How to spend a day in Gibraltar + climbing the Mediterranean steps

The Mediterranean steps in Gibraltar are one of the most well-known hiking trails in Europe. 

Gibraltar’s Mediterranean Steps is a path and nature trail and the path is located entirely within the Upper Rock Nature Reserve. It was built by the British military but is now used by civilians as a pedestrian route linking Martin’s Path to Lord Airey’s Battery near the summit of Rock of Gibraltar.

The Gibraltar steps offer views over the Strait of Gibraltar, Windmill Hill, Europa Point, the Great Sand Dune, Gibraltar’s east side beaches, the Mediterranean Sea and the Spanish Costa del Sol.

Also known as the med steps in Gibraltar, the hiking route is popular and we encountered many people along the route. 

I was super excited to be exploring this country after my mum told me that my grandad had always wanted to visit but had never got the chance before he died. I decided to explore Gibraltar in honour of him!

So here is a blog post all about the Mediterranean steps in Gibraltar, and what else there is to do in the country.

Mediterranean steps in Gibraltar

READ MORE: Ultimate Guide to a 7-Day Cruise in the Mediterranean

Mediterranean steps in Gibraltar

After disembarking from our cruise ship, we jumped on a transfer from the port to the bottom of the Mediterranean steps in Gibraltar, where we began our 2-hour hike to the top.

The beginning of the Mediterranean steps in Gibraltar trail starts near the “GOHNS Gibraltar Ornithological and Natural History Society” building and then you walk up “Windmill Hill Road” until you reach the start of the Mediterranean Steps Trail. 

The trail starts quite level as you’ll wind along the side of the rock, but intermittently you’ll hit points of steep, switchback stairs that bring you closer and closer to the top. 

From the start of Mediterranean Steps trail, the route to the top is 1400m (.86 mile) with an elevation gain approximately 240m (780 ft). The terrain is rocky with large steps at times; shoes with good traction are a must and be prepared to go slow as some of the rocks are not secure.

When you reach the top of the trail, you’ll crest the rock at its highest point, near O’Hara’s Battery.


Mediterranean steps Gibraltar Europe

Mediterranean steps Gibraltar Europe Mediterranean steps Gibraltar Europe

Once you’ve reached the summit and you’ve taken in the view, you can either return down the rock the same way you came, or follow O’Hara Road toward a wide variety of historical and natural sites such as St. Michael’s Cave, Douglas Lookout, and Charles V Wall and take the cable car back to the bottom.

But I would recommend spending some time up here to admire the views of Spain and beyond. The Gibraltar Mediterranean steps are world-famous and defo make sure you get a photo!

This is what we did, and the views were, of course amazing, offering views across to Africa on a good day!

Then after we’d taken in the views we headed back down to the town centre for a bite to eat, before exploring the town some more. We were not staying in Gibraltar but you could easily spend a few days here, and there were lots of beautiful hotels near the Mediterranean steps Gibraltar.

Mediterranean steps Gibraltar Europe

Mediterranean steps Gibraltar Europe

Top 9 Things to do in Gibraltar

1. Rock of Gibraltar – This famous limestone promontory features a nature reserve, a network of tunnels & sea views.

2. St. Michael’s Cave – Cave & occasional concert venue with intricate limestone formations showcased with colorful lights.

3. Europa Point – Europa Point, is the southernmost point of Gibraltar. At the end of the Rock of Gibraltar, the area is flat and occupied by such features as a playing field and a few buildings. On a clear day

4. Gibraltar Nature Reserve – 1400-ft. rock formation, indigenous birds, reptiles, plant life & vistas of Spain & Africa.

5. Gibraltar Cable Car – Cable car rides offer sweeping views to the peak of Gibraltar’s Rock, plus a cozy snack bar.

6. Grand Casemates Square – Grand Casemates Square is the larger of the two main squares within the city centre of Gibraltar. The square takes its name from the British-built Grand Casemates, a casemate and bombproof barracks

7. Gibraltar Botanic Gardens – Established in 1816, this subtropical garden on 6 hectares offers military monuments & guided tours.

8. Mediterranean Steps – Mediterranean Steps in Gibraltar is a path and nature trail in the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar. One of the footpaths of Gibraltar, the path is located entirely within the Upper Rock Nature Reserve

9. Gibraltar Museum – Cultural & historical museum with Neanderthal information & preserved 13th-century Moorish baths.

Mediterranean steps Gibraltar Europe

Mediterranean steps Gibraltar Europe

Mediterranean steps Gibraltar Europe

READ MORE: Crown Princess Princess Cruises Cruise Ship Tour 


If you on a bigger trip exploring more of Europe check out my guides to France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Portugal, Spain and United Kingdom.

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Thank you for reading and as always happy adventuring! If you have any questions about the destination please leave these in the comments below.

If you’ve enjoyed this post, please share it for me with all your friends and family!

Sophie X

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  • Lynn Davis
    10/28/2018 at 06:18

    Looking good Sophie. Thank you for remembering Grandad. It looks like you had a fantastic time.