The Millennial Olive Tree Walk in the Costa del Sol

 Tags: holidays getaway

Extra virgin olive oil, affectionately called oro líquido andaluz (Andalusia’s liquid gold) is one of the province of Malaga’s greatest gastronomic traditions. Not only do the olive groves provide one of the staples of cookery - oil - they also define the scenery of inland Costa del Sol. Olivos, as they are known in Spanish, are trees that have witnessed a great deal of history. The municipality of Periana is a place where you can wander among countless olive trees that are over a thousand years old. Just let that sink in. A thousand years… How do you fancy taking the Millennial Olive Tree Walk in the Costa del Sol? Pull on some comfortable shoes and come with us. 


Millennial olive trees in Periana

We’re heading to the pretty village of Periana which is located in La Axarquía. The land here is populated with one of just a handful of the millennial olive groves that exist in Spain, with some trees that are a mindboggling two thousand years old. Beautiful and historic, the trees constitute a unique natural heritage. The area is committed to conserving and protecting the trees. 

how to get to the olive trees


Olivos are some of the most resistant trees to the weather conditions in the Mediterranean basin. The trees are able to bear fruit for many years, explaining why there are trees that are still productive after thousands of years. These trees are known as “millennial olive trees”. 


Millennial Olive Tree Walk

Strolling among olive trees whose trunks have been twisted into the most contorted shapes over the centuries is an experience like no other. The main olive variety grown and harvested in Periana is verdial (also known as verdial de la Axarquía or verdial de Vélez - Málaga). This variety creates olive oil with a golden colour and a soft flavour that appeals to all palates. The excellence of this extra virgin olive oil is due, in part, to the age of many of the trees used to make it, some of which are over a thousand years old. 

The San Isidro de Periana cooperative, which produces organic extra virgin olive oil by combining the hojiblanca, picual and verdial varieties, has put together a programme of tours that take you along the Millennial Olive Tree Walk, or Ruta de los Olivos Milenarios in Spanish. This circular route is 9.5km long and can be walked (taking you about three hours), cycled or explored on horseback. You will follow country paths that will immerse you in what is known locally as “the sea of olive trees”. Along the way, you will explore different parts of Periana, enjoying vistas of the trees, the scenery of La Axarquía and the flora and fauna of the area. Make sure you look out for the “three-footed tree” and the “snail tree”. The walk is suitable for the general public, regardless of your age. The beautiful trees inhabiting the landscape have borne witness to century after century of history in La Axarquía. As you walk, you will discover everything you’ve ever wanted to know about how verdial olive oil is produced, meet the people involved in its management and discover its benefits for our health. 

millennial olive treesFuente: Rutas de Turismo Gastronómico


Make the most of your time in the area to take a look at the best natural amphitheatre in Europe. The views in Periana will leave you lost for words. But beyond the spectacular scenery, you can also enjoy the unique architecture and the age-old traditions that are still very much alive in the town. While you’re here, it goes without saying that you have to try the olive oil, but also the peaches, which are particularly good in the area. Periana is so proud of its olive oil and peaches that it organises two festivals celebrating the products that are must-attends on the region’s festival calendar. 

If the millennial olive tree walk has left you wanting to find out more about the area’s extra virgin olive oil, discover the wide range of olive oil experiences on offer in the Costa del Sol. Visit olive mills, discover the production methods of today and yesterday, enjoy comparing nuances in tasting sessions and much, much more. Olive oil tourism is an unforgettable way to experience the area.

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