There is so much, and so little, to be said about olive oil as a crucial element of the Greek food culture individually or as part of the greater Mediterranean tradition. Chefs, nutritionists, food historians and modern foodies are steadily enthusiastic about its taste, nutritional and even medical properties, as well as about its place on our table and in our hearts as a symbol of all that is good in the land and ourselves. It is not by chance that, in Ancient Greece as in our times, peace and prosperity are symbolised by an olive wreath or branch. And, if the olive and its culture is elemental for Greece, it lies in the very core of life in the regions of Laconia and Messenia, the areas enjoying the best part of Mount Taygetos and forming the blessed strip of land known as Mani.

While roaming Laconia, you will get plenty of chances to sample different types of extra virgin olive oil, and decide for yourselves which one is most worth a place in your kitchen. From the slightly acidic and fruity ones, which lightly tingle your palate and leave a tangy aftertaste best enjoyed raw to the mildest and sweetest, capable of transforming a simple veg casse role to a childhood memory, oil will certainly be one of the best memories from your visit, one you will be able to bottle and take with you. In case you wish to extend your olive experience, learn as much as possible about this great ingredient, and maximise your sample before you buy, you must make sure to visit the museum and arrange your dates to attend the festival.

The Museum of the Olive and Greek Olive Oil is housed in a modern building, which belongs to the Municipality of Sparti and was constructed, quite interestingly, by using the building elements of the old Electric Company of Sparta. Neatly arranged in sections, the exhibition provides information about olive and olive oil in the course of time. Olive presses used for olive oil production since prehistoric times until the early 20thcentury are installed, not only to help you visualise the change in methods, but also to help you realise how significant the constant presence of this extraordinary commodity has been in the Greek World. The museum's multipurpose hall hosts temporary art exhibitions and other events, while the museum and its various activities are administered by the Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation.

The annual Olive and Olive Oil Festival takes place at the beautiful village of Sellasia during the first weekend of August. It started in 2004 and has now become one of the most important and longest-running local festivals. It thrives as an example of ideal achievement, a beacon of hope for those who still believe in vision, collective action and voluntary work. Its main purpose and aim is to continuously enhance the publicity and promotion of the outstanding Laconian olive oil and table olives. Several educational and informational events regarding the Mediterranean diet, organic farming, the processing and trading of agricultural products, the value of these very local products and other relevant issues, are ideally combined with a diverse programme of cultural activities to entertain the thousands of visitors who honour the region with their presence and support. While taking part in the festivities, producers and owners of manufacturing and standardising units have the chance to meet, exchange experiences and forge partnerships; most of all, however, they get to know the consumers and even gain access to more distant markets.


Mystras Virtual Tour


Mystras Virtual Tour



Athens, a modern metropolis, a european capital, a nest for all the Mediterranean cultures. Athens, the meeting point of East and West, the harbor of everyone, who still loves passionately life! There are so many different ways to describe and analyse Athens, that any given effort to do a short depiction of the city is nothing but a try doomed to fail. Nevertheless, we will try to underline some of the main characteristics of the city of Athens. Visit Virtual Tour


Knossos was undeniably the capital of Minoan Crete and is the site of one of the most important and better known palaces of Minoan civilisation. Knossos was inhabited for several thousand years, beginning with a neolithic settlement sometime in the seventh millennium BC, and was abandoned after its destruction in 1375 BC which marked the end of Minoan civilization. It was damaged several times during earthquakes, invasions, and in 1450 BC by the colossal volcanic eruption of Thera, and the invasion of Mycenaeans who used it as their capital, while they were ruling the island of Crete until 1375 BC. Knossos was ruled by the dynasty of King Minos and is connected with thrilling legends, such as the myth of the Labyrinth with the Minotaur. Visit Virtual Tour


Known from the Homeric myth, as the mythical island of Phaeacians where the shipwrecked Odysseus was soothed by princess Nausika, Corfu continues to welcome visitors from all around the world. Be a synchronous Odysseus and follow the new destination of YouGoCulture initiative. Having the Central Corfu and its old town which is in the list of the Unesco World Heritage Sites, a journey begins in the history, the traditions and the unique beauties of the island. Visit Virtual Tour


Situated in continental Greece on Mount Parnassus, Delphi was considered to be one of the most important cities of ancient Greece. It was believed to be home to the goddess Gaia, or Earth, and later to Apollo after slaying Gaia’s son, the snake Python. The Pythian games—similar to the Olympic Games—were held here every four years to honour Apollo’s slaying of the Python dragon. Visit Virtual Tour


A breath away from Athens, the birth place of Eleusinian Mysteries and goddess Demeter challenges you to explore it! Eleusis or Eleusina, as now known, one of the five sacred cities of antiquity enjoys the privilege of being located only thirty kilometers from the historic Athens. But let me refresh it! It could be the privilege of Athens to have so nearby a city full of life and history! Visit Virtual Tour


Even today’s visitors feel that they are in a sacred place as soon as they set foot in the Asklepieion of Epidavros. The place where healing was a religious mystery. The sick were cured by the god Asklepios in their sleep (enkoimesis) or received from him instructions on the therapy they should follow. From the sixth century BC until the end of antiquity, hosts of people resorted to the Sanctuary of Asklepios in expectation that their prayers for healing would be heard and answered by the god. These were patients and pilgrims who arrived there bringing precious votive offerings from all parts of the then-known world. Visit Virtual Tour


Peering over the plain of Argolis, up there from the heights of the acropolis, one comes to terms with the superiority of the Mycenaean civilization. It reached its heyday in the Late Bronze Age (1350 - 1200 BCE) and then disappeared, leaving to eternity its legendary acropolis, built on an inaccessible, rocky hill between two ravines. The footprints of the Atreidai, the mythical royal dynasty, are visible to today's visitor and inspire awe in an era like ours, in which myth meets the history of the most important period of the ancient world. Visit Virtual Tour

Ancient Olympia

What can be said of Olympia and not sound like a cliché? The significance of the archaeological site is self-evident, even if one is not familiar with the fascinating historical details and the political background, which literally span thousands of years. Known to the world as the cradle of the Olympic ideal, this open-air museum of imposing ruins and unique artefacts tells a story of religious piety, fair play, political ambition, and demonstration of power. All the buildings you can still admire were erected to please the gods and send a message to the thousands of visitors who swarmed to the sacred grounds. Walking around the Stadium, the Gymnasium and the Temples of Zeus and Hera – both instrumental in the ritual and competitive part of the Games – modern visitors will be able to understand why the event remained relevant even when the rest of the Ancient World was long dead. As an added bonus to the splendour of the site, the Museum of Olympia boasts some of the most famous works of art produced in the long course of Hellenic culture. Visit Virtual Tour


Travelling in the Messenian land from Mount Taygetus to the coast, our glance dives, following the sunlight dipping onto the Messenian plain. From the mountainous volumes to the fertile valley, the olive groves and herbs, we see a landscape of culture, myth, and history, unfold before our eyes. In the heart of the region of Messenia, one town stands out: Ancient Messene. This "blissful plain" as Homer calls it, became a theatre of war and mythical narrations offering a viewpoint on the past and the present. Visit Virtual Tour