They say this festival started with kids innocently throwing a few tomatoes at each other back in the mid 1940’s, and as the tradition continued each year, it grew to become the largest food fight in the world.
La Tomatina is held on the last Wednesday of August each year in the small town of Buñol, Spain which is about a 30 min drive from Valencia, and sees about 22,000 people take over the town to participate the event. You pack in the tiny streets and wait for the two loud gunshots to signal the start of the madness. Trucks roll through the streets throwing tomatoes and spraying water, and the backs are eventually released to turn the streets in to rivers of tomatoes.
It’s perhaps one of the most fun things I’ve even done, and a must-do for anyone traveling through Spain in September.
What I liked Most
Pelting 160 tonnes of over-ripe tomatoes with 22,000 other people through the tiny streets of Buñol, Spain. The best food fight of my life!
- A good set of goggles will be the difference to enjoying the event or hating it. It is manic inside the area, so you want eye protection from all the Tomato juice!
- The tomato comes off fairly easily in the wash, but wear clothes that you wont mind discarding if need be
- Leave your phones and valuables behind. Way too many stories of lost phones in the river of Tomatoes
- Do not miss the palo-jabón - a soap-covered pole with a Spanish prosciutto on the top. Go early otherwise you wont be able to push through the crowds to see this
Entrance ticket is approx 10€, or you can buy transport and ticket packages from the numerous tour companies in the hostels and travel agencies around Spain.
Additional info on transportation
You can get to Buñol easily via train or bus. We rented a van to take us there and back