In this episode Tony leads Friends Brian, Eric and Jim Scott on our adventures in Pamplona Spain, specifically talking about The San Fermin Festival, aka “Running with the Bulls”. Except for Brian, the rest of the friends on the episode have been to Pamplona multiple times and run with bulls’ numerous times.
We start off with a history of The San Fermin Festival. It was two festivals dating back to the 12th century, and the town combined the two together somewhere in the 15th century because the weather was better in July. One festival celebrated the Patron Saint Fermin and the other was the celebration of the herders bringing their livestock to market. The festival is always July 6-14, with bull runs everyday starting on the 7th.
The San Fermin Festival is like no other festival in the world. Everyone is clad in all white outfits with red trimmings, and it becomes a sea of white and red as over 2 million people roam the streets of Pamplona during this 8 -day period. This is a bucket list item for many people, and some do it and never need to comeback, others, like us, do it, meet a lot of people, and now try to make it an annual or at least bi-annual thing.
Accommodations range from campgrounds, to hostels, some hotels (hotel capacity can only cover 1-2 % of the festival goers) and renting of apartments. AirBnb, Heart of Pamplona apartments to name a few. We have stayed at a hostel, several apartments and a hotel once. Depending on your needs staying in the old quarter, where the main events of the festival take place is convenient but can be loud at all hours of the night. Quiet sleep time usually is from around 11 am- 4 or 5 pm.
The festival itself is the main day trip here, from the daily bull runs, to celebratory drinks and meals afterwards, meeting up with friends and a great nightly fireworks display, Pamplona has a lot to offer during the festival. But a Day trip north to the beautiful coastal town of San Sebastian is a very nice respite from the party. San Sebastian has great food and beaches and can be a destination all on its own with several Michelin rated restaurants in its limits.
Back in Pamplona there are lots of great restaurants and bar hangouts a few of our favorites are Bar Txoco, Bar Windsor, Café Iruna and an Italian restaurant called Latigellatia. All of these are on the main Plaza Castillo. Please click on the episode to get more details or read the transcript below.