La Tomatina, Valencia, Spain

Things are bound to get messy on this trip to the legendary La Tomatina festival in Buñol, Spain! This 4-day, make-your-own-way trip is based in Valencia and stays in hostel, 3-star hotel or 4-star hotel accommodation, plus return transfers to Buñol for the famous Spanish tomato-throwing festival itself. Experience the ‘world’s biggest food fight’…

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Accommodation

Hostel Plus trips include our most varied types of accommodation.

The number of people to a room on a Hostel Plus trip will vary. You will stay in multi-share rooms and usually share with between 3 and 5 others (although in some circumstances you will share with more than 5).

Please note: When travelling on a Hostel Plus trip, multi-share accommodation is single-sex.

Meals

Your included meals are detailed in the ‘More Inclusions’ section of this document.

Breakfasts are included every day in your accommodation (except on the first morning). They are usually ‘continental breakfasts’, which are typical in most European countries. A typical breakfast may consist of cereals with milk or yoghurt, bread, croissants, cold meats, cheese and a range of spreads, with fruit juice, tea or coffee to drink. It is rare to get a hot breakfast in continental Europe, though on some occasions there may be some hot food available as well.

If you have any dietary requirements we will make every effort to cater to your specific needs as long as you advise your travel agent or Trip Consultant when you book. But please be aware that although we will do everything in our power to arrange it, we cannot guarantee we will be able to cater to all dietary needs.We also cannot cater for tastes or dislikes, as most of our included evening meals feature a set menu.

Passenger Safety

One of the best parts of travelling is experiencing the nightlife and entertainment each city has to offer. However, amidst the fun and excitement, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and personal safety as well. Before you hit the road with us, it’s important to be aware of the following:

When you’re on a night out, remember to avoid walking alone, particularly through deserted areas like beaches and back streets. Always stick together, take a taxi where possible, and keep a note of your accommodation details so you can find your way back to your fellow travellers if you become separated.

In some countries, alcoholic measures can be considerably larger than what you may be used to. Try to keep track of what you’re drinking, and if you see one of your trip mates looking a little worse for wear, take them back to your accommodation. Be cautious when accepting drinks from strangers and never leave your drink unattended.

It’s also important to be aware that what you might consider harmless flirting may be interpreted differently in some countries. Be yourself and have fun, but don’t be naïve, and be mindful of the signals you are sending out so that you don’t find yourself in an uncomfortable situation.

Other Information

History

La Tomatina has been a tradition in Buñol since around 1944/1945.

One story says that it all started in 1945, when a group of youths grabbed tomatoes from a nearby grocery store and began a harmless food fight. A year later, locals returned to the scene, took tomatoes with them for their own version of the food fight, and a tradition was born.

Another story suggests that in 1945 an annual parade of enormous figures with giant heads (Gigantes y Cabezudos) was passing through the streets of Buñol. Some youngsters tried to join in the parade and accidentally knocked over one of the giants. The giant then started swinging out at those nearby and, in retaliation, the youngsters grabbed some tomatoes from a nearby vegetable stall and started throwing them at the figure. The following year, these young people returned to the Town Hall Square and started another tomato fight.

Whatever started the tradition, everyone loved the tomato fight so much that it quickly became a yearly tradition.
The event was officially banned at the beginning of the 1950s by the City of Buñol. But, in 1957, a huge public demonstration was held, called the Entierro del Tomate (or the burial of the tomato). The locals fought back for their right to hold La Tomatina each year.
In 1959, La Tomatina was officially reinstated by the City Council and since the 1970s and 80s, festival-goers have been provided with tomatoes.

Thanks to international media coverage, more and more visitors have been attracted to the event, and in 2002 it was declared a Fiesta of International Tourist Interest.
Anywhere from 10,000 to 40,000 people join together to throw over 100,000 tonnes of tomatoes each year, boosting Buñol’s tiny population of about 9,000 people.

What to expect

In the hours leading up to the start of the tomato throwing, thousands of people cram into the narrow streets of Buñol and get into the swing of things with a huge water fight.

Locals leaning out from balconies (or carrying buckets of water), and small children toting large water pistols shower visitors with water. The streets are filled with singing, dancing and celebrations at this point.

In the Town Square, locals and visitors set their sights on the capture of the Palo Jabón, which officially starts the tomato fight. A smoked leg of ham is placed at the top of a specially greased pole and people take turns trying to climb the pole to release the ham. Sometimes the crowd work together to reach the top, but often it’s a free-for-all of people climbing over the top of each other to claim the glory!

As 11am approaches, the atmosphere in the streets changes as people prepare themselves for the tomato fight. Goggles are secured, swimming caps are worn and the noise from the crowd reaches fever pitch.

At 11am, the first ‘bang’ sounds and five trucks of tomatoes push through the heaving crowds, dumping literally thousands of tonnes of tomatoes in the middle of the streets to start the fight.

The tomato fight lasts for one hour. At the end of the hour, a second ‘bang’ is heard which announces the end of the fight.

Be prepared to be hosed down by the locals once the event is over!

Rules of the event

  • It is illegal to bring any kind of bottles or other objects that could cause an accident/harm
  • You must not tear T-shirts
  • Tomatoes must be crushed before throwing so that they don’t hurt anybody
  • You must take care around the lorries which carry the tomatoes to avoid injury
  • As soon as you hear the second ‘bang’ you must stop throwing tomatoes

What to pack

  • Closed shoes that you don’t mind getting very messy
  • Swimming goggles (can be purchased in Buñol)
  • Plastic clear phone sleeve if you wish to take your phone into the fight (can be purchased in Buñol)
  • Valuables in a zipped pocket
  • Layers
  • Small towel
  • A change of clothes

FAQs

What should I wear?
During the tomato fight itself, girls should wear lots of layers. While the official La Tomatina rules state there must be no T-shirt ripping, many locals do not pay attention to this. We also recommend that guys wear old shorts and no T-shirt, as the boys’ T-shirts will also often be ripped from them in the crowds.

You should wear clothes that you’re happy to throw away after the event. Cheap or old clothes are the way to go.

Don’t forget to leave a change of clean clothes on the coach!

Finally, a pair of goggles is vital – tomato juice hurts when it gets in your eyes, so invest in a cheap pair of swimming goggles.

What shoes should I wear?
You should wear closed shoes to the event because you’re likely to lose sandals or thongs/jandals/flip flops in the crowd – and you want to avoid stepping on any broken glass. An old pair of sneakers you’re happy to throw away afterwards is your best option.

Do I need tickets?
Your ticket to the event is included in the trip price and will be given to you by your Trip Leader on the day.

What if I get hungry?
The residents of Buñol sell a variety of delicious food and drink before, during and after the tomato fight. Take some euros with you in a zip up pocket.

Can I take a camera?
Bring a camera if you have an old one that you won’t mind getting messy or potentially losing. Otherwise, consider using a disposable camera or put your camera/phone in a plastic bag/clear phone sleeve.

Important numbers

Australian Embassy
+34 913 536 600

Canadian Embassy
+34 913 828 400

New Zealand Embassy
+34 915 230 226

South Africa Embassy
+34 914 363 780

US Embassy
+34 915 872 240

UK Embassy
+34 917 146 300

History

La Tomatina has been a tradition in Buñol since around 1944/1945.

One story says that it all started in 1945, when a group of youths grabbed tomatoes from a nearby grocery store and began a harmless food fight. A year later, locals returned to the scene, took tomatoes with them for their own version of the food fight, and a tradition was born.

Another story suggests that in 1945 an annual parade of enormous figures with giant heads (Gigantes y Cabezudos) was passing through the streets of Buñol. Some youngsters tried to join in the parade and accidentally knocked over one of the giants. The giant then started swinging out at those nearby and, in retaliation, the youngsters grabbed some tomatoes from a nearby vegetable stall and started throwing them at the figure. The following year, these young people returned to the Town Hall Square and started another tomato fight.

Whatever started the tradition, everyone loved the tomato fight so much that it quickly became a yearly tradition.

The event was officially banned at the beginning of the 1950s by the City of Buñol. But, in 1957, a huge public demonstration was held, called the Entierro del Tomate (or the burial of the tomato). The locals fought back for their right to hold La Tomatina each year.

In 1959, La Tomatina was officially reinstated by the City Council and since the 1970s and 80s, festival-goers have been provided with tomatoes.

Thanks to international media coverage, more and more visitors have been attracted to the event, and in 2002 it was declared a Fiesta of International Tourist Interest.

Anywhere from 10,000 to 40,000 people join together to throw over 100,000 tonnes of tomatoes each year, boosting Buñol’s tiny population of only about 9,000 people.

What to expect

In the hours leading up to the start of the tomato throwing, thousands of people cram into the narrow streets of Buñol and get into the swing of things with a huge water fight.

Locals leaning out from balconies (or carrying buckets of water) and small children toting large water pistols shower visitors with water. The streets are filled with singing, dancing and celebrations at this point.

In the Town Square, locals and visitors set their sights on the capture of the Palo Jabón, which officially starts the tomato fight. A smoked leg of ham is placed at the top of a specially greased pole and people take turns trying to climb the pole to release the ham. Sometimes the crowd work together to reach the top, but often it’s a free-for-all of people climbing over the top of each other to claim the glory!

As 11am approaches, the atmosphere in the streets changes, as people prepare themselves for the tomato fight. Goggles are secured, swimming caps are worn and the noise from the crowd reaches fever pitch.

At 11am, the first ‘bang’ sounds and five trucks of tomatoes push through the heaving crowds, dumping literally thousands of tonnes of tomatoes in the middle of the streets to start the fight.

The tomato fight lasts for one hour. At the end of the hour, a second ‘bang’ is heard which announces the end of the fight.

Be prepared to be hosed down by the locals once the event is over!

Rules of the event

  • – It is illegal to bring any kind of bottles or other objects that could cause an accident/harm
  • – You must not tear T-shirts
  • – Tomatoes must be crushed before throwing so that they don’t hurt anybody
  • – You must take care around the lorries which carry the tomatoes to avoid injury
  • – As soon as you hear the second ‘bang’ you must stop throwing tomatoes

What to pack

  • – Closed shoes that you don’t mind getting very messy
  • – Swimming goggles (can be purchased in Buñol)
  • – Plastic clear phone sleeve if you wish to take your phone into the fight (can be purchased in Buñol)
  • – Valuables in a zipped pocket
  • – Layers
  • – Small towel
  • – A change of clothes

FAQs

What should I wear?

During the tomato fight itself, girls should wear lots of layers. While the official La Tomatina rules state there must be no T-shirt ripping, many locals do not pay attention to this. We also recommend that guys wear old shorts and no T-shirt, as the boys’ T-shirts will also often be ripped from them in the crowds.

You should wear clothes that you’re happy to throw away after the event. Cheap or old clothes are the way to go.

Don’t forget to leave a change of clean clothes on the coach!

Finally, a pair of goggles is vital – tomato juice hurts when it gets in your eyes, so invest in a cheap pair of swimming goggles.

What shoes should I wear?i

You should wear closed shoes to the event because you’re likely to lose sandals or thongs/jandals/flip flops in the crowd – and you want to avoid stepping on any broken glass. An old pair of sneakers you’re happy to throw away afterwards is your best option.

Do I need tickets?

Your ticket to the event is included in the trip price and will be given to you by your Trip Leader on the day.

What if I get hungry?

The residents of Buñol sell a variety of delicious food and drink before, during and after the tomato fight. Take some euros with you in a zip up pocket.

Can I take a camera?

Bring a camera if you have an old one that you won’t mind getting messy or potentially losing. Otherwise, consider using a disposable camera or put your camera/phone in a plastic bag/clear phone sleeve.

Important numbers

Australian Embassy

+34 913 536 600

Canadian Embassy

+34 913 828 400

New Zealand Embassy

+34 915 230 226

South Africa Embassy

+34 914 363 780

US Embassy

+34 915 872 240

UK Embassy

+34 917 146 300

Itinerary

Day 1 - Valencia, Spain
-
Viva España! Our trip begins today in the glorious Spanish coastal city of Valencia. We meet at our fantastic accommodation near Valencia’s Old Town. We then head out for an evening and a chance to get to know our fellow revellers. This is a great chance to get into the Spanish lifestyle and the spirit of the great city of Valencia!
Day 2 - Valencia
-

Today is all yours to explore Valencia’s Old Quarter, taking in such highlights as the Central Market, Plaza Redonda, the Cathedral of Valencia and the Basilica of Our Lady the Forsaken. Or you might just prefer to retire to the beach and work on your tan. This evening is yours to sample the delicious local cuisine. Why not sit back at a tapas restaurant and enjoy being able to order five different dishes? And maybe a sangria or two!


Meals:
-Breakfast


Included today:
-Walking tour

Day 3 - Valencia
-

We have an early start this morning but today’s excitement makes it more than worthwhile. We board our coaches for the included transfer to Buñol, home of La Tomatina -the world’s biggest food fight! The atmosphere building up to the ‘fight’ is like one big street party, with the occasional water fight added just for fun! Technically the festival doesn’t kick off until someone has climbed up a greased pole to retrieve a ham (no, really), however a canon blast will also signal the start of the tomato onslaught at 11am. Huge trucks packed with tons of tomatoes roll through the street dropping their loads in the middle of the packed crowds. Then it’s game on and it’s everyone for themselves! The fight lasts for an hour – which may not sound like much but it’s a long time if you’re repeatedly getting pelted with tomatoes! – then it’s time to head back to Valencia for a shower and a well-earned rest. Tonight hopefully there are no lingering tomato-related animosities as we toast new friends and the the memories of our ‘Tomatina experience’.


Meals:
-Breakfast

Day 4 - Valencia
-

The tour finishes this morning after breakfast, when it will be time to sadly say goodbye to fellow travellers. Enjoy the remainder of your stay in fantastic Valencia!


Meals:
-Breakfast

Essential Information

History

La Tomatina has been a tradition in Buñol since around 1944/1945.

One story says that it all started in 1945, when a group of youths grabbed tomatoes from a nearby grocery store and began a harmless food fight. A year later, locals returned to the scene, took tomatoes with them for their own version of the food fight, and a tradition was born.

Another story suggests that in 1945 an annual parade of enormous figures with giant heads (Gigantes y Cabezudos) was passing through the streets of Buñol. Some youngsters tried to join in the parade and accidentally knocked over one of the giants. The giant then started swinging out at those nearby and, in retaliation, the youngsters grabbed some tomatoes from a nearby vegetable stall and started throwing them at the figure. The following year, these young people returned to the Town Hall Square and started another tomato fight.

Whatever started the tradition, everyone loved the tomato fight so much that it quickly became a yearly tradition.
The event was officially banned at the beginning of the 1950s by the City of Buñol. But, in 1957, a huge public demonstration was held, called the Entierro del Tomate (or the burial of the tomato). The locals fought back for their right to hold La Tomatina each year.
In 1959, La Tomatina was officially reinstated by the City Council and since the 1970s and 80s, festival-goers have been provided with tomatoes.

Thanks to international media coverage, more and more visitors have been attracted to the event, and in 2002 it was declared a Fiesta of International Tourist Interest.
Anywhere from 10,000 to 40,000 people join together to throw over 100,000 tonnes of tomatoes each year, boosting Buñol’s tiny population of about 9,000 people.

What to expect

In the hours leading up to the start of the tomato throwing, thousands of people cram into the narrow streets of Buñol and get into the swing of things with a huge water fight.

Locals leaning out from balconies (or carrying buckets of water), and small children toting large water pistols shower visitors with water. The streets are filled with singing, dancing and celebrations at this point.

In the Town Square, locals and visitors set their sights on the capture of the Palo Jabón, which officially starts the tomato fight. A smoked leg of ham is placed at the top of a specially greased pole and people take turns trying to climb the pole to release the ham. Sometimes the crowd work together to reach the top, but often it’s a free-for-all of people climbing over the top of each other to claim the glory!

As 11am approaches, the atmosphere in the streets changes as people prepare themselves for the tomato fight. Goggles are secured, swimming caps are worn and the noise from the crowd reaches fever pitch.

At 11am, the first ‘bang’ sounds and five trucks of tomatoes push through the heaving crowds, dumping literally thousands of tonnes of tomatoes in the middle of the streets to start the fight.

The tomato fight lasts for one hour. At the end of the hour, a second ‘bang’ is heard which announces the end of the fight.

Be prepared to be hosed down by the locals once the event is over!

Rules of the event

  • It is illegal to bring any kind of bottles or other objects that could cause an accident/harm
  • You must not tear T-shirts
  • Tomatoes must be crushed before throwing so that they don’t hurt anybody
  • You must take care around the lorries which carry the tomatoes to avoid injury
  • As soon as you hear the second ‘bang’ you must stop throwing tomatoes

What to pack

  • Closed shoes that you don’t mind getting very messy
  • Swimming goggles (can be purchased in Buñol)
  • Plastic clear phone sleeve if you wish to take your phone into the fight (can be purchased in Buñol)
  • Valuables in a zipped pocket
  • Layers
  • Small towel
  • A change of clothes

Important numbers

Australian Embassy
+34 913 536 600

Canadian Embassy
+34 913 828 400

New Zealand Embassy
+34 915 230 226

South Africa Embassy
+34 914 363 780

US Embassy
+34 915 872 240

UK Embassy
+34 917 146 300

History

La Tomatina has been a tradition in Buñol since around 1944/1945.

One story says that it all started in 1945, when a group of youths grabbed tomatoes from a nearby grocery store and began a harmless food fight. A year later, locals returned to the scene, took tomatoes with them for their own version of the food fight, and a tradition was born.

Another story suggests that in 1945 an annual parade of enormous figures with giant heads (Gigantes y Cabezudos) was passing through the streets of Buñol. Some youngsters tried to join in the parade and accidentally knocked over one of the giants. The giant then started swinging out at those nearby and, in retaliation, the youngsters grabbed some tomatoes from a nearby vegetable stall and started throwing them at the figure. The following year, these young people returned to the Town Hall Square and started another tomato fight.

Whatever started the tradition, everyone loved the tomato fight so much that it quickly became a yearly tradition.

The event was officially banned at the beginning of the 1950s by the City of Buñol. But, in 1957, a huge public demonstration was held, called the Entierro del Tomate (or the burial of the tomato). The locals fought back for their right to hold La Tomatina each year.

In 1959, La Tomatina was officially reinstated by the City Council and since the 1970s and 80s, festival-goers have been provided with tomatoes.

Thanks to international media coverage, more and more visitors have been attracted to the event, and in 2002 it was declared a Fiesta of International Tourist Interest.

Anywhere from 10,000 to 40,000 people join together to throw over 100,000 tonnes of tomatoes each year, boosting Buñol’s tiny population of only about 9,000 people.

What to expect

In the hours leading up to the start of the tomato throwing, thousands of people cram into the narrow streets of Buñol and get into the swing of things with a huge water fight.

Locals leaning out from balconies (or carrying buckets of water) and small children toting large water pistols shower visitors with water. The streets are filled with singing, dancing and celebrations at this point.

In the Town Square, locals and visitors set their sights on the capture of the Palo Jabón, which officially starts the tomato fight. A smoked leg of ham is placed at the top of a specially greased pole and people take turns trying to climb the pole to release the ham. Sometimes the crowd work together to reach the top, but often it’s a free-for-all of people climbing over the top of each other to claim the glory!

As 11am approaches, the atmosphere in the streets changes, as people prepare themselves for the tomato fight. Goggles are secured, swimming caps are worn and the noise from the crowd reaches fever pitch.

At 11am, the first ‘bang’ sounds and five trucks of tomatoes push through the heaving crowds, dumping literally thousands of tonnes of tomatoes in the middle of the streets to start the fight.

The tomato fight lasts for one hour. At the end of the hour, a second ‘bang’ is heard which announces the end of the fight.

Be prepared to be hosed down by the locals once the event is over!

Rules of the event

  •  It is illegal to bring any kind of bottles or other objects that could cause an accident/harm
  • You must not tear T-shirts
  •  Tomatoes must be crushed before throwing so that they don’t hurt anybody
  •  You must take care around the lorries which carry the tomatoes to avoid injury
  •  As soon as you hear the second ‘bang’ you must stop throwing tomatoes

What to pack

  • Closed shoes that you don’t mind getting very messy
  •  Swimming goggles (can be purchased in Buñol)
  •  Plastic clear phone sleeve if you wish to take your phone into the fight (can be purchased in Buñol)
  •  Valuables in a zipped pocket
  •  Layers
  •  Small towel
  •  A change of clothes

    Important numbers

    Australian Embassy

    +34 913 536 600

    Canadian Embassy

    +34 913 828 400

    New Zealand Embassy

    +34 915 230 226

    South Africa Embassy

    +34 914 363 780

    US Embassy

    +34 915 872 240

    UK Embassy

    +34 917 146 300

FAQ's
What Should I Wear?

During the tomato fight itself, girls should wear lots of layers. While the official La Tomatina rules state there must be no T-shirt ripping, many locals do not pay attention to this. We also recommend that guys wear old shorts and no T-shirt, as the boys’ T-shirts will also often be ripped from them in the crowds.

You should wear clothes that you’re happy to throw away after the event. Cheap or old clothes are the way to go.

Don’t forget to leave a change of clean clothes on the coach!

Finally, a pair of goggles is vital – tomato juice hurts when it gets in your eyes, so invest in a cheap pair of swimming goggles.

What Shouldn't I Wear?

You should wear closed shoes to the event because you’re likely to lose sandals or thongs/jandals/flip flops in the crowd – and you want to avoid stepping on any broken glass. An old pair of sneakers you’re happy to throw away afterwards is your best option.

Do I Need Tickets?

Your ticket to the event is included in the trip price and will be given to you by your Trip Leader on the day.

What If I Get Hungry?

The residents of Buñol sell a variety of delicious food and drink before, during and after the tomato fight. Take some euros with you in a zip up pocket.

Can I Take A Camera?

Bring a camera if you have an old one that you won’t mind getting messy or potentially losing. Otherwise, consider using a disposable camera or put your camera/phone in a plastic bag/clear phone sleeve.