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Bobby Thomas
I visited Catalan bay back in January. I enjoyed a lovely and peaceful stroll along ...Read More
CATALAN BAY
Catalan Bay Village Tour
Take a fantastic tour of Catalan Bay, learning of its incredible history dating back to the 1600s, while enjoying its amazing life and colour!
Click here for more info!
Location
East Coast, Gibraltar
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Information

Catalan Bay Beach is the middle beach between Eastern Beach and Sandy Bay Beach on the eastern side of the Rock lined by the Mediterranean Coast of Gibraltar. It is the second biggest sandy beach on the Rock.


Unlike the other beaches on this side of the Rock, Catalan Bay has an incredible history dating as far back as the 1600’s (in terms of written history.) It’s a very popular and extremely picturesque beach and village. Even just looking at the pictures, you can see it has a lot of life and colour, and if you are into fresh seafood, this is where you will want to dine.

Interesting Fact

There are a couple of theories as to how the village got its name. One theory shows documented evidence of a group of 350 Catalan servicemen that were believed to have settled here after having aided the Anglo-Dutch capture Gibraltar during the War of Spanish Succession in 1704. Hence the Bay being named after these Catalan servicemen.

There are references though dating further back to 1634, calling the bay “La Caleta” – meaning small bay or cove. Either way, the beautiful Catalan Bay has long served as a fishing village for many centuries. During the 17th and 18th centuries, Catalan Bay was predominantly populated by Geonese fishermen. It’s interesting to know that Genoese was actually the spoken language in “La Caleta” well into the 19th century, however the early decades of the 20th century saw it finally die out.


Partial view of the Catalan Bay Beach and La Caleta Hotel during summer in Gibraltar.

Back in the 19th century, the Governor of Gibraltar only permitted fishermen and their families to live in Catalan Bay. They would require a fishing permit in order to do so, and only a very limited number of permits would be granted each year. It’s quite amazing to think, but the majority of families living in Catalan Bay today are direct descendants of these original Genoese fishermen, locally known as “Caleteños”.


Catalan Bay is also home to the Catholic Church of Our Lady of Sorrows. Each September there is a procession to the beach carrying a statue of “Our Lady of Sorrows”. During this main religious festival of the village, the Bishop of Gibraltar blesses the sea. It is a very lively and well attended festival enjoyed by many young and old.


Talking of such, in the distant past, Catalan Bay was relatively inaccessible from the main town of Gibraltar. Regular rock falls would often block the main route to the small fishing village. This forced autonomy though only proved to be a blessing in disguise, as today Catalan Bay is still preserved with a great deal of its original authentic charm.

The brightness, the colours, the smell of seafood, the smiles and festive appeal, honestly make you feel like you are in another world of its own. The sandy beach is nothing short of spectacular, and the choice of cuisine is to die for. It is easily accessible by bus, well maintained, and not for no reason probably the most popular beach of Gibraltar.

Contact:
+350 200 71648 / +350 200 71633
ur&beaches@gibraltar.gov.gi

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I visited Catalan bay back in January. I enjoyed a lovely and peaceful stroll along the lovely golden sands, breathing in the sea air. I really enjoyed watching the sea coming in and seeing the waves breaking onto the sea shore. I love how this bay is tucked away with lovely pastoral colored buildings looking onto the beach. The back drop of the Rock of Gibraltar is both magnificent and ...

Beautiful Sunday out with hubby! 😎 Amazing place and so quiet and welcoming!👌🏽

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Catalan Bay fishing boat in Gibraltar

View of the Upper Rock Nature Reserve

The Lighthouse at Europa Point

Ibrahim-al-Ibrahim Mosque

The Lighthouse at Europa Point

The Lighthouse at Europa Point

View from the Upper Rock at sunset

Baby Gibraltar Monkey

Anti-aircraft gun at Napier of Magdala Battery

The Alameda Wildlife Conservation Park

The beautiful natural lake at the Lower Saint Michael's Cave

Ibrahim-al-Ibrahim Mosque

Heading down to Dove Chamber Lower Saint Michael's Cave

The Lighthouse at Europa Point

Gibraltar Monkey Yawning

The Alameda Wildlife Conservation Park

Seagull at Catalan bay in Gibraltar

The Lighthouse at Europa Point

Barbary Partridge along the Mediterranean Steps

Catalan bay sea shells in Gibraltar

The Lighthouse at Europa Point

The Upper Rock Nature Reserve

Gibraltar macaque facial photo

Ring Tailed Lemur Eating at Alameda Wildlife Conservation Park

Within the Tower of Homage

The Moorish Castle in Gibraltar

Artillery piece at the entrance of the World War 2 Tunnels

Catalan Bay