At the moment this is written, the flower buds just come to the olive trees. But we are thinking about half a year ahead: the traditional olive harvest in Greece. Families prepare, with the traveling farm workers, for this annually recurring phenomenon. The time of pleasant warmth, beautiful autumn light, plenty of life and labor in the olive groves. The olive harvest is in full swing.
In general the sea is wonderfully warm. Great temperatures for beautiful walks or bike rides. The great bustle in the villages, museums and various antiquities is over. Time to experience the many impressions at the appropriate pace.
We offer you this unique experience of picking olives as a well-groomed (excl. flight and transport) week-package.
The olive-picking arrangement looks like this:
– 7 nights stay in one of our caravans (based on shared accommodation)
– daily breakfast
– 3 days of olive picking under the guidance of an experienced (English speaking) olive grower
– coffee, tea and snacks in the olive grove (on picking days)
– lunch in the olive grove (on picking days)
– dinner at Hakuna Matata Holidays (on picking days)
– visit to an olive press
– olive and olive oil tasting
– 2 liters of olive oil from the self-picked olives
– 1 day excursion to olive oil museum in Sparta, incl. lunch and dinner
Every day we provide a delicious breakfast at the caravans; where work is done must be eaten well!
On picking days, after breakfast, we go to the olive grove where we harvest the olives. After a thorough explanation about materials, working methods and do’s & dont’s, we get to work. Olive picking is not difficult but sometimes a bit tiring because we are not used to the movements. Fortunately, there are also activities that can be done while sitting, for example; before the olives go into big bags, we remove as many leaves and twigs as possible.
Coffee, tea, water and a snack, as well as the lunch is served in the olive grove in the Greek way.
Depending on the ripeness of the harvest, we determine where we are going to pick, it could be that it is our own olive grove or the one of a befriended olive farmer.
After the picking days we get the harvest to the olivepress to press them; it’s a great experience to see the process in operation. That process also includes the social aspect of olive pressing. Greek farmers basically remain at the factory to be sure of the process of pressing their own olives. During the waiting interesting conversations develop between Greeks about the quality and quantity of the olive oil!
On picking days we enjoy a joint dinner with the whole group. For example, depending on the circumstances, a bbq, traditional Greek dishes or dinner at a local estiatoria.
The Olive and Olive Oil Museum in Sparta is a must-see museum for those interested in olives and olive oil. That is why we included this excursion in the regular program of the Olive-Picking weeks. On the way to or coming back we drive through the impressive Taigetos mountains, east of Kalamata. A beautiful route with magnificent views. We have lunch in the vicinity of Sparta and we use dinner closer to home in a traditional kafenion.
On other non-picking days you can spend the day completely free after breakfast. Or discuss with us (and your fellow olive-pickers) if you want to do another guided trip. See the list below.
In the area are very nice villages to discover, wonderful beaches (often the weather is still fine, late October and early November) with the highest sea-water temperatures of the year. There are beautiful and well-kept antiquities to discover and our environment is great for wonderful walks or bike rides. In Methoni various types of bikes can be rented. We have a lot of information about our vicinity available to you. From Hakuna Matata Holidays you can make several circular walks varying in length from 7 to 15 kilometers.
So; relaxation through exercise: come and pick olives at Hakuna Matata Holidays!
Dates of the olive harvest weeks:
week 44 2020 week 45 2020
The price for a week of picking olives as described above is € 550.00
Flights and transport (rental car) are not included in the price.
The dates for the olive picking weeks are somewhat flexible. We schedule 3 picking days per week, 1 day to Sparta, the other days are free-to-spend days. The picking days will be on weekdays.
Check in and out during Saturday or Sunday therefore has no consequences for participation in the picking days.
Stay is in 1 of our caravans. A caravan is a shared space. Each guest has its own bedroom. Bathroom, sitting area and outdoor space are shared.
In total, a group for olive picking consists of a maximum of 10 people.
From London you can fly to Kalamata by Easy-Jet.
From the UK and the rest of Europe there are a lot of possibilities to get to Athens by plane.
From Holland-Amsterdam and Germany-Düsseldorf you can fly to Kalamata by Transavia or Aegean.
From Athens you drive with a rental car in about 3.5 hours (without breaks) to Hakuna Matata Holidays, the largest part by a very relaxed toll highway (approx € 30.00 return). If you choose this option, we absolutely recommend you to book some extra nights in Athens. Athens is a surprisingly fascinating and lively city, really worth a visit!
Additional guided trips (minimum 2 persons)
– full day excursion Nestor winery & tasting & Nestor Palace, € 100,00
– full day excursion archaeological excavation Messini € 85,00
– full day trip hike Polilimnio waterfalls & candle making Neromilos € 75,00
– full day trip Kalamata incl. city walk € 75,00
– full day excursion walk Divari lagoon and Voïdikilia beach € 75,00
Each of these trips include guiding, entrance to the location (if rated) and lunch. You drive with your own car. Unless other arrangements be spoken.
Of course there is one factor that we have no influence on: remember that we can not guarantee good, sunny, warm weather. Although we are flexible and have an alternative program for rainy weather, it might happen that the weather is too bad to pick olives. Complaints about this are not taken into consideration, the amounts charged are and will continue to be due regardless of the weather. Although it is often good weather at the beginning of November, we can not give any guarantee on swimming in the sea, beach weather and the opening hours of catering and sightseeing.