A trip to Greece would not be complete without finding out more about the country’s rich history, vast cultivation and production of olive oil.
Although Naxos is not famed for producing commercial brand olive oil, it boasts one of the region’s most fertile olive oil basins, with an extensive number of olive groves and trees.
In fact, the Tragea valley alone, located in the midsection of the island, is said to house half of the island’s 270,000 olive trees that have fueled the local population with the ability to produce their own olive oil for generations. The main variety is throumpa but manaki and koronia are also encountered.
Testament to this are the close to 100 olive press mills spread out throughout the island, some in better condition than others.
A few of these have been restored serve as mini museums with information, tools and machinery that shed light on the process and methodology of producing olive oil by the manually pressing the olives.
Delve into some food culture and heritage by visiting some or all of the following:
- The Eggares Olive Museum, Eggares
- Damalas Olive Mill, Damalas
- The Vivlos Folklore Museum, Vivlos (Tripodes)
- Koronos Olive Mills, Koronos
- Ioannis Sakelliadis Οlive Μill, Kaloxylos
Worth Mentioning: The Annual Feast of Traditional Olive Oil Extraction
Every year, during the season of olive oil making (usually between late January and early February), the village of Damalas celebrates the traditional process by hosting an open-to-everyone feast complete with local culinary delights, wine and traditional music.