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Bous a la Mar in Denia 2024, Valencia

Are you brave enough to lure a bull into the sea?

Dates: July 6–14, 2024

Bous a la Mar in Denia
Bous a la Mar in Denia

Toros en el Mar or Bous a la Mar, which essentially translates to 'Bulls in the Sea,' is exactly what it sounds like. This event is one of the wildest festivities in the province of Alicante in Denia, around 62 miles (100 km) away from Valencia. Many consider it much more interesting than the classic bull chase and more animal-friendly. The goal of the activity is to lure the bull to come after you down the streets of Denia and then make them jump into the Mediterranean Sea. When a bull falls into the sea, it's rescued by a special boat.

People and media express their concern regarding animal abuse in this kind of event taking place solely for human entertainment. And these concerns aren't unfounded due to several cases of bulls drowning in the water. Another such incident took place in 2023, which led to a reduction of the Bous a la Mar program.

Event Program

The Festa Major festivities begin on July 6th with the parade in honor of city's patron saint and an evening concert performed by Denia musical ensemble. On July 6th at 7 pm, you'll have a chance to witness the first Bous a la Mar, who'll be chased down from Marqués de Campo to the port, drawing in hundreds of spectators. This day kicks off the tradition, and starting from there, the activity takes place at 7 pm every day. Apart from bull-running, Denia is filled to the brim with musical performances and concerts, vendor markets and entertainment, held to celebrate Festa Major. On the final day of the festival, on July 14th, the city sets off a magnificent fireworks display at 10:30 pm.

Schedule & Dates

For those brave enough to participate in such an event, Toros en el Mar takes place every year in mid-July as part of Festa Major, a local festival, which lasts approximately nine days. Of course, you can also be part of the audience and witness the event from the safety of bleachers but still be entertained.

History of the Festival

The tradition of chasing the bull to the sea goes back as far as the 17th century, but the regular celebration started in the 20th century after the construction of Denia Port. It's held in honor of the city's patron saint, Santíssima Sang. Some historians also state that running the bull to the sea was supposed to be just a one-time anecdotal event but quickly grew into what it is today—a long-standing tradition.

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