On the outskirts of Lefkada Town, lush greenery creates the most idyllic scenery. The island is verdant, due to the supreme weather conditions and abundant rainfall throughout the year. This is why the islanders have turned to viticulture from early on. Similarly, they have also engaged in the cultivation of olive trees. The latter has produced a lovely place right outside the town, called the Venetian Olive Grove.
Its name dates back to the 17th century. Lefkada was ruled by the Venetians and they wanted to increase olive tree cultivation on the island. Therefore, they urged the locals to plant olive trees. Whoever did that would get monetary reward. Others who did not agree would face penalties. As a result, within a few years the number of olive trees on the island skyrocketed. There were nearly 80,000 olive trees! Nowadays, their number has decreased a great deal. In fact, Lefkada does not boast more than 5,000 olive trees.
The most distinctive type of olive trees you may find in Lefkada and the Venetian Olive Grove is the White Olive. It is easier to harvest and more impressive to look at! Its fruits are white at first. Slowly but steadily, they turn black. They are filled with rich flavors and they make exquisite olive oil. There is also the Black Olive tree within the groves, as well as several variations. Each of these trees holds a long-lasting history, possibly leading to the Venetians and their strong will and persistence.
When you find yourself by the olive grove, make sure that you have enough time. Take a stroll or rent a bike from the local stores at the town and indulge in the loveliest ride of your life. Everything is serene there, filling your heart with nostalgia for an era lost in time.