There are a lot of olive trees here on the island of Corfu, Greece. How many, you ask? Well, there are several million olive trees, many of which were planted during the Venetian period (from the 14th through the 18th century.) Estimates I’ve seen online mention about 3 million olive trees, which is a lot for an island of 230 square miles, with a population around 100,000 people!
One website I saw mentioned that the Venetians wanted the olive oil not for food, but for lighting the lamps Venice, and that they paid Corfiots in gold for each olive tree that was planted. Now there’s an incentive!
We’ve enjoyed seeing the olive trees as we drive around the island. The trunks of the trees, many of which are several hundred years old, are gnarled and twisted with interesting holes in them.
We found these great big trees near San Stefano on the northeast coast of Corfu.
Many of these trees in the olive groves of Corfu are still actively managed for the production of olive oil, and you often see nets under the trees. The nets are used to collect the olives. This terraced olive grove was right alongside a narrow road in the north.
It is interesting to see how the nets are dealt with. Sometimes they are rolled in a long line, and other times they are bunched up around the base of the tree. I’ve also seen the nets gathered and folded with a few rocks on top to keep them from blowing away.
This tree is right along the side of the road, where they’ve added a paved parking area.
On our drive the other day through the central part of the north of the island, we found an old grove on a hillside and just had to stop to photograph the trees. I could spend hours just wandering around checking out the trees. Each one is different!
Sometimes you see the nets not rolled or bunched or folded, but spread out under the tree waiting for the next harvest.
OK, that was probably too many olive tree pictures, but each one is fascinating to me. Finally, the olive tree selfie!
Today is our last day in Corfu, Greece. Tomorrow we fly to Paris, where we’ll spend 5 days before flying back to Seattle.