Navarre: the land imagined by Ernest Hemingway
If there is one person who has done more than anyone to spread the fame of the region of Navarre, that must be the American novelist, journalist and adventurer, Ernest Hemingway. The writer took part in nine celebrations of the San Fermín bull-running festivals, and wrote his novel “The Sun also Rises”, which was based on this event, thanks to the deep and enduring impression he received of the bullfighting culture, the gastronomy and the character of the people.
Navarre pays tribute to this famous visitor with the “Hemingway route”, a unique and interesting tour which allows visitors to follow the footsteps of the writer and to discover the places where the Nobel prize-winner ate, drank, amused himself and slept.
The route features a dozen different sites in Pamplona alone; this is the capital of Navarre and the site of the bull-running spectacle known as the “San Fermines”. These include such legendary spots as the Café Iruña, one of Hemingway’s favourite haunts, where you will find a bronze life-size sculpture of the journalist. You can also visit the Gran Hotel La Perla (where Hemingway used to stay in room 217 with views over the Calle Estafeta so he could watch the bull-running) and the Hemingway monument, a block of granite weighing 8,000 kilos which stands in front of the bull ring.
The route through Pamplona involves a comfortable walk which can be done within a day. However if you have a car, you can extend your tour to other places in Navarre which were also favourites of Hemingway’s. These include villages such as Auritz-Burguete, Aribe, Lekunberri and Yesa. All these were chosen by the writer as places to rest after the festivities, enjoy the countryside and indulge in one of his favourite pastimes: fishing. This route through Navarre covers an itinerary of about 130 km.
Don't miss the chance to explore all the places described by one of the world’s most internationally famous writers. Check all the information at the official website of the Navarre Tourist Board.
Things to remember:
If you are going to combine this route with the festivities of San Fermín, make you plan your trip for the month of July.
There are several companies who provide expert guides (in both English and Spanish) to accompany you on this route, and who will arrange a tour around Navarre, including accommodation.
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