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Crete The Olive Harvest And Homestay

  • Highlights
Discover and participate in the timeless, traditional ways of cultivating, harvesting, processing and consuming the most important part of the Mediterranean diet – the olive – on this Autumn-only tour. Join local producers and experts using practices stemming back from the times of our grandfathers, harvesting in plots of land without pesticides or substances harmful to the environment. Parti...

Discover and participate in the timeless, traditional ways of cultivating, harvesting, processing and consuming the most important part of the Mediterranean diet – the olive – on this Autumn-only tour. Join local producers and experts using practices stemming back from the times of our grandfathers, harvesting in plots of land without pesticides or substances harmful to the environment. Participants will also get the chance to watch the process of turning the olives into oil in the mill and take with them a quantity of virgin olive oil which they can use in their kitchens at home!


NOTE:  as the olive harvest takes place in only one season, this trip is only possible in October, November and December.

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Customisable trip itinerary

This tour idea is fully customisable

The itinerary has been created by our local agency with one idea in mind: to inspire you. Every element can be adapted to your needs and interests, from duration to accommodation and activities.

Day 1: Welcome To Crete

Upon arrival at Heraklion, you will be transferred to a traditional guesthouse in Kastamonitsa where you can settle into the rooms. Once rested, meet with the local producers and discuss the itinerary for the next week. Afterwards, enjoy a dip in the outdoor pool of the guesthouse, or soak up the sun on the terrace.

Travel time: Heraklion airport - Kastamonitsa: 40 km

Visited:
Heraklion Kastamonítsa

Day 2: Meet Eleo, Archaeologist-Historian

After breakfast, you will meet with the archaeologist who will take you on an interesting trail to places related historically and anthropologically to olive oil and olives. The trip lasts 8 hours. Return to the guesthouse in the later afternoon and relax.

Travel time: Around 60 km, walking time: Easy walks, accommodation: Same apartment

Visited:
Kastamonítsa Eleo

Day 3: Olive Harvest In The Fields

Following a delicious breakfast, you'll leave for the olive grove where the harvest will take place. During the day there will be a break for lunch and a few other pauses where the agriculturist will explain to you why we prefer the traditional olive harvesting methods in contrast to the more modern ones.

The olives that will be picked during the day will be put temporarily into sacks and will be transported to a selected oil mill nearby. We will be in the fields for 7 to 8 hours (including the breaks). At the end of the day, return to the guest house and enjoy some free time and dinner.

Travel time: Kastamonitsa – Nipiditos 9km

Visited:
Kastamonítsa Nipiditos

Day 4: Harvesting Olives On-Site

After breakfast, you will be taken to the olive grove to complete the harvest. For lunch, enjoy a picnic in the orchard.

At the end of the day we will gather all the sacks with the olives and take them to the mill where you can watch and learn about the process of crushing them into oil. Once over, we will pack the quantity of the olive oil you will take home with you. Return to the guesthouse for dinner. Later we will head off to visit a traditional 'rakokazano' (a special type of cauldron) to watch the process of making raki.

Travel time: Kastamonitsa – Nipiditos 9km, Kastamonitsa – Kato Kasteliana 35km

Visited:
Nipiditos Kato Kasteliana

Day 5: Heading West

Breakfast. Today you'll head to the western side of Crete to the famous plains of Messara (in the middle of the county of Heraklion). You'll pick a specific variety of table olives called 'Mourati' or 'Tsounati,' which are rare, and ideal for the production of the crushed olives 'Tsakisti.' From the plains of Messara we will drive towards the foot of Mount Psiloritis where we will stay the night at a traditional guesthouse in the village of Zaros. After settling into your rooms we will go to another olive grove to pick other types of table olives such as 'hondrelia' (fat olive) and 'psirelia' (small olive).

Later, return to the gueshouse for lunch and rest. In the afternoon, with the guidance of a cook from the Zaros region, we will become acquainted with the ancient techniques of the production of the edible olives and these bitter fruits will turn into delicious accompaniments to salads, bread, rusks, cheese, roasts and casseroles. Dinner, and overnight stay in a traditional family guesthouse.

Travel time: Kastamonitsa – Asimi 50km + Asimi – Zaros 29km

Visited:
Kastamonítsa Asimi Zarós

Day 6: Picking Greens And Cooking Lessons

Start the day with a delicious Cretan breakfast made according to traditional recipes. Landlady Katerina prepares the breakfast herself using pure products right from the family farm: eggs, olive oil and cheese 'myzithra,' made with goat’s milk. Then, make your way to the fields where you will pick wild greens.

The great reputation of the healthiest diet in the world does not owe its title only to the olive oil but also to the consumption of an inexhaustible variety of greens, each rich with nutritious value and with a wide variety of tastes. They can be found mostly in autumn and winter, and you will be amazed by their versatility in diverse dishes! Return to the village to a traditional tavern where we will cook the greens we have picked. Afterwards you may wish to take a tour around the monasteries of the region before sitting down for dinner.

​Walking time: small walks in the fields

Visited:
Zarós

Day 7: Archaeological Sites, Gortys To Phaestos

Enjoy a delicous breakfast. Today, you'll have a free day to relax. Why not wander around the local archaeological sites of the region, or stroll along the gorge of Saint Ioannis which leads to the forest of Rouvas. Lunch and return to the guesthouse late in the afternoon. Preparation of the table olives and farewell gift.

Travel time: Zaros – Gortyna 20km + Gortyna – Phaestos 15km + Pheastos – Zaros 18km, walking time: 0 or 3h trekking if you decide trekking into Rouvas’forest, accommodation: Same guesthouse

Visited:
Zarós Gortys Pheastos

Day 8: Back To Heraklion - Departure

After breakfast you’ll return to Heraklion. If you have time before your flight, it would be worth visiting the Archaeological museum of Heraklion. We hope you've had an incredible time.

Travel time: Zaros – Heraklion 50km

Visited:
Pheastos Heraklion

Heraklion Kastamonítsa Eleo Nipiditos Kato Kasteliana Asimi Zarós Gortys Pheastos

Price details

This tour idea is fully customisable

The price reflects this specific tour itinerary and is designed to give you an idea of the budget required for this destination. Throughout the trip-planning process, our local agency will tailor your itinerary around your budget.

Approx. £660 / 8 days
Excluding international flights
2 to 3 Pax 4 to 7 Pax 8 to 12 Pax
Price per person (October, November, December) £830 £660 £530

Included in price:

  • Presentation by an expert archaeologist-historian on day 2
  • The help and expertise of an agriculturist on days 3, 4, and 6
  • The help and expertise of a local expert olive oil producer on days 3 and 4
  • Olive harvest on days 3 and 4
  • Table olives harvest on day 5
  • Packaging of the olive oil (15 liters) and the olives you wish to take with you
  • Cooking lesson on day 6
  • Information booklet about olives, olive oil and recipes
  • Breakfast, picnic, lunch and dinner every day
  • Visit to a traditional 'rakokazano' of the Heraklion County
  • Overnight stay in traditional guesthouses in the region of the County of Heraklion
  • Car rental

Not included in price:

  • International flights
  • Guided tours and entrance fees to museums and organised archaeological sites
  • Tickets for national parks and boats
  • Beverages (soft drinks), tips and personal expenses
  • Personal insurance
  • Anything not mentioned above

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