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Getting through/around Pamplona during San Fermin

Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés, 2019
I'd appreciate strategies for navigating through Pamplona or around it during San Fermin. A map showing where Camino traffic is detoured would be great. In addition, will there be buses and taxis, or should I assume my only way from East to West is on foot? Thanks.
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
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Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Camino(s) past & future
2019 Biarritz-Pamplona-Lourdes
2018 Aragon/Frances/Finis
2018 Operation Sabre
2018 Marin Ramble
It’s easy to bypass central Pamplona to avoid the festivities; the challenge is finding available housing since the in-town albergues are repurposed and nearby hotels are full. Plan carefully and it won’t be an issue. The festivities go all night and then take a break after the morning bull run, so walking through during siesta works best (but it can be hot!)
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
When I walked with my son in 2016, we passed through Pamplona during San Fermin. At that point, we were walking 15 km days (which we did from Roncesvalles to Puente la Reina as "on the Camino training" since we hadn't trained before the Camino). So we stopped at Trinidad de Arre and stayed at the nice albergue there, about 5 km before Pamplona. Then we walked through Pamplona in the morning and on to Zariquiegui the next day. The day after that we walked to Puente la Reina, detouring to see Eunate.

One thing to be aware of, if you are passing through Pamplona during the fiesta, is that the encierro (the running of the bulls) uses some of the same streets as the Camino. So they will be blocked off in the morning. If you are just walking through, you will need to detour around. Of course, if you are spending some time in Pamplona, this won't be an issue. We walked and it wasn't hard to find a route with the map of the city in our guidebooks or with Google maps.

Another thing is that to pass through Pamplona in the early morning during the San Fermin fiesta is to see the city at its worst, all messed up by a full night's partying before they've had a chance to clean it up at all. The afternoon is a much better time to see the city.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés, 2019
Thank you. I looked at the earlier posts and didn't see a map of the route for the running of the bulls (though I did see a map of possible detours). At the moment I have reservations before and after Pamplona, but it's 22 miles between them and I'd like to be as efficient as possible.
 

Via2010

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
06/07 & 12 Camino Francés, 08-10 Via de la Plata, 13/14 & 17 Camino Portugués, 18 Camino Primitivo
I do not think, that you will have to walk 22 Miles to avoid Sanfermines. There are albergues in Trinidad del Arre and Huarte (few kms before Pamplona) and albergues in Cizur Menor (5 km behind Pamplona) as well.

But Pamplona itself will be at an exception and will be crowded even at noon. Best chance will be to cross the town during the Siesta hours.

BC
Alexandra
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés, 2019
I hope not, but 22 miles is the closest together that I can find to reserve in advance, unless I want to stay in an expensive hotel in Zizar Mayor.
 

biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
I would suggest taking a taxi once you reach Trinidad del Arre to the base of the hill up to Alto del Perdon. The entire distance is city walking on hard surfaces and the town is a drunken mosh pit during the day and night.
 

Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Camino(s) past & future
2019 Biarritz-Pamplona-Lourdes
2018 Aragon/Frances/Finis
2018 Operation Sabre
2018 Marin Ramble
The bull route is quite short actually, basically from the corrals near the train tracks past city hall and onto the arena. It’s only closed in the morning, but the central city can be crowded all day.

If you don’t enter the “old city” then you’ll avoid it. Given the Camino route into and out of Pamplona, it’s possible to skirt it completely by adding a few km to your day by staying north or south of the route. (Skirting the drunks, on the other hand, may prove more difficult than the bulls....)

PS: a shoutout to the nuns and kind folks at Zabaldika donativo albergue a bit before Pamplona. You can’t reserve it, but you’re missing a gem if you don’t stay there.



AB639E7D-6AD7-4362-8E0D-BFDD1647559A.png
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
My friend and I walked through Pamplona during San Fermín. We stayed at Albergue Maribel Roncal in Cizur Menor where I had reserved via email. It was actually quite fun walking through town with everyone celebrating and wearing their white and red clothing.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés, 2019
As a follow-up--I contacted Maribel Roncal, but they asked for a wire transfer. I bank with a credit union that doesn't have international wire transfer services. Western Union will only send to an individual, not a business. I went to Charles Schwab and can open an account there, but they will only put money in an account with a cashier's check (no cash, no personal checks, apparently no domestic bank transfers), and they then charge $25 for an international wire transfer, and I can't make the transfer until 10 business days from opening the account, which is later than Maribel Roncal is giving me to pay. I've written to see if they have a Paypal option. With the albergue's San Fermin rate, the cashier's check, and the wire transfer, I'm now looking at about $66 if I want to stay in this albergue (assuming I can even work it out, which I'm not hopeful about).
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
As a follow-up--I contacted Maribel Roncal, but they asked for a wire transfer.
Really? That's new since I booked in 2017. The only requirement that she had then was that we arrive by 3 pm. I met people who were able to get into Casa Paderborn in Pamplona, which doesn't take reservations. I'd say that at least a third of the pilgrims that I walked with at that time were unaware of San Fermín.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
I don't know if the albergues in Trinidad de Arres and Zariquiegui take reservations but we got spots in them without trouble without reservations during San Fermin.
 
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