Shuttles & Packaged Tours
*SpainTastic Shuttles and Luxury Coaches depart from Valencia Estación AVE Joaquín Sorolla.
DIY Tomatina Festival Travel
From Valencia by Rail
Valencia has two Railway Stations:
From Valencia by Bus
To Valencia by Air
Pay per event, VIP options
Prices in the table are quoted in EUR
Access to the Fight Zone
Once-upon-a-time, participating in the giant tomato fight was not just a free-for-all, but free of charge. As the event began drawing throngs of international fans it became necessary to limit the number of participants that could be safely packed into the town square. So, Buñol Town Hall decided to impose a tax of €10 per participant and limit the number of entries to 20,000. The tax receipt is your official La Tomatina Ticket. It grants access to the town square fight zone for an hour. It doesn’t include gear, shower, food, drinks or anything else.
Spaintastic Packages can include:
More Ticket Info
Plaza del Pueblo
type of festival
rituals & traditions, street party
music: electronic, pop, latin, rock, world; dance: dancing; sports: silly fun; food: tapas, cocktails
start Wed, 30 August 2017
end Wed, 30 August 2017
La Tomatina: 100 Ton Tomato Street Brawl
La Tomatina is a one-hour food fight with 100 metric tons of squishy red-ripe tomatoes in the Plaza del Pueblo of a quaint Spanish town; a full day of intense mayhem and debauchery on the final Wednesday of every August; a night of wild afterparties with DJs and live music; a week-long festival of paella gluttony, dancing, firecrackers, parades and fiestas, attracting upwards of 50,000 international brawlers annually. Since the town’s population is a mere 9,927 (2012), the streets are narrow and the village square is small, the town council (Ayuntamiento - that organizes the event) now only welcomes 20,000 tomato fighters, and charges a €10 tax for participants to enter the fight zone, in the heart of Buñol, 38 km from Valencia City, Spain.
La Tomatina Festival revolves around one hour, from 11-12 noon, on the last Wednesday of every August, when a hundred tons of blood-red tomatoes are delivered (by huge lories) into the anxiously waiting hands of 20,000 scantily clad street brawlers (+ 30,000 spectators) who come from across Spain & Europe to the quaint town square of Buñol (less than 40 km from Valencia and about 3.5 hrs from Barcelona or Madrid). The fight itself has 3 rules: no hard objects, tomatoes must be squished, and no messing with the lories. It costs €10 to gain access to the tomato throwing festival precinct, and getting there is easy with RENFE trains to Buñol + shuttles from Valencia, Barcelona & Madrid.
The intense hour of juicy, rather sexy, mayhem inspires an infinite variety of debauchery opportunities (aside from those induced by raised testosterone levels) like gorging on paella, imbibing copious quantities of sangria, dancing till sun-up at post tomato fest parties in Valencia, or staying in town with blasting firecrackers, parades and fiestas to honour patron saints Luis Bertrán & The Virgin of the Helpless. Tomatina Festival is part of the ‘normal’ Buñol week-long fiesta that includes processions, marching bands, the Valencian iconic Gigantes y Cabezudos (tall figures with over-sized papier maché heads), paella making contests and lots of music, dancing and feasting.
La Tomatina is a tomato fight, street brawl, paella-sangria-fest with wild afterparties!
The giant tomato fight last only an hour! The main zone has between 100 & 130 tons of tomatoes to play with. The rules of the tomato fight are simple:
It all began in 1945, during the regular town fiesta in honour of its patron saints, when some youths, seeking to better position themselves to watch the local parade with the traditional Valencian big headed dolls, pushed someone in the crowd and caused them to fall. Angered by the impertinence of such thoughtlessness, the person who had fallen got up and began looking for something to throw, and as luck would have it, found a nearby vegetable stand, with tomatoes, of course. The angered crowd member began heaving them at the ill-mannered youths, but hitting other bystanders in the process, and causing a temporary tomato riot. Order was restored when police intervened and put an end to the inaugural tomato festival.
Coffin for a Defunct Tomato
That initial fruit altercation, and subsequent police intervention, may have been the end of it all if… it hadn’t been so much fun that the following year the town’s youth brought tomatoes from home and began another fight. And it caught on. Despite its success amongst the youth, attempts to organize an official Tomatina event were prohibited, to the point that anyone caught engaging in illicit tomato-throwing activities during the traditional town square celebrations, were detained, which of course made it all the more attractive! Although tomato-throwing in Buñol continued, and gained a following for a few years, 1957 brought a ban on the event. As a response, Tomatina Festival-appreciators staged a protest in the form of a procession, a solemn parade accompanied by marching bands playing funeral dirges, followed by rebellious Tomatina fans carrying a coffin containing a defunct tomato.
La Tomatina Resurrected
Despite having had a funeral, Tomatina was too tough to kill. Its resurection was made official, but without its previous illicit edge, carried on in relative obscurity for years. Then, in 1983, it was re-discovered by reporter Javier Basilio who featured the event on Spanish television. Since then, there’s been no stopping the mayhem. In 2002, La Tomatina was declared an official “Fiesta de Interés Turístico Internacional” by the Secretary General of Tourism.
With or without official sanction, squishing tomatoes & throwing them at people is contagious, a fact that Tomatina aficionados attest on the last Wednesday of every August.
What do you think?
Staying in Buñol
There are very few accommodation options right in the town of Buñol, which is why most festival-goers purchase a transportation package to and from Valencia where there are lots of affordable hostels, deluxe hotels, villas and holiday rentals. But, if you choose to stay in Buñol, here are some options.
Eats & Drinks: Bars, Restaurants, Food Stalls, Food BYO, BYOB, Water
Fresh & Clean: Shower
Cash & Shops: Cash, Shops
Zone In & Out: VIP Zone
It unfolds in the town square not on a well-outfitted festival grounds with organized facilities. This means you shouldn’t expect neat rows of on-site toilets and showers, but basic access to public services that the town hall sees fit to provide for the day. Perhaps you’ll get a wash-down by a fireman’s hose, or gain access to a municipal shower.
Sangria & Paella
There are a plethora of restaurants & bars with fantastic tapas, and lots of street-side cafes, plus shops, and of course the official Tomatina Party area that overflows with sangria and giant paellas.
It’s not forbidden to buy your own alcohol or eat your own food, but unless you have special dietary needs, why not try the delicious local drinks and culinary specialties, which are abundant & exquisite! Keep in mind that if you decide to BYOB, it’s prohibited to wander the streets of Spain with an open bottle of alcohol, even in small towns. Be discrete.
Although La Tomatina organizers don’t impose age restrictions, the tomato fight is for strong, healthy grown-ups. Aside from being sexy, it’s messy & slippery, and with thousands of tomato-covered bodies writhing about & throwing gobs of redness at each other, it’s just not a good place for little people. Tomatina for Children is on another day.
Datesstart Wed, 30 August 2017
end Wed, 30 August 2017
A Week-long Celebration
Although the tomato fight is only one hour, on one day, on the last Wednesday of every August (since 1945), the event is part of the long-standing Buñol town fiesta that has always been held during the last week of August in honour of patron saints San Luis Bertrán & La Virgen de los Desamparados (The Virgin of the Helpless). Although most tomato-loving visitors depart after a few hours, or a day of sauntering about the village, locals continue their celebration with street-side shacks called “chiringuitos” along the Paseo de San Luis, races, concerts, processions (some with giant headed dolls), and gourmet cooking contests and subsequent feasting on paellas & gazpachos. Uncooked tomatoes are an accidental addition to an otherwise ‘normal’ week-long traditional holiday, but it’s that accident that sets Buñol apart from countless other patron-saint-honouring Spanish villages.
Tuesday Music & Sunday Parades
Season & Weather
Temperature: 22 to 30 °C
Buñol has a subtropical Mediterranean climate with hot sun-filled summer days that can reach highs of 34°C, but pleasantly fresh evenings. Night-time lows remain comfortable at 25-28°C. Rain is rare in August. Prepare for dry heat & lots of sun!