If you love wine and you’re not averse to partying, you’ll love La Festa des Vermar. This traditional Majorcan fiesta, held in the town of Binissalem in September, is a two week celebration of the areas famous viticulture.
If you love wine and you’re not averse to partying, you’ll love La Festa des Vermar. This traditional Majorcan fiesta, that is held in the town of Binissalem in September, is a two week celebration of the areas famous viticulture.
In 2019 the Festa des Vermar will be from 13th of September to the 29th.
What You Need to Know: Festa des Vermar
The sun on the Balearic island of Majorca does more than bronze the bodies of holidaymakers on its famous beaches. It ripens the grapes in the vineyards of Binissalem just in time for the annual harvest festival party.
Once the hard work has been done and the grapes have been harvested from the vines, the whole town hits the streets for a fourteen day long festivity of wine, food, music and fun. If you’re planning on going to the festival, be prepared, because, Binissalem certainly knows how to throw one.
The Big Grape Battle
September 21st Around 12:00-14:00 at Poliesportiu
The big grape battle commences with tonnes of grapes being deposited through the streets of Binissalem. A water wagon, loaded with four thousand plus litres of wine idles waiting while a youthful crowd gathers and throngs the streets.
When the signal is given, the food battle begins. Grapes are thrown and fountains of wine are sprayed over the crowd. There are no rules to this battle. It’s all about getting saturated in wine and getting covered in as many crushed grapes as possible while Reggaeton music is played on high volume over strategically placed loudspeakers. As strange as it may sound, it’s really good fun.
September 28th from 17:30-23:00 at Al Parc de la Rectoria
Residents of Binissalem and the surrounding area don their national dress and ride through the streets on decorative floats themed on anything and everything wine and vine related.
Accompanied through the streets by numerous marching bands of musicians playing everything from drums, to tin whistles and bagpipes, it’s a raucous homage to Binissalem’s agricultural working community.
September 27th at Plaça de l’Església
The Fire Run or Correfoc of the Binissalem Wine Festival is a firework display with a difference. Crowds gather in the main town square where braziers have been lit before a huge stage. Fireworks, which emit the most deafening, demonic squealing screech, are let off.
Men, dressed as horned devils brandishing pitchforks, appear through the billowing smoke. The colorful representations of Old Nick proceed through the streets spitting flames and showering onlookers with sparks from the flaring prongs of their pitchforks in a ritualistic performance meant to keep bad fortune from the wine production.
Dance of the Giants
September 29th from 10:15
The Dance of the Giants is a traditional part of La Festa des Vermar. Three metre tall wooden effigies, one male the other female and incredibly lifelike considering their size, take part in a procession through the streets.
They’re accompanied by marching bands and choral groups in national dress until they reach the church. There they take positions of honor on a specially constructed stage. After a ceremonial grape crushing, the giants perform a nimble dance which is followed by a performance of traditional dances by local dance groups.
By see mallorca
3500 Plates of Fideus de Vermar
Tables and chairs line the pavements, plazas and just about any other available space for a communal harvest supper where La Festa des Vermar’s traditional dish, Fideus de Vermar, is cooked on a grand scale.
Similar to a paella, but made with short, thick noodles instead of rice and mutton in place of seafood, Fideus de Vermar is a rustic, hearty and fortifying plate of food which is liberally washed down with lots of local wine.
Following the next day (September 27th) is the big Festa des Vermar dinner for 19,000 people.
Free Wine Tastings
Don’t miss out on any of the free wine tastings. Various bodegas offer free samples of their wine from display stands throughout the whole two weeks of the festival.
There’s a dedicated day for wine tasting on September 17th, at Celler 7103 de Santa Maria, and it costs around €7 euro.
So Why Festa de Vermar?
If getting drenched in wine, as well as drinking it and crushing grapes with your bare feet sounds unbeatable, then you won’t want to miss any part of the riotous rustic fiesta which is La Festa des Vermar.
The otherwise tranquil streets of Binissalem come to life with parades, dancing giants, flaming devils and plenty of loud music. There’s free flowing wine for tasting and a communal noodle supper. Sounds good. Salud!
The Festa des Vermar grape battle tickets cost €1 euro. Other events in the have free entry and pay.
Festa des Vermar Tips
1# Stay Protected
If you’re attending the Correfoc take a cap, hat or scarf to cover your head. Sparks fly everywhere.
2# Dodge the Water Balloons
If you’re spectating at the parade watch out for flying water-filled balloons disguised as large lemons.
3# Get Your Ticket
If you’d like to partake of the Fideus de Vermar, you need to purchase a ticket in advance from the town’s council office. The tickets have a nominal cost of one euro.
What to Do?
Binissalem is an inland, agricultural town in Majorca which is renowned for its wine production. In complete contrast to the major high rise resort areas of the south-west coast, the town is a veritable picture postcard. Stone buildings and a spired church surrounded by vineyards and mountains are complemented by Don Quijote-style windmills.
Binissalem Wine Express
Catch the mini train from the Bodega Jose L Ferrer and enjoy a sedate ride through the verdant vineyards of Binissalem. The tour takes three hours and stops off for wine tasting and tapas along the way.
Binissalem abounds with artisan craft workers, sculptors and painters. Many display their wares at the bustling market, which takes over the streets and squares of the town on a Friday morning, alongside fresh produce from the local area.
Dine In Traditional Style
Discover traditional Majorcan and Mediterranean food in the amazing rural setting of the Restaurant Can Carrossa just twenty minutes outside of Binissalem.
Family owned and with over a hundred year history of serving good food, you’ll get a real taste of the true Majorca here.Plus,they have a beautifully illuminated swimming pool which gives the restaurant a very romantic look at night
Where to Stay?
Places to stay in Binissalem are limited with the main style of accommodation available being small, rural hotels, country cottages and villas.
Finca Dalt Murada is a stone built farmhouse which has been converted to a rural hotel. Just two kilometres outside of Binissalem, it’s the perfect place to take a restful stay while immersing yourself in the beauty of the area.
If you’re looking for a historic place to stay the Hotel de Interior Dalt Murada will ring all the right bells. The 19th century building has been fully restored in a traditional style and with authentic furnishings. Very central, it’s in a great location for exploring Palma itself or for travelling to Binissalem for the festivities.
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Where to eat?
Majorcan food is rich with Mediterranean influences and is perfect for enjoying on an open air terrace in the sun or under the stars. There’s never a shortage of vegetables in the traditional dishes or olive oil and garlic which means any meal is a gastronomic delight.
Robines Americano in Binissalem
If you fell you need some serious fortification to help soak up the excess of wine at the festival, try the daily menu at the Robines Americano in Binissalem which consists of three courses of typical Majorcan food for less the twelve euros.
Menus vary daily, but could consist of a salad starter followed by stuffed artichokes, paella or cod in tomato sauce with a slice of strawberry cake for dessert.
If you want to go the whole hog and really indulge in true Majorcan food, try Meson Ca’an Pedro in Palma for a plate of snails followed by some suckling pig.
Has a great range of tapas to get your teeth into with plenty of vegetarian options which all go well with a glass or two of the local wine or a bottle of San Miguel.
If you’re vegetarian or vegan and are feeling left out, don’ be. Just twenty minutes from Binissalem in the town of Inca is one of Majorca’s best vegan restaurants, Acai.
The menu consists of all homemade food and is changed on a monthly basis. Also in Inca is the eco -vegan Es Ginebra where the owner and chef creates vegan dishes from ingredients grown garden.
Go green at the restaurant and organic snail farm. Build your appetite first with a tour around the snail farm before taking a seat in the dining room for a tasting.
How to Get There?
Majorca has one main airport which is the Palma de Mallorca Airport. A regular bus service, Bus 1, runs from the airport directly to Palma city centre.
It leaves every fifteen minutes, costs five euros and takes half an hour. The disembarkation point for all ongoing connections is the Plaza de Espana.
An hourly train service, T1, runs from Palma’s Plaza de Espana station to Binissalem. The journey takes around half an hour and cost about three euros each way.
If you’re travelling to Binissalem from the northern resorts of Majorca there are no direct services. From Alcudia take the 351 service as far as Inca then change to the T1 train for the final part of the journey. Similar dual services are available for Port de Pollenca and Can Picafort.
Frequent buses services run from all areas of the south-west coastal resorts such as El Arenal, Palma Nova and Magaluf, to the main station in Plaza de Espana, Palma for an ongoing train to Binissalem.
Car hire is available in Palma and in all the major resort areas though you will need to have the appropriate driving licence and be over twenty five years of age to obtain one. Driving from Palma to Binissalem takes around thirty five minutes and about forty from Magaluf or El Arenal.
From Alcudia, Port de Pollenca and Can Picafort to Binissalem is a half hour drive. La Festa des Vermar is a festival focused on enjoying wine so unless you’re happy to abstain, you’ll have more fun by going on the train.
Festa des Vermar History
La Festa des Vermar, now in its fifty fourth year, is a typical rural Spanish celebration of the conclusion of crop harvesting. As Binissalem’s main agricultural crop is the grape and the area is prominent in the production of fine wines, that is the main focus of the event.
La Festa des Vermar is a proper harvest festival. A time when the local community comes together to give thanks for a bountiful yield, take a well-deserved rest after weeks of concentrated hard labour in the vineyards and basically let their hair down to have some fun.