Olive oil is one of the oldest foods of humanity, known, valued, used for thousands of years.
In ancient times, according to Homer, olive oil or “liquid gold” was not just food, but a symbol of health, strength, and medicine.
The fruits were once collected under wild olive trees, but soon these were systematically broken down, and over the years, olive groves developed from them. The earliest cultivation of olive trees for the purpose of oil production takes place in Crete around 3500 BC. BC and as early as 2000 BC. Olive oil played the most important role in the island’s economy. It was sold not only to mainland Greece but also to North Africa and Asia Minor.
Cultivation soon spread to mainland Greece, and over the centuries the olive tree and its blessed product, olive oil, became synonymous with Greek food and a major part of the Mediterranean diet.
At the end of November the time of the olive harvest begins and in the following weeks the families, partly supported by relatives or seasonal harvesters, are outside every day to cut the fruit from the trees and stowed in bags to drive to the oil press. It is estimated that there are over 30 million olive trees in Crete and the amount of oil produced is likely to exceed 100,000 tons.
Crete produces the best olive oil, take the opportunity to take a few liters home with you.
Take part in Crete’s olive harvest and enjoy a local cultural tradition that has remained largely unchanged for thousands of years, going back to ancient Greece. Join the local community, help pick the olives and make your own olive oil.
Olive harvest vacations are only available for a few weeks from mid-November through to mid-January, during the harvesting season, so why not come and join us for a different kind of winter holiday?
Take a tour of the Cretan villages and marvel at endless olive groves no matter which part of the island you want to visit. The olive tree has existed for at least 4000 BC. BC in Crete. Cultured. The Mediterranean climate and good soil composition have not only allowed the olive tree to thrive all over the island but also contributed to the excellent quality of Cretan olive oil with low acidity and excellent properties.
The long experience of the Cretans and the traditional knowledge of the generations in combination with good infrastructure and their deep commitment to the cultivation of olive trees have contributed to the fact that in the last years 95% of the olive oil produced on the island has been produced and a third of the domestic production classified in the category “Extra virgin olive oil”.