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Best Greek Olives in the Peloponnese

The Peloponnese is Greece’s most fertile region, and is found in the southern part of the Greek mainland. It is known for its ancient landmarks, varied landscape, faraway beaches, and quiet villages. Of course, the Peloponnese is the home of the cities of Kalamata and Sparta, and is one of the most famous areas in the world for olives.

 

The mild, Mediterranean climate and fertile land make it great for growing olives. Driving through the Peloponnese, from Corinth to Sparta and on to Kalamata, you will almost never lose sight of the olive trees, some which are hundreds of years old. They are the emblem of the region. In this article, we take you on an olive tour of the Peloponnese.

Voidokilia Beach, Messinia

Corinth

Starting in Corinth, the olive groves are found next to pine forests and the blue waters of the Argosaronic gulf. it is worth visiting the Markellos Olive Oil Mill, which has operated since 1932. For the adventurous, you can go through a virtual reality tour of olive oil production. At the end of the tour, you get to try the result. Extra virgin olive oil, olives, and olive paste are on the menu. 

Acrocorinth Landscape

Laconia

Near Geraki in the region of Laconia, right in the core of the Peloponnese, you will find the Eumelia Organic Agritourism Farm. The farm is a one-stop shop for olive lovers. You can stay in their cottages, which sleep 5 guests, and also enjoy yoga workshops. At the farm, you can take part in olive and wine tastings, farm to table cooking workshops, and olive harvesting activities. 

Mystras, Laconia

Sparta

Sparta is known for its history of war, but did you know that it has some remarkably tasty olives? The Museum of Olives and Olive Oil is found in Sparta and lets you learn about the history of the olive in Greece. In Santorini 50,000 years ago are the first traces of olive trees in Greece. The 14th century BC is the first written record about olive oil, but the history of its use in food, body care, and even lighting are likely older. The olive is also an important part of the mythology, religion, and customs of the ancient Greeks. 

Argolida

Argolida is only about an hour from Athens and is close to the UNESCO Heritage sites of Epidavros and Mycenae. The best places to stay in this region are in Nafplio or the nearby Tolo. Just north of these towns are the Nafplio Niofarms, a farm run by the Zotos Brothers. They offer farm tours, tastings, and cooking lessons. 

 

Kardamyli

About an hour south of Kalamata is Kardamyli, a sleepy town and one of the most beautiful places in the Peloponnese. Patrick Leigh Fermor’s house is located here. In the background you will see the peaks of the Taygetos mountains. Not only can you drive through scenic groves with olive trees, you can also taste the delicious olive oil close to the source. The best restaurant in town is Elies, located on the pebble beach near town. It is run by Stavros, the son of Lela — the past housekeeper to Patrick Leigh Fermor. The restaurant serves modern dishes that are inspired by local food. It is also possible to stay in houses in their olive groves. 

Kardamyli, Peloponnese

When is the Olive Harvest?

November is the time for picking olives in the Peloponnese. At this time, the olives are picked and the oil is pressed. If you plan on making a visit, keep in mind that some olive groves do not produce olives every year. So be prepared to visit the next town over if you were hoping to join the harvest!

 

Food in the Peloponnese

The earth in the Peloponnese is not only perfect for olives. It is also known for great vineyards and wine production. Nemea and Mantineia are 2 popular spots. The region relies on its agriculture and is also known for its lemons, oranges, dates, figs, artichokes, potatoes, wheat, rice, and raisins. Local farmers rely on sheep breeding and fishing to survive. 

 

Each area has its specialty. Kalamata is known for its olives, Kalavryta has feta, Mani has cured pork, Leonidio has delicious eggplants, Aigialeia has raisins, and Corinth is known for mushrooms. 

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