A Visitor’s Guide to Attending La Tomatina in Spain (2018 UPDATE)

Many people really like an excellent festival. They are an opportunity to let loose, have a great time, and enjoy something crazy.

And the thing more crazy when compared to a giant festival?

A huge food fight.

And there’s nothing much better than La Tomatina in Bunol, Spain for that!

What originated as an impromptu local food fight among friends in 1945 started to be its cultural event – and the world’s largest food fight. Since 1945, La Tomatina has became a yearly occurrence in Bunol, Spain (apart from a couple of years in the 1950’s when it had been banned under Franco). It requires places each year on the last Wednesday of August, and up to 30,000 tourists some to be a part of this massive food fight.

Starting early each morning, people wearing clothes to never be worn again crowd trains heading from Valencia to Bunol. They make it happen and join the masses going to the town center, stopping along the way for a few food and (a whole lot of) drinks. Eventually, everyone reaches the town center and stops. There’s nowhere else to go. The crowd is just too big thick.

Through the run-up to the 11 am kick-off, many participants compete in a pole climb, where they scramble up a greased pole to win a ham. After the ham is captured, the party official “starts” (though I didn’t see anyone get the ham so that you can make sure that the party is starting at 11 am whatever).

Nothing I write gives justice to the ridiculous festival, which explains why I brought my camera along when I attended! While I was fighting away, my friends at Travelyourself took my camera therefore i could enable you to get this:

The fight lasts for just one hour after which the town is ankle-deep in a river of tomato juice. The fire department should come out shortly thereafter and hose down the town (which when combined with citric acid in the tomatoes actually does a good job of cleaning the area!). Partygoers have a tendency to head right down to the river to completely clean up and wash off (or you may get hosed down by among the locals and their kids who love spraying everyone). The party continues the others of in lots of of the plazas around the town. There’s music, dancing, copious levels of sangria, and a lot of good food. This goes until sunset when most crowds return to Valencia.

It really is among the best times I’ve ever endured. In the crush of the crowds, you’re just throwing tomatoes left and right at everything – barely looking where you’re going. I watched people climb statues and doorways for better angles and then turn themselves into easy targets for all those nearby. Afterwards, our friends jovially skipped to down and spent all of those other day on a higher partying and communicating with everyone.

Some Tips for Attending La Tomatina

Likely to attend this epic food fight? Below are a few tips to help you create the most out of your trip:

  • Wear clothing you’re ok with throwing out. It’s likely that it’s not likely to recover (together with your shoes!) Many clothes get torn, stained beyond repair, and just end up smelling for days after. Don’t bring anything nice.
  • If you’re a female, look and wear a sports bra as much guys get grabby and frequently times make an effort to snap bras off.
  • Don’t bring any valuables like your wallet or passport as you may lose them. Plus, petty crime is rife here. It’s easy to find yourself in people’s pockets. Wear a money belt or a ziplocked poach around the next.
  • Only bring your camera or phone if is waterproof. Even then, make certain it includes a protective case!
  • Wear goggles. You don’t need to get tomato juice in your eyes.
  • If you’re traveling with friends, acknowledge a place to meet up afterward. There’s an excellent chance you may lose them in the crowd.
  • Arrive early as there’s limited space!
  • Don’t wear sandals or sandals. The bottom gets slippery fast, which means you want good shoes to keep you upright. The proper crowds also mean people will step on your own feet on a regular basis!
  • Stay hydrated. It’s likely to be super hot in August, and you will have people everywhere. The miracles of water before the fight in order to fling tomatoes without getting dehydrated.
  • Watch out for shirt rippers. You will find a tendency for folks (and also require had a little too much to drink beforehand) to rip the shirt off your back. It’s against the guidelines of the festival, but people will still make an effort to do it so take note!

****

La Tomatina was certainly the most interesting festival I’ve gone to. It’s quite dirty (obviously) and in the event that you don’t such as a mess or crowds, you won’t such as this! But I had an incredible, energetic time, and my time there connected me with a few of the most important people in my own life. There’s a thing that bonds people throwing vegetables with one another. So for those seeking to spend a couple of hours throwing food, dancing in the streets, and drinking sangria, visit La Tomatina!

Ways to get to La Tomatina

Bunol is situated around 40km beyond Valencia. To make it happen from Valencia, you have 3 options:

  • Drive – It’s in regards to a 40-minute trip by car. In the event that you don’t want to rent an automobile yourself, use Blablacar (a ride-sharing app)
  • Bus – The bus #265a, #265b, and #2 go from Valencia. The ride takes between 60-75 minutes. Round-trips tickets will definitely cost slightly below 8 EUR.
  • Train – Take the C3 from Valencia. Tickets will definitely cost around 4 EUR each way and it requires slighlty over one hour.

By 2013, foreigners desperate to take part need to pay 10 EUR for a ticket. If you would like to wait La Tomatina you can buy your official tickets here!

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