The results are in: Most travelers are not keen on taking a trip to see intrepid runners risk life and limb in Pamplona, Spain during the famous Running of the Bulls event, held during the annual festival of San Fermin from July 6 through July 14. According to a TripAdvisor.com poll of 1,225 U.S. respondents, 73 percent of travelers said they wouldn’t enjoy running for their lives, or watching others do the same.
But, what about the thrill of making it past the bulls unscathed? Or, banding together with tens of thousands of travelers to cheer on the courageous runners? “Twenty percent of respondents in TripAdvisor’s site poll said that they would like to see the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, while an intrepid seven percent would like to take part in the run,” said TripAdvisor’s Brooke Ferencsik. “Due to the nature of the event, it’s not going to appeal to every traveler, but those that can make it to Pamplona are in for the experience of a lifetime.”
The annual Running of the Bulls takes place during the celebration of San Fermin, a fiesta honoring the patron saint of Spain’s Navarre region. Hundreds of thrill seekers flock to the streets of the old town Pamplona to be chased by six bulls and six steer over a half mile course. Though the ratio of bovines to humans is low, injuries of all types are common – from slipping on the cobbled streets to being gored by a bulls’ horn. After the first day, a race is held on each day of the fiesta and is followed by an evening bullfight.
As with any great festival, travelers note that San Fermin has a non-stop party atmosphere. “San Fermin has to be one of the best times I had in my life. Way better than Mardi Gras (Mardi Gras is just one street…imagine Mardi Gras in several streets in an old town…without the beads, bull fights…and you can drink outside!!),” shared TripAdvisor member and fearless runner al2ktoy.
If death defying sports aren’t on your summer to-do list this year, head to Key West, Florida July 20-25 for the 30th annual Hemingway Days Festival, which was ranked among TripAdvisor’s Top 10 Wacky Summer Events. In a nod to the author’s immortalization of the Running of the Bulls in his classic “The Sun Also Rises,” attendees can join a slightly modified race, where bulls are substituted by liquor barrels on wheels.