The government of Gipuzkoa hosted an event in San Sebastian, attended by Harkaitz Millán, Edurne Varga, director of Hotel Avenida, director of Basquetour, writers Javier Muñoz and Edorta Jimenez and the travel agency Northern Spain Travel represented by owner Stephanie Mutsaerts, at which the free magazine ‘Hemingway Traveler’ was launched. The magazine relives the travels through Euskadi, Iparralde, Navarra, and La Rioja of the American writer Ernest Hemingway.

That the American writer and Nobel Laureate Ernest Hemingway was in love with Gipuzkoa and its bordering territories is no secret. This Thursday, the new free magazine ‘Hemingway Traveler’, of which 10,000 copies have been published in Spanish and English, was launched at Hotel Avenida, in San Sebastian. The magazine also has texts in Basque. The new tourist product ‘Heming.way Road Trip Tour’, created by the Pamplona-based agency Northern Spain Travel, was also presented at the event.  The main objective of the tourist/cultural resource publication, which uses the image and uniqueness of Ernest Hemingway as the thread of its storyline, is not only to reach the local and international traveler, but also to strengthen the links between Euskadi, Iparralde, Navarra and La Rioja through a variety of proposed trips and getaways.

The places, people, parties, and customs that the Nobel Prize winner knew in these three neighboring autonomous communities left a strong mark on both his life and his writing. These experiences went beyond those of  San Fermin which Ernest Hemingway made famous throughout the world with his first great novel, published in 1926, ‘The Sun Also Rises’ (titled ‘Fiesta’ in its Spanish version). The writer died on July 2, 1961, but still to this day he is an exceptional ambassador attracting tourists to these regions – a fact that is well recognized by the promoters of ‘Hemingway Traveler’.  The new publication is the fourth activity in which Euskadi, Navarra, and La Rioja are collaborating together to promote the ‘Destination Hemingway-Hemingway Bidaide’. The magazine has been distributed to more than a hundred hotels in these three autonomous communities, to tourist offices, and to stores of the Elkar publishing house.


In conjunction with the presentation of the free magazine ‘Hemingway Traveler’ Stephanie Mutsaerts, owner of the company Northen Spain Travel,  presented the new tourist product ‘Heming-way’.’ Hemingway Tours’, an initiative of the Northern Spain Travel company of Pamplona, is a tourist product that enables the traveler to travel through the so-called ‘Territorias Hemingway’ on an organized trip that has guides expert in the life and work of the North American writer. Nothing feels more authentic than an experiential adventure and the travelers are the true actors in their own adventure story. This package is designed with a personalized Heming-way road map to lead the way and an extensive program with clear instructions on how to get from one location to the next, and what time the expert Hemingway guides will meet the travelers, along with all relevant accommodation information. Travelers opting for the standard tour package can choose to do the Heming-way Road Trip in their own car, or in a rental vehicle.  For a premium they can rent a classic car thus making the Heming-way Road Trip even more authentic.

He stayed at the Maria Cristina and the well-known anecdote of his meeting with José de Arteche led to his writing a book that was subsequently subsequently published in Basque – his acclaimed ‘The Old Man and the Sea’. A year later, 1960, was his last stay in the capital, and there is a photo in which he is seen enjoying a bullfight in the Plaza del Chofre. In Gipuzkoa, he was also captivated by the serenity of Txingudi Bay, which he captured in another of his works, from which it is evident that he was a client of Boinas Elosegui de Tolosa.

The Hemingway tour passes through Gipuzkoa, a place Ernest Hemingway visited on numerous occasions. He wandered the streets of San Sebastian at least a dozen times. In August 1931 he stayed at the Avenida Hotel, so the decision to hold the presentation of the new free magazine there on Thursday could not have been better. On his stay in Donostia, Ernest Hemingway did not hide the fact that he liked the sand of La Concha, «smooth, firm and yellow» and «warm to the touch of the feet», before plunging into the bay. There are photos of him from 1926 and 1927 in which he appears in a swimsuit with his second wife, Paulin Pfeiffer. He went to the pelota stadium and declared himself “enthusiastic” about the well-known pelotari Atano. He also enjoyed afternoons at the Café de la Marina, taking lemon granita and double whiskey with soda. He finished writing his novel ‘Fiesta’ in Donostia and Hendaia. The capital of Gipuzkoa is the setting of the penultimate chapter of the famous work. He returned to San Sebastian in 1959, a visit that he captured in his book ‘The Dangerous Summer’.


Book Now Your Adventure

Make your Hemingway adventure part of your San Fermin Festival. Take a day off from the local fiesta and come with us to explore the land just like Hemingway justed to do!!

Our Hemingway Tour is a delightful walking tour to discover the Navarran Pyrenees as we follow in the footsteps of Ernest Hemingway. It is a day trip which includes visits to places enjoyed by Hemingway as well as gastronomic experiences related to his life and work.

Did you know that Ernest Hemingway loved places with tastes and identities of their own? Through his books, letters, and articles, he instills in us the idea that the world is a very fascinating place and that we should venture out there and discover it for ourselves. In Navarre, Ernest Hemingway found an unexpected land that bedazzled him. His traveller spirit takes us into a variety of landscapes, where we try regional dishes and exquisite foods and wines of Navarre, like the local sheep cheese, trout Navarre style and Txistorra.

“It’s a shame that Van Gogh did not get to paint Navarre.”

Ernest Hemingway


  • Meet us in the Plaza del Castillo, where our adventure begins.
  • Visit to one of the most beautiful villages of the Cantabrian Valley, Sunbilla.
  • Hop on bord on a Train ride to Larrun and experience a gastro experience.
  • Visit the Victor Hugo Museum and taste sea-food us a gastro experience.
  • Sailboat trip to San Sebastian, on a 1924 boat.
  • Gastro dinner in San Sebastian, pintxos and dricks

Travel with us to the northern corner of Spain where you can experience the heart and soul of Basque culture. Get ready for a day of folklore, green hills, and exquisite seafood. Our first Hemingwayesque experience takes us to Sunbilla, a picturesque village located in the heart of the Cantabrian Valleys, northeast of Navarre, where there are many caserios (Basque houses) decorated with their family crests. The village also has a majestic 16th century stone bridge over the Bidasoa River. A train ride brings you to the top of Mount Larrun from where you can enjoy the best vistas to the distant horizon with enjoying crisp, fresh, air, as well as traditional wines. Retrace the steps of Hemingway through the bay of Pasajes, one of the most charming, history filled, coastal towns northeast of San Sebastian, where you will visit the Víctor Hugo house-museum. Here you will enjoy unforgettable food that would satisfy the palate of Hemingway. We are transported back to the 1920’s on a sailboat to San Sebastian, savoring cava as you go. Get ready to join the experts on the best pintxo and wine route in San Sebastian – a city that Hemingway found enchanting. Fall in love with this noble city while you taste exquisite pintxo and wine pairings.

Hemingway and Pamplona

The Nobel Prize-winning novelist Ernest Hemingway was born on July 21, 1899, in Oak Park, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago in the United States of America. Considered as one of the best writers of the 20th century, he gave life to his characters in a new way and is considered to be the forefather of modern literature Hemingway produced most of his work between the mid-1920s and the mid-1950s, and he won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. Among them was his novel The Sun also Rises (Fiesta), which helped to make the San Fermin Festival known internationally.

Hemingway visited Pamplona during San Fermin on nine occasions. From the moment he arrived he fell in love with the culture and land. He drank in its bars and cafés, and enjoyed the local food, the bull runs, he was fascinated by the bullfights and the people of Pamplona with their open-minded welcoming nature in an atmosphere in tune with his own perspective of life.

Did Hemingway take part in the running of the bulls?

Fernando Hualde quotes that he did in his book – “Hemingway. Cien años y una huella”. Hemingway took part in the running of the bulls for the first time on the 7th of July, 1924 accompanied by Donald Ogden Stewart. According to the Fernando, Hemingway was on the running course but stayed a safe distance from the bulls. In his book “Hemingway y los Sanfermines” José María Iribarren documents what people who knew Hemingway stated. What we know for sure is that he did not want to take any risks in the running of the bulls. The only photos taken of Hemingway participating in taurine events is a picture in the Boston John F. Kennedy library, of him in the bullring with the female bravo bulls “vaquillas” just after the running of the bulls. Soon after, one of the vaquillas knocked Donald Ogden over and Hemingway tried to help him by pulling the animal away. According to Fernando Hualde, there was no medical report list during that time. Nevertheless, The Toronto Star published a report that stated that Donald Ogden had suffered two broken ribs and that Hemingway had been fined for misbehaving.

In addition, Hemingway sent United Press a report that he had been gored by a bull and this news agency spread all over the world. The repercussion was enormous even though it was based on a false information.

Book Now Your Adventure

Make your Hemingway adventure part of your San Fermin Festival. Take a day off from the local fiesta and come with us to explore the land just like Hemingway justed to do!!


Ernest Hemingway was one of the finest novelists and short story writers of the 20th century. His works, especially his four novels, one of which, The Sun Also Rises, that is set in part here in Pamplona, are a testament to his unique and creative talent.  His writings won him a Pulitzer prize, and a Nobel prize, as well as international acclaim. Hemingway changed the rules of American literature and is one of the few figures in the world that most people recognize at a glance, like Abraham Lincoln.


Hemingway’s father was a true outdoorsman who wanted to raise his children to be as competent in the woods as on the city streets. When the boy was three, his father took him fishing for the first time, and a year later, he could spend all day casting line from a rowboat, under a downpour of constant rain, without complaint. Even as a toddler, his mother remembered, Ernest was “a natural scientist, loving everything in the way of bugs, stones, shells, birds, animals, insects, and blossoms.”


The Lost Generation was the generation that grew to adulthood during World War I 1914 – 1918. To many, the American Dream of democracy, rights, liberty, opportunity and equality, no longer made sense. Affected by the futility of the war and the millions of young soldiers and civilians who died in it, the long-standing ideals of honor, courage, and stoicism seemed hollow and meaningless. There was great confusion and aimlessness among the war’s survivors in the early post-war years. Hemingway is one of the American expatriates of the Lost Generation. In his novel The Sun Also Rises he depicts this era, this sentiment and reality of the postwar generation.

In 1924 he and his first wife, Elizabeth Hadley, returned for a second visit, and a group of friends, among them Robert Mcalmon, Donald Ogden and John Dos Passos. That same year in Pamplona he befriended Juanito Quintana and he also took part  in the running of the bulls for the first time.

Hemingway visited Pamplona for the first time with his first wife, Elizabeth Hadley, as a correspondent of The Toronto Star, while he was living in Paris, where he had met artists and writers, like Picasso and James Joyce. On his first visit to Pamplona in 1923, Hemingway had in mind to complete a series of twelve short reports and was looking for good writing material. As you can imagine, his impression of San Fermín was unbeatable; with its Peñas (San Fermín social clubs) parading in the streets, the Txaranga bands leading the way and filling the city with music and cheer, its running of the bulls, and the bullfights in the afternoon. All of this was so unlike anything Ernest Hemingway had previously seen or experienced. He was, above all, enchanted by the way he was accepted into the fiesta, joining the festivities and feeling part of the groups of Pamplonicas – it was indeed an authentic experience for this young adventurous writer. All of this was reflected in the article printed in The Toronto Star on 23rd of October and some time later in his own literary work.


15 + 11 =

He witnesses the death of the first mortal victim in the running of the bulls, Esteban Domeño. That same day word got out that Hemingway and Donald Ogden had been gored by the bulls, which was a false rumor which spread abroad like wildfire.

In 1925 he returned to San Fermin fiestas with the idea of trying something new and begin gathering material for a novel, an idea kindled by his good Paris friend Gertrude Stein. Ernest Hemingway witnessed the comeback of the bullfighter, Juan Belmonte and he becomes a fan of Cayetano Ordoñez. On this visit, he gathered enough inspiration to write his novel “Fiesta”.

In 1926 Hemingway returned once again to Pamplona for San Fermin. This time he discovered the bar/restaurant Casa Marceliano, which no longer exists today, but where Hemingway tried his favorite dish for first time, called ajoarriero. This is cod dish typical in Pamplona and that you cannot leave without trying. In October, he published his novel under the title “The Sun also Rises” in Europe and “Fiesta” in the USA. This novel had a huge impact on both Pamplona and San Fermín and opened the fiestas to a world-wide public.

In 1927 This year he arrived to Pamplona accompanied by Pauline Pfeiffer, a journalist who had accompanied him and his wife on previous visit. He was now a familiar figure on the terrace of the Café Iruña, or Casa Marceliano. In his bullfighting story, “Death in the Afternoon”, he wrote about the bullfights of that year, where his friend the gypsy, Cagancho, was the protagonist.

In 1929 Hemingway arrived in his “tiburon” car to Pamplona from Paris with his now-wife, Pauline. Fernando Huarte quotes in his book “Cien años y una huella” a story that an old employee told him, about the Hotel Quintana, Eustaquio Ardanaz. Here he relates how, while Pauline was sleeping, Hemingway appeared in a rather drunken state at the Hotel Quintana, joined by two women – one on each arm. Soon afterwards the two women were seen running out of the hotel with Hemingway chasing behind them in his underwear and shouting for them to come back. Juanito Quintana, the manager and friend of Hemingway, reprimanded him, as this was an intolerable act in the Catholic and very conservative Pamplona he lived in and warned him that any further behavior like that would mean throwing him out of the hotel.

In 1931 Hemingway appeared at the San Fermin fiestas accompanied by his wife Pauline and his son. Fernando Hualde confirms this, with the publication of a single picture taken in the bullring that year.

For the next 22 years Hemingway did not attend fiesta. A change in the political climate and Hemingway’s Republican views, plus the fact that Hemingway had lots of work, along with the  disappearance of the Hotel Quintana, contributed to the fact that Hemingway would not return to Pamplona. His experiences during the Civil War and his political sympathies made him reluctant to return to Spain, however he was happy to finally be able to return to San Fermín.

Book Your Adventure Now

Make your Hemingway adventure part of your San Fermin Festival. Take a day off from the local fiesta and come with us to explore the land just like Hemingway justed to do!!

In 1953, Hotel La Perla room number 217. After 22 years, San Fermin was the same as ever, but the environment was much richer – more foreigners were living the fiesta so that by 1953 when Ernest Hemingway came back to Pamplona, he noticed the difference. Hemingway was accompanied by Juanito Quintana during his stay even though he did not run a hotel anymore. The writer arrived with his 3rd wife Mary Welsh and stayed in Lecumberri at the advice of Quintana. However, being so far from the center of the fiestas did not suit Hemingway and on the 7th of July they checked into Room 217 of La Perla Hotel in Plaza del Castillo, the main square of Pamplona. It was not his first experience in this hotel, on earlier visits Hemingway had witnessed the bullfighters dress and prepare themselves for the bullfights in this hotel, but until the 50’s he could never afford such an expensive accommodation.

Hemingway also visited the chapel of San Fermin after the procession. He prayed devotedly to the saint, as chronicled in “Hemingway and the San Fermin fiestas”, written by José María Iribarren. As a curiosity, Hemingway was once asked by Octavio Aparicio in an interview who he considered the most interesting person in the town …and he answered “San Fermin”.

Hemingway saw Antonio Ordoñez, the son of Cayetano, fight for the first time and he was profoundly fascinated by his performance. That night, both men had dinner together in Los Pocholas. This restaurant no longer exists, but is today a fabulous place to have Churros y Chocolate.

1959, Hemingway the star. Once again stayed at room 217 in La Perla Hotel, this was his last visit to San Fermín. Fernando Huarte, in his book “Hemingway, cien años y una huella” states this year during San Fermin fiestas, Hemingway was the main attraction. Everyone wanted to be seen with him and to have photos taken with him.

He came to Pamplona with a big group from Madrid, among them the bullfighter Antonio Ordoñez, Dr. Vernon Lord, TV writer Aarón Hotchner, the young Irish journalist, Valerie Danby-Smith and the photographer Julio Oubiña. This photographer made a special photographic article of Hemingway enjoying one of his pastimes – fishing. We see him on the cover of Life magazine fishing on the banks of the Yesa reserve.

Televisión Española comes to Pamplona, ​​Navarra to interview Stephanie Mutsaerts about her travel agency Northern Spain Travel and her new Heming.way product line – for Hemingway lovers and intrepid travelers who want to discover northern Spain.