Sitting proudly at the entrance to the Mediterranean, Gibraltar and it's famous rock experience dry summers and warm, damper winters.
Gibraltar is a peninsula of only 2.6 square miles; its terrain dominated by the famous "Rock of Gibraltar" which rises 1400 FT above the surrounding Mediterranean sea. It is located at the extreme south of Spain and Morocco is around 10 miles to the south across the narrow Strait of Gibraltar.
Gibraltar has a rich history, in fact the world's first Neanderthal skull was found here in 1848. Throughout the civilised age, Gibraltar has been a naval stronghold at the mouth of the Mediterranean, and its ownership has changed hands many times over the centuries. Currently a British Overseas Territory, Gibraltar has been British longer than the USA has been American. Tourists can visit a wealth of historical sites including the Moorish Castle, the Great Siege tunnels, Nelson's Anchorage and O'Hara's Battery.
Gibraltar's history stems all the way back to the Jurassic when its famous white limestone was first laid down. Its rich geology can be explored in several caves around the Rock such as St Michael's Cave and Gorham's Cave. The Rock is home to its own nature reserve with over 600 plant species. It is also an important place for sea birds and migrating marine life; dolphins and Orca can sometimes be seen in the Straits of Gibraltar. A trip to Gibraltar cannot be complete without a ride on the cable car to the Top of the Rock for incredible views, and an introduction to Gibraltar's more cheeky inhabitants, the Barbary macaques!
Gibraltar weather averages and climate information
When is the best time to visit Gibraltar?
Gibraltar's weather is governed by the "Levante and Poniente", local winds that blow through the Strait from the east or west respectively. These winds can often bring very gusty conditions around the Rock. Another signature of Gibraltar's weather is a persistent veil of cloud that hangs over the Rock in the Levante (easterly winds). Sea temperatures range from around 16 Celsius in the winter to a pleasant 22 Celsius by the late summer.
The spring months are a pleasant time to visit Gibraltar before the heat of the summer. Comfortable daily highs of 18 Celsius and overnight lows of 12 during March with 7 hours of sunshine on average. That said, March is typically one of the wetter months with an average of 10 days where it rains, ,and the Levante can often bring rather cloudy conditions across the city area. Temperatures increase through April and May, whilst the likelihood of rain also decreases; May only sees around 4 wet days, and an average of 10 hours of sunshine. Daily highs of 23 Celsius in May, but towards the end of the month daily highs in the upper 20s are not uncommon.
The summer is typically very dry and sunny, but it can also be rather humid. June through to August average 11 hours of sun per day, with only a couple of wet days throughout the whole season! Average highs of 25 Celsius in June, rising to 29 in August - the hottest month, where temperatures can often exceed 30 Celsius. The evenings remain warm, with overnight lows of 15-20 Celsius. The humidity can be rather uncomfortable during the summer months, especially when the Levante brings cloud over the city area.
Autumn remains warm, very warm in fact in September, with 9 hours of sunshine, daily highs average 26 Celsius, and overnight lows a balmy 19. Humidity is still a factor but September is typically dry, averaging only 2 wet days during the month. Through October and November this increases to around 5 and up to 7 days respectively, while sunshine amounts decrease to around 6 hours per day by the end of the season. November will still see daily highs of 19 Celsius and overnight lows of 14, so it is still pleasantly warm for an Autumn getaway!
Winter, unsurprisingly, is the coolest and wettest time of year, but visitors should by no means be put off as it is very rarely cold in Gibraltar. Daily highs of 16-17 Celsius can be expected, with overnight lows of around 10. Around 10 rainy days per month make December and January the wettest months (tied with March), but February is typically slightly drier with around 7 wet days. The winter is the quietest time of year for visitors, but with around 6 hours of sunshine per day, it may be worth a visit to escape the colder weather at home; pack an umbrella just in case!