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Pamplona during San Fermin

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Reading another post I just realized that we'll be going through Pamplona right in the middle of San Fermin. We are starting from SJPDP on July 4th, and spending the night at Orisson. I'm sure that we can walk to Espinal or Burguete the next day, and Larrasoaña the next day. So that puts us in the vicinity of Pamplona on Friday the 7th. Unless we want to book a hotel in Pamplona for the craziness, I think that we will walk on to Cizur Menor or Zariquiegui. Is there an alternate route to avoid the city center/Bull run? And would it be wise to book our accommodation in Cizur or Zariguiegui ahead?

I guess another option would be to just start in Pamplona on July 4th, although I've already booked and paid a nonrefundable deposit to Orisson. I'll check with my friend to see what she wants to do. This will be my 2nd Camino, and her first, and she is only walking for about 10 days. I think that she's looking forward to the Pyrenees though.

I just checked hotel prices in Pamplona for July 7, and that option is out! On Booking.com the cheapest room for 2 people is $207 with shared bath!
 
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Mike Trebert

Guest
I suppose you're aware that festival time in Pamplona is risky, even dangerous for travelling women. Testosterone+alchohol+machismo has apparently been a major problem for a long time but the powers that be have successfully controlled info so that the tourist trade does well. Lately, the truth is coming to light. I'm no expert, have read a few articles here and there last couple of years. The whole thing must be quite a spectacle but perhaps good to avoid for reasons other than the expense.

Mike
 
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Mikel Olivares

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2012, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18. Camino Francés.
2016, Camino Portugués from Oporto
2017, San Salvador.
Welcome to Pamplona in San Fermín.
Do not worry about passing through Pamplona in Sanfermines.
Hundreds of pilgrims do it every year without problems.
It will be impossible to book any hostel these days, they are booked from many months before and are very expensive.
Pamplona has around two hundred thousand residents, and in Sanfermines there may be a million people. It's crazy. But despite this it is very safe for all our visitors.
¡Viva San Fermín!
¡Buen Camino!
 

aisbr

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
VdlP (17), Frances (16,11,12&13), Portuguese (15), Norte & Primitivo (14), Finisterre & Muxia
I walked through Pamplona on the first day of San Fermin last year. There was a great buzz walking up to Pamplona and I saw a few fellow pilgrims walking up the main route so I decided to go for it and follow. Maybe a mistake! It was madness. A few times people were pulling at the side of my rucksack which had a zip and were trying to see if there was anything nice they could take out of it for me! That night in Cizur Menor a girl that I had met had her wallet stolen walking through the city also and all her cards were in it as well. I also got covered in red wine which was great fun washing out that evening. Now once I got through the city I had a laugh about it and it was an experience I'm unlikely to forget as there was a great atmosphere. A few years back during San Fermin I was a little more sensible and walked around the city and encountered no problems. It was easy to do and I asked a few of the stewards and they were very helpful. I'd recommend that as an option and then once you've found a home for your rucksack you can go back and enjoy the atmosphere if you wish.

Last year I stayed in Cizur Menor - they had extra accommodation available in the church I think also as every where was full. Some people had to get taxis to the next hostel as not everybody could be accommodated. Albergue Maribel (not too sure of spelling) in Cizur Menor seemingly was taking reservations but it was all a little chaotic and those who thought they had reservations didn't necessarily. Where ever you are planning to stay around san fermin I'd suggest you try get there early so you have time to maybe head on somewhere else if it doesn't work out to plan. As a last resort you'd always be able to get a taxi on to another village if needs be.
 
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Mike Trebert

Guest
I don't want to be alarmist or a trouble-maker. These articles might all be wrong. I've read them all as this is a website I visit every day. I feel that it would be irresponsible of me not to mention these articles here. This is not political but simply concern for my friends. I have 3 wonderful, adorable granddaughters.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2...sexual-aggression-pamplona-bull-run-denounced
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2...ull-run-tainted-by-reports-of-sexual-violence
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2...over-sexual-violence-at-the-pamplona-bull-run

Mike
 
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Mikel Olivares

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2012, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18. Camino Francés.
2016, Camino Portugués from Oporto
2017, San Salvador.
Hi Mike.
I also have daughters, and live in Pamplona. I've never been afraid for them.
I do not know the statistics. But I would like to know the sexist assaults in a city of a million residents.
This last year only three cases in nine days. It is true that one is a tragedy and a shame for us.
It is true that many "Carteristas" robbers of wallets, came to take advantage of crowds of people.

Mikel.
 
M

Mike Trebert

Guest
Hi Mike.
I also have daughters, and live in Pamplona. I've never been afraid for them.
I do not know the statistics. But I would like to know the sexist assaults in a city of a million residents.
This last year only three cases in nine days. It is true that one is a tragedy and a shame for us.
It is true that many "Carteristas" robbers of wallets, came to take advantage of crowds of people.

Mikel.
Thanks Mikel,

Many of the events mentioned in those articles are shocking. They include murder. Please read the articles. The articles refer specifically to the period of the festival each year over many years. I don't want to start anything unpleasant here. I am simply trying to inform my fellow forum members.

Buen Camino, - Mike
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
You could take street bus line 5 through the city. You can catch it at the bridge just north/downstream of the Puente de la Magdalena which the camino uses to cross the Rio Agra. The line terminates at the University of Navarra's campus.

https://mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.php?markers=42.821715,-1.638205&z=18&t=t1

https://www.infotuc.es/index.php/es/horarios-y-recorridos/linea/5
https://www.infotuc.es/descargas/fichas/5_1.pdf

The bus lines to take that go close to the university are: 1, 2, 4, 5, 15 and 18.
The infotuc website is terrific but slow and not available in English.
 

wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2012
If I wanted to avoid the crowds in Pamplona this is what I would do.
StJPdP - Orisson
Orisson - Roncesvalles
Roncesvalles - Zubiri
Zubiri - Trinidad de Arre
Trinidad de Arre - Uterga, walking through Pamplona early in the morning. Most revelers should be in bed by then and it should be reasonably quite.
Buen Camino.
 
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Mark Lee

Guest
I love Pamplona, but I would definitely walk or taxi around it during San Fermin.
 

Mikel Olivares

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2012, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18. Camino Francés.
2016, Camino Portugués from Oporto
2017, San Salvador.
The best time to pass through Pamplona is between 09:00, end of the running bull and 14:00, time to take the appetizer
 

Mikel Olivares

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2012, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18. Camino Francés.
2016, Camino Portugués from Oporto
2017, San Salvador.
I suppose you're aware that festival time in Pamplona is risky, even dangerous for travelling women. Testosterone+alchohol+machismo has apparently been a major problem for a long time but the powers that be have successfully controlled info so that the tourist trade does well. Lately, the truth is coming to light. I'm no expert, have read a few articles here and there last couple of years. The whole thing must be quite a spectacle but perhaps good to avoid for reasons other than the expense.

Mike
Hi, Mike.
Fortunately, Spain is a settled Democracy.
And there is a Total Freedom of Press. Do not doubt it.
And we are very proud of it.
 
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Mike Trebert

Guest
No one has commented on the content of the articles I linked to. The articles were about women demonstrating freely in a democracy about violent crimes against women. I'm astonished at the reluctance to acknowledge these events. I suppose that this could become a discussion which could be considered political. I am not trying to insult a town or its citizens but to question the seemingly darker side of a cultural event about which there seems to be a considerable amount of denial.

The strategic, subtle responses throughout this thread which favour a defensive and unconstructive attitude have been shamefully timid in my opinion.

I'm deeply disappointed at how conservative a tone this forum has demonstrated in this thread. That's all I have to say about the matter.
 

wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2012
Is there an alternate route to avoid the city center/Bull run? And would it be wise to book our accommodation in Cizur or Zariguiegui ahead?
The OP asked about an alternate route around Pamplona to avoid the madness, she did not ask about safety or the history of assaults at San Fermin, her questions were answered by most of the posters and if she had asked about safety then those questions would have been answered as well. We try to give everyone an informed opinion for the questions asked, not frighten them off.
 
M

Mark Lee

Guest
No large scale multi-day event like San Fermin in Pamplona, or the Mardi Gras we have here in New Orleans is going to be without its share of criminal activity, and unfortunately sometimes those crimes involve sexual assault or murder, and certainly involves numerous theft type crimes.
I have no doubt the police in Pamplona do everything they can to keep criminal activity down during the festival, but as it's said, they can't be everywhere at once. Crimes will occur. One is too many, but the numbers I read in those articles were low considering the million or so people in town for the festival.
Last time I arrived in Pamplona to catch the bus to SJPdP it was the afternoon of the last day of San Fermin. There were numerous police officers at the bus station and they were being very proactive in patrolling the place.
 

GoodGollieMissHolly

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Walking the Camino Beginning July (2017)!
Hi there everyone! Me and another friend are planning on walking the Camino Frances this July and will be in Pamplona for San Fermin. We actually do plan on attending some of the events. I was wondering if anyone had done this? Also, I see most of you are saying to book ahead a place to stay in advance? I think we were going to see if we could walk to an adjoining town and stay there once we were done at San Fermin. I know the hostels in Pamplona close during San Fermin, but do the hostels in the adjoining towns close as well? Thanks!
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances,(Sarria to Santiago) 2016, 2017 April, SJPdP TO Logrono, Sept.-Oct. Logrono to Sarria
My wife and I were at the running of the bulls a few years back, we went through a tour group, had a balcony for the deadmans curve, went to a bull fight, had a roof top terrace for opening ceremonies, there was lots of wine, red solo cups 3 deep everywhere, plenty of young ladies showing off their bare torso's , but not once did we feel threatened , and we did see pilgrims , with packs and sticks, walking through, and when they approached , people gave them room to pass, would I go back , NOPE, but I would say, that if you havn't been , go. a real experience
 
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trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Hi there everyone! Me and another friend are planning on walking the Camino Frances this July and will be in Pamplona for San Fermin. We actually do plan on attending some of the events. I was wondering if anyone had done this? Also, I see most of you are saying to book ahead a place to stay in advance? I think we were going to see if we could walk to an adjoining town and stay there once we were done at San Fermin. I know the hostels in Pamplona close during San Fermin, but do the hostels in the adjoining towns close as well? Thanks!
I'm going to try to book ahead at an albergue outside of Pamplona because I'm sure that they'll be extra busy since the albergues in Pamplona will be closed.
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
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trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)

mspath

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
The easiest way to get to the Tiebas municipal abergue from Pamplona is by bus from the bus station.

However from Cizur Menor you might walk SE on NA6000 roughly 14k to Campanas, then on NA121 SE to Muruarte de Reta to join the Camino Aragonse near Tiebas.

After Tiebas walk west on the CA paralleling route NA-601 to the splendid circular Romanesque church at Eunate where the albergue is now unfortunately closed and then 4k further to Puente la Reina/Gares to meet the Camino Frances.
 
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LaurieElizabeth

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Astorga to Santiago (2017)
St. Jean PdP to Burgos (2018)
I just realized we are scheduled to arrive in Pamplona on July 3rd. Although I think it might be fun to see the events I am now rethinking this after reading all the comments. I guess we will walk on to the next village or so.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
San Fermín doesn't start until the 6th, so you shouldn't have a problem staying there. If you do want to walk past it I can recommend albergue Maribel in Cizur Menor.
 

Laura Olsen

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Planning a trip in september 2016
I just realized I will arrive in Pamplona with my two kids (aged 14 and 16) on the efternoon on last saturday of the festival July 14th. I have booked a hotel on the outskirts of the city to be sure we have a place to stay. Will it still be madness that last night - should we avoid the old part of town all togehter that night?

Mikel, you are a local - what would you recommend?
 

wisepilgrim

Guidebook Author
Year of past OR future Camino
Many
Passing through during the day is not a problem, just expect to go slowly as the streets are packed and there are many small parades.

I'll share a story one of my aunts once told me about the time she and her sister went to San Fermin with their husbands several decades ago. Neither man came home one night. One uncle woke up on the hood of a car which he insisted was his until the actual owner demonstrated otherwise. The other uncle (a Spaniard as it happens), woke up in a tent somewhere in France.
 

vegoodrich

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (October 3-18, 2015)
Frances w/2 Daughters (Sept 22 - Oct 20)
If anyone is worried about getting stuck in festivals in the cities of Spain, don't walk the camino :) In all seriousness the two times I have walked I have experienced large festivals in Pamplona, Burgos, and Leon. I must have good unintentional timing. I didn't find it to be a problem, just planned on not stopping in those cities overnight once I discovered what was going to be happening. My daughters still think stumbling on Pamplona during St Fermin's actual saint day in September was spectacular. We didn't spend the night there but got to see an amazing parade and just weaved our way through crowds to get out of town when we had enough.
 
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Mugatu

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, Finisterre, Muxia (2018)
Camino Frances or Norte (2019 , June 27-Aug 8)
I am scheduled to arrive on the 7th or 8th in Pamplona... are accommodations really going to difficult to obtain. I was under the impression, pilgrims will have priority, that being said, do I still need to make a reservation?
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
I am scheduled to arrive on the 7th or 8th in Pamplona... are accommodations really going to difficult to obtain. I was under the impression, pilgrims will have priority, that being said, do I still need to make a reservation?
It is expensive; Pilgrims get no priority. Check booking.com to see if anything is available even now. Good luck.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
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stevov

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
walked the portuguese way (senda littoral). from porto, vila do conde via viana and redondela Jun 17
Welcome to Pamplona in San Fermín.
Do not worry about passing through Pamplona in Sanfermines.
Hundreds of pilgrims do it every year without problems.
It will be impossible to book any hostel these days, they are booked from many months before and are very expensive.
Pamplona has around two hundred thousand residents, and in Sanfermines there may be a million people. It's crazy. But despite this it is very safe for all our visitors.
¡Viva San Fermín!
¡Buen Camino!
Gora San Fermin!
 

MichelleElynHogan

Veteran Member
(Knowing this thread is a year old, not knowing the desired outcome, this may be an option), It may be wise to arrive in Pamplona and grab a city bus that takes you through the city, keep walking from the other side.
 
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trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Though it took longer we actually enjoyed walking through the crowds in Pamplona during San Fermín.
20170707_120931-756x1008.jpg
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
We walked through Pamplona to Cizur Menor, but met several pilgrims who stayed at the German run albergue in Pamplona without reservations.
 

thachboo

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
SJPDP to Finisterre Jul'12
Pamplona lodging can be dodgy during San Fermin. I reserved in Cizur Menor, walked through the festival, checked in to albergue then took a train back to Pamplona for the evening and night activities. The next day was a breeze since I'm out of the scene. I was glad that I did this because Pamplona on that particular night was like a frat house party a gazillion times over. The smell of excrement and pee were overwhelming; not a good start of a long day's walk imagined for the next day.
 
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Mugatu

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, Finisterre, Muxia (2018)
Camino Frances or Norte (2019 , June 27-Aug 8)
Ive began contacting places for lodging such as the municipal albergue via email and have yet to receive one response in regards to vacancy or even if they would be in operation during this time (I've read that in the past some alburgues close down for San Fermin)

In regards to Ciruz Menor, Ive read a past posting saying to avoid it due to security concerns (this was a couple years old), is this still the case or has this issue been resolved?
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Ive began contacting places for lodging such as the municipal albergue via email and have yet to receive one response in regards to vacancy or even if they would be in operation during this time (I've read that in the past some alburgues close down for San Fermin)

In regards to Ciruz Menor, Ive read a past posting saying to avoid it due to security concerns (this was a couple years old), is this still the case or has this issue been resolved?
What kind of "security concerns"? All that I can tell you is that I really enjoyed my stay at Albergue Maribel Roncal in Cizur Menor last year.
 

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