Área Profesional Professional Area Professionnel Fachpersonal

Olive oil tourism in Jaen


The ocean of olive trees that floods the province of Jaén, a splendid landscape, an enormous humanised forest that you can ride through on horseback, magnificent natural parks, and the excellence achieved by its olive oil give way to unimaginable tourist experiences , full of contents in which a crop has become an ancient culture. There are numerous companies that introduce travellers to the secrets of olive grove management —weeding, cutting, pruning, shaking, sweeping…—, to the different types of olives and oils, to the associated historical culture and architecture, to pressing in the mill and the historic mills and, of course, in the gastronomy created around this natural and healthy juice.

Jaenhas the largest olive groves on the planet and the largest production of extra virgin olive oil in the world... and it is the territory that receives the most awards and recognitions for quality. This has brought fame to the province, which has developed a huge tourist and cultural offer around this impressive and vast heritage. The olive juice exudes wellness and nature experiences, visits to olive groves and mills, unique accommodation and a unique flavour that accompanies a thousand recipes. Progress has not been stagnant in the olive groves of Jaén its the technological and agronomic innovations. Fortunately, our farmers have not forgotten their roots either, and the groves continue to be managed with the wisdom provided by an ancient culture, a traditional way of doing things well.

Although each town and each olive grove can give us a life lesson around oil, the province offers concrete milestones and great success. One case is the mill of Oleícola San Francisco, a family business in Begíjar and a benchmark in oil tourism. In addition to different visits to the olive grove, they also offer a tour of the facilities at different times of the year, as is the case in other oil mills, revealing how the oil was traditionally made and how it is currently produced by applying the latest technologies. And of course, the visit culminates with a tasting of their extra virgin olive oil.

The olive tree has more than 2,000 varieties, 260 of them in Spain, but in Jaén the Picual reigns. It offers an oil with a very marked personality and spicy and bitter notes. It is a very aromatic, intense oil. Although family oil mills predominate, such as the San Francisco mill, there are some that are impressive due to their size, such as the Nuestra Señora del Pilar Oil Mill, in Jaén, with 156 tanks in the cellar that are fed by 14,000 hectares of olive groves and a million and a half trees; Picualia, in Bailén, which perfectly harmonises oil tourism experiences with others of a cultural nature, wild fauna watching, etc.; or Oro Bailén, which produces the world's best oil in Villanueva de la Reina.

The province has three reference exhibition centres that invite travellers to actively enter the world of olive groves and oil. The Olive Tree Culture Museum, in Puente del Obispo (Baeza), uses a 17th-century hacienda as a setting. Along with other interpretive elements and a 'garden of olive varieties from around the world', it displays different types of presses. From a beam-and-weights press, one of the oldest known and whose operation is based on the law of the lever, to a 19th century barn press that was moved by animals to grind the olives. It also has a tower press, of lesser presence and monumental, where the pressing was carried out by letting its enormous weight fall on the baskets that contained the mass of the olive.

InÚbeda, you can find the Olive Grove and Oil Interpretation Center in the province of Jaén, which offers an exciting, participatory tour. Finally, in Mengíbar, theTerra Oleum has an Active Museum of Olive Oil and Sustainability, a modern exhibition space aimed at disseminating knowledge related to olive cultivation, oil production technology and the olive economy.

If the culture of olive oil reaches excellence, its gastronomy, based on early extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), reaches the pinnacle. Restaurants like Bagá and Dama Juana (Jaén), awarded with a Michelin star, are just the spearhead of an overflowing avant-garde:Mangas Verdes (Jaen),Canela en Rama and Los Sentidos (Linares) and Cantina La Estación (Úbeda), among others.

Olive oil tourism in Jaen