About the Fiesta: Sanfermines is the single most unique, renowned and celebrated festivals in the world today and is a combination of two major festivals held each year in Pamplona, the Fiesta de San Fermín, the celebration of Navarra's co-patron Saint, San Fermín, and the Feria del Toro de Sanfermín, the Festival of the Bull. The legendary Running of the Bulls, the encierro, was first introduced to the world in Hemingway's 1926 novel, The Sun Also Rises (Fiesta), which each year continues to attract thousands of visitors from around the world. The encierro, the running of the bulls, could one of the most adrenaline charged moments you may ever experience!
The fiesta begins at noon on July 6 with the firing of the rockets, "el chupinazo", from the mayor's office in the town hall square and ends at midnight on the 14th with the "probe de mí", the solemn candlelight ceremony that marks the beginning of the countdown to the next Sanfermines. Sadly, for many visitors to this historic city in the Navarran Pyrenees, the deeply rooted traditions and customs of the region may go unnoticed or even misunderstood. For this reason, Iberian Traveler’sSanfermín Tours offers a series of special Festival Programs which will help you enjoy the cultural aspects of this unique religious, family oriented cultural event in the heart of Navarra.
Festival Programs for Sanfermines 2018
Balcony Reservations for the Chupinazo (txupinazo) Program The opening ceremony program (3 hours) Enjoy the spectacle of the rockets at high noon on the 6th from a private balcony overlooking the Town Hall Square. The chupinazo marks the beginning of Sanfermines. The program includes a local guide, balcony reservations, wine, Cava (Spanish champagne), beer and cold drinks and appetizers (pintxos).
Program runs from 10:00 am to approximately 1:00 pm. You can add the special celebration lunch in the old quarter following the opening ceremony (see below).
Balconies Reservations for the encierro The running of the bulls (1-1/2 hours) In Mediaeval times the bulls were led by the pastores, shepherds, on foot from the countryside to the cities public square, which was set up as a bullring, to be fought by nobles before being taken to slaughter. The last stretch of the route was covered at dawn at a running pace in order not to disturb the cities residents. The original path ended in the Plaza del Castillo, but was changed in 1844 when the first bullring was built in Pamplona. The "encierro" went down Calle Estafeta for the first time in 1856. The route, starting on Santo Domingo, is just over a half-mile long, which the fastest bulls can cover in under two minutes. Now each morning, from the 7th through the 14th, you will be able to witness this spectacle from one of our premium balcony locations in the town hall square, along Mercaderies or on Calle Estafeta. Balcony reservations include the services of a local guide. The VIP Balcony Program includes breakfast following the encierro.
Dining During Fiesta We recommend making lunch and/or dinner reservations at least 60 days in advance to be assured of a table. If you decide not to reserve lunch or dinner, you will still be able to enjoy a selection of traditional pintxos at one of the more than 300 neighborhood pintxos bars, cafés and taverns around the city.
Special Celebration Lunch - July 6 We offer a special celebration lunch following the opening ceremony. Join us and enjoy some of the best Navarran Basque cuisine the city has to offer.
Bullfights in the Plaza de Toros Feria del Toro, the Festival of the Bull (daily at 6:00 pm) These are said to be the most unique bullfights in all of Spain due to the festive atmosphere that the Peñas help create. We offer Tendido, Grada and Andanada Sombra (shade) seating. If you like to sit with the Peñas in the sun, we can arrange that as well... Guided Tours During Fiesta Tours of Navarra Full day and half day small group tours are available prior to, during and following the Fiesta. Tours will not be available on the 6, 7 or 14 of July. City ToursVisit the old city to learn about its history and origins, including the pilgrims route to Santiago that passes through the heart of the city. On the 7th you will join the official procession honoring the cities patron saint, Fermín, as it winds its way through the streets of the old city carrying the statue of the saint, lead by the giants and big heads, the city band and the official city delegation. The city tour is included with all of our VIP balcony reservations.
Wine & Gastronomy Tours available for groups of 4 to 12-Contact Iberian Traveler for group pricing and availability during fiesta
Bodega Tours in Navarra (6 hours)- VIP tour and tastings at two of the premier wineries in Navarra, lunch included
Bodega Tours in the Rioja (8 hours) -VIP tour and tastings at two of the premier wineries in the Rioja, lunch included
Special Wine & Gastronomy Tours available for groups of 4 to 12 from July 8 to 13 Excursions and tours must be booked at least 30 days in advance.
Private Transfer Services Private transfers to your hotel in Pamplona are available from airports, train stations and hotels in Bilbao, San Sebastian-Donostia, Madrid, Barcelona and Biarritz (France).A private transfer from Pamplona’s airport or train station to your hotel is included in all VIP, Deluxe and Standard packages.