Fiesta de San Fermín 2012
The Running of the Bulls
Feria del Toro 2012

Tickets for this year’s Feria del Toro are now available from our buyer.  We will be accepting bullfight ticket requests through the end of June for a limited number of tendido sombra (lower level shade) and andanada sombra (upper level shade) seats. 

Note: 90% of all tickets have already been sold to the regular season ticket holders.  The remaining 1,950 tickets will be available for sale each day at 6:30 pm at the ticket office of the bullring for the following day’s bullfight.  It is not possible to reserve any of these tickets in advance.

Contact Iberian Traveler to book an exclusive package for the Fiesta de San Fermín 2012 and the Running of the Bulls (

Toros of El Pilar de Tamames (Salamanca), Calle Estafeta, 13 July, 2011
The Feria del Toro has played an important role in Pamplona’s famous Fiesta de San Fermín for more than 100 years.  The 8-day Feria del Toro, Festival of the Bull, was a favorite of Papa Hemingway and has been a major draw for the millions of visitors that have flocked to the historic Kingdom of Navarra from around the world since The Sun Also Rises (Fiesta in the UK), was first released in 1926.

Casa de Misericordia de Pamplona (MECA), managers of the Plaza del Toro, and a charity, unique within Spain, has selected the bull ranches, Granderías, for this year’s bull festival.  This year’s cartel includes the bulls from Juan Pedro Domecq, Dolores Aguirre, Miura, Cebada Gago, Victoriano de Río, El Pilar, Fuente Ymbro, and for the first time in Pamplona, the Torrehandilla bulls of Joaquín Morales.

The Running of the Bulls - What To Do and Not to Do
Access To The Route
If you want to participate in the running, you should enter the route before 7:00 am through the gates in the Plaza Consistorial and stay within the barricades between the Town Hall Square and the Old Military hospital half-way down Santo Domingo.  Shortly after 7:00 the accesses will be closed and you are not allowed to leave until the encierro begins and the bulls are on their way.  An estimated 20,500 people (and 64 fighting bulls) took part in the eight encierros of Sanfermín 2011.

The Most Dangerous Stretches
Callejón - Plaza de Toros (8 deaths) and the end of the Cuesta de Santo Domingo (3 deaths).

Wear comfortable clothes and sneakers or running shoes.  Do not carry any other items (backpacks, cameras, etc.) with you.

Ask Experts Runners For Advice
The running is neither a joke nor an opportunity for media coverage.  The risks are enormous, and the mass attendance of runners makes it even more dangerous.  It takes many years of practice to become a good runner.

Getting In And Out Of The Flow
Getting into the flow of runners is as important as getting out of the way. Get in gradually, as the other runners get out.  Or get straight in, from a standing start.

Beware Of Falling
Bulls are not the only danger.  Mainly, it's the number of runners.  The chances of stumbling and falling are very high. In fact, most of the people who are injured during the run have fallen and been trampled by other runners.  You have to look in front of you, behind you and on the ground.  Once you are in the herd, it's safest to remain close to the bulls because there will be no runners in front of you.  If you fall, stay down.  Do not move until someone taps you on the shoulder.  If you're near a bull and you fall, do not try to get up. If you curl up in a ball, the bull should ignore you and continue running.  Getting up will cause the bull to attack you.  This is the most common mistake made by runners.

Pay Attention To The Pastores & Obey The Rules!
Remember, the guys in the green shirts are there for your protection!

Pastores walking the route before the start of the encierro

The Route of the Encierro

Santo Domingo
This is considered one of the most dangerous stretches of the route, a steep, uphill run of about 300 meters, from the corrals at the bottom of the slope to the Plaza Consistorial at the top.  The bulls tend to bunch close together as they race up the narrow street, the only remaining section with a sidewalk and curb, scattering runners to the left and right as they quickly overtake them.  Some of the best runs can be seen here in the thrilling 30 seconds or less it takes for the lead bull to reach the town hall square.

Ayuntamiento – Mercaderes
Considered by some to be one of the least dangerous stretches, this 120 meter long section has two turns that make it a bit more complicated, but runners are usually relieved to find themselves with a little more elbow room, if only for a few brief moments before they reach “la curva”.

Calle Estafeta
The turn onto Calle Estafeta is a sharp 90-degree right turn. The bulls seldom fall now that there is a non-slip surfacing, but their momentum often carries them to the left, against wall.  Runners are advised to stay to the right, to the inside of turn, to avoid being pinned between the bulls and the fence or wall.

Estafeta - Baja de Javier
This canyon-like section is long and narrow with a slight 2% uphill slope, and one of the most crowded stretches of the route. Runners can only escape into the doorways of the shops that line the street, but are advised not to do so if confronted by an errant bull.

Bajada de Javier - Telefónica
This can be a very dangerous stretch as the bulls tend to slow down and may split up, with some bulls falling behind the main heard, separated from the steers.  Be alert to one coming up behind you.

This section, less than 110 yards long, ends in a funnel shape, surrounded by a double wooden fence.  The animals are now tired and will be moving at a slower pace, getting stretched out in a line.  It’s an extremely dangerous place for both expert and novice runners, claiming a seasoned runner in 2009.

The pace is fast and furious in the funnel shaped downhill slope leading into the bullring. Many runners have fallen, creating human heaps, some with fatal consequences.

Plaza de Toros
The bulls run to the center of the bullring most of the time before being led to the corrals, but you should never turn your back on the bulls.

Running with the Miura bulls along Calle Estafeta, 10 July 2011