Androusa Castle, Messinia
A fun and informative tour about olive oil that starts with a relaxing “olivewalk” inside the 13th century castle of Androusa, marveling the endless Messinian olive valley, continues with a visit at the traditional and the modern olive oil Mill and ends up with a revealing olive oil tasting workshop by a certified olive oil taster, accompanied with traditional olive oil based dishes.
Our meeting point is at the magnificent 13th century castle of Androusa, located in the heart of Messinia, just 20 minutes drive from Kalamata and 10 minutes from Ancient Messini. Walk inside the castle with the breathtaking view of the endless olive valley, learn about different varieties of olive trees and discover the history, the tradition and the mythical story of the castle’s olive trees…An interactive ”olive game” will keep you smiling the whole time!
Only 200m away from the castle, in the center of Androusa village, visit a unique olive oil mill that is located there for more than 120 years. Discover the history of the traditional olive oil Mill and find out about the procedure of the extraction, the storage and standardization process of the extra virgin olive oil in the past and nowadays at the modern olive oil Mill.
Inside the traditional olive oil Mill the dining table is set with the special blue olive oil tasting glasses awaiting you to become a tasting expert! Taste the extra virgin olive oil of the Koroneiki variety, learn about its sensory characteristics and recognize the elements that define the extra virgin olive oil. Taste different varieties of Greek extra virgin olive oil such us “Manaki”, “Chalkidikis”, “Makris” etc and feel like an olive oil taster!
What about food? The extra virgin olive oil of different varieties is matched with traditional recipes including yogurt, fruit and vegetables. You will be surprised!
The day, full of emotions and new knowledge, ends with a variety of traditional dishes..Fresh vegetables from our garden, Greek Gruyère cheese, tzatziki, Kalamata olives, olive tapenade, lalagia (local breadsticks), smoked sausage, spinach pie and of course wine & ouzo.
The castle was built sometime after 1250 by the ruler of the Principality of Achaea Guillaume II de Villehardouin.
In 1381 became the seat of the Navarrese Company, a company of mercenaries, mostly from Navarre and Gascony, who fought in Greece during the late 14th century and early 15th century, in the twilight of Frankish power in the dwindling remnant of the Latin Empire
The company was hired to help James of Baux to claim the throne of Achaea. They were not very successful, but eventually they became the dominat rulers of the Pricipality of Achaea and Androusa was their seat.
In 1417, the Paleologi family, the Byzantine rulers of the Despotate of Mystras took the castle. In those times, around the end of the 14th century, it was one of the most important castles in Peloponnese.
In 1462 the Turks captured Androusa.