A NATURAL WONDER FROM THE IRON AGE
The Olive Tree of Vouves
The Ancient Olive Tree of Vouves is the oldest listed olive tree in the entire world! It reminds of an Italian Renaissance sculpture and lies among the finest sights of the Chania Region.
This landmark at Ano Vouves in the area of Kissamos, Chania counts more than 3,000 years of age, remaining vivid and fruitful to date. This unique olive tree is an imposing natural monument that dates back to the Iron Age; The perimeter of its trunk exceeds 12 m., its diameter is 4 m. whereas the hollow inner space of its trunk (given the lack of heartwood) can fit approximately ten persons. It is included in the list with the world’s oldest trees and in it was listed as Natural Monument in 1997.
As a special honor, it was decided that the Olympic wreaths for the marathon champions of Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 would be made of the branches of this legendary olive tree, which became even more famous around the world in 2016 when NASA chose it as Picture of the Day for its website. The area of Kissamos is closely associated to oil production ever since antiquity -this area produces excellent quality olive oil-, whereas according to mythology Hercules Ideaus transplanted an olive tree from Vouves to Ancient Olympia. Next to the Ancient Tree you will find the Olive Tree Museum of Vouves, established in 2009, whose exhibits include tools and gear for olive cultivation, collection and processing – a skill in which Cretans have been experts since antiquity. olivemuseumvouves.com