Since 1998, the Cultural Foundation «Routes of the Olive Tree» has been implementing short and long cultural itineraries inspired by the Olive Tree Civilisation, from Greece towards the Euro-Mediterranean countries. They promote the olive tree civilization through a large network of Mediterranean partners, which organise common activities for the benefit of olive oil producing regions.
Nowadays, these itineraries have a multifaceted context and the following aims:
- acquaint participants with the olive tree civilisation, integral part of the European and Mediterranean civilisation;
- familiarize international public with the olive tree landscapes, products and traditions;
- consolidate partnerships among the olive oil producing regions;
- create a Friends of the Olive Tree network in the non-olive oil producing countries.
3 types of cultural itineraries « Routes of the Olive Tree» exist:
Long Cultural Itineraries “Discovery of the Olive Tree in the Mediterranean” (olive oil producing countries).
30-days overland cultural itineraries, departing from Greece towards the Eastern Mediterranean or the Western Mediterranean. Due to the unsettled situation in most of the crossed countries, they have been interrupted for the moment.
Short Cultural Itineraries “Discovery of the Olive Tree in the Mediterranean” (olive oil producing countries).
1 to 3-day Cultural itineraries for groups of 15 persons or individuals in the South-West Peloponnese (Greece) or the Meknes region (Morocco).
The Scientific Committee of the Foundation is examining proposals of other short itineraries around other olive oil producing countries.
Cultural Itineraries for the promotion of the civilisation of the Olive Tree Meditterranean (non-olive oil producing countries).
These destinations are selected according to various criteria, including international events associated to the sacred olive tree (like the Olympic Games) or the olive oil regions in Greece, the Mediterranean and Europe (like the «Eleodromies» around Balkan countries and the «AGORA of the Routes of the Olive Tree» around European countries).
The Routes of the Olive Tree celebrations
They are days dedicated to the olive tree, its civilization and its meaning for the people around the Mediterranean. These celebrations include the following cycles:
- CYCLE ‘ART’
Exhibitions of painting and thematic - artistic photography, projections, children’s painting competitions etc.
- CYCLE ‘ENTERTAINMENT’
Musical bridges with Mediterranean music, quizzes, contests
- ‘CYCLE’ INFORMATION
Traditional product tasting, cooking demonstrations using olive oil, meetings and information days on different subjects (Tourism & gastronomy, Promotion of the olive tree civilisation as a vector of sustainable development, etc.).
Dedicated to the Olive Tree Mediterranean, these celebrations are organised either in the framework of an itinerary or on other occasions. Their objective is to draw the attention of public, decision-making actors and media on the work and the goals of the Cultural Foundation «Routes of the Olive Tree» and at the same time expand its network of partners and friends.
So far many successful celebrations have been realised, for example at the Metro station « Syntagma » in Athens in December 2004, which included a tasting workshop (One thousand and two flavours), a creative painting workshop for children (Draw me an olive tree), musical bridges, 2 exhibitions of artistic photography (Olive tree, the beloved of Greeks, and Following the olive tree), a roundtable (The olive tree : vector of civilisation and sustainable development) etc.
Other successful events were realised in Greece (Athens : Zappeion, Kalamata : municipal cultural center), France (Paris : Seat of the UNESCO, Marseille : Palais de la Bourse), in Canada (Montreal : Botanical garden), Belgium (Brussels: European Parliament), Ukraine (Kiev and Odessa), Romania (Bucharest), Lebanon (Balamand) and elsewhere.
Special itineraries of symbolic character.
In 2007, at the request of the Olive Tree Network members, the “Sea Routes of the Olive Tree” were realized; this symbolical itinerary stressed the importance of maritime connection between Mediterranean cities-harbors, now in decline but although it plays a key role in their development since centuries.-->