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Join Petassos in a journey through the Cretan olive orchards and the millennial history of olive oil and get familiar with the annual circle of farming practices which deliver a high quality product. You will learn how to understand the functions of the olive orchard ecosystem and read the agricultural landscape, while we will be introduced to the principles of ecological olive farming and understand the footprint of an olive orchard on the environment.
Sleeping in Zaros village. Zaro is a particularly attractive, refreshingly unspoilt village famous for its spring water, which are now bottled and sold all over Crete.Various excavations in the region indicate that the Minoans and the Romans settled here, lured by the abundant supply of fresh water.
This spring water supplied the great Roman capital of Gortina as well. In addition Byzantine Monasteries are nearly as abundant as the spring water. You can visit the most of them and live great experiences and of course you can walk the stunning Rouvas gorge. Therefore Zaro makes an ideal base for walkers and is relatively close to the nearby beaches of Kommos, Matala and Agia Galini and the area's archaeological sites.
How is the most basic ingredient of Mediterranean diet cultivated? Is olive oil better than other oils and why? Does landscape has an effect on the olive production, or is it the contrary? Do we produce today better olive oil than a century ago? Is cultivation of olives bad for the environment and does it really matter if its organic, or rather not?
Crete, besides being the cradle of Mediterranean diet, is a major olive cultivation place, where for centuries takes place the extraction of the precious ingredient, from millions of olive trees, within a landscape of wind and stars.
Starting location for guiding ad return location: Gortina village
Visiting, walking and guiding in ancient olive fields, as well as in olive groves that are currently cultivated by different methods. Swimming in Kommos, a famous beach in south Crete, from where the commerce (also of olive products) flourished in ancient times.
Gortina is one of the most important cities in Crete with an unbroken history of 6,000 years and one of the most extensive archaeological sites in Greece. It lies in south central Crete in the fertile Mesara plain, the site of the first human habitation of Crete at the end of the Neolithic period (5th millennium BC).
Gortina is about 40 minutes drive south of Heraklion, on the same road that will take us to Phaistos and Matala. Gortys is about 1 km past the village of Agii Deka, at the side of the main road.