The Ancient Olive Tree of


Azorias olive tree
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The legendary olive tree in Azorias is located 1km south of the village Kavoussi and very close to the homonymous archaeological site of Azorias. This olive tree is a natural monument; it is the oldest olive tree in the world! Indeed, it is grafted on a rootstock of a wild olive tree, making it the oldest sample of grafting in the world.

The olive tree has been declared by the Association of Cretan Olive Municipalities as a natural monument because of the large size of its trunk and because of its location near three ancient settlements: Vrondas, Kastro and Azorias, where several artifacts related to olive oil have been uncovered.

The tree is located on the site of Azorias, on the road leading to the settlement Avgos. It belonged in 2008 to George Grammatikakis and it is a tree of Olea europea, of the variety Mastoeidis, locally named "mouratoelia".

The maximum diameter of the trunk is 4,9 m and the circumference is 14,20 m. Based on the method of annual rings, it is estimated that the tree was planted in the period 1350-1100BC!

In 2004 the inhabitants of the region of Ierapetra suggested that the first winner of the Women's Marathon at the Olympic Games in Athens would be wreathed by a branch (cotinos) if the wild root stock of Azorias tree. The olive branch was cut at a special ceremony.

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