General informationInformation in local language
Με ορμητήριο την περιοχή της Μεσσηνίας (Ν.Δ. Πελοπόννησος-Ελλάδα), οι Δρόμοι της Ελιάς κατευθύνονται σε όλες τις χώρες της Μεσογείου ακολουθώντας τα ίχνη της ελιάς στον πολιτισμό, την τοπική παράδοση και το τοπίο με ένα σκοπό: να προβάλλουν τους τόπους της ελιάς και τα παραδοσιακά μεσογειακά προϊόντα διεθνώς προς όφελος των ελαιοπαραγωγικών περιοχών και της κατά τόπους βιώσιμης ανάπτυξης.
The "Olive Tree Routes" were born in 1998 as thematic cultural itineraries around the olive tree, framed with meetings with local actors and various events. The first reconnaissance itineraries served to build bridges with the Mediterranean countries, in search of fellow travelers, friends and partners. Progressively, a EuroMediterranean network was built, which led to the creation of the Cultural Foundation of the same name (2003).
Travelers participating in the «Olive Tree Routes» have the opportunity to discover important monuments linked to the olive tree civilization, a part of the Mediterranean civilization, and its technological history, such as olive oil mills from all time periods, museums and archeological sites. The journey through the olive tree lands helps them realize the omnipresence of the olive tree in everyday life around the Mediterranean and its influence on folkloric traditions, religion, art, landscape and gastronomy.
The “Olive Tree Routes” are among the most active organizations in the field; so far, they have visited more than 25 countries and crossed 130.000 kilometers, with:
«Olive Tree Routes» Long Cultural Itineraries: exploring the olive tree civilization around the Mediterranean (long duration, around the Mediterranean).
«Olive Tree Routes» Short Cultural Itineraries: exploring the olive tree civilization in particular areas (short duration, on a local scale).
«Eleodromia»: spreading the olive tree civilization in non-olive oil producing countries, with the participation of local Motorcycles Clubs. The organizers’ goal is to attract public interest in the olive tree landscapes, as well as the civilization and gastronomy of the Mediterranean.
The participants in the « Olive Tree Routes » travel through space and time, exploring olive tree landscapes, discovering age-old olive oil mills, admiring monuments and hidden sides of the unknown, yet fascinating world of the olive tree. They learn about the traditions and everyday habits linked to the olive tree products and olive oil, sit at the same table and share traditional local gastronomy and secrets of the authentic Mediterranean diet.
A good way to start exploring the olive tree world is to join a Short Cultural Itinerary “Olive Tree Route”, like the one in south-western Greece, which gives a first taste of the olive tree civilization, Mediterranean diet and gastronomy and authentic traditional products. Starting from the Olive Tree Museum in Sparta, you will visit Nestor’s Palace in Ancient Pylos, where the olive tree ideogram was discovered, make a stop at the - innovative for its time - olive oil mill /olive kernel oil plant / soap factory in Kardamili (early 20th century) and the traditional olive oil mill in Stavropygio, see small churches scattered in olive groves and enjoy authentic dishes of real local olive oil cuisine at the traditional taverns of the region. A sure way to whet your appetite for more and longer journeys!
The cultural itineraries «Olive Tree Routes» are framed with exhibitions, cultural and entrepreneurial meetings, conferences, contests, editions and researches around the history, symbolism and cultivation of the olive tree, as well as the nutritional value of its products. Focal point of these “Olive Tree Feasts” is the Mediterranean Diet, a successful nutritional model based on olive oil, cereals, fresh or dry fruit and nuts, vegetables, fish, dairy products, meat, herbs and spices, accompanied with wine, always respecting local traditions.
The olive tree, as old as humans, has been part of Mediterranean people’s life for thousands of years. Being the typical tree of the Mediterranean, it has marked with its long presence, not only the landscape but also everyday life of people around the Mediterranean, where the 97% of international olive oil production is reported.
The Mediterranean diet, this excellent and internationally approved nutritional model combining simplicity of flavors and palatal pleasure, is based on olive oil, which is produced in every part of the Mediterranean at traditional or modern olive oil mills, with respect to tradition and know-how passing from generation to generation. The organizers of the Cultural Itineraries “Olive Tre Routes” aim to make the « Olive Tree Routes » travelers acquainted with this wealth of knowledge and flavors, introduce them to the secrets of healthy Mediterranean diet and make them friends of the Mediterranean and the olive tree world civilization.
Source: The Council of Europe