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HELIGIB – GET THE OVERVIEW OF MOST SIGHTSEEING SITES IN GIBRALTAR FROM THE AIR
The newest and probably the best attraction in Gibraltar if you are staying for the day only. From the helicopter you just simply see the Rock from the air, but also many of the actual sightseeing attractions from a distance. An efficient way to start a visit in Gibraltar and then explore in detail on groundaft er landing . Check our Add-Ons with a selection of combination packages.
The GibHeli Fonnafly operated Gibraltar Rock flights departs from the airport main terminal aftersecurity clearance. Hovering towards the eastern part of the runway you get a good view of the steepest side of the rock on the right side and the Spanish city of La Linea on the other side. You will clearly see the tunnel openings in the wall where cannons defended the Rock during the great siege. The runway itself is built with masses taken from inside the Rock.
Reclaimed land on east side of the Rock
When airborne the helicopter makes a right turn and the first interesting view is the works along the shoreline. This is part of a land reclamation project in order to exploit the territorial rights of Gibraltar to useful land.
Next is the village of Catalan Bay with the characteristic multi color houses with Italian names. Populated by Italian fishermen from Genova in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The Genoese language was widely spoken at the time.
The Dunes and the old Water Catchment area
Above the Catalan bay you will catch a view of the original water catchment construction that supplied
Gibraltar with freshwater for a very long time through an engineering masterpiece of chutes , tunnels and deposits inside the Rock. Visible best from a helicopter. The characteristic slope is made of a very old sand dune, from thousands of years ago which came from the savanna land below when the sea was considerably lower.
Off Port Limits
Following the shorelineyou cannot miss all the ships anchored at the Off Port . The area is used for delivery of bunker, provisions and supplies by launch vessels form Gibraltar Port.
Next attraction coming up are the highly visible entries to the Gorham Caves. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the only one in Gibraltar. First inhabited about 55.000 years ago and the last known habitat of the Neanderthals.
In the next moment the helicopter is passing Europa Point and Trinity Light house. The only lighthouse operated by Trinity House outside England. On the same plateau you find the new university of Gibraltar , a sports arena under construction and the mosque financed by King Fahd of Saudi Arabia .
The Strait of Gibraltar
At this point of the flight the view of The Strait is unfolding. You may clearly see Africa with the Spanish city of Ceuta and the mountains behind . Together this forms the Pillars of Hercules known from ancient greec history as the guardians to the Mediterranean. You will see two continents, three countries and two world oceans at the same time ( weather dependent ). At this point you can detect shoals of dolphins and even whales s during certain times of the year.
The Port and , Town and Ocean Village
Turning northbound you will notice a water fall coming out of a hole in the rock high above sea level. This is result of waste water from the desalination where salt water is turned into drinking water. Proceeding on the west side of the Rock you will see Algeciras city and the Bay to the left and the populated area of Gibraltar on the right hand side.
The public beach Camp Bayappears. Camp bay is a rocky beach within the Southern Waters of Gibraltar Special Area of Conservation. An EU protected marine reserve. In addition to its popularity with bathers, the beach is also very popular diving and snorkeling area which is home to one of Europe’s first artificialreefs.
Proceeding northbound the town appears behind the Gibraltar Port. From the helicopter you will notice a strange zigzag construction running from just above the town and all the way up to the top of the Rock. This is a defense wall built in 1540 to protect Gibraltar from attacking Barbary Pirates .
Gibraltar Land Reclamation
We are finally passing the cruise port terminals and get a very good view where “Old” and “New” Gibraltar meet. The difference is noticeable. Moorish castle and the old defense bastions encompasses the old city. The newer developments are very noticeable expanding outwards in the Algeciras Bay. The reclamation areas are land reclaimed from the sea within Gibraltar territorial waters.