The olive has been revered in Greece since ancient times. Homer looked upon it as ‘liquid gold’. Its cultural significance is recorded in the Greek myth of how Athens came to be named.
King Cecrops, the ruler of Athens, was said to have made the city so beautiful that it came to the attention of the Gods.The Gods looked on the city with jealous eyes, each wanted to become its patron.The two strongest contenders were Poseidon and the Goddess Athena. Zeus declared they should compete by offering gifts to the city and the citizens would decide the winner.
Poseidon went first and drove his trident into the ground and a spring of water appeared. However the people were not impressed as the water was salty and not good for drinking. Athena took her turn and planted an olive tree.The people knew this would provide food, oil, shade and wood.The city was named in her honour.
Come and join us at The Evia Island Garden Club to help harvest and celebrate our sacred Olive! We are hosting two long weekends of olive picking where we will also take the olives to the press, explore the local flora and the unique aspects of Mediterranean gardening. Accommodation is at the beautiful Villa Kasteli, nestled in the mountains overlooking the Bay of Karystos.The panoramic views take in the dramatic 12th century ruined Venetian castle, the Kastello Rosso.
- Thursday arrival at Villa Kasteli from the port of Marmari where we will start our retreat with drinks on the terrace followed by dinner created by our chef using local produce. There will also be an introduction to all we do here at The Evia Island Garden Club.
- Friday morning we will begin olive harvesting after breakfast around 8.30am until 12.30 with a mid-morning break. A delicious, simple Greek lunch will be provided using the best local produce, then in the afternoon we will go on a botanical walk, looking at the local flora.
Back to Villa Kasteli to relax before drinks and dinner.
- Saturday we will have another morning of harvesting olives. In the afternoon we will take the olives to the press and collect the virgin olive oil. We will return from the press for a tour of the Jennie Gay and Piers Goldson designed garden at Villa Livano. In the evening we will go into the town of Karystos to experience a traditional ‘souvlaki’ and enjoy a drink on the picturesque harbour.
- Sunday morning we will have a relaxed breakfast and a local walk before we take you back to the port so you can take the bus back to Athens airport.
The cost of this weekend is £150 per person and includes accommodation, food, drinks and trips out. All we ask is that you participate in the olive harvesting.
You will need to fly to Athens airport in time to connect to the Evia ferry. We can advise you of ferry timings. Our chef is particularly skilled at creating vegetarian or vegan dishes but please advise of dietary requirements upon booking.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in joining us. Places are limited to 8 per weekend, based on two to a room. Our beds are traditional Greek beds with a stone base so can not be separated, but will be made up as two singles.
Villa Kasteli sleeps eight in four rooms, has a terrace, living area and dining room, plunge pool and garden pergola for the use of guests, all set in a beautiful garden.
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