1. Kalamata: The Olive Oil Routes Tour
Start your small group tour at the arranged meeting point: the magnificent 13th century castle of Androusa, located in the heart of Messinia, just a 20 minute drive from Kalamata and 10 minutes from Ancient Messene. Begin with beautiful olive walks to provide as an overview of the amazing olive groves of Messinia. Witness the olive trees as the guide tells you about the history, the tradition, and the mythical stories of the castle olive trees. The olive grove is the next visit. Walk though the groves and marvel the perennial olive trees. Learn about the different varieties of olive trees in the area and discover the story of the Messinian land as recorded on the stems. In the center of Androusa Village, visit a unique olive oil press and mill, located there for more than 120 years. The fifth generation owner will explain the procedure of extraction, the storage, and standardization process of extra virgin olive oil. Next, join a tasting session, where a dining table is filled with the special blue olive oil tasting glasses ready for you to try. Taste the extra virgin olive oil of 'Koroneiki' variety and learn about its organoleptic characteristics. Learn to recognize the elements that define the extra virgin olive oil. Taste different varieties of Greek extra virgin olive oil, such us 'Manaki', 'Xalkidikis', 'Mavroelia', and evaluate their flavours. What about food? The extra virgin olive oil of different varieties is matched with traditional recipes including fruit, gourmet small dishes, as well as tzatziki, kalamata olives, olive paste, lalagia, pasto (smoked ham) and local cheeses. Enjoy a unique experience in the historic olive groves, and learn about the history, the soul, the tradition, and the gastronomy of Messinia.