Records of the culture of olives and oil date back to the 7th century BC. In the Tartessian villages of the interior of the province of Seville many remains of jars for ointments and funerary vessels have been found, as well as amphorae for transporting olives and oil for international trade with the Greeks and Phoenicians. Today Seville is the third largest olive oil producing province in Spain and has some of the most prestigious international distinctions.
The olive tree, with its unique, ancient appearance and deep green, silvery leaves, is found in all the regions of the province of Seville and often shapes its landscape. Olive tree growing has been the main agricultural work of many generations of Sevillians and has given rise to the first artisan industries in the province, with the traditional oil estates, and to a cuisine based on olives and oil, the cornerstone of the Mediterranean diet.
From the picual, hojiblanca and lechín varieties of olive, among many others, the so-called “liquid gold” is extracted. Virgin olive oil is produced in virtually every town in the province, for local consumption and for sale worldwide.
The table olive is an indispensable ingredient of tapas. Eaten with a beer or a glass of wine, they are prepared in many different ways: split and seasoned, crushed or grated, whole, stuffed with anchovies or peppers, etc. and using all different varieties: gordal, sevillana, morona, lechín, etc. Visit the towns with a long tradition of table olives: Marchena, Lebrija, Alcalá de Guadaira, Dos Hermanas, Morón de la Frontera, etc.
The Oil and Table Olive Route covers forty-three municipalities in the province of Seville. Discover the oil mills and cellars where the natural olive juice is extracted, in Estepa, Herrera, Lora de Estepa, Pedrera, La Roda de Andalucía, Gilena, El Coronil, Montellano, etc. Visit the oil museums and estates: the La Puebla de Cazalla Oil Museum, the Basilippo Olive Tree Cultural Centre in El Viso del Alcor and many others. Learn to distinguish the different aromas in the tastings organised by the olive and oil cooperatives, companies and interpretation centres.
Visit the Oil Cross, which is located next to the Sanctuary of the Virgen de Guaditoca in Guadacanal. It is called the Oil Cross because the muleteers transporting oil to Extremadura paid the pious toll of lighting a lamp there to ensure they would have a good journey.
Try the different varieties of olives and olive oil. There is even a surprisingly tasty olive oil ice cream!