Over 700 Visitors Travel to Novigrad to Pick Olives Every Year

Daniela Rogulj

Because who wouldn’t want to pick olives in the offseason just a few steps away from the sea?

Last week, the first group of 200 guests from Germany began olive harvesting in the Laguna Novigrad olive groves, reports HRTurizam on October 15, 2018. 

In the morning, guests worked in the olive groves and thus contributed to the production of the valued Vergal olive oil. During the harvest, which was accompanied by traditional Istrian music, the guests also had the opportunity to enjoy local gourmet specialties.

“Today is a day that definitely surpassed all my expectations. Picking olives from the first row by the sea, excellent food, oil tastings and the helpful waiter. A special day at a beautiful location,” said Klaudia from Germany, who opened this year’s olive harvest with other guests.

The company Laguna Novigrad, which manages the tourist brand Aminess Hotels & Campsites, offers guests a unique tourist package that includes accommodation in their facilities and the chance to participate in olive harvesting. Thus, every year, during October and November (the harvesting period), more than 700 guests from all over Europe visit Novigrad. After picking the olives, the guests are presented with the process of olive harvesting, and as a souvenir, they receive a bottle of Vergal olive oil.

The Vergal olive groves are located in the immediate vicinity of the sea, which best suits olives and quality oil. The oil is obtained directly from the fruit of the olive tree with the mechanical process of cold processing, while the fruits are harvested manually in order to maintain the quality and the body of the fruit to the maximum.

The quality of Vergal is recognized by experts and consumers and is thus the winner of many domestic and international awards. Among them is this year’s award in ‘Best of Class’, which the Vergal Frantoio was awarded in New York at the “New York International Olive Oil Competition”, one of the most prestigious competitions in olive oil quality assessment in the world. The Vergal Frantoio also won the gold ‘Gourmet Medal’ as part of the International Olive Oil Competition awarded by L’Agence pour la Valorisation des Produits Agricoles (AVPA) in Paris.

Vergal has also recently been included in the renowned international guide for the best quality olive oil – “Flos Olei 2019”. This is the sixth time Vergal has been included in the international guide that evaluates hundreds of olive oils every year from all over the world. Otherwise, Aminess also uses quality olive oil in its gastronomic offer, for example, in their cuisine during the tourist season.

In the offseason, 700 guests visit Novigrad, but the motive of their arrival is not the sea and the beaches, but picking olives coupled with quality content. It is a project that should go beyond Aminess and should be welcomed throughout the entire country. Imagine if there were 5-6 of such similar events – it would easily bring in another 5,000 overnight stays! 

The 2nd World Championship in Olive Harvesting was held over the weekend on the other side of the Adriatic, in Postira on the island of Brač. The event featured teams from Montenegro, France, Slovenia, the Netherlands, Hungary, Great Britain, Sweden, Spain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the United States and, of course, Croatia. The event’s main goals are to spread the culture of olives, exchange experiences, gather those who own olive groves, and also bring together the countries that do not have such an advanced olive-growing tradition. The event was organized for the second consecutive year by the Tourist Board of Postira and the Agricultural Cooperative from the village.

It all comes down to content, simply quality content, which is the main ingredient in the formula to extend the tourist season.


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