Running of the Bulls
Experience one of the world’s most iconic and exciting festivals—Pamplona’s Running of the Bulls. Immortalized in literature by Ernest Hemingway, this explosive, passionate and occasionally gory festival is an important element of Spanish heritage. Witness all the mayhem from a coveted balcony with a view of the famous run. Encounter Basque culture and stunning coastal scenery before continuing on to Bilbao, home of the magnificent Guggenheim Museum. From vibrant Catalan nightlife in Barcelona to the regional wines and pintxos (tapas) in San Sebastián, feel the Spanish culture.
Barcelona orientation walk. Pamplona orientation walk. Balcony view for the bull run course with expert local guide. San Fermin Festival activities. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
Soak in the colour and spectacle of the San Fermin festival, savour the local food and wine, relax on gorgeous beaches, explore world-class museums and architecture
The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.
VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.
While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered.
Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
The Fiestas de San Fermin in Pamplona runs from midday to midnight on approximately the 6th July to the 14th July every year. The first few days of the festival are the busiest, when over a million visitors are expected in Pamplona every year. By the last few days of the festival, the party atmosphere has usually quietened down a bit, there are less visitors to the city and the bull runs have fewer participants, however this certainly doesn’t detract from the excitement for the first-time visitor!
RUNNING WITH THE BULLS DISCLAIMER
Please note: This tour is designed for those who wish to enjoy the spectacle of the Running of the Bulls from a safe distance. G Adventures does not in any way recommend participating in the run. It is very dangerous with frequent injuries and also fatalities every year. G Adventures cannot be held responsible for any tour member who does decide to participate in the run. They do so at their own risk and will be asked to sign off from the tour for the duration of this time. Under no circumstances will the CEO participate in Running with the Bulls.
It is important to note that in Europe, all guiding is based around local guides all of whom are licensed to work only in a particular city. As such, our leaders are able to provide orientation walks which will show you the layout of each town and city as well as the location of local services such as post offices and laundromats, but are unable to legally share historical facts and figures in public places.
In Europe it is very rare to find elevators in train stations, hotels or other public places. We use public transport on this trip, which means you will need to carry your luggage from platform to platform, in and out of trains and buses etc. and also possibly up several flights of stairs. You will also need to be able to stow your luggage safely on trains and buses. It is therefore essential that you pack light and bring luggage which is compact and lightweight, and which you can easily transport. The carrying of your luggage remains your responsibility at all times.
Group Leader Description
This G Adventures group trip is accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use a local guide in Pamplona when we watch the Running of the Bulls, as we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the place we are visiting – we think it’s the best of both worlds.
Group Size Notes
Max 16, avg 12
Eating is a big part of traveling. G Adventures understands the importance of breakfast to start your day, we strive to include a basic breakfast wherever possible. A typical breakfast may include toast, coffee and tea, however this may vary depending on the city. Should breakfast not be included, your CEO can suggest some local options.
Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other’s company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip.
For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.
Train, public bus, metro.
About our Transportation
On this trip we will use local buses and trains for intercity transport and a mix of metro (subway), local bus, taxis and walking for transport between hotels and bus/train stations. Please be prepared to carry your own bags short distances (20-25 mins max) between hotels and transport, as well as to lift your bags on and off buses and trains. Please note that there is often limited luggage storage space on public transport.
If required all local flights are included in the cost of your tours unless otherwise noted. It is important that we have your passport information at the time of booking in order to process these tickets. Internal flight tickets are issued locally and will be given to you prior to the flight departure.
We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
Hotels/guesthouses (7 nts).
It is important to note that accommodation in Europe tend to be quite different to other areas of the world you may have travelled in. Buildings and rooms are generally old and may not have been renovated or maintained to the highest standard. Downtown hotels in Europe were not build to be hotels but rich owners houses, which have been changed into hotels. Therefore unusual room sizes are common as large rooms have been partitioned in the past, resulting in rather “thin” walls. Reception areas, rooms and bathrooms tend to be very small as they were often added into an existing room, and may have a hand nozzle rather than a conventional shower head.
On this trip you can expect to stay in small family-run hotels or pensions (with the exception of the start and finish hotels, which are often larger city hotels), which will vary a little in standard and facilities: some may not have elevators, air-conditioning or English-speaking staff, but most importantly all are locally-run, with some traditional character, and in excellent central locations to give you maximum time for exploring the sights. You can expect to find clean, safe, simple accommodation in convenient locations.
Staff can occasionally demonstrate less than perfect customer service. As accommodation is in short supply, especially during the summer months, hotels can charge a premium and there is sometimes little motivation to improve facilities.
For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.
Please note that day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned on this day. Upon arrival to the city on day 1 (or earlier if you have booked pre-accommodation with us), please make your way to the joining hotel (note that check-in time will be in the afternoon). Once you arrive at the hotel, look for a note or bulletin board in the reception with a note from your CEO. This note will give the details of your Welcome Meeting on day 1 (usually between 5pm and 7pm), where you will get a chance to meet your CEO and other travellers, as well as learn more about how the tour will run. If you don’t see a note, please ask reception for details!
If you are arriving later and will miss the Welcome Meeting, your CEO will leave a note at reception for you with any information you may need, and with morning instructions for the next day.
GETTING TO ATH CITY PARK PELAYO BARCELONA:
From the airport, take the Aerobus direct bus line from outside the terminal building to Plaça Universitat, which is the second from last stop. Then cross the square to Carrer de Pelai where you will find the hotel.
As an alternative option, you can also take the train from the airport to Estació de Sants. Upon arrival at Estació de Sants, take the red Cercanías suburban train for one stop to Plaça Catalunya. Once there, exit the underground station and walk 5 minutes along Ronda Universitat to the hotel.
We don’t expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your CEO. If you are unable to get in touch with your leader, please refer to our emergency contact details.
Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures UK office (manned UK 8am – 8pm)
+44 (0) 2072439878
If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.
Toll-free, from calls within North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from within UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from within Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from within Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from within New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
For absolute emergencies after office hours please contact +44 7817 262559
If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, and your call will be returned as soon as possible.
What to Take
We recommend using a backpack for your convenience, or a medium-sized suitcase if you prefer. A daypack is also essential for carrying everyday items. Space is limited on transportation, so there is a limit of one main piece of luggage per person. You will be responsible for carrying your own luggage. You must be prepared to carry your luggage up and down stairs, on and off transportation, and to hotels (max 15-20 mins.)
•Light fleece top
•Light windproof/waterproof jacket
•Small towel and swimwear
•Personal clothing for mild to hot weather (See also “What to Take” and “Local Dress” sections of this dossier)
•Sturdy walking shoes
•Watch or alarm clock
•Passport (with photocopies)
•Travel insurance (with photocopies)
•Airline tickets (with photocopies)
•Credit or debit card (see personal spending money)
•G Adventures vouchers, pre-departure information and dossier
•Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required
Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge or ask your CEO where the nearest laundromat is. There will be times when you may want or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring your own non-polluting/biodegradable soap.
Visas and Entry Requirements
Contact your local embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. It is your responsibility to have the correct travel documentation. While we provide the following information in good faith, it is vital that you check yourself and understand that you are fully responsible for your own visa requirements.
All visitors to the EU (European Union) and EEC (European Economic Community) countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand passport holders do not need a visa to visit the Schengen area (see below), however they may not stay longer than three months in any 6-month period.
For other nationalities, travelling in Europe has been simplified with the introduction of the Schengen visa. As a visitor to the Schengen area (Austria, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Greece, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Portugal, Finland, Italy, Spain, France, Luxembourg, Sweden, Czech Republic, Hungary, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Switzerland) you will enjoy the many advantages of this unified visa system. Generally speaking with a Schengen visa, you may enter one Schengen country and travel freely throughout the Schengen region during the validity of your visa. There are limited border controls at Schengen borders, if any at all.
Please note that the UK and Ireland are NOT part of the Schengen agreement.
A Schengen visa is applied for at the Embassy or Consulate of the Schengen country in which you will be spending the most nights on your trip to the Schengen space. If you are only visiting one country on your trip then you apply for your visa at the Consulate of this Schengen country.
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
Spain is in the Eurozone and the unit of the currency is the Euro.
Credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances but you must remember to bring your PIN number (be aware that many ATM machines only accept 4-digit PINs). Both Cirrus and Plus system cards are the most widely accepted debit cards. Visa cards are the most widely accepted credit cards. While ATMs are commonly available, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work in Greece – Check with your bank. You should be aware when purchasing products or services on a credit card, that a fee usually applies.
Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money. A combination of Euros, traveller’s cheques and cards is best. Avoid relying on traveller’s cheques alone as these are less and less readily cashed as clients use them very little.
Always take more rather than less, as you don’t want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.
As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com
Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an ‘emergency’ fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!
It is customary in Europe to leave a small tip for service providers, such as waiters, if you are pleased with the service (€1-2).
Tipping is an expected – though not compulsory – component of your tour program, and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides. You may do this individually, or your CEO will offer to collect the money and tip as a group. Recommendations for tipping local guides would range from €3-5 per day, depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture.
Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures CEO did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline €30-40 per person, per week can be used.
All prices are per person in Euro amounts(unless stated otherwise), and are subject to change as services are provided by third party operators.
Bus Turistic – €26
Parc Guell – €7
Sagrada Familia – Basilica Visit and Guide €19.30
Bike tour – €24
Casa Mila, Pedrera – €16.50
Camp Nou Barcelona Football Club – €23 (museum & tour)
Picasso Museum – €11 (Museum + temporary exhibition)
Cathedral of Santa Maria – €5
City Hall, Plaza del Castillo, St.Francisco Square, City walls – Free
Museum of Navarra – €2
Church of San Lorenzo chapel of St Fermin – Free
Church of San Saturnino/St Nicolas – Free
Ciudadela (Citadel) – Free
Encierro Museum – €8
Thermal Centre La Perla – various treatments from €28.40
Rent a bike – €5/hr
Surf lesson, scuba diving, paragliding in Zarautz (30mins from S. Sebastian) – €30-€85
Cathedral Buen Pastor – Free
Santa Maria Church – Free
Monte Igeldo (cable car) – €3
Guggenheim Museum – €11 (with audio guide)
Funicular de Arxtanda – € 0.92 one way
Fine Arts Museum – €6 / €7 with audio guide
Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that quite often we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical and Culture Shock ratings in this dossier for trip specific information. For travellers over 70 years a completed Medical Form is required. G Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our CEO they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.
Safety and Security
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government’s advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers’ cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home – you won’t need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.
Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.
Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).
Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.
We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:
Trip Specific Safety
RUNNING WITH THE BULLS DISCLAIMER
Please note: This tour is designed for those who wish to enjoy the spectacle of the Running of the Bulls from a safe distance. G Adventures does not in any way recommend participating in the run. It is very dangerous with frequent injuries and also fatalities every year. Please note that G Adventures cannot be held responsible for any tour member who does decide to participate in the run. They do so at their own risk and will be asked to sign off from the tour for the duration of this time.
Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, as a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility’ is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our CEOs work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day’s activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.
The medical questionnaire can be found online at:
A Couple of Rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation
The Planeterra Foundation planeterra.org is a Canadian non-profit organization that helps empower local people to develop their communities, conserve their cultures, and create humane and supportive systems for their endeavours. Planeterra provides capacity building and catalyst grants to get community social enterprises off the ground. These businesses address local challenges by providing benefits for indigenous people, empowering marginalized women, and granting disadvantaged youth access to education, employment, and brighter futures. Planeterra also works to ensure these businesses have a thriving customer base by integrating programs into G Adventures’ itineraries globally.
G Adventures is Planeterra’s largest corporate donor, covering all operating costs so 100% of your donation will bring opportunity to people in need.
G Adventures’ Dollar-a-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar for every day you are on trip. 100% of these donations go directly to support community development projects worldwide that are implemented by Planeterra.
After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we’ll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send it on to you.
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You must be 18 to travel unaccompanied on a G Adventures tour. For minors travelling with a guardian over 21 years old, the minimum age is 12.
Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.
Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides.
PRODUCT_LINE: ESRB, ID: 22873
Day 1 Barcelona
We recommend arriving a day or two early to fully explore this vibrant city.
There are no activities planned until an evening welcome meeting.
This tour is designed for those who wish to enjoy the spectacle of the Running of the Bulls from a safe distance. G Adventures does not in any way recommend participating in the run.
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
Day 2 Barcelona (1B)
Barcelona is filled with the work of one famous resident, Antoni Gaudí. Opt to visit these masterpieces sprinkled throughout the city. With time, opt to tour the beautiful Palau Musica, a home for catalan music.
For nightlife, the highest concentration of young locals dancing can be found near the intersection of Santaló and Mariano Cubi streets. Find good music, good drinks, and lots of fun. Another nightlife spot to meet the fashionable locals is on the Plaza Francesc Maciá.
Day 3 Barcelona/Pamplona (1B)
Head to Pamplona, home of the Fiestas de San Fermin, known for its daily ‘Running of the Bulls’ or ‘encierro’.
Head out to explore the city and soak up some of the unique festive atmosphere. Get ready for the first night on the town joining the colourful revelry with plenty of time to sample some great local tapas and wine.
Don’t expect to get much sleep — Pamplona has more bars than Dublin.
Take the metro in Barcelona to the train station. Hop a city bus in Pamplona on arrival.
Train (6.00 hour(s))
Day 4 Pamplona
Start early and head to our privately owned balcony for the best and most coveted view of the morning bull run (or ‘encierro’ in Spanish). An expert local guide will talk the group through the action.
Learn the history and folklore involved in the San Fermin festival and the tradition of the bull run and daily bull fight, or ‘corrida’.
After the action, opt to visit the local Encierro Museum. Later, opt for a siesta (just like the locals) before soaking up more of the festival action in the streets of Pamplona.
While the balcony is privately owned, there may be other people watching from the balcony besides our group.
Running of the Bulls Viewing
Day 5 Pamplona/San Sebastian
Start early to catch one more viewing of the runs taking place each morning during the festival. Continue to the beautiful city of San Sebastián.
With free time, opt to stroll through the old part of the city or hit the beach. Opt to climb, or take a cable car, to Monte Igueldo and enjoy the best views of the city.
Try eating like the locals. Wander through the streets before lunchtime or in the evening and check out what each bar is offering up for pintxos (tapas). For more than just snacks, head to the harbour and indulge in seafood.
Local bus (1.50 hour(s))
Day 6 San Sebastian (1B)
Visit the gorgeous beaches in the city or opt to catch a local bus to one of the many beach towns along the spectacular Basque coastline. This is a popular destination for surfing, bodyboarding, and other water sports.
Day 7 San Sebastian/Bilbao (1B)
Head to the vibrant and exciting Basque capital, Bilbao. Discover why Bilbao has earned its place on the discerning traveller’s map. Soak up some traditional Basque hospitality, and, of course, enjoy some of the most delicious cuisine in the country.
Local bus (2.00 hour(s))
Day 8 Bilbao (1B)
We recommend staying an extra day or two to fully experience all this energetic city has to offer.