Regional Olive Tours
Les Garrigues PDO, Siurana PDO, Terra Alta PDO, Baix Ebre-Montsià PDO, Empordà PDO
Olive cultivation has affected the personality of many areas in Catalonia and has transformed its landscape. Olive oil tourism is a very authentic way to immerse yourself in Catalan culture.
Olives have been a part of the Catalan landscape for millennia and have shaped the culture of the land. Spread around Catalonia there are nearly a hundred producers, many of which open their facilities, so you can get to know the secrets behind the liquid gold.
There is five protected designation of origin oils throughout Catalonia, each with its well-defined flavour and body.
Les Garrigues PDO
Les Garrigues is one of the Catalan districts with the longest tradition in the production of oil. The extraordinary quality of this oil is the result of different factors: painstaking cultivation techniques, the climatic conditions of the area, with frequent mist and low rainfall, the use of two varieties, arbequina and verdiell.
In the area of El Camp de Tarragona oil has been being produced for more than a thousand years. For several years it has been the holder of the Siurana Protected Designation of Origin. During the production process three olive varieties are used: arbequina, which is essential, roja and morruda, all picked by hand and ground in less than 24 hours.
Terra Alta PDO
In La Terra Alta, more specifically in the village of Horta de Sant Joan, oil has been being produced for more than a thousand years and is where the oldest olive trees in Catalonia can be found. During the production process, three olive varieties are used: empeltre is primarily used although arbequina, farga and morruda are also usual. The olives are picked by hand and any which may have fallen to the ground, or are blemished in any way, are discarded.
Baix Ebre-Montsià PDO
The Baix Ebre-Montsià oils are extra virgin oils produced from the morruda, sevillana and farga varieties. This area also occupies the oldest and most extensive growing area of Catalonia, with a surface area of around 50,000 hectares spread between the Baix Ebre and Montsià districts.
El Empordà has a deep-rooted tradition of olive tree growing dating back to when the Greeks arrived in the sixth century BC. During the production process three olive varieties are used: argudell, corivell, verdial (known as Ley de Cadaqués) and arbequina, introduced during the late 20th century
Tours & Excursions
No Olive Oil tour would be complete without a visit to the Arión Museum which is like no other museum museum. First of all, it’s completely outdoors. Second of all, it is, essentially, nothing more than a simple olive grove.
But this is one of the most historic olive groves in the world. Planted by the Ancient Romans, many of the trees here are over 1300 years old, earning them the title “millenaries”. And the oldest tree in the museum, la Farga de l’Arión, is just over 1700; making it the oldest carbon dated olive tree in the world.
Visiting la Farga de l’Arión is one of the highlights of olive oil tourism in Catalunya. Standing in front of that tree, which has seen so many centuries, it’s hard not to feel in awe of this stunning monument to the history of Catalonia.
What better way to experience the olive oil of Catalunya than at the heart of one of its oldest groves on one of our bespoke tours?