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Ancient Greek Olive Grove in Amfissa Near Delphi Damaged by Wildfire

Ancient Greek Olive Grove in Amfissa Near Delphi Damaged by Wildfire

The famous olive groves of Amfissa and Itea are burning. Credit: Facebook/Gogo Athanasiou

The Olive Grove of Amfissa, near Delphi, which has been damaged by the wildfire that broke out on Monday near the town of Itea is the largest continuous grove in Greece with more than 1.200.000 trees whose age has been lost in the lapse of centuries.

The Olive Grove takes up 5,500 hectares and it stretches from the town of Amfissa up to the Corinthian Gulf, from the village Erateini to the village Kirra. It is the largest continuous olive grove in Greece and part of the famous Delphi landscape.

Olive grove Amfissa Delphi

The map of the area where the massive olive grove is located between Amfissa and Itea and west of Delphi.

The earliest information indicates wild olives were harvested at the Amfissa Olive Grove as far back as the Neolithic Age. However, according to some sources, it was the Pelasgians who first planted olive trees here in prehistoric times. Since then, the use of the land has not changed, no matter how many occupiers have gone by.

It is a single cultivation, non-linear plantation of old trees (70% of them are more than 150 years old). Their trunks have deep folds, their foliage is rich and many of them are as high as 10 meters.

Amfissa Olive Grove is part of the Delphi landscape, a UNESCO site

Today, a large part of the Olive Grove is an integral part of the Delphi Landscape, which is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

Olive grove Amfissa Delphi

A view of the olive grove. Credit: Paul Stephenson, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0/Wikipedia

The Amfissa Olive Grove is part of the Delphi Landscape an area stretching from the Delphi archaeological site to the town of Itea, including the valley of Pleistos.

In ancient times, Pleistos and Ylaithos, two rivers that are now dry creeks, flowed into that valley. The area fauna is mostly shrubland, but a large part of it, possibly half of the expanse, is covered by olive groves.

These olive trees were the result of wild olive grafting and belong to the famous Amfissa olive variety. They have a special round shape, can be found in green and black and have many uses in the food industry, as they are available whole, cut and stuffed.

Source : Tasos Kokkinidis Σύνδεσμος

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