March 15-19, 2012: Las Fallas, Valencia
Not far from where the Tomatina takes place, in the coastal city of Valencia, is another crazy festival worth a visit known as Las Fallas.
Another festival held in honor of saints, aside for the usual the parades and food and fireworks the drawcard of Las Fallas is fire.
Locals spend all year making ‘fallas’ — floats holding massive effigies of sometimes recognisable modern character — that are eventually burnt in a spectacular fashion in the centre of town at the climax of the festival. Must be seen to be believed — takes place in March next year.
Topdeck will run a 4-day tour next year for £169, see topdeck.travel
April 30, 2012: Queen’s Day, Amsterdam
If Amsterdam wasn’t debaucherous enough for you already, see the locals at their most festive for their most celebrated public holiday.
Queens Day is held ostensibly in honor of the Queen’s birthday, but in reality is an excuse for one of the biggest street parties in the world, and everyone’s chance to wear their orange with pride.
As well as the parades and partying there are live concerts and a famous huge flea market. Combining the trip with a city break to one of Europe’s most lively capitals, bus about have a coach tour from London that includes a bonus bike tour! See busabout.com/festivals/queens-day
Also see: Get messy at Europe’s big three festivals – Pamplona, La Tomatina and Oktoberfest
Also see: Travel to European music festivals