Pamplona has now become almost synonymous with San Fermín and the 'running of the bulls' but its historical roots run deep. It had already established itself as the capital of Navarra by the ninth century and long before that was a powerful fortress town defending the northern approaches to Spain at the foot of the Pyrenees.
Every year Pamplona becomes the most crowded place in Spain during the second week of July, as thousands from all over the globe descend upon the town to witness an exhilarating, frenetic and unique spectacle. Made internationally famous by Hemingway's "The Sun Also Rises", the fiestas of San Fermines are crowded and boisterous and everyone has a great time, even if memories of it tend to be somewhat blurred!
Although the majority of overseas visitors come to Navarra solely to attend San Fermín in Pamplona, the real charm of the region is in its small towns and villages. The northern areas at the foot of the Pyrenees are also particularly attractive and make for excellent walking territory.