THE RUNNING OF THE BULLS
Festival de San Fermin, July 6-14, 2024, Pamplona, Spain
Navigating Pamplona, Spain during the annual Festival de San Fermin is a daunting task when you try to go it alone.
There's much to know and consider in planning your visit to the Festival de San Fermin. We've been doing this for almost 20 years. So we've created this one-stop-shop where you can find everything you need in one place to plan your time at the Fiesta on your budget. Here you can avoid the hassles and stress of booking Pamplona hotel rooms, reserving prime Pamplona balcony spaces, and securing Pamplona bullfight tickets. You can book tables at popular Pamplona restaurants where reservations are scarce during the Festival de San Fermin, get special VIP tickets for viewing the breathtaking nightly fireworks displays, and more.
Immerse yourself in the traditions and culture of one of the world’s oldest and largest festivals.
Every year during the second week of July, a sleepy little Spanish city of 200,000 suddenly swells to a population over one million. The hotels of Pamplona, Spain overflow with visitors from around the world. For 10 days, from 6 a.m. until long past midnight, people gather to celebrate the Fiesta of San Fermín, its patron saint. The days are filled with large religious processions, concerts, singing and folk dancing, parades of huge grotesque figures, and spectacular fireworks displays. There are evening bullfights at Pamplona's famed Plaza de Toros, and the persistent revelry is fueled with abundant consumption of traditional foods and round the clock drinking of strong Spanish wine. But by far, the most exciting part of the annual festivites is the one-of-a-kind Encierro (the Running of the Bulls).
The Encierro: 400 Years of History
The tradition of the Running of the Bulls dates back over 400 years. The town’s butchers had to move bulls from the ranches outside Pamplona into the town. They hired bull minders called “pastores” to accompany them. The young butchers began running in front of the bulls to make them run faster, and it soon turned into a kind of competitive event, with many locals joining in. Ernest Hemingway almost single-handedly spurred the global love affair with Pamplona, its fiesta, and the morning running of the bulls with the publication of his novel “The Sun Also Rises” in 1926. Hemingway immortalized the event, and his imprimatur is everywhere. Hemingway drank at Café Iruna, and now, almost 100 years later, patrons flock to Plaza del Castillo to pay reverence to the man and toast his lifelike bronze presence at the end of the bar.
A Sea of White & Red
The attire for everyone attending the annual Festival de San Fermin is a uniform of white pants and shirt accented with a red pañuelo (bandana) and faja (sash). The locals in Pamplona are offended if you show up and don’t honor this important custom because it remembers their beloved Christian martyr for whom the Festival is named. The white represents his sanctity. The red bandana about the neck remembers the blood spilled cruelly with his beheading. The red sash is always knotted tightly on the left hip symbolizing the blood from a knife to his heart. Local butchers of the time also wore white. The red bandana about the neck captured their sweat, and the red sash about their waist was used to wipe their hands.
Special Bullrun Pamplona Packages
Stay in a 4-Star Party Street Hotel
Opening Ceremonies July 5-8 - Starting at $1,489/Day PP
Mid-Fiesta July 8-12 - Starting at $938/Day PP
Closing Ceremonies July 12-15 - Starting at $1,053/Day PP
Stay in a 4-Star Resort Hotel
Opening Ceremonies July 5-8 - Starting at $1,107/Day PP
Mid-Fiesta July 8-12 - Starting at $718/Day PP
Closing Ceremonies July 12-15 - Starting at $744/Day PP
Consider us your source for the best Pamplona Running of the Bulls vacation packages, including stellar accommodations, bull run balcony tickets, bullfight seats, and so much more. Contact us today to book your unforgettable San Fermin Festival trip.
San Fermin Tour Packages
During the San Fermin Festival, the city of Pamplona swells to capacity, as more than one million visitors arrive for 9 days of non-stop crazy fun. Needless to say, finding a place to sleep, transportation, bullfight tickets, and balconies becomes a challenge if you don’t book in advance. Our Pamplona tour packages are the easiest and most cost-effective way to ensure a stress-free holiday.
Unless you’re planning to run, it’s crucial to secure a Pamplona balcony to see every thrilling second of the encierro. Getting decent views of the bull run from street level is close to impossible, and balcony rentals are the safest and most comfortable perch from which to take in the spectacle.
The tradition of bullfighting in Spain is centuries old, and another highlight of the San Fermin fiesta. Tourists and locals fill up the grandiose Plaza de Toros to witness some of the most talented matadors encounter Spain’s largest bulls that were run earlier that day. Tickets to Pamplona bullfights are in short supply, as local residents hold 90 percent of all seats.
The Best Deal on Pamplona Packages
Traveling to Pamplona for the Running of the Bulls can be overwhelming. All resources are extremely limited, which can quickly ruin along anticipated vacation experience. Our main goal is to provide guests with a flawless yet affordable trip that exceeds their expectations. We accomplish that by offering all-inclusive Pamplona bull run packages. One purchase and you're all set. No more stress or worries, or last-minute bookings for balconies or bullfight tickets -- we made it totally easy.
San Fermin Festival in Pamplona
The bull runs in Pamplona are famous worldwide for good reason. These nail-biting “Encierros” are the cornerstone event of the San Fermin Festival, which is staged every year from July 6-14th. More than 1 million spectators gather around the streets of Santo Domingo, Mercaderes, and Estafeta to witness the excitement and volatility that characterizes the running of the bulls.
Every morning adrenaline-junkies line the bull run route, ready to sprint alongside and, occasionally in front of, enormous bulls weighing upwards of 1,500 pounds. The festival promises 9 days of unbridled partying and plenty of family-friendly activities in Pamplona’s Old Town, known as “Casco Viejo.” Visitors from all over the globe are invited to delve into Pamplona’s rich culture, sample Navarra’s delectable cuisine, and experience one of Spain’s most iconic festivals.
Bullrun Pamplona 2024
The San Fermin Festival features around 400 events throughout the city, including parades, competitions, live music performances, firework displays, cultural events, and kid-friendly activities. The official Pamplona bull run 2024 schedule is up! Check out the Running of the Bulls dates and start planning the adventure of your life.
Running of the Bulls
Navarre’s historic capital is the perfect backdrop for the Pamplona bull run – an exhilarating event that starts on July 7th and is repeated every day of the festival. At precisely 8 AM, six fighting bulls – bred for strength, size, and nobility -- are released onto the street, accompanied by six oxen that help herd the beasts and keep them on course. In terms of popularity and numbers of spectators, only La Tomatina (tomato fight) in Bunol, Valencia, rivals the running of the bulls.
The bull runs are the heart of Sanfermines and make the fiesta a world-renowned spectacle. The bull run’s origin stems from practical need: they had to find a way to get the bulls from the countryside outside the city into the bullring. The encierro starts on Calle Santo Domingo corral when the church of San Cernin clock strikes eight. After two rockets are fired, the runners flee for 875 meters (the distance from the corral to the bullfighting stadium) with bulls charging right on their heels.
The run usually lasts less than four minutes, but you never know. If a bull goes rogue and breaks from the herd, the run can last much longer, and result in more injuries.
About the Encierro: The Running of the Bulls
The Encierro is an indescribable experience for runners and spectators alike. Barriers and fences are placed to corral the bulls along the city center streets to the bullring, where they will later face their demise. Since 1910, 16 people have died while participating in the bull runs, the majority from being gored.
A first-time runner should not downplay the dangers and should learn all of the protective strategies needed to stay safe and unharmed throughout. Not everyone is a good candidate to run the Encierro. It requires steady nerves, sharp reflexes, and a high physical fitness level. Anyone who does not have these three should not take part as it is a highly risky enterprise.
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