Friendly Olive Tour® description
Friendly Olive Tour. This free, 60-minute tour of the Vassilakis Estate olive mill is conducted by a member of the Vassilakis family. We explain how olive oil is made, today and in the past, stopping at the outdoor olive museum where the original 1865 stone mill is displayed.
The tour includes taste testing, during which visitors are given tips on how to recognize a superior olive oil. They are also given the opportunity to taste and buy products from our range of award-winning olive oils, as well as other local products. We offer a home delivery service.
English, German, French, Russian, Polish and Greek.
There is visitors’ parking for cars and coaches.
In 2012 we threw open our doors to non-professional visitors and tourists, thinking there might be some public interest in a free guided tour of our olive mill.
The response has been beyond expectation: a steady trickle of individual visitors, families and groups, including schools, has grown into an annual flood, with visitor numbers doubling from year to year.
Our Friendly Olive Tour was awarded the 2015 Gold Agrotourism Award.
Our olive groves
The two Vassilakis family olive groves nestle on slopes overlooking the Mirambello Valley, at an ideal elevation and distance from the sea. The mature olive trees, with their sturdy root systems, thrust deep into the rocky soil for mineral nutrients and moisture. They flourish in the cold, wet winters and hot dry summers, fanned by healthy sea breezes.
The olives ripen on the tree, plump and juicy, absorbing the sun-concentrated scents of the region’s wild trees, herbs and flowers. These natural elements subtly enhance the superb characteristic taste and aroma of our olive oil.
Each Vassilakis generation learns the secrets of pruning, composting and mulching to sustain the soil quality. Grazing animals clear weeds between the trees, while providing manure for fertilizing. And we also use traditional preventions to trap or ward off pests. All these techniques keep our trees healthy and disease-resistant.
Nothing is wasted. Pruned branches, leaves and twigs that are separated from the olives during harvesting, all are composted and used to create natural fertilizer. As an agent against global warming, olive trees have a positive carbon balance. They remove more carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere than is emitted during olive oil production.
Vassilakis Estate – Friendly Olive Tour
Gerania, Neapoli, Lasithi, Crete, 72400 Greece