IBIZA & VALENCIA
La Tomatina. 12 Months ago I sat down with my rents and their friends. I mentioned I was going on a trip (originally just Valencia) and if they wanted to they could join. I refused to tell them where but assured them they would not regret it!
TODAY 20,000 TOURISTS DESCENT UPON A TOWN WITH A POPULATION OF JUST 9,600
Luckily they all said yes and rather than just going to Valencia I added an extra few days so we could include Ibiza.
WHERE IS BUÑOL?
The response was a mix of confusion and surprise when I broke breaking the news 10 months later in Portugal. Some hadn’t heard of this festival but they were all curious about Ibiza. Everyone knows Ibiza’s reputation but it has sooo much more to offer but what didn’t help was when someone mentioned their friend watched a girl p*ss in the aisle of the plane mid flight…that’s Ibiza!
Anyway Ibiza was phenomenal, much better than expected. It was more afternoon drinks and sunset dinners than 5am raves. Some of the restos such as Experimental, Hostel del Torre and Amante had the most incredible setting you will ever see. I wasn’t convinced with STK, but it shocked us! The entertainment was great and the steak one of the best I’ve ever had – suppose it would need to be with a name like that!
A trip to Ibiza wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the West End in San Antonio. This is the street of sin in Ibiza. It doesn’t really stop but from around 6pm it slowly ramps up to absolute carnage, I have spent many a night here. Also you do not visit the west end without stopping at it’s best bar – The Highlander & Shenanigans. Although questionable morals after midnight this place takes its principles seriously – We ordered a Tennants (dad) and a few Guinness and I was shocked to see the Tennants come from the highlander (Scottish bar) and the Guinness come from Shenanigans (Irish bar), great attention to details
We also had a quick stop at Bar Amsterdam which is the bar one of the Peru two worked in before heading to a worldwide institution and home of the most famous sunset in the world, Café Mambo!
You are pretty much guaranteed decent weather where ever you are in the Med but for our catamaran day it wasn’t meant to be, it was Stormy Daniels all over. Unfortunately the drink was bought and money was paid so we ventured out anyway and regretted it immediately. Cutting our sailing 7 hours short we headed to the nearest beach and got he f*ck off that boat. It wasn’t all bad as we ended up having a killer day at Cotton Beach Club.
My accom is usually fairly questionable but this hotel was an exception, it was absolutely incredible and got better and better every day we stayed. Its industrial/minimalist rooms were something different that I have ever seen and had a French Polynesian theme on the outside with its turquoise pool, palm trees and chilled atmosphere, a perfect mix for us.
After 5 days in Ibiza we headed to Valencia for a few days and in hindsight it was probably a day less than what we would have liked.
The following day we headed for La Tomatina, an epic tomato throwing festival involving around 20,000 people and over 1million tomatoes.
It’s an early start to get you there for the music, food and drink (depending on your tickets). At around 11 its then time to make your way to the famous street. I knew there were a ton of people but it was well beyond my expectations. Once it got to 12:45 you couldn’t not move, people certainly wondered is this normal and not to mention the lorries still had to drive through.
Once it reached 1pm a loud firework signals the start of the festival and the lorries begin to make their way to the unloading points. Side note – you can pay to get on these lorries.
With the help of “aggressive pushers” the lorries eventually made their way through the packed crowds (a feat in itself!) and then it was time to start launching some tomatoes. At the beginning its nearly impossible to pick up the tomatoes from the ground due to the number of people but after a while there was a bit more space and then it was time to get at it.
- Go with a decent operator that provides entertainment, goggles, waterproof phone pouch, food and drink. Food and drink as very basic.
- You must have goggles, didn’t expect it to be so important.
- Old shoes as you might be throwing them out after.
- Do not put your phone in your pocket, the number of pickpockets is incredible. Put them in a pouch under your t-shirt.
- Get to a spot early, maybe 45minutes before it starts and get your backs to a wall so you are not being pushed around.
- Go to unloading point 5 to see the grease pole.
The atmosphere was brilliant, many of us were picking out targets from across the road and creating our own duels but all in good fun. Some people were super aggressive and I was happy to join them. When arranging this trip I did wonder why it only lasted an hour, but an hour of tomatoes to the face is long enough.
After a quick shower it was back to the courtyard to enjoy some more of the entertainment, food and drinks before jumping on the bus and making our way back to Valencia. Bunol you were mad!
Our last day in Valencia was pretty chill besides a scooter tour and if we thought the biggest chance of an injury was at La Tomatina, mum had other ideas, you can’t take her anywhere. Lucky she still has a full set of teeth!
I have been to Ibiza about 6 times now and this has to be the best, maybe because I can’t remember most of the others. But the main reason for this trip was La Tomatina and it was just nuts, absolutely nuts. If you are thinking of going then take note of the tips above and you won’t go wrong!
SAFE TRAVELS, DS x
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- Have you been to La Tomatina?
- Is this something you would enjoy?
- Running with the bulls or La Tomatina?
Let me know in the comments below . . .