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olive harvest_2
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olive harvest_2

Take part in Crete’s olive harvest and enjoy a local cultural tradition that has remained largely unchanged for thousands of years, going back to ancient Greece. Join the local community, help pick the olives and and make your own olive oil.

Our olive harvest vacations are only available for a few weeks from mid November through to mid January, during the harvesting season, so why not come and join us for a different kind of winter holiday?

Highlights include

  • a couple of hours of olive picking every other day
  • excursions to olive oil producers and ancient olive mills
  • picnics under the olive trees
  • olive workshops
  • cooking workshops with an olive theme
  • natural cosmetics workshops – learn to make olive oil soap.

Experience the harvest

At the beginning of winter, as the harvest gets going, Greece celebrates the olive. Olive groves fill with people – families come together to collect the olives and prepare the year’s olive oil. Workers and olive oil producers themselves – in fact everyone in rural Greece – is focused on making sure their oil will get to the olive press as early as possible.

The olive harvest is a unique experience, a mix of hard work and relaxation among the olive groves, a major agricultural event that becomes a fun activity for those lucky enough to take part.

At the end of the harvest there is a major festival –  a celebration to reward the efforts of all those who have helped. You can participate in this tradition that stretches back to ancient times.

Discover the local gastronomy

Participate on hands-on cookery sessions based on Cretan cuisine, a diet that originates in Minoan times. Most of the cooking takes place in a wood fire in clay pots exactly as it was done in the past. During the workshops you will get a chance to sample a selection of Greek wines with some produced by local varieties. All your meals have been specially selected and organized by us so that you can experience the real flavors of Greece with award wining, fresh and seasonal local produce. You will travel back in time and on to ancient Greece using your taste and learning age-old recipes.

Visits to artisan producers

Honey, wine, olive oil and local cheese. Four products that will be on our daily menu – so visiting the people behind these products is essential. Scattered in different villages in the area a beekeeper, a wine producer, an olive oil producer and a cheese maker will welcome us to their production units and offer a bit of their knowledge. Honey will no longer be just honey! And you will never look at a goat the same way again.

Nature and sites of archaeological importance

As well as getting to know the culinary heritage of Crete you will have the chance to enjoy Crete’s outstanding nature sites, during our visits to wonderful beaches and Natura sites, nature reserves well known for their unique biodiversity. Alternatively you may choose to visit famous sites of archaeological importance. Let us know when you book and we will give you all the options.

Accommodation

Your accommodation can range from small traditional cottages that sleep 2-4 people to larger luxury villas.

All accommodation is located in and around the village of Litsarda, close to The Olive Farm.

When you get in touch to plan your holiday we will discuss your specific accommodation requirements. We will provide a range of options for your particular tour, with photography, before you book the holiday.

Your holiday day by day 

Day 1| Arrival

Pick up from the airport – or the city center of Chania. Transfer to your accommodation in the area of Apokoronas, a leafy region in the Northern coast of Crete with numerous villages between the olive groves and vineyards.

Small reception with drinks and meze and info on the schedule of the week.

Free evening to explore the village

Meals: Snack |

Day 2| Introduction to the Local Gastronomy

Prepare the olive grove for the harvest. Learn to preserve olives.

Olive oil, olive, cheese and wine tastings – Try a range of different olive oils, olives, local goats’ cheese and wine

Cooking workshop – Dinner at the Olive Farm

Meals: Breakfast | Light lunch| Dinner|

Day 3|Day Excursion – Artisan Olive oil in Rethymno

Join the harvest at the olive groves in Aggeliana. A tiny village at the prefecture of Rethymno and visit an ultra cold-press mill that produces a top-quality extra virgin, unfiltered olive oil.

After a guided tour around the mill we will have lunch at a nearby village before we head back

Free evening

Meals: Breakfast | Lunch / Early Dinner

 Day 4|Olive Picking

Join the harvest; spend a couple of hours picking olives! Collect our harvest and take turns to the local olive mill. Sample freshly produced olive oil.

Cooking Workshop – The Olive Farm

Meals: Breakfast | Lunch – Early Dinner|

Day 5| Honey bees – Olive oil Soap

A visit to the local apiary. Learn about the local flora combinations and the types of honey produced in the area. We will sample honey and buy supplies for our cooking workshop (protective equipment will be provided). Option for car transfer is available.

Al fresco lunch at the local “kafeneio” (café) or at the beekeepers garden with wine and raki, herbal tea and honey sweets.

Olive oil soap workshop, learn to make your own handmade soap using olive oil

Evening free to spent as you like

Meals: Breakfast | Lunch | Cycling or walking: 40 min| Difficulty: easy

Day 6| Farewell Dinner

Your morning is free

In the evening we set up a farewell BBQ and a mini workshop on Greek pies. During the workshop we will pick wild herbs and greens from the farm to use in our pies. Typically such meals run for 3- 4 hours!

Meals: Breakfast | Dinner |

Day 7| Departure

Breakfast and departure for the airport or the city center of Chania depending on further travelling arrangements

Meals: Breakfast |

Join the olive harvest in Crete

  • Region: Crete
  • Destination: Chania
  • Duration: 8 days / 7 nights, or as per request
  • Activities: cooking, walking and cycling, making natural olive oil soap, visiting local food producers, olive harvest participation
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Price per person: Get in touch and we will give you a quote depending on your preferences and exact requirements. Children receive up to a 30% discount.
  • Optional single supplement: from €300

Suggested dates

  • 2017 |21 Nov – 28 Nov (OC1)
  • 2018 |09 Jan – 16 Jan (OC2)
  • 2018 |23 Jan – 30 Jan (OC3)
  • The experience is also offered as per request. Please get in touch with us 

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Accommodation Photos

Included
  • Accommodation in traditional guest houses
  • Breakfast (7) – Lunch (3)  – Dinner (3)  – Carefully selected top quality traditional meals
  • Transfers to and from excursions
  • All workshops and and activities fees
  • Cheese, wine and honey tasting sessions
  • Visits to artisan producers and any entrance fees
On Request
  • Single rooms
  • Meals adopted to specific allergies
  • Car rental although we encourage biking
  • Private driver
  • Specific dietary needs at your accommodation
  • Extension of visit in Crete
  • Guided visits and transportation to archaeological sites
Itinerary Disclaimer

From time to time our itineraries may be amended, either for operational reasons or in response to feedback from customers. Please ensure you have read the latest Trip Notes before booking or travelling on your tour. Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route.

Financial Protection

All bookings made with Handpicked Greece are bonded by PTS, which provides the customer with complete financial protection. Please see our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy for more information.
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