Experiencing San Fermín with Northern Spain Travel is a unique, once in a lifetime, happening encompassing VIP Running of the Bulls Balcony events, as well as opportunities to participate in cultural, gastronomical, and taurine fiesta traditions. Northern Spain Travel also offers exclusive, fully guided bullfight tours and family friendly events.
Our San Fermín Adventure travel packages are incomparable, offering fully guided “bucket list” moments – Running of the Bulls VIP Balcony Events, cultural, gastronomical, and taurine tours, bullfight spectacles, and dinner on the roof fireworks events.
Our Running of the Bulls Balcony Events are the best VIP travel way to enjoy the Running of the Bulls from a safe and exciting vantage place – a once in a lifetime bucket list moment – a Fiesta VIP travel package.
TAURINE MORNING EXPERIENCE
This fully guided morning tour is a comprehensive taurine experience. Discover all the taurine traditions of San Fermín, learn how to run with the bulls, visit the bulls corral, learn the history & tradition of the running of the bulls while following along the route, watch the Apartado taurine ceremony, and taste the famous bull meat stew.
The running of the bulls is a tradition that dates back centuries. For those of you not wishing to run, we offer an entertaining and informative city walk with a taurine theme, but if you are contemplating running with the bulls, this tour is an excellent resource for informing yourself on the correct and safest way to run. Learn about its history, the stages of the course, how it is sectioned, the ins and outs and handy hints, and, very important, understand the rules.
This tour combines tasting elaborate Navarran foods and drinks, along with typical cultural and social San Fermín traditions that draw you into the local life of the Fiesta. The Vermutico tour is much more than the name implies, as it is a gastronomic escapade into the colorful streets of the city and into the magical world of exquisite pintxos and drinks. We begin by tickling our appetites with a special artisanal vermouth, followed by elaborate finger foods. The Vermutico permits us to wander from one hotspot to the next, stopping along the way to get a feel for the old city and the places where some key San Fermín events take place.
Fireworks on the Roof
With panoramic views of the citadel below and dancing lights in the sky above, we offer an excellent meal in a superb location from which to watch the spectacular international fireworks competition. Surrounded by the star bursts of colour while you sip fine wines and enjoy the best of our Navarran cuisine and cocktails.
This package offers one night accommodation in the center, in 3 to 4 star hotels, access to our best balconies to see the Chupinazo in the Town Hall and watch the Running of the Bulls from the first to middle level balconies with spectacular views of the route. Enjoy great accommodation, take part in our vibrant festival and experience the intensity from our top-class locations. We include bonuses to make your experience right from the moment you arrive – an elegant white shirt, red scarf and take-home souvenir.
A Happy City
I have never known either a place or an event where the laughs are so much louder, the smiles so much wider, and life is more enjoyable and love is more intense than Pamplona in July. The American author James Michener in his 1971 fictional novel ‘The Drifters’ (‘Hijos de Torremolinos’ in Spanish, and it’s the book that took me to Pamplona for my first ever Fiesta back in ’84) wrote, in the prelude to the 100 pages that make up the Pamplona chapter: ‘To be young, and in love, and in Pamplona in July is heaven itself.’
Well, let me tell you…to be middle aged, and single, but in Pamplona in July after well over half a lifetime of San Fermins’ is also heaven itself. Whatever your circumstances, just to be in Pamplona…
I know, I know…it’s a city on Planet Earth and bad things can happen, even during fiesta, but I promise you, after 34 Fiestas Without Equal and countless other visits to this City Beyond Compare, that there is something remarkably special about not just Pamplona, but Navarra. As if there is an aura surrounding it. And during Fiesta, well, I swear that aura turns into a giant but invisible gold and red cloak – yes, like the one San Fermin wears – that covers the city in a cocoon, as if trying to protect it and everyone within it from harm.
And underneath that protective caped cocoon, as I wrote in that first line, things are more fun, more emotional, more…just…more!
I remember once, around about ’89, standing outside Bar Txoko after the encierro, traditional post run breakfast in hand – a vanilla legumba – watching Superman perform for us.
Okay, it wasn’t the real Pamplona Superman, Fernando Lizaur Gomez, who graced Pamplona’s bullring and streets with his extraordinary 1979 fiesta version of a corrida ‘espontaneo’ but just a street performer, wearing our super hero’s famous suit of tights.
Halfway through this fellas’ act he took a breather and lit a cigarette. I was standing next to the American runner Joe Distler at the time, who I didn’t yet know, and just said to him, ‘’Look, Superman smokes!’’ And he just looked at me and laughed his head off and said, ‘’Yeah, man, Superman smokes!’’ and wandered off, saying to himself, ‘Superman smokes!’’ and still laughing. Only in Pamplona…
One time my car, with its English number plate and right hand drive, was stolen at the beginning of fiesta while parked under the trees in front of the bullring, back in the day when it was not just allowed to park there, but to park for free. Under the trees and in the shade it was a beautiful spot. And beautifully easy to steal, too…
On July 14th while wandering around town, my brother Mike found the car parked, and parked well, in the wide street by the side of where the fun fair used to be, and where the new bust station is now. The ‘thieves’ had put about 15miles on the speedo and changed the clock from British time to Spanish…and left half a bottle of wine. Oh, my fantastic fiesta… Thanks lads!
Once upon a time in my first year my friends and I, sitting in the Plaza del Castillo on the grass, which became during fiesta our hotel, living room, kitchen, garden, were visited by two of The Little People. Yes…them! The next year there were four of them and then in ’86 there were twelve of the mythical creatures. Yes, twelve. You don’t believe me? I don’t blame you, but this tale, like the one mentioned last month when I met San Fermin and his friends, will have to wait for another day. There once was a time…honestly, you couldn’t script it and only in Pamplona…
There is a word that I learnt thanks to reading one of the books written by that great Pamplonican doctor, writer and historian, Jose Joaquin Arazuri, that apparently is typically Navarran. The word is ‘ciriquiar.’ To make mischief. Well, Pamplona is full of mischief makers, jokers and comedians. I don’t know if the Catholic Church has a saint for that little trio of fun-folksters, but I think they should have.
Actually, in retrospect, I suppose they already have beatified someone to look after such a trio of mischief-makers…the Pamplonican and Navarran, San Fermin.
Sometimes you are just not able to dream, but other times you can live your dreams, and this happens when the dates fall between the 6th and 14th of July and the miracle is called The Fiesta of San Fermin.
Today is the 2nd of February and another special date for the city and for us foreigners from all over the world who are waiting for July and for the dream to become reality in this mythical town. Pamlona is a wonderful city. A Happy City. So you could say a Feli-City. Or maybe even a Happinecity…
Ya falta mucho but already ya falta menos, Pamplonicans. Viva San Fermin! Gora!
By Tim Pinks
The author of the novels Bulls Eye and Once Upon a Time in Pamplona