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Where the Fiesta Never Ends

Spain does it all, and does it well. Begin your trek hiking in the Pyrenees mountains and winding down with tapas and sangria on the shores of Barcelona. In Madrid, see historic landmarks such as the Palacio Real, then get the quintessential Spanish experience in Seville, where you’ll find flamenco and bullfighting.

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Plaza de Toros, bull ring, bullring, Malaga, Spain
Málaga

Málaga

This stunning 1876 Mudéjar revival stadium, known as La Malagueta, seats more than 9,000 spectators. Visitors can also get a distant view into the ring from upper-level rooms at the adjacent Hotel Maestranza or along the steep walkway up to Málaga's castle ruins. A museum at the bullring is dedicated to the great 20th-century matador Antonio Ordoñez, who fought more than 1,000 bulls. 960 1280

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Seville

Seville

First opened in 1761 but not fully completed until 1881, the landmark Real Maestranza is Spain's oldest bullring still in operation and one of its most prestigious. A fascinating tour goes behind the scenes to illuminate the history and artistry of the spectacle. 960 1280

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Madrid

Madrid

Built in the majestic Mudéjar revival style in 1929, Las Ventas is Spain's largest bullring. Some 25,000 spectators crowd into every event to see the country's top matadors face the best bulls. When there's not a bullfight, visitors can tour the ring with an audio guide. 960 1280

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Ronda

Ronda

Inaugurated in May 1785, Ronda's Real Maestranza bullring was the home turf of Pedro Romero, the superstar matador of the late 18th century and a favorite subject of the painter Goya. Each September, the Goyesca Festival includes a day of bullfights in 18th-century costume. The colorful museum traces the evolution of bullfighting from the mythical past to contemporary matadors. 960 1280

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Pamplona

Pamplona

Ernest Hemingway made the Running of the Bulls famous in The Sun Also Rises and Death in the Afternoon. On the mornings of the San Fermin Festival in July, hundreds of spectators run through the streets with 6 bulls and 6 steers. Their destination is the city’s 1922 ring, where the bulls will meet their fate in the afternoon. 960 1280

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Mijas

Mijas

The small oval bullring with seats at each end is a good example of the old-fashioned bullrings that used to be in every Andalusian village. Already a popular tourist destination, Mijas fills up with tour buses every weekend from Easter until October to give Costa del Sol visitors a taste of authentic bullfighting. 960 1280

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El Puerto de Santa Maria

El Puerto de Santa Maria

The 12,000-seat stadium in this small sherry-making town on the Bay of Cadiz is one of the sport's most celebrated venues — in part because it's in the heart of bull-breeding country and gets some of the fiercest animals. Built in 1880, the building is noted for the beautiful ceramic tiles around its exterior. 960 1280

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Jerez de la Frontera

Jerez de la Frontera

Originally the home of chivalric bullfighting from horseback, Jerez eventually embraced the Ronda style, in which the matador faces the bull with only his cape and sword. The major bullfighting season at this 1894 bullring coincides with the Horse Fair in May. 960 1280

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Granada

Granada

This majestic Mudéjar revival bullring from 1928 has a grand entrance and 3 soaring levels. Several popular restaurants and bars fill its exterior walls. Like those in Seville and Ronda, the Granada arena is a rare bullring still operated by one of the regional Royal Cavalry societies (Real Maestranza de Caballeria) created by King Felipe II in the 17th century. 960 1280

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Linares

Linares

Most hard-core fans of the corrida, or “bullfight,” eventually come to see a program in the 1867 bullring of Linares. A bronze statue out front memorializes the great matador Manolete, who was fatally gored here in 1947, setting off 3 days of official national mourning. 960 1280

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Valencia

Valencia

Bullfighting in Valencia dates back to Neolithic times, and even in more recent centuries, fights took place in public squares with temporary fencing. Opened in 1859, this 10,500-seat bullring, which is modeled on the Roman Colosseum, starts the season earlier than most, with bullfights during the Las Fallas festival in March. 960 1280

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Bilbao

Bilbao

Although bullfighting is often associated with southern Spain, Bilbao has an enthusiastic fan base for the spectacle, as well as the largest bullring in the Basque Country. The original 1882 stadium burned down in 1961 and was replaced the next year by the unabashedly modern Plaza de Toros de Vista Alegre, which seats more than 14,000 people. 960 1280

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Barcelona

Barcelona

A favorite concert venue of the late, great flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucia, Plaza de Toros Las Arenas ceased to hold bullfights in 1977, long before the government of Catalonia outlawed the spectacle. In 2011, it was transformed into the 6-story Arenas de Barcelona shopping center by British architect Richard Rogers. 960 1280

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Destinations in Spain


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