Most people travel to Buñol for the famous La Tomatina festival. I had never really thought to go but my friends invited me and I figured it would be an interesting experience. We also had the opportunity to explore Valencia and enjoy paella. Buñol is a very small town, and the main attraction is La Tomatina. We all entered the small streets together and then quickly got separated. Luckily, everyone exits the same way so we reunited at the end. It is absolutely packed and the crowd is crushing, especially when the tomato trucks pass through the small streets. In fact, it is a wonder that no one gets runover.
The official start to La Tomatina is when someone climbs a greased pole to reach a ham. We enjoyed watching that before the messy tomato fight began. The people in the trucks are throwing rotten tomatoes at everyone. And then people pick the tomato bits off the ground and throw them again. Actually, it is really disgusting when you think about it. Fortunately, during the event you don’t really think about it because you are trying not to get crushed or knocked over! Would I do it again? No! Am I glad I did it once? Definitely!
- Start of the festival is to watch people try to climb a greased pole to reach a ham
- Being part of the biggest food fight in the world and a bit of a water fight as well
- Watching the locals looking out from windows and rooftops, either laughing, frowning, throwing their own tomatoes or spraying people with water
- Public outdoor showers at the end to wash off all of the itchy tomatoes
- Enjoying a drink in the local village before heading back to the bus
- Looking at the tomato and clothing carnage around the streets
- Spending time in nearby Valencia
Before you go
- La Tomatina is very popular so book transport and an entry ticket in advance via a company such as La Tomatina Tours
- We received a free souvenir shirt
- Since 2013 official ticketing has been in place limiting the number of participants to just 20,000 lucky people
- Take as little as possible with you as it is easy to lose things in the crowd
- Unfortunately, tomato juice irritates eyes and skin so you may want to take goggles, a change of clothes and a towel for the free outdoor showers
- Your clothes will get destroyed so don’t wear anything you want to keep
- The best way to travel to Buñol for Tomatina is with an organised bus tour. We booked through La Tomatina tours
- Valencia is quite close so it’s better to find a place there and then take the bus to Bunol for the event. There are plenty of hotels or AirBnB places.
All I can say is after this event, you may not want to eat tomatoes for awhile. The ground looked like salsa!
We stopped at a cafe along the route back to the bus and had a quick drink and snack. However, I can’t even remember what it was called.
Q: Do I need a tour guide?
A: Yes, you will probably need to book a tour for transport and admission to La Tomatina
Q: Do people speak English?
A: Yes, they are well-prepared for the tourists who descend on the village
Q: Is it a walkable city?
A: Yes, it is small and walkable
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