The olive harvesting season has begun for all Cretan producers
Nov 20, 2022
Beautiful shapes of grey-green olive trees caress the hillsides all over Crete. For Crete, olives are an important crop.
Life on Crete is intricately connected to the olives; their sale, planting, irrigation, pruning, care, fertilizing, ownership, preparation, and harvesting.
Did you know that there are 30 million olive trees on Crete, which produces more olive oil than all of the Greek islands and mainland combined?
The olive harvesting season has begun for all Cretan producers. The tradition of harvesting olives begins in late October/early November and usually continues until mid-January.
The Cretan diet is considered to be the most representative and qualitative example of the so-called Mediterranean diet. It is based on olive oil, vegetables, fruits, legumes grains and wine.
The history of olive cultivation in Crete dates at least back to the Minoans and thanks to its bounty, the olive tree was revered as a sacred gift from the Gods.
Each phase of the year can be recognized by the activities around the villages and the olive-covered hills.
Greece is the world’s third-largest olive oil producer, creating 350,000 tons of olive oil annually, most of the olives in Crete are grown for oil, most of which is milled as virgin or extra virgin, and much of that luscious oil is exported all around the world.
During the months of November, December, and January in Crete, the olive harvest is in full swing.
These are also very rainy months, a fact which plays havoc with the harvest, as any rain water would dilute the olive oil if wet olives went into the press.
So, the cardinal rule is to harvest when it is dry.
We offer one of the most precious olive oil-tasting tours in Chania and another one in Heraklion prefecture.