Pamplona is the historical capital city of Navarre, an autonomous community in northern Spain bordering the Basque Country, La Rioja and Aragon.

This historic city is famous for hosting the San Fermín festival, which is one of the biggest fiestas in Spain, attracting over a million visitors.

Held annually from the 6th to the 14th of July, it is a deeply rooted celebration held in honour of Saint Fermin, Navarre’s co-patron, beginning with a literal bang – a huge pyrotechnic display at midday.

Of all the traditions, it is the encierro, known as the ‘Running of the Bulls’, that is the biggest draw. Fighting bulls are corralled down 875 meters (957 yards) of Pamplona’s old cobbled streets en route to the bullfighting arena, while people dressed in white and red have to outrun them. Dangerous and thrilling, it was enshrined in literary history in Ernest Hemingway’s ‘The Sun Also Rises’.

The city and its diverse surroundings offer plenty more to see and do, such as seeing the 16th-century fortifications, the Gothic Catedral de Santa María la Real or exploring the beautiful mountains.

When to go

The best time to visit Granada is in spring and autumn when the temperatures are mild and there are warm sunny days. Summer can get quite hot and moderately crowded, while the crowds will be even greater in July when the festival begins.


What to do

  • Visit Pamplona's lovely cathedral
  • Explore Pamplona's citadel
  • Settle down in the main square for some authentic cuisine
  • Experience the celebrations during the festival of San Fermin
  • Sample some wine from the Navarra area
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