5 Reasons Why You Want To Have An Olive Oil Tasting In Greece

A staggering 60% of cultivated land in Greece is dedicated to producing olive oil. With approximately 130 million olive trees across the mainland and archipelago, Greece is the world’s third-largest olive oil producer, behind only Spain and Italy. 

A visit to Greece is an opportunity to learn more about olive oil production, and to immerse yourself in the heralded ‘Mediterranean diet’ which it is built around. A tasting session is just one reason why Greece is the ultimate foodie destination

We love to include olive oil tastings during our bespoke luxury tours – here are just five reasons why.

Enjoy the surroundings

Olive grove overlooking Mount Kalamata, Greece
Freshly harvested olives, Crete

Greek Island olive groves are naturally stupendous settings. Take your seat amongst rows of neatly manicured grey-green olive trees, enjoying views out over the rugged countryside and blissful coastline. 

Our recommended olive oil tastings are with expert hosts: warm, welcoming, and highly knowledgeable. During the tasting you’ll taste oil from a variety of olives, educating your palate, and gaining a deeper understanding of the Mediterranean diet. 

Our ‘Wine, Cheese, Oil, Islands’ 10-day itinerary includes an olive oil tasting session on Naxos, which culminates in a picnic under an ancient oil tree believed to be over 5,000 years old.

Discover the culture and history of olive oil in Greece

Ancient olive oil mill, Greece
Olive groves, Crete

The olive tree has been central to Greek culture, and olives central to the Greek diet for over 5,000 years. A tasting session educates you not just in the end product, but the traditions and cultures forged over centuries which has brought it here. 

Harvest dates are set to an exacting schedule. To ensure maximum freshness, the fruit is taken to the cold press within 24 hours of picking. Cold-pressed olive oil is natural, ancient process which results in the highest quality product. 

The production of pure olive oil is usually a family affair. Our favorite producers can trace their craft back through multiple generations, and responsible for nurturing centuries-old olive groves.

Tickle your taste buds

Preparing Greek salad
Olives and olive oil, Greece

Around 80% of Greek olive oil output is top-grade extra virgin olive oil (EVOO). No other country produces such a proportion of high-quality olive oil – a fact the Greeks are rightly proud of. 

During your session you’ll sample several varieties of olive, noting the differences in color, texture, taste, and aroma. Cooking with olive oil is a fine art. With such a wide range of oils available, it’s vital to pick a specific oil for a specific task. 

Our ‘Corfu and Paxoi Island-Hopping’ sample itinerary includes a visit to the famous Governor Olive Mill, run by the Dafnis family for over 100 years.

Learn about pairings

Selection of Cretan food, Crete
Mediterranean diet, Greece

Treat your palate to a greater understanding of the oil itself, and how best to pair it! Tasting sessions typically include pairings with delicious Mediterranean dishes – tomatoes, cheeses, breads – and perhaps a glass or two of local wine. 

You’ll also learn how to cook with olive oil – using careful adjustments to bring out the best in fresh salads, grilled meats and fish, and dressed vegetables. 

Sat under the shade of the olive trees, enjoying typical Greek hospitality – is there any better way to spend a day? 

Learn more about the very best tastes of Greece in our exhaustive guide, picking out the top 10 best foods to try across the archipelago. 

Become an olive oil expert!

Varieties of olive oil, Greece
Olive oil cellar, Greece

After your tasting, you’ll have a greater understanding of what makes an olive oil good – and how to use one. Having a more critical appreciation is invaluable in enjoying dishes throughout the Mediterranean – and back at home!

You’ll also be able to learn from an olive oil master and pick up outstanding produce along the way. There is so much incredible food and drink to sample throughout Greece, but with olive oil forming the backbone of all Greek dishes, a tasting session is the one experience you really can’t miss. 

Looking for further inspiration? Check out our mouthwatering food and wine tours, or contact our dedicated Greece specialists today to start the ball rolling on your luxury tailor-made tour or small ship cruise

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