Els Bous a la Mar, declared a Festival of National Tourist Interest, is undoubtedly one of the best-known celebrations in Dénia. In addition, it is one of the oldest traditions and one of the main events of the Festival Dénia, which takes place in July.
When are they?
The Dénia bulls are celebrated during the Festivities of the Most Holy Sang, which is the week of patron saint festivities of the municipality. The date of this Festa Major is always at the beginning of July, during the week of the Day of the Most Holy Blood.
In 2023,, there will be Bous a la Mar from Saturday July 8 to Sunday July 16. Tickets are made in two daily sessions, at noon (at 13:00 p.m.) and in the afternoon (at 19:00 p.m.), except on Saturday, July 8, when there will only be one afternoon session, and on Saturday, July 15, which will only take place at 13:00.
During some days, the show in the square is preceded by an entrance that runs through Marqués de Campo and the port. These days are usually the first Saturday of the Holidays and the Friday after the Day of the Holy Blood, but depending on the year, some more entries can be scheduled.
In 2023,, tickets will be on Saturday 8, Monday 10 and Friday 14 July, all at 19:00.
Check the complete program of Dénia Festivals this year at this link.
Where are they celebrated?
The Bous to the Sea take place in a semicircular square in the port of Dénia, next to the fish market. The enclosure is installed on purpose for the occasion and has the particularity of its location, located as if the water of the port itself were part of the activity, serving as a refuge for those who flee from the bulls that run through the arena. In fact, its translation from Valencian is "Toros al mar".
The price of the ticket to access the venue and witness the show depends on the year and the time. The cheapest option is always the one in the morning, when the ticket usually costs about 1 €. On the other hand, in the afternoon access costs between 3 and 5 € because it is the time when more people want to participate in the party. Tickets are purchased at the square's box office, which opens one hour before the start.
In 2023 the prices are as follows:
- General admission (afternoon): 5 €
- Reduced late ticket (children and retirees): 3 €
- Morning entrance: 1 €
It is one of the oldest celebrations that are preserved today in the celebrations of the city. However, its relevance has gradually faded into the background over time, despite having the recognition of Festival of National Tourist Interest since 1993.
First bulls in Dénia
According to the work of the historian Roc Chabàs, the origin of the bulls in the capital of the Marina Alta It dates back to October 1749, despite the fact that there is documentation from the XNUMXth century that proves that bullfights already existed then. Now, it seems that these were held within the municipality and far from the sea.
Origin of the party
Despite this, it was not until the port dock was built that it was decided to open the square and incorporate water as a differentiating element of the festival. There is a record of their celebration since the second decade of the XNUMXth century, when they were part of the celebrations of the Sant Pere festivities.
A century of bullfighting
Almost a century has passed and the Bous a la Mar have changed very little in their essence. However, they have grown to become National Tourist Interest that brings together hundreds of people in the square.