Prepare to break the rules and let yourself go! Indulge yourself in two of the most wild weeks of your life with no excuses to hold you back. Festa des Vermar or the grape throwing festival is one of the newest and most talked about events around the globe. Since Binissalem is still partially undiscovered by the main stream crowds of tourists, Sa Vermada is one of the most authentic ways to discover Spanish culture.
Festa des Vermas has only recently been opened up to tourists. Initially, the Romans introduced it as a way of discarding bad grapes.
- Dates: Second half of September after the grape harvest.
- Location: Binissalem, Mallorca, Spain.
- Entrance Fees: Free except for participation in certain events.
In and Around the Festival
Call it a grape throwing festival or call it grape dodge ball, it doesn’t matter because there are no rules except to only use grapes as ammunition. Fire at friends, family, or even strangers, it’s all inconsequential because at the end of the day you’re going to have a bucket load of fun.
You’ll be messy for the whole event since the festival lasts for two weeks with fights happening almost daily. Not to mention all the other great events that come with the grand fiesta! In case fighting isn’t your thing, you can always opt for the wine treading competition, which is just as much fun.
When you’re tired, you can just lay back with a bottle wine and enjoy the many street bands playing. Manto Negro, the grapes used for producing the local wines, can cultivated only and only in Mallorca. You can enjoy this delicacy in the village itself and lose yourself in taste and flavor. Tables are arranged on the street side for you to sit and order your favorite bottle.
There are races, wine tasting events, parades and what not to keep you entertained. There isn’t a minute of monotony and you’ll be searching for a minute to get some rest because the parties go on till the middle of the night.
There are even little attractions for children so that you can make a family event out of it. Bouncy castles, dance performances, and little arts and crafts workshops that the little ones are bound to enjoy!
The beaches around Mallorca are to die for. The clear water and soft sand are too tempting to ignore. It’s a must do to at least spend one lazing around on the beach. The island is home to a number of caves as well, which you can spend hours exploring.
- Grape Throwing Event: The mayor of Binissalem blows a whistle and everyone follows the designated “pied piper” into the fields where the fights begin! Friends and strangers alike can throw grapes left and right for as long as they want!
- Cycling Day Parties: Every other day there are cycling excursions that begin at the church square and end with a spectacular picnic at a different location. It’s an excellent way to tour the village and get to know the locals. One of the main cycling events is the “Country Race,” which is 8kms long. You need to register before hand, but it’s a event worth participating in.
- Noodle Party: Everyone has to carry their own utensils but you get to taste a delicacy that is unique to the region. The Vermouth Noodles are the favorite dish of the villagers of Binissalem and they’re only prepared on special occasions.
- Welcome to Vermada Parade: It’s one of the most iconic events of the festival. Tank and decorates floats with dancers roam through the streets of Binissalem in the evening as a tribute to the harvest festival.
- Parade of the Year: This parade, though not as iconic, is on a larger scale and has a predecided route through the village. It starts at Concentracio Rasquell and end at Punt D’Abocament.
- Wine Treading Competition: A lot of the visitors love this event! The goal is to the most amount of grape juice possible in 3 minutes while being barefoot and using your partners shoulders for support. The best part is that all the juice harvested in this event is used for making wine that will be used in next years Sa Vermada.
There are options galore, from Bed and Breakfasts’ to holiday resorts where you can stay during the festival. B&B’s are the more popular choice because they’re reasonable, centrally located and let you have home cooked meals when you tired at the end of the day for the duration of the fest.
Tips for your Trip
Access to this festival is limited. The people of Binissalem don’t want their home to run over with tourists so it’s best to book your trip well in advance. This is easily done by contacting the official travel partner for the event in the coming year. Also get in touch with the local organizers and get some advice on what to expect during this trip and how you should prepare.
Since it’s a close knit event, by the end of it everyone in town will probably know who you are. It’s best to treat the locals with respect since some of more private events may be in their homes.
Carry lots of clothes! It’s doubtful that you’ll have time to do any proper laundry, so make sure whatever apparel you bring with you isn’t too valuable in case it gets stained permanently.