Once a year the tiny town of Buñol becomes the stage of a tomato bloodbath, as thousands of people and one hundred thousand metric tons of tomatoes combine for the messiest food fight ever! With just one hour to throw as many squished tomatoes as you can, there’s no better (or more bizarre) way to let off steam, whilst some serious after partying in nearby Valencia guarantees the ultimate in fruity fun long in to the night…
Things to do in Valencia
From super clubs to the tiny pubs nestled in the beautiful El Carme district, gorgeous tapas bars and the miles of golden sands of La Malvarosa beach, Valencia boasts 300 days of sunshine a year and is arguably one the best cities in Europe. Great people, stunning culture, fab food and the best in festival atmosphere, it’s the perfect base for your pre and post Tomatina partying and there’s tons to do. Grab a take away paella and a bottle of chilled sangria and head to the beach or the beautiful Turia Gardens for a picnic (following the flood of 1957 the local authorities rerouted the river and left its banks totally empty. Thanks to the protests of the people, today we can find these awesome gardens instead of the originally planned four-lane intercity motorway) or check out the stunning City of the Science and Arts with its interactive museum, planetarium and the largest aquarium in Europe. Visit the true Holy Grail, housed in Valencia’s gorgeous Cathedral, or shop for souvenirs in the Mercado Central (one of the oldest in Europe), then check out the bullring and witness one of the oldest and most controversial Spanish traditions, bullfighting, before heading out in to Barrio del Carme, with its endless bars, restaurants and old town charm – whatever you fancy, Valencia is the place to find it.
Food and Drink
Valencia is fab in many ways, and the food and drink are no exception. City of paella; the restaurants are cheap and the food is the freshest around. Taste buds raring to go? For a taste of what’s to come check out the below…
Probably the most famous of Spanish dishes, Paella originates in Valencia and can be found at its best here. Originally a thin layer of rice cooked with rabbit, chicken, beans and saffron; you can find it with a huge range of ingredients including duck, seafood and snails! Stuff yourself silly then scratch the bottom of the pot (also called paella) with your fork to get the 'socarrat', the crispy burnt rice stuck to it – delicious!
A true Valencian speciality, this milkshake-like drink is made from dried and squeezed tiger nuts (poor tigers!) - delicious, refreshing and filling (top tip - avoid the bottled and branded horchata, it’s much better from the market stalls or specialised 'horchaterias'…)
These dodgily named delicacies are almost exclusively made to accompany the horchata - soak this delicious doughnut in your glass and enjoy its heavy sweetness.
Sepia a la plancha
Super simple and super good, this most typical Valencian tapas of grilled cuttlefish with Aioli is a must try for all seafood lovers…
Agua de Valencia
The perfect combo of sweet delicious Valencian Oranges with super chilled crisp champagne – the perfect summer drink, morning, noon or night!
Arros a banda
Get a pot, chuck a load of different kind of seafood in, boil it, then boil up some rice in the same delicious seafood stock – for a super delicious dish with all the taste of the Mediterranean Sea look no further than Arros a banda.