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Six things You Didn’t Know About Pamplona’s Running Of The Bulls

Six things You Didn’t Know About Pamplona’s Running Of The Bulls
The famous San Fermin festival of Pamplona, northern Spain, is best known for its infamous pamplonas running of the bulls run. While the festivities run between the 6th and 15th July there is so much more to the festival than the daily encierro (Bull Run), which only lasts for about five minutes each morning.

If you’re not interested in running with the bulls for safety or ethical reasons, or plan on running but want more from your trip to Pamplona, here’s our collection of things you can check out and do during Sanfermines.

1. World’s best street party – Six things You Didn’t Know About Pamplona’s Running Of The Bulls

Pamplona’s Running Of The Bulls
For most young locals San Fermin does not mean running with bulls, but more so an opportunity to party in the town’s squares, alleyways and everywhere, really. This party doesn’t stop from the chupinazo opening ceremony until well after the closing fireworks. In fact, the party only really rests when the bull run is on, as that’s when most young locals go home for a nap (around 7am!). This street party is full of concerts and DJs, marching bands, people from all over the world, and copious amounts of sangria.

2. Navarese food and wine – Six things You Didn’t Know About Pamplona’s Running Of The Bulls

Six things You Didn’t Know About Pamplona’s Running Of The Bulls - 3
Navarra, the province of which Pamplona is the capital, is famous for its red wines and, being a part of the Basque Country, its tapas, known locally as pintxos. The city is full of bars, many serving bite-sized dishes from the bar top, and during San Fermin the bars spill into the streets, where everybody drinks and snacks together.

3. Walk in Hemingway’s footsteps – Six things You Didn’t Know About Pamplona’s Running Of The Bulls

Six things You Didn’t Know About Pamplona’s Running Of The Bulls
The globetrotting author was obsessed with Pamplona and immortalised the San Fermin festivals in his book Fiesta,
The Sun Also Rises. These days you can still find the bars, hotels and restaurants that Hemingway haunted, one of which has been converted into a kebab shop, and like the hard drinking womaniser, kick back in the main plaza with a stiff drink and watch the party unfold before you.

4. Stoked in the Park – Six things You Didn’t Know About Pamplona’s Running Of The Bulls

Six things You Didn’t Know About Pamplona’s Running Of The Bulls
Stoke Travel puts on a music and sports festival that runs at their campsite, just outside the city. Here we find international and locals bands and DJs, pool parties, as well as friendly sporting matches and food trucks offering local and foreign fare. Stoked in the Park is the perfect party to compliment your Pamplona experience, whether it’s to warm up for the madness with a pre-party, or to wind down, all fuelled with Stoke Travel’s unlimited beer and sangria bar for a measly €10 a day.

5. Surfing at nearby San Sebastian – Six things You Didn’t Know About Pamplona’s Running Of The Bulls

surfing San Sebastian - Stoke
San Sebastian is less than an hour away from Pamplona and the beaches and blue Bay of Biscay act as the perfect antidote to Pamplona’s hot, dry repetitiveness. After a few days raging in San Fermin take the time to do a trip to San Sebastian, see the famous seaside resort city and then take a chance at surfing in the North Atlantic. This time of year the waves will be mellow and the water warm, making it a perfect experience for surfers of all levels, from absolute beginners to experts looking for a little fun in the sun.

6. Bilbao BBK Live – Six things You Didn’t Know About Pamplona’s Running Of The Bulls

Bilbao BBK Live - Stoke
Another experience that you can combine with San Fermin is Bilbao’s BBK Live music festival, which takes place in the Basque Country’s biggest city. This year bands like Gorillaz, The XX, Florence and the Machine, Alt J, Childish Gambino and The Chemical Brothers will be playing over three days and nights alongside local and international acts. If the San Fermin parties aren’t enough, then get down to Bilbao and go wild for three more nights!

A bit about Stoke Travel

Stoke Travel offers accommodation packages to San Fermin that include tent, sleeping bag and air mattresses, cooked breakfasts and dinners, the Stoked in the Park festival, guides and all night campsite parties. You can also organise to surf in San Sebastian with Stoke Travel, or head down to Bilbao for BBK Live (or do it all). Stoke Travel provides enough entertainment options for people not interested in the bull run, as well as being the travel company of choice for first time, or experienced runners.

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