Deep beneath the scorched sun of the Peloponnese, the Eumelia luxury eco-farm comes from a couple jaded by politics who, quite literally, decided they wanted to get back down to earth.
The earth in question is red and dry and crunches underfoot. Rippling boardwalks surf across the dust to connect the five cabins to the main building where boutique chic mixes with an informal, folksy homestay.
Greece’s financial troubles and the EU brouhaha around them have few silver linings – but the birth of Eumelia Agroturismo is one. Or perhaps “gold” lining would be more appropriate since that’s the nickname of the olive oil that flows so freely here.
The rooms themselves are striking, blending raw cement starkness with soft linens and an unsurprising urge to recycle as you cook.
But it’s the landscape and the activities that make a stay, in fact, a journey here worthwhile.
For it’s here that you get the chance to experience what I’d otherwise only been able to guess at as I’d watched olive grove after olive grove roll by the window.
Exploring more of those olive groves. Cooking with local ingredients. Hearing local stories. Making friends with children. And stirring into a fever to make my own, ever so softly scented soap.
You’ve heard of a wine sommelier, but have you heard about an olive oil sommelier?
Olive oil is big, big business in the Mediterranean with tastings, contests and a clash between cultural history and modern farming practice that shows no sign of fading out any time soon.
I’d previously been olive picking and helped crush my own olive oil in Andalusia, Spain. Here in Laconia, I got the chance to explore the more refined end of the spectrum of olive oil production: the tasting.
Catch the video below (if for some reason, you can’t see it – do head to the review on the main blog.)
Absolutely! We felt so welcome with Rosa, she could join in the classes and wander around the main room, playing with toys. She even made friends with the owners’ little one.
In Laconia in the Peloponnese. Check out this article for a guide to driving the Peloponnese, complete with map and suggestions of things to do nearby.
A lot of philosophy went into the design of the complex, including the prompt to take stock and remember to look up at the sky.
Who is it for?
People who want to get off the beaten track and explore farming practices in Greece with a chic twist.
Who is not for?
People looking for busy nightlife or the trappings of a large hotel resort.
Disclosure – I travelled through the Peloponnese as a guest with activities and accommodation hosted for review purposes. As ever, as always, I kept the right to write what I like. Otherwise, there’s just no point.
Abigail King is an award-winning writer and author who swapped a successful career as a hospital doctor for a life on the road. With over 60 countries under her belt, she's worked for Lonely Planet, the BBC, National Geographic Traveller and more. She is passionate about sustainable tourism and was invited to speak on the subject at the EU-China High Level summit at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris.Here she writes about food, travel and history and she invites you to pull up a chair and relax. Let's travel more and think more. Welcome!
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