Olive Harvesting Season In Crete


Its olive harvesting season in Crete. This year has been very different, to say the least. First of all, it’s supposed to be oranges and lemons season, so we are supposed to have lots of oranges, and lemons on the island, yet we don’t have many. I mean this time of the year, we usually have oranges and lemons everywhere.

And during the olive harvesting season in Crete, when we are working in the fields, we occasionally take breaks and enjoy sweet, juicy Cretan oranges, which makes the harvesting process so much nicer. The next thing is that the olives got ready earlier than usual. We usually start harvesting end of November or early December, when I say ”we”, I mean our neighbors lol. I do help one of our neighbors with his trees, he’s got 12 trees and he just gets enough oil for his family to consume, and of course, a little more to share with the so helpful neighbor lol.

You Must Be Prepared To Work Hard

Olive harvesting is hard work, the 12 trees took the three of us 3 days. The guys do the actual harvesting which includes cutting the tall branches that the machine can’t reach. The women mainly do the cleaning of the olives and filling up the sacks, so the guys can later collect them and either take them to the Olive press or take them home to be transported to the Olive press later.

The process starts by laying the nets on the ground, to make sure that the olives will fall on the nets and not on the ground. Once the nets are laid it’s time for the guys to start working with the machines that shake the branches knocking the olives off, and dropping them on the nets. I have seen some women perform this task but its really hard work, I tried and I didn’t do much really lol.


Our neighbor told us that in the olden days when there were no machines, the farmers used to use sticks to knock off the olives from the trees. That must have been really hard work.

Despite The Olives Being Ready Very Early This Year, The Farmers Are Happy

This is how olive oil looks like in the beginning

I do enjoy helping with olive harvesting, the sweet smell of the freshly harvested olives is just delicious. Actually, as you are driving around the island during the olive harvesting season in Crete, you can smell the sweet aroma in the air.

Despite the fact that the olives matured very early this year, it seems like it’s gonna be a good year in terms of quantity, and quality of the olives. Our neighbor told us that he is very happy with this year’s harvest, and he got very good quality oil. Our other friends that have a few trees told us that, not only were they happy with the quantity of the olives but also very happy with the fact that their oil scored the best quality at the oil press on that day.

How To Participate In Olive Harvesting In Crete

This is me pretending to know what I was doing lol

If you would like to take part in Olive harvesting, then you need to make sure that you come to Crete during the olive harvesting season, which normally starts from late October, and goes on to mid-December. You can participate by joining the olive harvesting tours.

There is a website called handpickegreece.com where you can book olive harvesting tours that will take place around the Chania area. There are also other activities that include, picnic under the olive trees, cheese, and wine tasting, and other activities like learning how to make olive oil-based soaps and skincare products.

Of course, the other option is to show up on the island and ask around if someone needs a hand with olive harvesting, keeping in mind that this will not be an arranged thing for tourists, so you need to be prepared to work hard, and really help out.


Olive harvesting season is a great time to participate in olive picking. you will get to experience the way of life for the locals, you will also get to see how olive oil is extracted from the olives when you accompany the people in the truck that will deliver the olives to the press.

When they are first pressed, the oil doesn’t look so much like your typical olive oil. it looks like a thick green liquid, but it later transforms into the green gold that we know as olive oil. Cretan olive oil is one of the best olive oils in the world.

Well, I really would like to hear from you. Have you participated in olive harvesting before? If so, how was the experience? Please leave your comments below.

Thank you for your time


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