Taxi tours of Gibraltar

On my Holland America cruise around the Mediterranean in October ’06, one of the ports of call was Gibraltar. The cruise line sold tours of “the rock,” but my wife and I wanted to go into the town first to do a little shopping and arrange for a tour by cab later in the day.

As expected, there was a line of cabs at the end of the pier, almost all of them 7-passenger VW buses that could hold five to seven people. Not one single cab would drive us into the downtown area. They all were selling their own half-day tours of “the rock” and would not take anyone anywhere else. In addition, even when someone agreed to take the tour, the drivers would wait until seven people agreed to go before they would leave.

On the positive side, their tours were about a third of the price of those the cruise line offered.

We did agree to take the cab tour, although originally we just asked for a ride into town. We did not know the distance, but it turned out to be fairly short and an easy walk.

My original thinking was to walk around town and possibly take an early afternoon tour of “the rock” as it would be less crowded. The cab driver dropped us off in the downtown shopping area, at our request, and we walked back to the ship.

In comparing notes with other passengers, it appears we had the same tour that was being sold on the ship. I think those on the ship tours got free soft drinks; we had to pay.

The attitude of the cab drivers was the only downside to an otherwise pleasant visit to a charming location well worth the visit.


San Ramon, CA