Lionel Beehner

Most Americans know Pamplona for little but the testosterone-fueled running of the bulls through its ancient stone streets every July, part of the San Fermin Festival that is continuing this weekend. Within Spain, it is often dismissed as a cultural backwater, a brief stop for Camino de Santiago pilgrims or day-trippers from San Sebastián


By Marilyn Heimburger and Photos by Don and Marilyn Heimburger

Mention Pamplona, Spain, and most people will respond, “Oh, the running of the bulls!”

Although the Fiesta of San Fermin (July 6-14), made known internationally by Ernest Hemingway’s novel The Sun Also Rises, is Pamplona’s most familiar claim to fame, the city boasts many other reasons for tourists to visit, even when the bulls aren’t running.

Pamplona is the capital city of the region of Navarre, a beautiful and diverse area in northern Spain, bordering France along the Pyrenees Mountains. It is just one hour by air and a little more than three hours by train from Madrid. Barcelona is a three and a half hour train ride away.



The tour of the Basque country was far beyond expectations...A great time to relax and learn more about Spain and the Way of St James and the Pilgrims.

Francisco and Emanuel were absolutely wonderful guides. Francisco's passion for the land, his great knowledge of the history and his "on target" humor is magnificent.



It is extremely difficult for us to express the sincere gratitude for the entire trip you and your colleagues put on for us. Everything was perfect. As I've told some of my friends and family, it couldn't have been any better. You really made it a wonderful trip. Every detail was well planned out. Francisco was an absolute joy and the best guide I have ever been around. His passion and attention to historical detail made an immense impact on the trip.

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