Mount Athos Olive Oil
ΤΗΕ MILLENNIUM-OLD OLIVE GROVE AT SAINT XENOPHON’s MONASTERY IN MOUNT ATHOS
An Orthodox spiritual centre since 1054, Mount Athos has enjoyed an autonomous statute since Byzantine times. The 'Holy Mountain', which is forbidden to women and children, is also a recognized artistic site. The layout of the monasteries (about 20 of which are presently inhabited by some 1,400 monks) had an influence as far afield as Russia, and its school of painting influenced the history of Orthodox art. UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1988.
There is a profound bond between Orthodox Christianity and olive. In the secluded monastic community of Mount Athos n the easternmost leg of Halkidiki peninsula in Northern Greece, growing olive trees has been interwoven with the life of the monks for over a thousand years.
There, an astonishing millennium-old olive grove is preserved. Monumental relic trees, which produce olives of exceptional quality to this day, radiate both the hard work and the spirituality; their enormous trunks eloquently show every century of the life of the trees, living proof of a unique millenary heritage.
The olive grove extends along the coastline, beautifully adjusted to the relief of the landscape that reaches an altitude of 180 meters above the sea level. On the steep slopes of up to 60% inclination, scenic terraces built stone by stone have been securing the growing of the olive trees for centuries allowing their roots to penetrate deep in the ground.
The pure nature of this unfrequented piece of land with the astonishing native biodiversity creates the most perfect, colorful surroundings for this majestic olive grove; a breathtaking, wondrous site between the deep blue sea and the azure sky. Thanks to 2,800 hours of sunshine per year -with an average of 8 hours per day-, the olive trees are bathed in the bright light of the Aegean Sea, while mastering the interplay of mountain and sea breeze uphill.