Olive Oil Trails

Olive Oil Trails

Since the Minoan times, the cultivation of olive trees on Crete has been deeply intertwined with the island’s cultural and economic identity. The ancient Minoans revered the olive tree, using its fruit for food, oil for cooking and lamps, and leaves for medicinal purposes. Today, the tradition continues with olive groves dotting the Cretan landscape, producing some of the finest olive oil in the world.


On Crete there are more than 30 million olive trees, some young, others old enough to have witnessed some of Crete’s most significant moments in history. The meticulous methods of cultivation, passed down through generations, showcase a harmonious blend of traditional wisdom and modern techniques, ensuring the legacy of Cretan olive oil endures as a symbol of the island’s rich heritage and agricultural prowess.

We start our day with a visit to the Olive Tree of Vouves, probably the oldest olive tree in the world, which is just a few kilometres away from the Mistral. It is confirmed to be at least 2000 years old based on tree ring analysis, but locals claim it is between 3000–4000 years old. Amazingly it still produces olives!

Photographs taken, we head to a local Cretan olive oil press, a family-owned company specializing in the artisan production of organic olive oil using millstones and presses. As the 5th and 6th generation of “hands on” producers, the Dimitriadis family produce and bottle exclusively on the The Astrikas Estate. Their organic olive oils carry the prestigious PDO (Protected Denomination of Origin) ranking of the area of Kolymbari in North-western Crete.


You’ll learn how olive oil has been made for centuries, and most importantly, how you can ensure that your olive oil is produced sustainably and in such a way to retain all of the natural health benefits without added chemicals! Of course, you’ll be treated to samples of olive oil that are simply divine, including fruit-infused samples that use the entire fruit, not just the extract. 


After the tour you will enjoy a relaxed meze style lunch at their on-site restaurant with a tasting menu of dishes paired with local wines.