Not to be left behind by the wave of pro-women sentiment sweeping over the world, Stoke Travel CEO Tony Paraless took the opportunity today to announce that he, and the company, “Completely loves chicks. Absolutely. Even the really bitchy ones.” The enlightened announcement came after the CEO realised that not only are more than half […]
Pamplona City Guide
Most people only visit Pamplona for San Fermín Festival and the Running of the Bulls, but this traditional and historic Spanish town actually has some really cool shit to do.
Population: 190-something thousand
Language: Spanish, duh. Oh and Basque
Nationalities: Pretty small town, so mostly those sexy Spaniards
Surf report: Surf’s up in San Sebastian and Zarautz – only an hour away from Pamps
Cookie-cutter must see’s: feeling serious? Here’s the serious sights
Pamplona is historic and this stuff is pretty cool. Take the pretty photos and move on to the next list.
Pamplona Cathedral – Despite being at the top of the tourist list, this cathedral is definitely worth a visit. Take an hour or so to take some pictures you can actually send back home to your mum. This is one of the best European cathedrals you’ll ever lay your pretty eyes on.
Walk through the walled city – This one is pretty hard to miss, seeing as it encompasses all of Pamplona. Unless you’re blind drunk, which is certainly a possibility. The massive walls are full of history – you could spend up to a couple of hours wandering around and the view from the top is great.
Sip a coffee with Hemingway at Café Iruna – THE Ernest Hemingway (who just so happened to make Running of the Bulls famous with his classic novel The Sun Also Rises) frequented this place back in the day. As a tribute, you’ll find a statue of him at the bar. The café also has a freaking beautiful interior and is located right in the center of town. Pose with the big guy and a café con leche.
Plaza de Torros – The fourth largest bullring in the world, Plaza de Torros, is where the bull runs end and countless bull fights occur. Now even though you probably don’t want to be there for a bullfight (shudder), this ring is eerily cool and pretty damn beautifully built.
Encierro Monument – If you’re not in Pamps during the running of the bulls, this majestic statue is the next best thing.
Museo de Navarra – Spend a couple of hours indulging yourself in some Navarre history.
The alternative cool shit: feeling avant-garde? Get your local on and enjoy these
City’s best tapas at Bar Gaucho – This tip comes straight from the locals and is not to be missed. The best tapas you’ll find in Pamplona, plus you get to feel fancy for dinner before you get so drunk you pass out in a gutter.
Get a churro from La Manueta Churreria – This place has been open since 1872 and is run by a little ol’ grandma named Amatxi. If you’re lucky enough to be there when she opens up shop (she’s elderly and isn’t very reliable), this churro will build some definite sexual tension between you and the old girl.
Picnic at Park Taconera – Grab a wheel of Manchego cheese, some delicious Spanish chorizo, and a bottle of Viura de Azul y Garanza. Pull out your picnic blanket (stolen hostel towel), your wine glasses (plastic cups from the corner store), and head to Park Taconera where you can watch the sunset amongst Spanish lovers and families enjoying the park.
The Running of the Bus – While San Fermín officially ends on July 14th, the locals will do whatever they can to prolong the dreaded end. So on the morning of the 15th, they a line the streets to run with the city bus. A little safer than running with the bulls, yeah?
Under no circumstances does Stoke recommend…
(Kidding, totally do it…)
Running of the Bulls – This is definitely one to cross off the bucket list. The city hosts the San Fermín festival where the infamous bull runs happen. Pamplona is turned into one freaking huge party for an entire week.
Go to the shot bar Espit Chupitos and order a Monica Lewinsky – Part of me wants to describe this delicacy to you and part of me wants you to experience this ‘shot’ with a beautiful innocence. Screw it, I’m too excited and selfish to control myself. The Monica Lewinsky shot involves the blindfolded participant licking whipped cream off of a beer that has a dildo cover on it. Beer is then squirted through the dildo into the unknowing participants mouth. Tell your friend it’s the most delicious shot you’ve ever tasted, order them one.
No seriously, Stoke does not recommend: tourist traps
Run with the bulls in flip flops – Too many tourists don’t take running of the bulls seriously. Don’t be that guy/gal.
Sit on the grass outside the bus station during bulls – It’s hard enough to take a step in this area without landing your foot in a pile of vom or piss, let alone sit your bum down.
Watch a bullfight – These are actually really terrifying. Big muscly manly men have ended up calling their mothers for a quick ‘I love you’ after witnessing the horror. Plus it’s cruel and we just can’t support it.
Travelling cretin, Jake Sampson, 28, has confirmed his status as an absolute dummy by not booking with Stoke Travel for 2018’s Running of the Bulls festival. The A-grade moron appears to have weighed up his options and decided that it was in his best interests to book with an inferior company, despite Stoke Travel clearly […]
That’s it! Oktoberfest is wrapped, folded, washed and hung out to dry, and along with it Stoke summer 2017. What a blast! A record-breaking summer of atmospheric highs very often followed immediately by brief, soul-crushing lows. So as the accumulated hangover of three months’ worth of solid boozing washes over us like a fog made […]
Editor’s note: over the winter we ran a competition to find the “Chosen One”, a one-of-a-kind, absolutely average, everyday hero who would win our Most Ordinary Extraordinary Job In The World — a summer of back-to-back Stoke Travel trips, where not only would they be expected to have the time of their life, but to […]
A final list to prepare you for the 2017 Bull Run. JOSEPHINE RYAN MURPHY The days are counting down fast to The Running Of The Bulls opening ceremony. Not long from now we’ll all be running for our lives, drunk on fear and adrenaline through the slippery streets of Pamplona followed by getting very drunk […]
Sydney man, Dave Evans, 26, has come to the conclusion that running with fighting bulls is definitely a bad idea. Evans, who has been living in London and is now travelling around Europe, came to the obvious realisation about 30 seconds into Pamplona’s infamous bull run. “I don’t know why, but it was always something […]
Five minutes of terror and adrenaline shouldn’t define the world’s best street party Isn’t it time we rethought the running of the bulls? For centuries mostly young men have been putting themselves in harm’s way, and sure they will continue to do so. For some it’s cruel and for others it’s dangerous, but if running […]
Editor’s note: Ryan “The Chosen One” Whitaker just finished up his three months embedded with Stoke Travel, seeing a summer from the perspective of both a traveller and a volunteer. Here is some of the wisdom he picked up over the course of this life-changing experience. We’ll be looking for a new Chosen One for […]
Or how to perfectly pack any social gathering It may flummox you to know this, but there is a scientifically proven way to ensure that all of your party guests derive the maximum pleasure from the gathering. Its taken years of hard work and observation, partying as much as we possibly can, in order to […]
Six things you’re wasting you life doing that are definitely less fun that Running Of The Bulls. JOSEPHINE RYAN MURPHY Life is short, too short to do all the amazing things there are to do in the world. We know this, yet instead of chewing through our bucket lists we waste time contemplating whether to […]