Olympia, ancient cradle of excellence, noble competition and peace

  • Birth place of the Olympic Games (776 BC – today)
  • The Games were dedicated to Zeus and the ancient Greek gods
  • Every 4 years, the best athletes of all the civilized ancient world would gather here to compete for honour and glory
  • The prize: an olive wreath (kotinos) and some olive oil, from the ancient olive grove of Olympia
  • Today, as ever before, the Olympic flame is light in Olympia, every 2 years, and travels the world

The history of Olympia is strongly connected to the Olympic Games. Historical records indicate that the games began in 776 BC as a local festival to honor god Zeus. However, along the centuries, these games gained more and more popularity and all city-states of Greece would send their finest men to participate in the games. This event was so important for the ancient world that even all warfares would stop for a month so that the towns would send their best youth to participate in the games.

This athletic festival occurred every four years and lasted for five days, including wrestling, chariot and horse racing, the pentathlon (discus throwing, javelin throwing, long jump, running and pancratium). However, the athletes would stay for 1 or 2 months before the games in Olympia to practice their sports in Palaestra. Before the games, the high priestess of Olympia marked the beginning of the games lighting the Olympic flame. Also, offerings and ceremonies in the temple of Zeus and the temple of Hera were practiced to ask for the favor of the gods.

The games would take place in the stadium and people would watch them from the hills around it. All athletes were male and would take part in the games in total nudity. Women were forbidden under the penalty of death to part take in the games or even watch them as a spectator. The only woman who could watch the games, and in fact from a privileged spot, was the priestess of the temple of Demeter in Olympia.

There were no seats for the spectators and all people regardless of their social state would sit on the earth. The Hellanodikae, a body of priests, were responsible to name the winners. The reward of the winning athletes was a crown of a wild olive tree, which was enough to honor him, his family and his city for decades. In fact, it was such an honor for a town to born an Olympic winner that they pulled down even a part of their city walls, as the town would be protected by the winner.

At the same time, the political personalities from different parts of Greece took advantage of the games to make speeches and try to resolve differences with each other. The games were also a good opportunity for traders to make business deals.

Unfortunately, in 393 AD, the Olympic Games were suspended by the Byzantine Emperor Theodosius, as it was considered a pagan custom. It was the time when Christianity was the dominant religion of the Byzantine empire and everything connected to the ancient Greek spirit was considered pagan. Thus the games were stopped, the temples of Olympic were turned to churches and important statues, among which the golden statue of Zeus, a miracle of the ancient world, was transferred to Constantinople.

The revival of the Olympic Games in the modern era was an idea of the French Baron Pierre de Coubertin, who founded the International Olympic Committee in 1894 and only two years later, in 1896, the first modern Olympic Games took place in Athens, at the renovated Panathenaic Stadium. Since then, the games take place every 4 years in a different place in the world every time.



Olympia and the Olive tree, an eternal bond of spirit and nature

  • Olympia, Olive tree and Greece have been identical concepts through the ages
  • Olive trees always occupied the hills of Olympia. And they still do!
  • The olive tree was the integral symbol of health, victory, honour and unity
  • Valuable, indispensable, considered “divine” even, the olive tree was interlaced with every aspect of ancient Greek civilization
  • Its fruits and their juice, are the foundations of the renowned Greek diet, or of the “Mediterranean diet” as we know it today

The olive tree has been an integral symbol of Peace, Victory, Honor and Unity since ancient times. It was also a symbol of the Olympic ideal as an olive branch was the only prize for the Olympic victors, nevertheless very valuable and important.

The institution of the Olympic Games began in 776 BC. in ancient Olympia in honor of the god Zeus, at a time when Greece was disrupted by civil wars, a holy truce was put in place so that athletes and pilgrims could arrive safely. In the beginning the prize for the winners was a sacred apple, but after the prophecy from the Oracle of Delphi, the winners had to be crowned with a wreath of ‘’kotino” wild fertile olive.

Also very well-known is the relationship of the olive tree with sports competitions and ceremonies in ancient Greece.

Athletes anointed their bodies with oil, which they removed at the end of the race with the help of a metal ‘blade’, called a Strigel (στλεγγίδα).

The history of important Greek cities such as Ancient Olympia, Delphi, Mycenae and more cannot be fully understood without a thorough and detailed analysis of their landscape. Their grandeur is due to the constant attention to their land and communities.



Olympian Valley, a uniquely serene and fertile land

  • Lies between two rivers, Alpheios and Kladeos, in Western Peloponnese
  • Low hills and smooth fields form a breathtaking landscape of unmistakable beauty
  • The climate is typical Mediterranean: snowless humid winters with constant rain, followed by dry sunny Greek summers
  • A place so ideal for the cultivation of the olive tree, as if it were “designed” just for that!
  • No question why the olive tree has been a “native” of this land for centuries

Ancient Olympia is positioned in a serene and fertile valley between the Alpheios and the Kladeos rivers in western Peloponnese, in Elis. It was the host of the Olympic games for a thousand years in antiquity.

The terrain’s morphology is with low hills and plains in which flows as mentioned above 2 historical rivers of Olympia. Alphaeus and Cladeus, a source of life, prosperity and inspiration for Mythology from ancient times till today.The climate is strictly Mediterranean with many rains in winter and dry summers with the simultaneous absence of snow and ice which makes it ideal for growing olives. This is the main reason that olive trees are preserved for over a thousand years. Three of them belong to the Karabela family, one you can admire if you choose to visit Agriturismo Magna Grecia and The Olive Temple.



Innovations, Discoveries and Breakthroughs in Ancient Olympia
Jun. 10, 2016

The Oleocanthal International Society (OIS) recently gathered researchers and olive oil producers at the Olympic Academy in Ancient Olympia, Greece for the OIS’s third conference and the first Olympia Health & Nutrition Awards. Over 400 participants exchanged information about breakthroughs in olive oil research, a newly discovered olive tree varietal, and a completely new type of international olive oil competition.

The OIS aims to combine practical and clinical research to showcase the health benefits of extra virgin olive oil. At the conference, OIS founder and president José Amérigo discussed the progress made during the last three years in combining health issues and gastronomic concepts by studying oleocanthal and other related phenols found in extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) and the Mediterranean diet. The conference was noteworthy for fostering a dialogue between scientists and olive oil producers so scientists could learn about problems to consider during future research, and producers could learn how and why to increase the health value of their EVOOs.


Respecting the Cultivation Ritual is our commitment. And our inspiration!

“Respect the soul of the tree, generously providing its precious fruits to us”: this is the force guiding every move, every decision we make!

We know that our family is gently passing on these ancient groves, to the generations to come. We strongly believe that we must leave them unspoiled. And even healthier than they were when we inherited them.

This is, from the grove to your plate, why we leave nothing to chance:

We allow our olive trees to give the best they can, without forcing them to produce more.

We collect the olives by hand or using electric, mechanical tools with “fingers” specially designed not to hurt the tree.

Older technology tools are strictly forbidden, as the gasoline and mineral oils they use can find their way in the olive juice.

Olives are picked at the exact stage or ripeness which is best for the final result we are aiming at, each time. And only when every single member of the family agrees that this is the right time. Every time!

Because, at the end of the day, we know that healthy trees produce healthy olives. And healthy olives give the best, the healthiest extra virgin olive oil!


DSC_0322 DSC_0322 DSC_0204 DSC_0134 DSC_0053 20210115_121535 20210115_113202


Sustainability is in the heart of our planning and actions

Implementing sustainability principles in every phase of our production cycle is essential to our family, and an integral part of our investment and production planning. Every day!

  • We are systematically converting all our groves to certified Organic ones
  • We apply precision technologies to control water supply
  • All our cultivations are zero-pesticide, cleaned only by hand or by mechanical means
  • We recycle all cultivation and olive oil extraction by-products, producing natural fertilizer and
  • We close the recycling cycle of crop residues and mill. We make fertilizer for our trees and produce thermal energy using the heating systems we have installed in the mill and our homes.
  • We carefully choose our packaging material, opting for certified recyclable sources.

IMG_6928 D75_0181 D75_0178


Introducing innovation in traditional cultivation and production methods

Staring from the traditional olive groves that we inherited and capitalising on what we learned from our grandfather and father, it was time to innovate and do our part in the production process. Innovation is evolution, and two are the basic innovations of our family.

Innovation is every advancement we make, on something that was already working. And it is the duty of every generation to explore new possibilities and contribute new ideas and procedures to its heritage.

We as a family, are proud to claim such an evolution in two major fields:

  • Cultivation and Farming

After careful planning and years of research and consultation with experts and connoisseurs, we decided to explore new possibilities for our groves, but based on very old and solid foundations.

So, we planted alongside ancient river Alpheios, 1,800 young olive trees of the emblematically Greek «Koroneiki» variety and we «boosted» their unique power with century-old grafts from our oldest groves.

And what a “miracle!” Only two years later, instead of the five needed traditionally, we harvested the first olives, healthy and full of juice.

  • Modern Olive mill

We are proud to announce that a family dream has come true: Our «Olive Temple» olive mill producing our premium quality extra virgin olive oil.

We shared our vision and worked closely with olive oil «guru» Giorgio Mori and his team, to set up a mill integrating cutting-edge technology in extra virgin olive oil production, specially designed for our varieties and groves.

Temperature management on all production phases, water-free extraction and anti-oxidation methods, resulted in a high-phenolic natural olive juice, so full of aromas and with a surprisingly fresh taste and balanced aftertaste.

You will find this liquid superfood in every single drop, in every bottle, we proudly sign.

We are inspired by sustainability and innovation, and guided by our love for this blessed land, its fruit and its people. And we are waiting for you to come and visit our «Olive Temple» mill and us, in Olympia.

Still, you can taste and enjoy our products even without visiting us. All you have to do is contact us and let us present what we do and how our products can improve your everyday diet.

And make your life and the life of your loved ones, healthier and delightfully tasty.


IMG_6910 IMG_6906 IMG_6905 IMG_6904 IMG_5079 IMG_5001 IMG_0854 IMG_0795


All over the Mediterranean, especially in Greece where it all began, olive tree cultivation dates back to ancient times and is an integral part of local culture. Because of that, there are many «families» of olive varieties with even more subcategories in them, sometimes with little differences, such as in the size of the olive fruit they produce. A typical example of this, is the famous Greek variety «Koroneiki».

In Olympia, our two main local varieties are “Koroneiki” and “Kolireiki”. The “Olympia Protected Geographical Indication” (PGI) extra virgin olive oil is a blend of these varieties.

Two more, very old native varieties here, are  “Nemutiana / Olympia” and “Botsikoelia”, with strong and complex characteristics.

We cultivate all four of these varieties in our groves, because we want to offer different, delicious results and fresh experiences for you to try and savour daily, with everything you create in your kitchen. Explore our portfolio and welcome to our Olive World!

Visit our products section here.


DSCN6952_Fotor IMG_5776 KSG_0015 ΚΟΛΙΡΕΙΚΗ