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!
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.