Olive oil tasting

Rethymno, Crete

3 h

Private Groups

English / French

Food Pairing

80 € per person

The olive oil experience in the olive grove

An outdoor olive oil tasting experience, a walk, and a discussion in the midst of a 2000-year-old monumental olive grove. 
We explore the heritage and art of olive trees and olive oil in Greek life over the centuries, considering their significance in the mythology, history, culture, and cuisine of ancient and modern Cretan civilization. 
Our stroll through the peaceful olive grove resembles a walk in the holy Gethsemane Garden, with its ancient olive trees. Olive groves are full of the myths, flavors, and aromas of olive oil that have endured from Minoan times to the present. 
The beauty of the landscape makes our experience a lasting memory. 
We discuss quality, harvest, olive oil production, and olive oil’s health benefits. We learn about the Cretan Diet and find out how extra virgin olive oil became the most important component of a new, healthy lifestyle. 
Learning how to taste olive oil according to the official tasting method, we taste four different high quality extra virgin olive oils, noticing the variations in aroma and flavor among the four olive oil samples. How is olive oil classified? Why early harvest olive oil taste more spicy and bitter? Witch type of olive oil is the best for cooking? 
We will have all answers of the above critical aspects of olive oil quality, under the shade of olive trees.  

In the last part of the tasting session, we pair different types of olive oil with certain foods. We savor the amazing result after adding an excellent extra virgin olive oil that transforms a dish’s flavors. Hints about how to store, select, bake, and cook – even fry – with olive oil will be shared. Cooking techniques such as frying, olive oil acidity, price and quality, will no longer be between myths and legends after your visit.

Olive Grove

Olive oil workshop beside ancient trees

Our experience takes place in the village of Pigi, 8 km from the city of Rethymno on the way to Arkadi Monastery. With an area of 10.000 square meters, the venue is one of the largest monumental olive groves in the Mediterranean region. We will walk right up to olive trees that are more than 2000 years old. The local olive variety (Hondrolia) is endangered, but the sculptural trees that have survived make this olive grove a living museum of nature’s artwork.

Where we Meet

We meet in front of Valide entrance and we drive directly to the olive grove (1km away)

    About the Experience

  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Private groups
  • Easy – for beginners and all participants
  • No special skills required
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Pet friendly
  • Family friendly
  • Offered in English and French
  • Flexible timetable upon request

How to Prepare for this Unique Experience

  • Bring a hat and a jacket or coat (depending on the season).
  • Wear comfortable walking shoes.
  • If you are a smoker, avoid smoking for at least 1 hour before the tasting session.
  • Avoid using any perfume, hand cream, or other scented cosmetics on the day of the tasting.
  • Inform us in advance of any food allergies, or if you follow a special diet (vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, lactose free, halal, kosher, etc.)

What is Included

About food & olive oil pairing: When you pick the right olive oil for your dish, the flavors are in harmony, just like when you pair a wine with your dinner. But how do you know which olive oil to pick? In the second part of the olive oil tasting we pair food with the three different categories of extra virgin olive oil (delicate, medium, and robust). It is truly amazing how olive oil can change a dish.

  • A welcoming “meze” (appetizer plate) in Cretan way
  • A 4-course degustation menu demonstrating olive oil-food pairings
Transfer is not included, but it can be arranged upon request.
Whats included