November is traditionally the month of the blessed olive tree. It is the month when its fruit is ready to produce the fine Mediterranean olive oil. Olympia, set among quiet meadows of luxuriant olive trees, is the place where the first Olympic Games took place. These games were held to honor god Zeus as part of a religious festival and the Olympic winners were crowned with an olive wreath. On your Olympia tour through the region, you will explore not only the birthplace of the Olympic Games, Ancient Olympia, but also the fruits of its land. So, join us as we celebrate November! Visit Olympia and celebrate the olive tree with a free olive oil tasting experience!
The Olive Tree in the Ancient Olympic Games
The olive tree in the ancient Olympic Games was very significant. When the first Olympic Games took place in Olympia in 776 BC, victorious athletes were crowned with wreaths of olive branches symbolizing peace and the truce of any hostility. This symbolic award was given to winners until the end of the ancient Olympic Games.
Wrestlers used olive oil on their skin to keep sand out of their pores. Athletes were anointed with olive oil before each race to keep their skin smooth and to help elasticize their muscles. On your Olympia tour, admire the ancient training facilities of the athletes, the gymnasium and the palestra.
Gift from the Gods
Visit Olympia and celebrate the olive tree with a free olive oil tasting experience and discover why the exceptional Mediterranean olive oil produced in the Peloponnese is said to be a gift from the gods. Olive oil, or "liquid gold" as Homer described it, is one of the main secrets of longevity since the benefits we gain from consuming it are many. In antiquity, olive oil along with bread and wine, made up the food ideology of the ancient Greeks. Legend has it that the olive was Plato's favorite food, and millennia later it is still a significant part of the Greek culture. Greeks have built their homes around the sacred olive tree since ancient times. They use the oil from its fruit in religious ceremonies, medicine, beauty products and their cuisine, which would be considered incomplete without it.
Olives and Olive Oil
The production of olive oil is the main activity of the region’s largely agrarian community. The olive picking season starts in November. As you drive through the countryside to visit Olympia and celebrate the olive tree with a free olive oil tasting experience, notice the locals hard at work in their olive groves. The main olive variety cultivated in Olympia and throughout the Peloponnese is the Koroneiki.
The olives are harvested using long poles which gently are shaken off the fruit onto a large cloth to protect them from bruising. The fruit is then brought to an oil mill to be ground so as to extract the oil which is then stored in large steel tanks to prevent oxidization. Finally, when the work is done for the day, the workers gather and enjoy a hot bowl of bean soup, the national food of Greece, some homemade bread, a glass of red wine and a few Kalamata olives.
The Kalamata olive is the “king of Greek table olives.” Perhaps the most well-known of the Greek olives, they have dark, shiny skin and a distinctive almond shape. Sample these and a variety of others and choose your favorite. You may even bring some home as a souvenir from your Olympia tour.
Olive Oil Tasting
The aromas of olive oil are a crucial part of its flavor. The best way to appreciate them on your free olive oil tasting experience in Olympia is to pour a little bit of olive oil into a small glass. Cover and warm the glass with your hands for a minute or two, swirl it and then smell the aroma of the olive oil. You may take a sip of the oil or dip small pieces of bread in each of the oils. Try to rate its fruitiness from the aroma, its bitterness on the tongue and its pungency in the back of the throat, as well as balance among the three.
An Olive Oil Tasting Experience in Olympia
Experience the countryside as an insider and taste the best of its local products. Pamper your palates with the world-renowned olive tree products from the Greek land. On your preferred Olympia tour, you will enjoy the famous Greek olives and blends of olive oil, cultivated in the region for over a millennium.
Find out how to get to Ancient Olympia from Katakolon Port or how to get to Ancient Olympia from Athens from The Travel Insiders’ All you Need to Know before Visiting Ancient Olympia guide and this November visit Olympia and celebrate the olive tree with a free olive oil tasting experience!
Olympia Tours & Free Olive Oil Tasting Experience
- Premium Skip-the-Lines Olympia - Katakolon Joined Tour (5h)
- Olympia - Katakolon Joined Tour & Free Olive Oil Tasting (5h)
- Olympia - Katakolon Joined Tour – Pure Olympia (4h)
- Olympia - Katakolon Joined Tour with On Board Guidance – Budget Tour (5h)
- Private Olympia Sightseeing #1 rated tour
- Olympia Taxi Tour Experience