Pamplona is the capital of Navarra, situated in the foothills of the Pyrenees. An ancient city with a vivacious appetite for its traditions, it's among Pamplona's cobbled streets that one of Spain's best-known festivals takes place – the Fiesta de San Fermín, a colourful and heady occasion focussed around the daily encierro, the running of the bulls.
Bull running at the Fiesta de San Fermín, Pamplona
The fiesta is without doubt one of the world's most exciting events and often ranks in ‘things to see before you die' lists. Each year, for a week in July, the city goes wild as bulls are let loose to stampede through the streets and some of the braver Pamplonans run and skip and tumble before them. There's a lot more to the festival than just bull running, however, with parades and processions and 24-hour parties, not to mention the setting off of fireworks and mass consumption of local wine.
Catedral de Santa Maria, Pamplona
Pamplona is well worth visiting at other times of year as well, with pretty churches, expansive squares and imposing fortifications to justify a trip if you decide to skip the mayhem of San Fermín, as well as shops and bars along the Estafeta, the main bull-running street.