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The captivating and colourful kingdom of Pamplona is a sensory banquet that teems with effervescent vibrancy and raw Spanish energy. Home to the renowned Sanfermines Festival, an 8-day carnival dedicated to the bloodthirsty fights of bulls, the city transforms into a crackling and explosive place when the highly anticipated date arrives, becoming home to one of the world’s most famous fiestas dominates. Out of season however, Pamplona is still an intriguing place to visit; Basque passion exudes from traditional taverns and rambunctious bars while sacred structures provide a rich architectural appeal.
Rising resplendently over the scattered and static city is the Catedral, a glorious Gothic gems whose relatively mundane interior surrenders an inspiring and imitable interior. An elaborately carved tomb houses the body of a prominent Spanish king and a shimmering silver statue of the Virgin Mary gazes benignly from the altar. Creep into the cloisters to enjoy enthralling embellishments that depict saints and sinners.
Ancient art and archaeological artefacts combine in the enthralling depths of Museo de Navarra; occupying what was formerly a medieval hospital, the museum presents a glittering collection of Roman mosaics and classic art from some of Spain’s most prominent painters.
Like many of Navarra’s sublime cities, Pamplona has a refined reputation for its incredible and traditional gastronomy. A restaurant that encompasses the flair and flavour of Spanish specialities is Baserri, an atmospheric tavern whose ambient lighting and richly decorated walls exude an air of patent authenticity. Sample spectacular tapas that sizzles and satisfies before sipping a conclusive cup of sweet sangria. (Calle San Nicolás, 32, 31001 Pamplona, Navarra, Spain)