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Autumn vacations

Join in the olive harvesting process

Autumn has arrived – and the Greek summer now holds a special place in our memories. The sun’s golden hues have changed to a kaleidoscope of warm colours marking the transition to autumn, the mellow season of the year. We invite you to visit the Greek countryside and discover colourful landscapes of great beauty; the changing warm hues add to the allure of many destinations which you can explore -now that the summer season is over- under a new light.


This time of year, harvesting is a busy activity, and you are welcome to join in as part of your autumn holidays in Greece. Olive picking is the task of this month and the following one; this may be a good reason for you to arrange your stay in an olive farm and enjoy the benefits of agritourism.

 


Greece is an olive oil producing country, and harvesting olives is a millennia-old activity both as an agricultural task for sustenance and as an economic activity. Until recently, olive-picking was a favourite subject among folk tradition experts and historians only. Nowadays, there are farms with accommodation units for tourists interested in the experience in Evia, Lesvos, Crete, Kalymnos, Paros, Kefalonia, Kalamata, Kythira, etc. As a guest, you will participate in olive harvesting as part of your activity trip in the area and you’ll also see the sights. Enjoy your stay in comfortable surroundings arranged in the local style, which offer a fine view of the olive grove. Live close to nature like a local and get to know the area’s traditions and way of life.


You can harvest olives following one of the ancient picking methods, for a period ranging from one day to several weeks. Next, you will take the olives to the nearby press where you will learn about the olive oil extraction methods; this interactive process is so much more than a standard travelling experience and it will offer you insight into the joys of Greek rural life and practices.


As a reward for everyone’s efforts, a feast takes place at the end of the harvest with plenty of food and good vibes, a tradition which has its roots in antiquity . Enjoy the strong flavour of fresh olive oil which is used for preparing the dishes laid at the table; make sure you take a bottle or two with you back home!

 


Olive oil is an essential part of the Greek Diet, with significant cosmetic and medicinal properties. It has always been associated with riches and power, especially in ancient societies. Visit the Minoan Palaces in Crete, where you will be impressed by the large olive oil storehouses and the huge storage containers (pithoi) and stirrup jars; the latter were used during the Mycenaean period for transporting olive oil to –then known- destinations across the Mediterranean Sea. In Athens, during the Classical Ancient Period (5th c. BC), the Panathenaic Amphorae (big storage jars) were offered as a prize to winners of athletic games, filled with top quality olive oil from Attican olive groves. The Olympic Games winners were crowned with an olive wreath (called ‘kotinos’) which was considered as the greatest honour to an athlete at those times.

Today, olive oil continues to be a staple food for Greeks and it is also greatly appreciated across the world. This year join any of the agritourism activities across the country and come closer to Mother Nature.

Interesting related sites:
The Routes of the Olive Tree
The Museum of the Olive and Greek Olive Oil

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