In the village of Ano Vouves of Kissamos in Chania, Crete one will find the oldest olive tree in the world, as it is 3000 years old, a fact generally acknowledged by the international scientific community.
The Vouves ancient tree is more than 3000 years old, has a trunk circumference of 12.5 meters, a diameter of 4.6 meters and belongs to the local variety of tsounati grafted at a height of 3 meters on a wild olive tree. Because of the grafting, its trunk is so beautifully shaped by nature that it resembles a sculpture. In 1990, according to a unanimous decision of the prefecture of Chania, the Vouves Olive Tree was declared a Natural Monument of great importance.
The fruits of the evergreen olive tree make the best olive oil in the world, making the area the cradle of olive cultivation in Crete. The trunk of the tree is hollow as there is no heartwood, so the olive is renewed outward and the heartwood gradually rots. Since the olive tree is constantly renewing its wood, it is essentially a symbol of immortality.
Thousands of tourists visit the stunning tree every summer to marvel at it and learn its history. Mostly they are impressed by its enormous shape and the imposing volume of the trunk, but also by the fact that it remains alive and fruitful for 3000 years without pause.
The location of the olive tree, as well as the whole hill that hosts some villages, has thousands of olive trees and the villages produce the best olive oil in the world.