La Tomatina is an annual tomato-throwing festival which takes place in Buñol near Valencia. It’s the perfect excuse to lob rotten tomatoes at your mates, strangers and mortal enemies (if you can coax them to Spain).
As well as being a great stress reliever, the festival is steeped in history having been going since 1945. It takes place on the last Wednesday in August every year. Before 2013, the event was a free-for-all: roughly 50,000 people packed into the narrow streets on Buñol to attack each other with squashed fruits. Today, you have to be lucky to bag one of the 20,000 tickets available.
We recommend going for a well-established tour if you want to see everything the area has to offer. This ‘La Tomatina package includes a quality 4-Star Hotel* with entry tickets to the festival and private pickup-dropoff service! That way you can get a decent nights sleep and save all of your energy for the tomato fight/WAR ahead!
The tomato battle lasts just 1 hour and all tomatoes are provided (so you don’t have to spend your baggage allowance on tomato grenades). At 11am they are brought into the town square by the lorry load and the fight begins when someone dares climb a greasy pole to fetch down a joint of ham… really.
It goes without saying: don’t wear anything you care about, but if you like the tomato-tye-dye look then go for it. Closed-toe shoes are important so you don’t get stomped on. Also, it’s recommended you tuck your t-shirt into your shorts so you have something clean to wipe your eyes with.
There are many stories of how the festival began, although no one is sure which is the truth. From playground food fights to an accidental lorry spillage, it’s fair to say no one really knows. The festival honours the town’s patron saints, but apart from that, everyone just loves throwing food.
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