Northern Spain is more than the “running of the bulls”

It's time for the running of the bulls in northern Spain's Pamplona.
Published: Jul. 2, 2023 at 1:44 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - The controversial and odd tradition of the “Running of the Bulls” is taking place this week in the northern Spanish city of Pamplona. While it draws the eyes of the world for the drama and annual gorings, northern Spain is generally a much more relaxed part of the country.

Northern Spain offers an escape from the city life in Madrid or Barcelona and an escape from the crowded beach towns on the southern Mediterranean Coast. Bilbao is a great place to start your trip. It’s a city with more than a million people and has a small but efficient airport. While Bilbao feels more like a smaller town in many ways, it’s a cultural hub. It’s home to a Guggenheim Museum, theaters, top-rated restaurants, and an Old Town full of restaurants and shopping.

Within driving distance from Bilbao, you’ll find coastal scenery so stunning that it was used in filming “Game of Thrones.” Less than an hour away east of Bilbao, you’ll find the beaches and harbors of Bermeo and San Sebastián.

To the west, you’ll find the old fishing port of Cudillero, the historic city of Oviedo, the beach town of Comillas, and many more. Inland lies one of Spain’s beautiful national parks: Picos de Europ and its gateway town Cangas de Onis.

The entire region is drivable, with little traffic and no tolls. If southern Spain is still more your style, I’d suggest visiting Barcelona in the winter. You’ll find better prices for airfare and hotels, plus smaller crowds, and the weather will still be relatively mild.

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