Catalan Bay Beach
Catalan Bay is a beautiful small bay and fishing village in Gibraltar, on the eastern side of The Rock away from the main city. During the nineteenth century, only fishermen were permitted to live in Catalan Bay.
The name Catalan Bay dates from the early 18th century. After Catalonia declared for the Archduke in 1705 allying with Britain, Catalan fishermen would likely have salted their anchovies ‘Boquerones’ at this beach before sending them back to Catalonia. Similarly, Genoese traders and seasonal workers began to use this bay and when they migrated away from Genoa this little fishing village became predominantly a Genoese colony. Due to its relative inaccessibility from the town and the regular rock falls that blocked the route this area of Gibraltar remained largely autonomous and kept a lot of its authentic charm.
Comparatively recently the development of the Caleta Palace hotel and now the reclamation works have transformed this area. Visitors are recommended to sample the local seafood restaurants within this picturesque bay.
The beach at Catalan Bay is the second largest sandy beach in Gibraltar. It is very popular with both residents and tourists and can often become overcrowded during the summer months.
Catalan Bay is home to the Caleta Hotel, a number of restaurants (specialising in fresh seafood) and the church of Our Lady of Sorrows. The statue of Our Lady of Sorrows is carried to the beach each September when the Bishop of Gibraltar blesses the sea in what has become the main religious festival.