Tour Route of Olive Oil production - Discovering the Elixir of life
Tasting the elixir of life… From the olive tree to your dish!
Tasting the elixir of life… From the olive tree to your dish!
Olive tree (Elia), olive fruit and olive oil are three “gifts of nature” which have been closely interlinked with the Greeks’ daily lives, rituals, worshipping, diet and body care for at least 5000 years. An entire business network has been established around the olive oil industry, on both national and international levels. The production includes a series of actions, including harvesting the fruit, olive oil extraction, transportation and usage of olive oil in daily life, through various products and cosmetics.
Join us on an excellent tour in Messenia prefecture, in the Peloponnese region, near the city of Kalamata and observe all stages of the production of olive oil and even participate in some of them, such as harvesting and transferring the olives to the olive oil mill or during the very demanding processing for the extraction of olive oil.
The production procedure in pre-industrial oil mills [which today have been replaced by modern centrifugal olive presses], was divided into three stages:
This quite demanding process will result in extracting the elixir of life, the liquid gold …the much desired olive oil!!
For those of you that would have the will and the boldness to experience how it is really like to participate in the process of harvesting the olive fruits, we can arrange it for you. At the end of the day you will be able to obtain a package containing your own olive oil.
Follow the steps of the ancient Greeks and their descendants thousands of years ago, and we are pretty sure that you will be fascinated by the primeval feeling of getting closer to mother earth...
Contact us and give us the number of participants, age, gender and we'll get back you for further details concerning your transfer, accommodation and all that is necessary for this amazing experience.
The olive tree dates back millions of years. Wild olive trees, the ancestors of the domesticated ones, can still be seen in the Peloponnese, Crete, North Africa and the Middle East, at their places of origin. Recent archaeological studies in the Cyclades island cluster and other regions in Greece, have brought to light fossilized olive tree leaves which, according to modern dating methods, date back 50-60.000 years, a fact that places Greece among the homelands of the olive tree.
The Greeks were the first people who cultivated the olive in the European Mediterranean region. The olive tree was carried to the Greek peninsula by either Greek settlers or Phoenician merchants. As Pliny says, in 580 BC, neither Lazio nor Spain or Tunis knew the olive and its cultivation.
In Homer’s times, olive tree had already acquired a very important role in the Greek daily life. The cultivation of the olive tree and the different uses of olive oil are prominently mentioned in both Homeric epics, Iliad and Odyssey.
The importance of the olive tree to ancient Greeks is highlighted in the ancient texts. In Classical Athens it was considered sacred, godsend, and it was protected by the state…Prosperity of Athens during the Golden Age was attributed, amongst others, to olive oil production.
In Crete, a great part of the population was engaged in the systematic cultivation of the olive tree, which contributed to the development of the famous Minoan civilization.
Cultivation of this sacred tree continued through the centuries. In Roman times, olive oil was well known and measures were taken by the empire for its protection. In the Byzantine era, olive oil was produced on a large scale in many regions of Greece, such as the Peloponnese. Written evidence from that period proves that the olive tree enjoyed the same respect as in ancient times and its products were still considered beneficial to humans. Later, during the Ottoman occupation, olive oil trade was a factor for economic development in olive- growing regions.
After the establishment of the Greek state in 1830, olive oil cultivation quickly expanded throughout Greece and became a key product in many regions, like the Peloponnese, Crete, the Ionian and Aegean islands and the mainland. Nowadays olive growing in Greece is a thriving business and olive oil is a main product in many areas. Olive growing helps maintain the agricultural activity in disadvantaged areas and prevents rural depopulation in regions with unfavorable climatic and soil conditions.
USE OF OLIVE OIL
For centuries olive oil has been the main ingredient in the Greek and Mediterranean cuisine. On a daily basis, it is used for nutritional and delicious dishes. Studies conducted in seven countries have revealed that a Mediterranean diet rich in vegetables, fruits and cereals and poor in meat, with olive oil as the only source of fat, promotes health and longevity. This diet is proven to lower the chances of developing heart disease and some types of cancer.
Apart from cooking, olive oil has been used around the Mediterranean as a fuel for oil lamps, but also in soap making, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and food preservation. Furthermore, since antiquity it has been a well-known remedy for skin irritations and is widely recognized by modern medicine. Last but not least, olive oil has always been considered an aphrodisiac, especially the one extracted from wild olive trees…
Why use extra virgin olive oil in cooking?
It is extracted from the fruit of the olive tree with natural methods.
Olive oil is classified as an unsaturated fat. Its main type of fat is monounsaturated fatty acids (70-80%) and it contains only 10% polyunsaturated fats.
This is why olive oil is considered to:
Furthermore, olive oil:
Is rich in beneficial ingredients such as sterols, vitamins (A, D, E, and K), and polyphenols.
It is necessary for the smooth function of the body and it also has a substantial percentage of antioxidants. Polyphenol composition of olive fruits varies during fruit ripening and during processing by fermentation when olives are immersed whole in brine or crushed to produce oil. In raw fruit, total polyphenol contents, as measured by the Folin method, are 117 mg/100 g in black olives and 161 mg/100 g in green olives, compared to 55 and 21 mg/100 g for extra virgin and virgin olive oil, respectively.
Olive oil is extremely resistant to heat, compared to other vegetable oils which are susceptible to dangerous mutations. Its color also works as a “protective shield”, changing after being cooked or fried several times, and warning us not to use it anymore! On the contrary, other vegetable oils keep their original color, no matter how many times they have been used.
Our tour packages don’t include a tour guide, in order to be more affordable to our clients. However, you are given the below choices, in case you prefer to have a tour guide during your trip. a/ You can book a licensed tour guide to accompany you b/ You can book a tour leader to accompany you c/ You can book a local tour guide in each place of visit Whatever your choice, kindly send your request and we will inform you of the additional cost!
In case you'd like to be picked up by us at Athens International Airport "El Venizelos", we offer you transportation in significantly better price. Our representative will be waiting for you at the Arrival Hall, holding a sign with your name written on it. He will help you with your luggage, escort you to the car and provide you with mineral water & tissues to freshen up
|Itinerary [total duration hours]|
Car Type: For your chauffeured transportation, we provide fully air-conditioned vehicles that meet all technical and security standards. Depending on the number of participants, you can choose: a/ Sedan- type vehicle, new Octavia 7 or Mercedes, capacity 1 to 4 pax (depending on availability) b/ Mini Van, capacity 4 to 8 pax (depending on availability) c/ SUV- type vehicle, capacity 1 to 5 pax (depending on availability)
Notes: 1) Child safety seats available upon request 2) Luggage restrictions may apply
|Activity level: There are different levels depending on the kind of activity you will choose to participate in|
|Dress Code: As this is an “Off the beaten track tour”, participants are recommended to bring the following items:
|Max Group Size: 12-14 persons|