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Anyone here been to Gibraltar?


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I'm on a Med sailing this summer with a stop in Gibraltar. I've seen a couple videos, enough to know that there are basically just a few things my wife and I really want to see: The "top of the rock" area, the nature reserve, and the St. Michael's Cathedral caves. And we want to do it by taking the tram car up the mountain, walking around to see the things, and then taking the tram car back down. Those who know me know I'm moderately mobility-limited, and there is no way I'd be able to manage the full 12-ish miles of walking that I see is required to do the full journey and see all the other sights like the WW II tunnels or the Moorish Castle.

But there aren't any shore excursions that go to only these few areas. And it seems like the ones that include these areas as part of the tour also go entirely by mini-bus instead of taking the tram and letting the guests walk at their own pace. I want to be able to go through everything at my leisure so I can enjoy the views and take lots of photos. Which means buying my own tickets to the tram ahead of time (not a problem, I saw they're good for up to 3 months after purchase), and making my way over to it.

So I have a few questions for anyone who has been to Gibraltar:

  • How far away from the port is the tram? It looks like it's a hefty walk based on the one video I saw, but the person in the video didn't say. If it is a long walk, is it easy to get a taxi there?
  • Roughly how much walking is it once I'm at the top of the tram line to see those three areas? If doing the whole mountain walk is around 12 miles, I'm really hoping limiting to just the three areas, plus walking back from the caves to the tram, is only a few.
  • How steep are the roads / paths? Will it be exhausting walking back up to the tram line?
  • Do they have "short cut" paths to the tram, or do you have to walk back past everything else on the way to the caves? I'm thinking if it's a tough climb back up, it might almost be better to go straight to the caves first, then up to the nature reserve area and the top of the rock.

I did see that it's not at all necessary to go to the official "Monkey Zone" area to actually see plenty of the Barbary Macaques, they're apparently all over the place. So I'll be happy seeing whatever I see on my "partial" exploration.

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