Route of oil tourism, discovering the olive oil

Discoverin Jaén route of oil tourism

Landscapes of olive trees in the province of Jaén in Andalusia

To know the province of Jaén is to enter the world of olive oil , and in lands with seas of olive trees where sight is not enough and time stops in their olive groves.

A way of life around oil, where thousands of families look at the countryside with its land full of olives.

Besides having beautiful places to know as Úbeda , Baeza and the capital itself, Jaén is the world’s leading olive oil producer.

Olive tree in the province of Jaén in Andalusia

This makes it almost essential that if you are going to make a route through its lands, you consider visiting some olive oil mill , and also some olive tree museum to know how this precious liquid is elaborated.

You can also participate in an oil tasting that will serve you to knowingly differentiate the types of oil that exist in the market , so that when you buy it, you know what you are paying for.

The best quality oil is that of Extra Virgin Olive , which has a high content of monounsaturated fatty acids, making it a unique health food.

Both the oil of Virgin Olive and Extra Virgin provide natural antioxidants, and is the only oil that naturally, without using chemicals, is obtained by squeezing the fruit of a tree.

Olive oil tourism route through Jaén

Hand in hand with Olive Oils from Spain we have had the opportunity to get to know the entire production process of this wonderful food that we are lucky enough to enjoy in our country.

Olives in an oil mill in Jaén

It has been by means of a route of oleoturismo by the province of Jaén that has allowed us to deepen in the keys of this essential product in the Mediterranean diet, in addition to savouring it.

Next we are going to indicate you which oil mills to visit in Jaén during this trip of oleoturismo, as well as interesting museums on this subject.

Visit of the San Francisco Oil Mill

A key stage of the journey is the visit of an oil mill, such as Oleícola San Francisco , which is located at Begíjar , near those cited Úbeda and Baeza , at the heart of Comarca de la Loma .

This family oil mill was founded in 1927, but it was about 30 years ago when it really gained momentum and opted for new forms of olive oil processing , when Manolo Rus and José Jiménez took over.

Nowadays it has become the first tourist oil mill in the province of Jaén , being a reference in oil tourism, with both national and international awards, and betting on elaborating a Extra Virgin Olive Oil of maximum quality.

Oleicola of San Francisco in Jaén

If you want to know the history, traditions and customs in the elaboration of the olive oil, as well as an endless number of curiosities, here you can make a journey through this incredible world.

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This journey begins by showing you how this oil was traditionally made, from the moment the olives arrived at the oil mills.

You will see the old presses and the old winery, as well as a projection that will take you back in time to see how the oil was produced at that time.

Then they will show you how it is currently produced by applying the latest technologies for oil extraction.

The visit ends with a olive oil tasting , so you will taste three different types of the gourmet range of Extra Virgin Olive known as Essential Olive , which is the highest quality.

In the outside area of the factory you can see, in the harvest season, how the trucks are unloaded and how by means of rails the leaves are separated, they are cleaned, sorted and prepared for pressing.

Landscapes of olive trees in the province of Jaén in Andalusia

Here you have all the information to sign up for the guided tours of the San Francisco oil mill , which take place every day with prior reservation, with a duration of approximately one hour and a half.

They also offer oil activities related to the incredible world of oil, be they gastronomic, cultural or with a relaxing circuit and spa.

Visita de la Almazara Nuestra Señora del Pilar

Another visit you can make in your oil tourism route through Jaén is that of the Almazara Nuestra Señora del Pilar .

Located in Villacarrillo , this is the world’s largest and most prestigious oil cooperative , which began its activity in 1966 with small facilities.

Today the cooperative has 1,709 active members and has an area of 14,000 hectares of olive groves in which there are planted one and a half million olive trees from which about 13 tons of oil are extracted per year.

Agrarian Cooperative Nuestra Señora del Pilar in Jaén

It groups olive growers from 18 municipal districts, and together with 15 other cooperatives forms the 2nd degree cooperative Jaencoop that commercializes the oil Cazorliva .

The facilities of this cooperative are of last technology, being everything controlled digitally, and the movement in days of harvesting is incessant.

If you have previously visited a family oil mill like the one mentioned above San Francisco , you will be surprised by the proportions, because everything here is multiplied by 18.

In the visit of the olive mill the first thing you will see is where the trucks loaded with olives arrive, with up to 18 reception lines, in which the olive is cleaned and selected, always with chips that identify which olive grove they come from.

In the manufacturing plant is where the olive is pressed and centrifuged to obtain the oil before its storage.

It is really impressive to see the 156 stainless steel tanks that the winery has.

The predominant olive is that of the variety Picual , although in this oil mill the variety Arbequina is increasing.

Guided tours are in groups, and here you can contact to join one of the groups to visit the oil mill Nuestra Señora del Pilar .

Museum of Olive Culture

In your oil tourism route you also have the opportunity to visit the Museum of Olive Culture , which is located in the Hacienda La Laguna , in a privileged place in the nearby wetlands of the Laguna Grande Natural Park .

This hacienda in the 17th century belonged to the Jesuits and later to the Ducal House De Alba .

In the first half of the 19th century it was bought by the businessman José Manuel Collado y Parada , who was later Minister of Finance and Development , becoming Marques de La Laguna in 1862.

She made many improvements to the hacienda, such as the construction of a wine cellar, with huge semi-buried tanks that today has remained a sample of how the oil was stored, and is very curious to see.

Museum of Olive Culture in Puente del Obispo in Jaén

The museum also shows you, with many old models and objects, how oil was traditionally made.

You will be able to see special pieces, such as a Beam Press and Quintal which is one of the oldest known presses, and whose operation is based on the physical law of the lever.

This is a huge beam, which was the most used olive oil extraction system in the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries.

Another curious thing you can see in the museum is the Press of Alhorí of the nineteenth century, which was moved in a circle by animals, and thus was crushing the olive and extracting oil.

You will also see the Press Tower , which was much less used than the beam, and used large stones that by gravity fell on the mats where was the paste resulting from the grinding of the olive.

Both the environment and the interior of the museum will introduce you to what has been for centuries a way of life and the basis of a people’s culture.

Museum of Olive Culture in Puente del Obispo in Jaén

It is convenient to book the visit , and you can also ask about the different temporary activities they have.

The Museum of Olive Culture is located at Puente del Obispo , near Baeza, and the visiting hours are, in the morning, from 10,30 to 13,30 hours, and in the afternoons it varies according to the time of the year.

The price of admission without a guided tour is 4.50 euros, with discounts for children and pensioners.

Here you can consult in detail the timetables and ticket prices of the Museum of Olive Culture .

Interpretation Centre Olivar y Aceite de la Provincia de Jaén

The oleturism route can be completed with the visit of the Interpretation Centre of the Olive grove and Oil of the province of Jaén , which depends on the association of the same name whose purpose is to spread knowledge about the world of oil.

Olive grove and Oil Centre in Úbeda in Jaén

This association is located in the city of Úbeda and is formed by more than 70 members, being also a training center in AOVE for different market sectors.

During the tour of the interpretation centre you will get to know the different varieties of olives, how the Extra Virgin Olive Oil was made and how it is currently made, as well as its different uses and health benefits.

You will be surprised not only with the flavours and smells you will perceive, but also with the cosmetic line it has.

How is an olive oil tasting

In the centre there are gastronomic demonstrations of cuisine, both traditional and latest trend, of course with olive oil as the star in the preparation of dishes.

Oil tasting in Centro del Olivar and Oil in Úbeda

The olive oil tasting is done in the blue containers that are used for the official tasting and will teach you how to taste the oil and its differences.

If you have not participated in a tasting yet, I will tell you that the container must be heated with your hands before tasting and smelling the oil, so that it gets a certain temperature and maintains the maximum flavour.

After visiting the centre and trying a guided tasting, you will not see the olive oil in the same way and you will learn to differentiate the qualities of the different oils on the market.

The duration of the oil tasting is one hour, and are held from Tuesday to Saturday, at 6 pm, and if you want to go on a Sunday, you should check the availability.

Here you have all the information in detail about timetables and prices in the Interpretation Centre of the Olive grove and Oil , but I tell you that the price of the general ticket is 3.50 euros, and the oil tasting, 10 euros per person.

In this way we hope to have encouraged you to know not only Jaén and its province , but its natural wealth, the Extra Virgin Olive Oil .

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