free near the stadium (Estadio Municipal de La Línea de la Concepción) and walk 1 km (.62 mi) into Gibraltar. It’s a nice walk and goes past some of the abandoned bunkers from the Spanish Civil War.
An abandoned civil war bunker
9:30am - cross into Gibraltar
It was a breeze to walk into Gibraltar. We just flashed our passports at the officials. They gave it a casual glance and waved us on. I wanted them to stamp it, but they told us to ask on the way out. We continued onto Winston Churchill Ave. and started to search for the free shuttle to the Gibraltar Cable Car. It’s a great perk that really saves your feet. Unfortunately it’s hard to find.
On board the minibus to the cable car
9:45am - board shuttle
After some back and forth, we spotted a minibus across the street with Calypso Transport written on the side and decided to ask if they knew where we could find the shuttle. I was worried it would be a scam to try and get us to pay for their tour, but it turned out to be the free cable car shuttle. The driver loaded two other confused families, filling the bus, and drove out. He pointed out some central locations and landmarks that we would later use to get back to La Linea.

The cable car with barbary monkeys
10:15am - up we go!
There was a bit of a queue to board the cable car, but we were soon on our way up the Rock of Gibraltar. We purchased the “Cable Car Return and Nature Reserve” package online ahead of time because we wanted to explore the grounds. The return ticket is a bit useless since if you want to take advantage of everything the nature reserve has to offer then you’re going to walk down.

We had a great time exploring the grounds, visiting the barbary monkeys, St. Michael’s Cave and much more. It was a LONG walk down, but well worth it.
Inside St. Michael's Cave
3:30pm - finally down
After a full day of exploration, we finished at the Moorish Castle and found ourselves on Willis’s Road. It’s quite far from the center and we were ready to eat. Thankfully we spotted a red minibus from Gibraltar Bus Company sitting at a bus stop. We quickly consulted with the map and discovered the 1 bus would take us exactly where we needed to go for just £1.80. After all that walking, it was well worth it and about 20 minutes later we were near Market Place.

4:00pm - dinner
We were craving fish and chips (when in a British Overseas Territory do as the British do) so we ate at Bianca’s on the waterfront.

5pm - exploration
Admittedly, the rock took more time than expected. I’d hoped to explore more of Gibraltar, but we used the little time we had to walk around the area near Market Place Terminus.

5:45pm - back to Spain
We caught the 5 bus back to the border (sometimes listed as Frontier). I was determined to get our passports stamped from Gibraltar, so we talked to one of the Gibraltar Borders and Coastguard Agency officers who gave us a strange look, spoke to a supervisor and stamped the passport before we left.

Again, we flashed our passports at the Spanish border officials. They casually looked at mine, but stopped Tara. The officer examined her passport and couldn’t find the stamp from when we arrived in Barcelona. He then began to question her about when she first entered Spain. We explained that we were together and showed him the stamp from a week earlier. He appeared satisfied and waved us on.

9pm - In Seville
I dropped Tara off at the hotel and made my way back to the airport to return the car. Unfortunately, I didn’t time out the EA bus well, so I had to wait longer than I’d hoped to get back.
Returning the car in Sevilla
It was a long day, but I’m glad we got to see a place as unique and interesting as Gibraltar. It takes a bit of planning, but well worth the experience.
A day trip from Seville to Gibraltar A day trip from Seville to Gibraltar Reviewed by Brandon on July 22, 2019 Rating: 5

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