Gibraltar - Facts

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  • Britain’s post-Brexit transition phase ended on January 1, 2021, at which time Gibraltar became part of Europe’s borderless Schengen Area, with Spain ultimately responsible for controls. A Schengen deal is under negotiation but not yet fully agreed and therefore not implemented.
  • Yachts from all parts of the globe call at Gibraltar every year and the facilities at their disposal are some of the best in the area. The movement of yachts is virtually continuous, although there are clearly defined peak periods. Spring and early summer see boats arriving from across the Atlantic or Northern Europe bound for the Mediterranean. The autumn months see a large movement in the opposite direction as many cruising yachts leave the Mediterranean, usually bound for Madeira and the Canaries en route to the Caribbean.
  • Yachting facilities are pressed at peak periods, however, the new Ocean Village Marina in Gib and new marina at La Linea just across the border should hopefully ease the situation. It is advisable during peak periods, to go armed with a confirmed pre-booking, as yachts have reported being turned away.
  • Although a convenient place for repairs and reprovisioning, Gibraltar is also a good place to relax and its cosmopolitan makeup serves this function well.
  • Whales may be encountered in the Straits of Gibraltar from April to August. To minimise the risk of collision, advised speed limit is 13 knots and keep a good lookout.
  • If heading into Spain from Gib, be sure to top up your tanks before departure as diesel is cheaper in Gib. Note also that diesel is even cheaper in Morocco.

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Gibraltar was last updated 7 months ago.

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  1. July 20, 2022 at 11:27 AM
    anura says:

    We are hoping to leave (Atlantic Coast) Spain this week to go to Gibraltar, and as non-EU residents have to get our passports stamped to stop the clock on our Schengen days. We have heard that customs officials in Cadiz, the closest listed customs port, are reluctant to stamp passports and there don’t seem to be any other closer options. The only practical suggestion seems to be to just arrive in Gibraltar, then walk to Spain and back across the Airport border to get a passport stamp?

    1. July 27, 2022 at 2:27 PM
      anura says:

      Follow up report. We arrived in Alcaidesa Marina, right next to Gibraltar. An agent from BWA Yachting was extraordinarily helpful, and arranged a meeting with Spanish Customs for us on a bank holiday. We were stamped out of Schengen, and free to continue our trip to Gibraltar.

  2. July 2, 2022 at 12:03 PM
    blur says:

    Left Queensway Quay marina after a 9 month stay.
    They will only accept bookings by email. Persevere past this annoyance and you will probably get a space
    Once you’re in it’s easy to extend that’s how I stayed 9 months.
    £21 per night with discounts for over 6 months.

  3. March 18, 2022 at 2:58 PM
    bazsinagy says:

    If I cruising mostly in Spain is it possible to go to Gibraltar to fill up my fuel tank and go back to Spain without any restrictions?

    1. March 23, 2022 at 6:45 PM
      profile photo
      Sue Richards says:

      See the Gibralter yachting essentials section for details –

  4. September 21, 2021 at 6:55 AM
    profile photo
    sue-richards says:

    Reported by Jason Banks:
    I have just become a test-case for British yachtsmen trying to get his boat out of the EU and failing. After a 3-month ordeal to sail from Croatia back to the UK, I reached Gibraltar just as my 90 day period expired, but was told they are full to capacity for all vessels. The natural alternative was always Morocco, but their ports are closed due to Covid. Meanwhile, the Spanish authorities offhandedly denied my application for an extension or long-stay visa. Bereft of options, today I left my boat in Alcaidesa and checked into a hotel in Gibraltar, being unable to return for 3 months. Absurd times!Update from Jason: I am in Melilla now.
    They have welcomed me and according to the port police, basically I can
    stay as long as I like, it is not currently inside the Schengen zone. Personally,
    I seriously doubt the EU would ever consider bringing it into Schengen,
    as that would put an EU border on the African mainland. Apparently it’s
    already hard to police and requires a huge presence by Spanish border
    control.So for the interim (until ETIAS comes into effect) this is a solution. Let people know, it’s beautiful but lonely here!

  5. July 8, 2021 at 9:09 AM
    bartgib1 says:

    Orca Ibérica GTOA
    ltSpo9ensorhetd ·
    EN// It is only the beginning of July and the interactions are intensifying and concentrating in the area of the Strait of Gibraltar, especially in the area close to Trafalgar, when sailing in this area take into account that if the killer whales start to touch the boat the first thing to do is to stop the boat (even lower the sails) and turn off the autopilot, then follow the steps of the safety protocol.
    ES// En este comienzo de Julio las interacciones se están intensificando y concentrando en la zona del Estrecho de Gibraltar, sobre todo en la zonas próximas a Trafalgar, cuando navegue por este área tenga en cuenta que si las orcas comienzan a tocar el barco lo primero a hacer es parar el barco (incluso bajar las velas) y apagar el piloto automático, después siga los pasos del protocolo de seguridad.
    PT//No início de Julho as interacções estão a intensificar-se e a concentrar-se na área do Estreito de Gibraltar, especialmente nas áreas próximas de Trafalgar, quando navegarem nesta área tenham em mente que se as baleias assassinas começarem a tocar no barco, a primeira coisa a fazer é parar o barco (até baixar as velas) e desligar o piloto automático, depois seguir os passos do protocolo de segurança.
    FR// Début juillet, les interactions s’intensifient et se concentrent dans la zone du détroit de Gibraltar, en particulier dans les zones proches de Trafalgar. Lorsque vous naviguez dans cette zone, n’oubliez pas que si les orques commencent à toucher le bateau, la première chose à faire est d’arrêter le bateau (voire de baisser les voiles) et de désactiver le pilote automatique, puis de suivre les étapes du protocole de sécurité.

    1. December 19, 2021 at 4:43 AM
      notyet says:

      I wonder if deliberately introducing an electric current into the water around a boat (similar to accidental situations resulting in “ESD” (Electric Shock Drowning)) would discourage the Orcas? It could be as simple as trailing an electrical cord with two bare wires exposed.

  6. May 5, 2021 at 6:53 PM
    bartgib1 says:

    It should be noted that some of the facts stated are not correct.
    Gibraltar is as yet NOT a Schengen member. This is still in discussion stages. With a end of transition at end July.
    You can enter Gibraltar on a passport or EU residence card.
    At present you will need a PCR test and isolate for 5 days on board your boat. Soon to change.
    Masks must be worn in shops or any Public building.

  7. April 5, 2021 at 10:56 AM
    telemaque says:

    The skippers of the Telemaque, currently docked in La Linea, wish to report that the land border between Gibraltar and Spain is currently open. No specific formalities besides the passport is required.
    No PCR test is required to enter the territory, and mask is not compulsory in the streets.

    1. April 6, 2021 at 4:08 PM
      profile photo
      Sue Richards says:

      Thanks for this update, much appreciated.

  8. July 30, 2020 at 9:54 AM
    bartgib1 says:
  9. July 30, 2020 at 9:50 AM
    bartgib1 says:

    It should be noted that there major works being carried out in Ocean Village Marina Bay. Pilings are being done for the new construction works. These will include holiday homes in the middle of the marina stretching out further toward end of runway. Works are going to be on going for quite some time. And I would envisage a loss of berths while this is on going. They are catering toward Super yachts.

    Still worth a visit as you are nearby to Bars and restaurants, it can get noisy at weekends.
    Queensway Quay is still a more peaceful and enjoyable berthing. Restaurants and bars, but quieter overall . I would say more sheltered as well. Close to the south end of Main Street.
    There are now 3 supermarkets in Gibraltar. Morrisons which is by far the largest and stocks an abundance of UK goods. Eroski there main outlet is on the north side of the runway, stock both spanish and waitrose’s goods. And the newest situated in Marina bay is a Tesco type store offering Tesco products as well as Spanish. All offer fresh veg and fruit.

  10. May 24, 2020 at 5:23 AM
    talaria says:

    Now that the UK and Gibraltar have left the EU is it possible to reset the VAT in Gibraltar? I am aware that they are in their 11 month “transition “ period and did not know if that had any bearing.

    1. May 29, 2020 at 5:38 PM
      profile photo
      Sue Richards says:

      See our EU page with details of VAT and where you can reset the clock –

    2. March 1, 2021 at 10:25 AM
      manfred-stoll says:

      I learned, that Gibraltar is now part of Schengen. Is it still possible – under this conditions – to reset the VAT ?
      I guess, taht this will be an issue for a lot of SY sailing under UK or other non EU flag.

      Thanks for an answer.

  11. September 2, 2019 at 6:32 PM
    markeprior says:

    See below. I am afraid that with time here it appears not much has changed. The staff can still be very rude. I have more or less been told to leave because I have overstayed the week I said I would stay. Marina
    Bay is being redeveloped and will have limited space for around three years. I won’t be staying here again. Alcadeisa is more sunny in every way but with good access to the Rock.

  12. August 25, 2019 at 9:09 AM
    markeprior says:

    At August 2019 Marina Bay was a shade more expensive than Alcadeisa. On the other hand Marina Bay has been transformed in the past few years. The marina office has been moved, the shower facilties are palatial and include a bath. The staff have been to customer service school and are very polite and helpful, check in is easy and you receive a welcome pack.
    What a change.
    More work is underway at the marina and is tidier and cleaner.
    On balance, though, I would still stay in Alcadeisa, where everything is cheaper except for spirits, and commute by bicycle to Gib, on which one avoids all queues and attention from border officers.

  13. July 17, 2019 at 5:37 PM
    graskarpfen says:

    We‘ve been unsure, if you can top up your diesel tank in Gibraltar without clearing in. We anchored just north of the runway in Spain. We asked several people
    this question, and the answer is yes, you can. Still in doubt if it’s completely legal, but seems to be a widespread and tolerated habbit. We did so and had no problems.

    1. July 27, 2019 at 1:28 PM
      sailbadthesinner says:

      The fuel berth is in a bonded area and it is perfectly legal to refuel there without clearing in. Helpful staff and happy to see you. There can be a bit of a queue in high season with a bit of waiting about off the fuel dock, but normally it’s fine.

  14. November 4, 2018 at 10:20 PM
    Lynda Lim says:

    Nov 04, 2018 10:20 PM

    Stayed here 1 night 22nd Oct 2018 in Marina Bay. Only cost £15.75 for a 14m x 4m motorboat – apparently summer rates are £147 per night and the marina office said we were accidentally undercharged. Helpful staff met us to help berth, fully serviced pontoons with water and electricity (only about £4.50 for the E+W which was great).

    Sheppards Chandlery were extremely helpful and prices were good. (Bought 10 x 20 litre jerry cans for £177 and a Gill cap for just £6.00) helpful and knowledgeable. Diesel available in abundance at just 0.61 per litre (!). No need to call ahead- just arrive at the fuel dock round the corner.

    Gibraltar is a busy busy place and you need to keep your wits about you when entering or leaving. Marina office is very nice, helpful staff, computerised entry procedure and no customs issues whatsoever. Loads of bars and restaurants – we went to Morrisons to stock up – British goods are expensive compared to domestic UK prices. Would visit again even if we were charged full summer rates as the low diesel price saved us several hundred pounds – literally half the price compared with Almeria and Alicante. Marina is right next to runway and a large cruise ship turned into a permanent hotel.

  15. July 20, 2018 at 2:07 PM
    Data Entry2 says:

    I have been in La Linea Alcaidesa Marina a couple of times now and have taken advantage of their offer in mooring fees for the month. We have always found the staff there to be very friendly and helpful. Excellently places to buy groceries locally and from the bigger supermarket across the border.

    The one comment I really did want to make is how helpful and friendly the staff were in Shepards Chandlery, and had a lot of stock and offered to source items if necessary, or direct us to the other place in town Hire U shop. We couldn’t fault Shepards and their prices were remarkably reasonable compared with the Spanish side.

    If you need any engineering work done in an emergency there is also a sailor there who can help, Tom on the big boat, who was excellent at helping us get our engine injectors replaced by a local Spanish company.

    Our passage out of the strait was forecast as a 30knt Easterly that was recorded as a 55knt by the boat following us. It was like being in a washing machine, safe but very blobby. Buy the Strait Handbook for tide streams, it’s a small book and we have found very helpful along with passage weather and wind guru for more local wind predictions, especially in the strait and around Tarifa.

  16. July 15, 2017 at 10:48 AM
    Data Entry2 says:

    We sailed from Barbate to Alcaidesa Marina, just outside Gibraltar 12th of July 2017. The forecast said we should expect moderate headwinds of 10-15 knots all the way and the marina in Barbate gave us information about the currents and the best time to leave.

    Everything started out fine but the currents never seemed to change when they should and the winds eventually went up to 40 knots of a headwind! We afterwards learned that it apparently blows above 30kts around Tarifa for 300 days a year! Why couldn’t I read that anywhere on here or anywhere else online?

  17. January 14, 2016 at 4:28 PM
    Data Entry2 says:

    I have my yacht in Mallorca with a non-EC flag on Temporary importation and the customs authorities here accept Gibraltar as a non-EC place to reset the 547 days temporary importation account.
    probably a safer place then Tunisia in this period.

  18. September 6, 2015 at 3:16 PM
    Data Entry2 says:

    A new 700 berth marina is being built (2015) and should be opening next year. There are two chandlers. If using Hire-You-Shop, be sure to establish terms and conditions before paying for anything.

    I can only say their returns policy is extremely strict and re-inforced with quite a forthright language. I would not shop there again. Don’t buy food or drink in Gib except for spirits. It is much cheaper across the border in Spain.

  19. August 6, 2015 at 5:40 PM
    Data Entry2 says:

    We have tied up in Gib and La Linia a bunch of times. Gib is outside the SHANGAN (SP?) visa area so it can be used to stop the visa clock. The prices of La Linia were much lower than Gib and there was much more room. The staff at La Linia did our check-in for us. Very simple and super friendly.

    The Gib side seems much more pedantic. The supplies on the Gib side are better and you don’t really need to rent a car. The La Linia side really needs a car to get around. Either one is a short walk from the other.

  20. February 25, 2015 at 9:19 AM
    Data Entry2 says:

    Although Gibraltar is outside the EU customs area, it is part of the EU and the Temporary Importation (TI) clock for non-EU boats starts on entry to the port. Nor, therefore, can Gibraltar be used to re-set the TI clock.
    The Noonsite Team

  21. February 24, 2015 at 2:14 PM
    Data Entry2 says:

    Seeking an advice if calling Gibraltar port resets the non-EU flag yacht temporary VAT importation period (18 months)in EU waters?

  22. June 27, 2014 at 10:33 AM
    Data Entry2 says:

    Entering any busy port at night is never a good idea. Entering Gibraltar at HW and at night could be suicide. As we crossed the bay I commented at how brightly lit the shoreline was, and then it started to move as twenty plus large ships left harbour in unison, all heading in our direction, no obvious navigation lights and each vessel setting sail from a different direction.

    If you need to buy anything from a chandlery, buy it in the UK. The prices may be advertised as a VAT or Tax-Free but the reality is that it will cost you a lot more to buy the kit in Gibraltar than at home. Sheppard’s Chandlery is as good as most small UK businesses, but they don’t carry much stock and they have pretty much cornered the market in Gib.

    Just around the corner from Sheppard’s is the U Hire Shop in the Water Garden area which has a section for chandlery, but their tools, hardware and general maintenance products are really worth a look.