Hidden away among the olive plantations in western Crete is the little village of Vouves. There isn’t a great deal in Vouves, just a Kafenion, and a cluster of houses drawn in around a central square. In the middle of that square, however, is one of the world’s oldest olive trees.
Opinion varies on the actual age of the Vouves olive tree. Scientists from the University of Crete estimate that it is 4000 years old, while arborists, using ring bark analysis, put it at 2000.
Whatever its years, age has not wearied or diminished the Vouves olive. It stands firm, strong and proud at the heart of the village. Its gnarled trunk measures a massive 12.5 metres and its leaves are thick and lush. Most incredibly, though, it still produces olives.