It was a 15 minute walk from my hotel in Spain to the border with Gibraltar. As I walked there, I'd pass queues of car waiting to enter. As I was on foot I only had to flash my passport at the border guard to be allowed in or out.
The airport runway is open at all times except obviously when a plane is landing or taking off. It only takes a couple of minutes to cross & you are perfectly safe as long as you stay inbetween the pedestrian white lines. I really enjoyed the unusual experience of working across a working runway.
First you have to go to La Linea bus terminal, it does have left luggage facilities but somtimes no one is there, walk then over the border, about 400 meter and look for a number 10 double decker bus, every 15 minutes to the entrance off the old town
With the lifting of the Spanish embargo on land-entry to Gibraltar on February 5, 1985, life for tourists became a little easier. In our case, after leaving our rental car on the Spanish side, we made the short walk to the border at about noon. There was a steady stream of people headed that way but it did not take long to get through Spanish Customs, just a cursory look at our passports and that was it.
We soon spotted a double-decker bus on the Gibraltar side, and their officials were even less formal regarding entry. We knew we were in the clear when we finally spotted a couple of policemen looking like British Bobbies. However, these officers were actually part of the 220-man Royal Gibraltar Police, which was formed in 1830 when the Crown Colony was declared and is the oldest Commonwealth nation police force outside of the British Isles. We realized that we did not really have enough time to see Gibraltar properly, but it was fun just to set foot in this historic colony anyway! Already we could see an old fortification of some sort sticking up along the lower slopes of 'The Rock'.
Gibraltar was originally joined to the Spanish mainland by only a sandy isthmus but the outbreak of World War II made the need for an airport mandatory as far as the British were concerned. As a result, in 1939 they 'enhanced' the isthmus by extending it sufficiently to allow an emergency airfield to be built for military operations. Since then it has been expanded further into the Bay of Gibraltar despite the objections of the Spanish government, especially since they were still not happy with the British presence in Gibraltar itself. This 6000 foot (1829 m) runway is now able to serve commercial jet traffic (although low demand has resulted in only a limited number of flights) and the entire dispute with Spain has also abated in recent years.
Today, the only land-crossing into Gibraltar is controlled by gates that allow passage across the airstrip only when flights are not about to take-off or land. In our case, we had no problems entering Gibraltar but, on the return journey, a 3-engine private jet of some sort taxied across our route as it prepared to take off (3rd photo). This resulted in an alarm going off and the gates coming down to bar vehicles and pedestrians from the airstrip until the plane had made its turn and then roared down the entire length of the runway for take-off. It certainly was an interesting way to enter and exit a country!
As frontier queues can be far too long if you decide to bring your car into Gibraltar, there is a Frontier Queue Hotline with updated information on the delays from Gibraltar into Spain. The Hotline is updated every thirty minutes and is an answering machine recording in English. The number to call is from Gibraltar 20042777, The calls are charged at normal local rates. Just add 350 if calling from a Spanish network mobile phone.
The following information, whilst correct at time of inclusion, must not be relied upon wholly when checking for visa and passport guidelines prior to booking your trip. I urge you to check with the visa office of the country you intend to visit for up to date information.
(a)Albania, Algeria, Angola
Bahrain, Bangladesh, Benin, Bhutan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi,
Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, China (PR), CIS, Comoros Islands, Congo (Rep. Of) Cote d'Ivoire, Cuba,
Djibouti, Dominican republic,
Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia,
Fiji, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia,
Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana,
India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq,
Kenya, Korea (DPR) Kuwait,
Laos, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya,
Madagascar, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria,
Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines,
Sao Tome e Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Slovak Republic, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Surinam, Syria,
Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey,
Uganda, United Arab Emirates,
Yemen, Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro),
Zambia and holders of passports endorsed 'Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus' (contact the Southern European Department at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for latest information);
(b) persons who hold passports or travel documents issued by the former soviet Union or by the territories formerly comprising the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (except nationals of Croatia and Slovenia).
Transit visas are not required by passengers continuing their journey by the same or first connecting aircraft provided holding valid onward or return documentation and not leaving the airport.
Types of visa and cost:
Tourist, Business and Transit.
Applications to any British visa-issuing post abroad or in the UK, or the visa section of the UK Passport Office in London.
(a) 1 application form. (b) Valid passport. (c) Proof of hotel reservation. (d) Fee. (e) Return ticket
"Working days required:
Applications are referred to Gibraltar and are normally processed within 20 days.
Visas are not required except by stateless persons and nationals of the countries or territorial entities who require visas for the UK (see appendix of uk immigration rules). The Gibraltar visa requirement applies even in cases where a visa for the UK is held.
Visa nationals with UK multiple visit visas valid for one year or more, regardless of category, are eligible to enter Gibraltar without the need for a visa. This exemption also applies to persons who hold indefinite leave to remain in the UK and to persons who hold UK certificates of entitlement to the right of abode (and have not been absent from the UK for more than 2 years).
Persons who wish to avail themselves of these exemption arrangements but who enter Gibraltar from Spain intending to return there, or those in transit to Spain will only be admitted if they hold valid schengen visas ensuring their re-entry into Spain.
Frontier delays can sometimes be far too long. Parking in La linea and walking into Gibraltar may be the better idea. As well parking in Gibraltar can be a nightmare. There are buses from the frontier to the town centre. If you decide to drive into Gibraltar fill up your petrol tank as petrol is much cheaper than in Spain. Motorhomes are not permitted to stay overnight.
taxis can´t cross the border - so you need to take a La Linea taxi to the border spanish side and a Gibraltar taxi British side.
The La Linea Bus Station is only 5 minutes walk (even with luggage) from the border.
It´s worthwhile to take a taxi when you arrive in Gibraltar to find your hotel quickly.
Most taxi drivers take pounds and euros.
When crossing border from La Linea to Gibraltar, it can take even couple of hours to wait at car. If you are going just for a day trip, leave your car to Spain side. You can easily walk to Gibraltar, then take a bus or taxi. Or just walk, town center is not that far away and you can see for example city walls.
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