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8 Days Eleo Olive Harvest Retreat in Crete

Olive Picking and Cooking Vacation Crete

Get to know in depth the most important product of the Mediterranean diet, the olive. Participate actively in the timeless, organic, traditional ways of cultivation, harvesting, processing, and consumption of its products. Delight in the opportunity to join the local producers and experts during the harvest, and learn about the historical significance of the olives of Crete, presented by an expert historian-archaeologist.


  • Enjoy picnics in the olive grove
  • Visit olive groves and participate in the harvest
  • Visit Sitia region and pick different types of table olives
  • Visit the fields and pick the greens you will be cooking with
  • Pick the olives you will take with you back home
  • Enjoy daily nutritious, traditional Cretan meals
  • Learn about the olive oil making process
  • 7 nights accommodation

Skill level

  • Beginner


7 days with instruction in English
Spoken languages: English
The maximum participants in the group is 8
Airport transfer included: Heraklion International Nikos Kazantzakis Airport
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On this vacation, you will spend the nights in a cozy traditional guesthouse in the area of Sitia, a beautiful place with high quality facilities.


You will get the chance to watch the whole process and the beauty of turning the olives into oil in the olive mill and take with you a quantity of virgin olive oil which you can use in your kitchens at home!

Apart from the oil, you will pick different kinds of olives and you will get acquainted with the ways of producing edible (table olives) which lie at the heart of the Mediterranean diet.

Depending on the year, you will make hondrolia (meaning fat olive), tsakisti (meaning crushed olive), or psirolia (meaning small olive) which you are welcome to take with you, and you will also cook traditional Cretan recipes using olive oil.

This trip is organized with the help of the local producers and an agriculturist. During the trip, there are many various themes relevant to the historical significance of the products of Elleo, presented by an expert historian-archaeologist.

Day 1 - Arrival

Arrive at Heraklion and be transferred to a traditional guesthouse in the village of Sitia area. Meet the local producers, and receive an analytical presentation of the travel itinerary.

Day 2 - Trip to historical sites

After having breakfast, you will meet the archaeologist who will take you on a most interesting trip to places related to olive oil and olives historically and anthropologically. This day trip lasts eight hours. After the trip, return to the guesthouse and have some rest.

Day 3 - Olive harvest

Following a delicious breakfast, leave for the olive grove where the harvest will take place. During the day, there will be a break for lunch and a few other pauses where an agriculturist will explain to you why the local produces prefer the traditional olive harvesting methods in contrast to the more modern ones. The olives that will be picked during the day will be put temporarily into sacks and will be transported to a selected oil mill nearby.

You will be in the fields for seven or eight hours including the breaks. At the end of the day, return to the guesthouse to spend some free time and enjoy your dinner.

Day 4 - Olive harvest

After breakfast, you will be taken to the olive grove once again to complete the harvest and for a picnic lunch break. At the end of the day, you will gather all the sacks with the olives and take them to the olive mill where they will be crushed to make the olive oil. You will watch this process for about three hours. When this procedure comes to an end, the local producers will pack some olive oil for you to take home.

Next, return to the guesthouse, have time for yourself and have dinner. Afterwards, you will visit a place where there is a traditional rakokazano, a special cauldron, and you will watch the process of the making raki.

Day 5 - Olive harvest

Today you will devote to pick a specific variety of table olives called Mourati or Tsounati, which is rare and ideal for the production of the crushed olives tsakisti. You will go to another olive grove where you will pick other types of table olives such as hondrelia (fat olive) and psirelia (small olive). Later, you will return to the guesthouse to have lunch and rest.

In the afternoon, with the guidance of a cook, you will become acquainted with the ancient techniques of the production of the edible olives and these bitter fruits of the olive tree will turn into delicious proposals which can accompany salads, bread, rusks, cheese, and even roasts and casseroles. Next, it will be dinner time.

Day 6 - Picking wild greens

After enjoying breakfast, you will make your way to the fields where you will pick wild greens. The great reputation of the healthiest diet in the world does not owe its title only to the olive oil, but also to the consumption of great quantities and the inexhaustible variety of greens, each rich with nutritious value and with a wide variety of tastes.

Later on, you will return to the village and go to a traditional tavern where you will cook the greens you have picked. After cooking in the tavern, spend time at your leisure.

- Day 7 - Free day

Once you have breakfast, enjoy your day freely.

Day 8 - Departure

Following breakfast, you will be transferred to Heraklion.

Included excursions

  • Olive harvest at the fields of Sitia area
  • Olive harvest of Mourati or Tsounati olives
  • Picking hondrelia and psirelia olives
  • Picking wild greens
  • Visit to historical sites


This holiday takes place in SItia region.


On this wonderful vacation, you will be served daily breakfast, lunch, dinner, and various picnics. The food you are served is adapted to the theme of the trip, follows the secrets of the most nutritious and flavorful Cretan diet, and uses products of local producers that Petassos Travel trusts.


Beverages (soft drinks) are not included.

Things to do (optional)

If you have time, you are advised to visit the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion. You can also participate in a two-hour workshop of soap making based on olive oil, at an additional cost. On day 7, you may take a tour around the monasteries of the region.

What's included

  • 1 traditional cooking lesson
  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day
  • Car rental
  • Information booklet about olives, olive oil and recipes
  • Olive harvest
  • Overnight stay in traditional guesthouses in the region of the County of Heraklion
  • Packaging of the olive oil (up to 15 liters) and the olives you wish to take with you
  • Presentation by an expert archaeologist-historian
  • The help and expertise of a local expert olive oil producer
  • The help and expertise of an agriculturist
  • Visit to a traditional rakokazano of the Heraklion County

What's not included

  • Anything not mentioned above
  • Beverages (soft drinks)
  • Entrance fees to museums and organized archaeological sites
  • Guided tours
  • International flights
  • Personal expenses
  • Personal insurance
  • Tickets for national parks and boats
  • Tips

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please arrive at Heraklion International Airport (HER). Petassos Travel will pick you up from the airport. The pick-up is included in the price.

Airport: Heraklion International Nikos Kazantzakis Airport Airport transfer included: Heraklion International Nikos Kazantzakis Airport No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 50% of the total price.
  • The deposit is fully refundable if the booking is cancelled up to 30 days before the arrival date.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 29 days before arrival.
8 days / 7 nights
from --

This vacation is available from November to January


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