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The Monkeys of Gibraltar

Rock of Gibraltar Monkey
A monkey sitting on the edge of the Rock of Gibraltar

Gibraltar is a unique place, whether you go to get your passport stamped or just to say you have been there, you have to get to the top of the giant rock and hang out with the Barbary Macaque Monkeys. It’s a great opportunity to take an up-close picture of a semi-wild monkey, and it could be the closest you are ever able to get to a monkey and still be pretty assured you won’t walk away with a disease or two; these monkeys are tested.

To get to the top of the rock, you can either ride the gondola, take a tour bus or walk. Walking is the cheapest route, but you still have to pay a nominal fee to access the caves and enter the park area where the monkeys are. If you take the gondola you can still explore on foot and maybe walk back down, but the roads are very steep and windy. The bus is more expensive, but you can haggle about the price, and the price is for the whole bus, so the more people you gather, the cheaper it will be. The bus will also stop and let you explore the caves of Gibraltar, also accessible if you choose to walk. The caves aren’t really that interesting unless stalagmites and stalactites fascinate you. The drive is pretty windy though, so people prone to motion sickness beware. The bus or walking may be your only options to the top though, as the Gondola can be shutdown during heavy winds.

Monkey Food, Gibraltar
Locals provide food, and tour guides lure the monkeys close with food

When I visited the tour guide lured the monkeys over with food, but I have read that this is no longer practiced and can carry a fine. Also, be careful approaching the monkeys, our guide warned us not to get too close to the young monkeys. He told us a man trying to take really close pictures of a baby had his arm ripped open by an protective male. We had no issues though, but we didn’t try and mess with any babies.

Whether you go just to say you have gone, or because you have an interest in the history of the territory, it is a must to walk, bus or gondola to the top of the Rock to play with the Monkeys of Gibraltar. Where else can you have a monkey pick lice from your head and not be ashamed?

Monkey On Girls Head
The tour guides will get the monkeys to jump on you, it’s not optional. Just watch out for the adult males
Monkey Hanging On Car, Gibraltar
The monkeys are very curious and will grab anything, hold onto your belongings

Monkeys of Gibraltar Map

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