Those who are fascinated by traditions, love wine, and don't mind getting a little, or rather a lot, messy, may want to visit the town of Haro, Spain in late June for La Batalla del Vino. Also known as the "wine battle", the La Batalla del Vino offers a truly one-of-a-kind experience, which both locals and visitors on exciting La Batalla del Vino tours partake in the rowdy merriment of dousing each other in wine at the top of a mountain, which was once the home of St. Peter, the 6th century patron saint of Haro.
The events of this lively festival start on 28 June each year, and then later that evening the preparations for the big battle, which is the high point of the entire celebration, begin. A huge party lights up the streets, town square and bars of Haro, with all townspeople, from the youngest to the oldest, out to enjoy the festivities.
Party-goers can partake in the dancing, singing and celebrating until dawn and then begin the journey to the mountain, located approximately 5 kilometers away from the town. It's usually necessary to reach the mountain on foot, as police may very well close the road off to cars, making it accessible to pedestrians alone.
Firstly, a traditional mass is held in honor of St Peter, and then it's time for the real action to take place. Participants customarily dress entirely in white and tie red handkerchiefs around their necks, and bring a wide assortment of objects containing red wine, such as water guns, buckets, bottles and wine skins. Literally everyone there becomes drenched in wine from head to toe, nobody is merely a bystander. Bands play music and the wine-soaked revelers dance along.
The fun is not over at this point however, the wine battle may have finished for another year, but a feast will be held later in the day. As the purple-colored folks make their way back to Haro, the battle continues for several hours. Others who prefer less messy activities may rather sit at tables in local cafes enjoying a drink or two.
The Europe freestyle tour group, Busabout, offers travelers who wish to partake in this unique event a package that provides transportation from San Sebastian or Pamplona on 28 June and return on 30 June. Travelers are given tent accommodation, two breakfast meal and a t-shirt for this amazing La Batallas Del Vino trip. There will also take you to see the fireworks display and give you a bar crawl tour of the town.
Another travel company that is proud to offer its customers the ability to attend the La Batalla Del Vino Festival is Stoke Travel. Their buses leave San Sebastian and Barcelona for Haro on 28 June and return on 30 June also. The Stoke Travel La Batalla Del Vino Tour covers twin share tent accommodations, including mattresses, delicious hot breakfasts, a BBQ dinner, campsite party, and the usual Stoke Travel Fun Guides.
Anyone who plans to attend this messy but exciting celebration should wear white, as this is the tradition, but nothing that is valuable or irreplaceable since it will end up stained dreadfully. Taking a change of clothes and an old towel for after the battle is also a good idea as it can be rather uncomfortable in the cool morning air if you’re saturated with wine. Something to squirt or pour wine from and some plastic garbage bags for wet clothing or to protect vehicle seats if driving are also recommended.
FOMO Travel have plenty of information on heaps of other festivals in Spain, including this fabulous wine fight known as La Batalla Del Vino.