Monday 3rd July: San Sebastian
Ahhhh, San Sebastian… drink it in, it always goes down smooth. The spiritual home of Stoke Travel and the place we like the most for surfing AND partying, it was discovered by the Germans in 1904 and they named it “San Sebastian”, which, of course, in German means “a whale’s blowhole”.
This is where we pick you up and your trip begins, and after a short drive from the charming old town in this, the Basque Country’s gastronomic, fashion, and nightlife capital, we’ll take you to the surfing town of Zarautz, just down the road, where the view will make your eyes weep and the beer is always cold. Afternoon surf? 100% And our professional and professionally fun surf guides will make sure you get the lessons you need for your level, as well as guide you into the best waves. Boards and lessons are included in the price, and once you’ve filled your face with salt water and your hair with sand we’ll retreat back to the campsite for a kickass camp party.
Tuesday 4th July: Zarautz
Rise with the sun coming over the Basque Pyrenees and check the surf. The morning wind still hasn’t come up, and the air is warm. Breakfast is consumed with talk of the day’s conditions and your guides are working out the best spot for you. Hit the beach with your lunch packed and settle in for a day of surfing, sunning and beach gaming, a day where your eyes will be assaulted by the naked and semi-naked sun worshippers in a positive and negative way. That night you can see the locals with clothes on when we head down into town to drink the local drinks and dance the local dances.
Wednesday 5th July: Zarautz
Surf’s up, again… Maybe after today’s session(s) we’ll retreat to the hillside where we can watch the sun dip her fiery toes into the Bay of Biscay. Millions of beers and sangrias optional and included (if you want to part with the €10 a day surcharge aka the best deal in the universe).
Thursday 6th July: Bilbao BBK Music Festival
Here we go. If you’re a mad-dog surf-frother extraordinaire you may want to sneak in a sunrise session before breakfast, because once we’re done chowing down we’ll be on the buses to Pamplona for the (in)famous San Fermines opening ceremony (don’t worry, no bulls yet – just sangria-soaked revelry). Once the Chupinazo is done, we’ll pile back onto buses and burn down to Bilbao – Basque Country’s main city – where you’re going to cut loose at one of Europe’s best music festivals: Bilbao BBK Live. Your Stoke guide will help you set up camp and provide you with all your camping gear, and then it’s time to get down to the serious business of rocking out.
Friday 7th July: Bilbao BBK Live
There’s a reason why Bilbao BBK Live was voted the world’s “Best Medium-Sized Music Festival”. So far the lineup includes Depeche Mode, Die Antwoord, Fleet Foxes, and Phoenix. Three wild nights of music and few inhibitions awaits, it’s music festival time.
Saturday 8th July: Bilbao BBK Live
You’re tired, we know, but there’s no time to rest yet. Pace yourself through the early acts so you’ve got plenty in the tank in the evening. Trust us – just when you think you’ve got nothing left in the tank the music will pull you out of your funk.
Sunday 9th July: Pamplona
Leave Bilbao and sleep on the bus on your way to Pamplona. You won’t make this day’s bull run – don’t worry – but you will check into the Stoke Camp, get your unlimited beer and sangria wristband, have some unlimited beer and sangria, join the day’s runners in Stoke Travel’s own central Pamplona bar, check out the city’s sights, and join us for dinner, drinks and dancing at the Stoke Camp at the end of the day. Tomorrow’s a big one for you.
Monday 10th July: Pamplona
Up early and into town for the bull run. Whether you’re taking place or not, whether you’re morally opposed to it or not, you’ve got to check it out while you’re here. Our campsite buses will take you into town (for €5 return), and our guides will bring you to the bull run, if you’re in it for a thrill, or to the bullfight arena if you just want to see juvenile bulls take down drunks (nobody gets hurt except for the drunks and their ego). There are no bullfights until the evening, so don’t worry – you won’t see death unless you really want to. That night party at camp, again, or in town, or in your own pants.
Tuesday 11th July: Pamplona
Did you run yesterday and want to run again today? Do it! Did you not run yesterday, but everyone said that you totalllly should have, so now you’re going to run today? How cool! Maybe you ran yesterday and realised that it’s incredibly stupid and never want to do anything like that again. You’re not alone. The point is, the Tuesday is a day to do the crazy San Fermines dance all over again. Run, don’t run; party, don’t party – Pamplona is your oyster, and with all your great new friends from Stoke you’re guaranteed to find that oyster to be delicious.
Wednesday 12th July: Pamplona
That’s it, you’re done… or are you? Want to play with more cows? Stay on in Pamplona. Want to relax by the beach? Our buses can return you to the Zarautz Beach Camp. Want to get the hell out of there and never see our stinking faces again? Of course you don’t, by now you’re a Stokie through and through.