Spain: Running of the Bulls
For a travel experience unlike any other, a visit to Spain is a must. Even if you only make it out to la Madre Patria once in your life, there are so many things to do and see, you’ll want to set aside plenty of time!
Located in the western tip of Europe, Spain is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea, Portugal, and France, making it a great starting or ending point for a European vacation. Car rental in Spain is fairly easy, and several well-known rental companies are available, including Hertz and Europcar.
With its blend of Spanish and European cultures, Spain has become a hub for those seeking a new kind of adventure. A few of Spain’s must-see attractions are:
- Canary Islands
- San Fermin Festival in Pamplona
Visiting the Cities of Spain
There is so much to do and see in Spain, it can be hard to fit it all into one trip.
The island of Ibiza is known for its vivacious nightlife, music, beautiful beaches, and Ibiza Town, the island’s capital city. Ibiza Rocks Hotel is one of the most frequented spots by lovers of social nightlife, and famous bands and DJs from all over the world come to play at Ibiza Rocks’ poolside stage. If bar hopping and large crowds aren’t for you, Ibiza has plenty of other attractions:
- Cova d’es Culleram Cavern
- Es Vedrá island
- Cala San Vicente beach
Madrid is capital of Spain and also its largest city. You could literally spend your entire vacation in Madrid and still not see it all! Although Madrid is very modern, its rich history and architecture have been fully preserved. For those hoping to see as much of Spain as possible, here are a few essential attractions to see in Madrid:
- El Rastro – A huge outdoor market open every Sunday
- Prado Museum – One of the largest art museums in the world
- The Royal Palace of Madrid – The official residence of Spain’s royal family
- Plaza de Cibeles – One of Madrid’s symbols. Home to beautiful marble fountains and Cibeles Palace
Running of the Bulls
One of Spain’s most famous and historical events is the Running of the Bulls (le encierro). Each July, during the eight day San Fermin festival in the city of Pamplona, hundreds of people run with six bulls through a 903 meter course that ends in the bullring. This event happens every day of the festival.
Participants must be over the age of 18, and since 1910, 15 people have been killed, mostly by goring. Notably, Pamplona is the setting of the Ernest Hemmingway classic The Sun Also Rises.
Whether you want to be in the heart of the action or watch from afar, the Running of the Bulls is a must-see event. After the bulls are herded into the bullring, the afternoon Pamplona bull fights begin!
Pamplona Bull Fights
Just like the Running of the Bulls, every day of the San Fermin festival, a bullfight (corrida de toros) takes place. Each day of the festival, world famous matadors face off against ferocious bulls. There are six fights (and six bull deaths) per day.
The Pamplona bull fights are among the most famous in the world, and tickets can be very hard to come by. However, if you travel to Spain using a travel package or trip advisor, tickets are almost always included.
It is customary to wear white shirt and pants when attending a Pamplona bull fight. Once inside, the stadium is divided into the sol and the sombra sides (or the sun and the shade). Typically, tourists want to sit on the sombra side, which is more calm and relaxed, while the sol side is loud, energetic, and wild. It isn’t uncommon for those who sit on the sol side to get drenched in sangria!
Spain is much bigger than most travelers realize, so set aside plenty of time (and money), brush up on your Spanish, and map out an itinerary that includes all of these must-see locations!