Motherland Crete

Motherland Crete

At the eastern end of the Mediterranean basin a 260km long strip of land lies on the threshold of three different continents, Europe, Asia and Africa. Crete is the largest of the Greek islands and the southern frontier of Europe. Its strategic positioning along with the incomparable beauty of its landscape have been two unique features guaranteeing for the island a long, turbulent and most certainly charming past. Among a plethora of other claims to fame, Crete was the birthplace of the Minoan civilization(3400-1200BC) which is the first historically recorded Greek and yet European civilization.

Covering a total area of 8336 square kilometers, Crete provides the human eye with a landscape of rare beauty and admirable diversity. While the inner part of the island is dominated by the presence of sheer mountains and fertile valleys, the outer part is characterized by a deep geographical dismemberment sculpting a vast, mostly sandy, coastline of 1000 kilometers in length. The grandeur of the natural scenery of the island has long been acknowledged with a total of 54 different locations declared “Protected Natural Locations” under the European ecological network NATURA 2000[1] .

 The unique composition of the soil,  the mild temperate Mediterranean climate as well as the absence of large industrial units heavily polluting the environment, contribute all th╬┐se conditions necessary for the evolution of a remarkable flora and fauna on the island. Crete is literally a natural plant laboratory. A total of 1800 plant species are present on the island, of which more than 10% are indigenous species found nowhere else on the planet. Impressively, while the European average suggests that 2.5 plant species are found in every 1000 square kilometers of European territory, in Crete the corresponding number is approximately 210 plant species. Among others, a vast variety of wild herbs (thyme, sage, dittany, oregano), tulips, orchids, cyclamens, oaks, cypresses, cedars, palm trees and most important of all, the blessed Olive Tree are found in abundance across the island.

Integrally linked to the history and culture of Cretans, the olive tree was first systematically cultivated in Crete during the Minoan era at least 4 millennia ago. As a plethora of archaeological findings suggest, the Minoans took several steps further to develop organized olive oil extraction units already from the 15th century B.C[2]. Of course, their choice to focus their efforts on the olive tree at those times of minimum resources and technical means was not made by chance but it was rather motivated by the very same notion that serves as the driving force for our efforts some 4000 years later. Microclimatic and soil conditions existing across the island of Crete favor the growth of the olive tree and the production of olive oil of exquisite quality, rare organoleptics and exquisite taste and aromas. It is no coincidence that 85-95%[3] of total Cretan olive oil production is categorized as extra virgin (evoo), the most premium of qualities as far as olive oil is concerned. 

The family of Elidia is proudly dedicated to presenting the world with the very best products of the renowned Cretan Olive Grove.



[2] Blitzer Harriet, «Olive Cultivation and Oil Production in Minoan Crete», in M-C. Amureti and J-P. Brun (eds.) La Production du Vin et de l’ Huile en Mediterrane, (BCH Supplement 26 (Paris 1993), 163-175

 [3]  Source: Association of Cretan Olive Municipalities

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