Experience the world’s largest food fight, La Tomatina, a tomato fight held every year in Spain in late August. Tens of thousands of participants flock to the small town of Buñol every year to partake in this unusual tradition.
The Tomato Fight
Around 11 am the tradition begins by a ham being placed on a large greased pole. People struggle against each other in order to be the first to race to the top of the pole and bring down the ham. Once the ham is brought down, trucks with loaded tomatoes are brought in, a cannon is fired, and the tomato fight begins. At this point, it’s everyone for themselves, however, there are a few rules! According to latomatina.org: squash your tomato before throwing it, don’t bring anything in that could cause a serious injury (glass, sharp objects, etc.), and no tearing others’ clothing. A cannon is fired again to signal the end of the fight.
La Tomatina History
The tradition’s beginning remains a mystery but this event is estimated to have begun in 1945. There are a variety of theories to explain its origin including: heckling a bad musician, a democratic protest against the city council, the ensuing aftermath of an accidental truck spillage, a food fight among friends, a volley of tomatoes from bystanders at a carnival parade. Despite the reason, the tradition continues and has been attracting more participants every year. Buñol, being a small town, has had to limit how many people can partake in the event today – so be sure to secure your ticket in advance!
Although you may be traveling specifically for La Tomatina, you will not want to miss exploring other cities close by like Valencia (a quick 30-minute drive) or Barcelona (4 hours by car)!
- Local cuisine: Due to Spain’s fortunate location on the Iberian Peninsula and almost entirely surrounded by water, Spanish cuisine is a heavily Mediterranean influenced diet. Along with seafood, Spanish cuisine incorporates foods from the mountain ranges, lush pastures, fertile farmlands, and extensive coastlines, which together provide a variety of fresh products!
- Mediterranean Beaches: Grab a beach towel and relax on the sand, walk the crashing waves or go sailing through the sea.
- Scooter Ride: Explore all the sites around Valencia at your own pace while you buzz around town like a local.
- Hemisferic, Principe Filip Museum of Sciences and Oceanografic: See the building that has the appearance of an eye, and watch a movie on one of its three giant screens. Get an interactive perspective on science at the Valencia science museum. It’s fun for the whole family. Also, be sure to stop by Europe’s largest marine center, Oceanografic.
- Gothic Quarter: Stretching from La Rambla to Via Laietana, and from the Mediterranean seafront to Ronda de Sant Pere, you will step into the past as you explore the center of the old city of Barcelona. Experience Medieval architecture and cobble stone streets as you pass Sant Just Square, Sant Felip Neri Square, the Cathedral, and much more.
- Flamenco Show: Take in a Flamenco show at a Flamenco Tablao. These small cafes give off a cozy vibe, offer live music, and incorporate everything you need to enjoy a great show.
- La Sagrada Familia: Visit the most iconic landmark of Barcelona, La Sagrada Familia. Although this church was never finished it is a beautiful architectural destination. Be sure to walk through the chapel to see its spectacular vaults that reach 70 meters.s
- Tapas: A trip to Barcelona isn’t complete without eating some of the local food. Tapas are a wide variety of appetizers or snacks in Spanish cuisine, designed to encourage conversation rather than focusing on an entire meal. They may be cold (such as mixed olives and cheese) or hot (such as fried baby squid). Be sure to check out a few different places to find out which tapas are your favorite!
La Tomatina travel package available through go-today. Trip includes airfare, 4 nights in Barcelona and 3 nights in Valencia, rail from Barcelona to Valencia, bus to/from Buñol, La Tomatina entrance and t-shirt and daily breakfast.