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Spain travel facts

Spain map
Area (sq km): 504,782
Population: 40,448,191
Nationality: Spanish,
Local Name: Espana
Language: Castilian Spanish,
Time Zone: +1 GMT
Currency: 1 euro = 100 cents
Capital: Madrid
Dialling Code: +34
Electricity: 230V/50Hz
Internet Code: .es
Religion: Roman Catholic
Climate: Mediterranean,
Marine West Coast
Government: Parliamentary Monarchy
Inoculations: None
Driving: Right
Int'l License: Not Required
Banking: M-F 9.00-14.00
Major Airports: Alicante(ALC), Barcelona(BCN), Girona(GRO),
Jerez(XRY), Lanzarote(ACE), Madrid(MAD), Malaga(AGP), Mallorca(PMI), Seville(SVQ), Valencia(VLC)

Running of the bulls & Spanish villas

Once a small religious occasion, now one of the world’s most famous events is the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona that you can enjoy from Spanish villas. On July 6th begins religious rites happening next to energetic musicians, parades of costumed people and giant heads dancing down streets.

Running of the bulls
Running of the bulls

Like the origins of so many other Spanish festivals, this one too was borne of a religious nature, the honouring of the great San Fermin. San Fermin is the patron saint of wine and wine makers; a party in the making to, which if you add mad stamping bulls becomes the recognisable affair that it is today. The first celebrations date as far back as the 14th century and were traditionally held in October. Book Spanish villas with and partake in this age-old Spanish tradition.

Honour San Fermin with Encierros

Today, Pamplona's Running of the Bulls is synonymous with the name San Fermin. The actual Running of the Bulls, or Encierros, came from the need for the people of Pamplona to herd the bulls from pastures outside of town into the bullring in the heart of the city. Over the years daring people began running ahead of the bulls rather then herding them from behind, thus launching the running of the bulls.

The Running of the Bulls has been immortalised and was made world famous by its thrilling and detailed description by Nobel Prize winner Ernest Hemingway in his book, “The Sun Also Rises.”

San Saturnino clock starts running of the bulls

Let us begin describing the event by saying that it lasts a mere 2 minutes! Although for those being run down by a massive bull with side splitting horns, its probably lasts an eternity. The event begins early in the morning, just before 8am.

The cobblestone streets are now lined with strong walls to protect spectators after a few bulls broke through and terrorised the city in the past. The runners are in traditional red and white, the festival’s colours, singing to the statue of San Fermin asking for protection and safety at the start of the run.

As the San Saturnino clock tower strikes 8am, the first of two rockets is launched signalling the opening of the bull corral a mere 70 metres behind the brave runners. The second rocket signals that the bulls are in the streets and now the chaos ensues!

The onlookers shout, cheer and sing and the runners sprint through the streets looking behind as the bulls run them down. Many clusters occur and people jump the walls the escape the stampeding bulls. 790 metres away is the bull ring. The people stream through the gates away from the chasing giants. The event is nothing short of heart pounding, hold your breathe panic and trepidation!

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