On October 6 the last itinerary of the Olive Tree Routes came to an end, having crossed totally 10 countries (Greece-Italy-Germany-Denmark-Sweden-Finland-Estonia-Lithuania-Latvia-Poland-Austria), and having covered 6400 km in the direction of the Scandinavian and Baltic countries.

Once more the Cultural Foundation « The Routes of the Olive Tree » pursued actively and successfully their wish for exchange and dialogue between Europe and the Mediterranean and reached their goal to promote the « civilisation of the olive tree » to as many people as possible. To reinforce dialogue between two seas, two cultures sharing in common their friendship and appreciation to an age-old tree and universal symbol…

During this Eleodromia, several events and spectacles took place under the colours of the olive tree in the Mediterranean. Moreover, in cooperation with the Messinian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Foundation highlighted the flavours and traditional know-how of the famous olive oil producing Messinia region (Peloponnese, Greece),  birth land and crossing point of history and culture, where olive oil is «gold and identity», quoting one of the journalists we met in Helsinki.

Tastings in Helsinki
Tastings in Helsinki
Meeting at Uppsala
Meeting at Uppsala

The charm of Mediterranean history and gastronomy on the countries of Northern Europe was confirmed at every stop of the itinerary. The Routes of the Olive Tree were welcomed in the warmest way by representatives of local scientific and cultural authorities and the diplomacy of these countries, such as embassies, municipalities, universities, museums etc.

Exchange was achieved with different initiatives of contacts, dissemination, promotion and information and the constant participation of the Medias.

In the presence of the President of the Foundation and the accompanying participants of the itinerary, took place important meetings with the Swedish cities Karlshamm, Vastervik and Uppsala.

The Foundation also presented a grand event in Stockholm, the Swedish capital, on the October 22 and 23: an impressive exhibition/ conference under the title « Routes of the Olive Tree: an itinerary for intercultural dialogue and development of international cooperation » in the sumptuous setting of the Museum of the Mediterranean of Stockholm . This event was organised in cooperation with the Greek Embassy and the Club of Swedish Friends of the Institute of Athens and the Greek Academy in Sweden. Many personalities took the opportunity to congratulate the Routes of the Olive Tree on their « original and exemplary initiative », evoking the patrimony of the olive tree and its role as bridge of dialogue in the Mediterranean and elsewhere.

Exhibition at the Museum of the Mediterranean of Stockholm
Exhibition at the Museum of the Mediterranean of Stockholm
Conference at the Museum of Mediterranean of Stockholm
Conference at the Museum of Mediterranean of Stockholm

ITINERARY 2009 – Updated!

The Routes of the Olive tree are embracing the North of Greece (15 June- 19 July 2009)


Creative meetings & Business cooperation concerning the olive tree

This summer the Routes of the Olive Tree are ascending from Messinia and they meet the roads of Northern Greece:  Igoumenitsa Ioannina Kalamata Kozani Grevena Thessaloniki Serres Veria Xanthi Drama Kavala Alexandropoulis Volos

In this year’s program, fewer kilometers but a lot of cultural events, business meetings and tours of acquaintance with the Northern Greece and it’s world. It’s a route of national range which aims to bring together the two edges of the Greek peninsula and promote Messinia and the world of the olive tree in Northern Greece…



The Routes of the Ollive Tree 2009, a itinerary different from the others, ends sucesfully in a few days. Despite the adverse weather conditions, so far the itinerary was framed by many events in several cities : Igoumenitsa, Ioannina, Grevena, Kozani, Veroia, Thessaloniki, Serres, Drama, Ksanthi, Aleksandroupoli, Thasos, municipality of Elefthera… and will end in Volos on July 19, 2009.


Παραδοσιακά προϊόντα της Μεσσηνίας
Messinian products
Συνέντευξη Τύπου

Emphasising on the promotion of traditional olive products and the Messinian region, the events in every transit city consist of an entrepreneurs’ cycle and an entertainment/ information cycle. They include a photography exhibition, an open air workshop of children drawing, olive products tasting, a market and musical interludes with the band PANAGIOTIS DOVAS & ENALLAX BAND. At the same time, PARTNERSHIP round tables take place in order to promote commercial, touristic and cultural partnerships.

The initiative, has earned the public of Northern Greece and is covered by the media of the whole country, that support this attempt of joining the 2 ends of Greece thanks to the olive tree and the Routes opened…

The initiative is patronised by the Prefectural Administration of Messinia and is placed under the auspices of the Municipalities below : Igoumenitsa, Ioannina, Grevena, Kozani, Veroia,  Thessaloniki, Serres, Drama, Ksanthi, Aleksandroupoli, Thasos, Elefthera, Volos, and the Chambers of Commerce of Thesprotia, Ioannina, Grevena, Kozani, Imathia, Thessaloniki, Serres, Drama, Ksanthi, Evros, Kavala and Magnisia.

Α. Business Cycle business meetings to stimulate business activities
B.   Recreational / Information Cycle   exhibitions, musical bridges, painting workshop for children on the theme of the olive tree, tasting of traditional products of Messinia, etc.

The Cultural Foundation “The Routes of the Olive Tree”
Messinian Chamber of Commerce &Industry
Prefecture of Messinia

Under the auspices of the Municipalities and Chambers of Commerce of Northern   Greece

Έκθεση φωτογραφίας
Exhibition of photography
Eργαστήρι παιδικής ζωγραφικής
Mουσικές γέφυρες
Musical interludes


A glimpse on the sportive challenge of the 10th Routes of the Olive Tree…

(c) Giorgos Prinos





16 500 KILOMETERS in total distance





Thanks to all the participants of this great adventure…


25 August 2008: Bucharest – Serres

Next morning we left Bucharest and set off to Bulgaria, a beautiful green country. Our stops in the country were short because we wanted to reach Greek borders before night and spend the night in Serres. While coming to the end of our Journey our nostalgia for the countries we had seen together became more intense. For many participants however, entrance to Greece was also an emotional moment. Probably because it meant the end of an exciting and difficult journey, maybe the most difficult one in the history of the Olive Tree Routes until nowadays…

At Serres, a very warm welcome awaited the participants at the central square of the city on behalf of the Municipality, the Chamber of Serres and the President of the local union of Unesco, Mrs. Katy Emmanouilidou, a fervent traveler and supporter of the Olive Tree Routes with her work and love.

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26 August 2008: Serres – Kamena Vourla

Next day we took the road to the south, through olives groves, towards Kamena Vourla, our last stop before Kalamata. We spent the night by the sea, in the beautiful camping site of the Greek Organisation of Tourism. We were received by the Mediterranean Sea and a warm reception from the director Mr. Argiris Tsoutsos.

The nearby scenic port with the original and familiar Greek colour brought us even closer to our homeland, after days and says in faraway, different and special countries.


27 August 2008: Kamena Vourla – Kalamata

Passing from Athens and before taking the road to Kalamata, the Olive Tree Routes and its participants made a stop to the cemetery of Agia Paraskevi to say goodbye to their co-traveler Michalis Kalogeropoulos, who lost his life in a road accident in Georgia when a truck passed to the opposite lane, and express their condolences to his family. “Goodbye my friend Michalis, we will meet again” were the words of Giorgos Karampatos, Executive Director of the Cultural Foundation “The Olive Tree Routes” in an atmosphere full of emotions. Present were the daughters and companion of our beloved Michalis, a rare friend and a special person. Present was also Leonidas Damouras, also a dear co-traveler and friend who was injured –not seriously – at the tragedy.

We continued our way to Kalamata, home of the Olive Tree Routes. The motorcyclists and travelers of the Olive Tree Routes made an impressive entrance to the city holding olive branches and arrived to the Hotel Filoxenia, where friends, associates and local people welcomed them warmly. An important and a comprehensive press conference followed, where press and public were informed in details about this original endeavour that promoted first of all Greece and Messinia of the Olive Tree.

Later on, the participants on the Journey stayed until late in the beautiful garden of the hotel and shared their impressions with those who came to welcome them and enjoy this last night with their co-travelers, who lived with them uncountable moments and strong emotions during for 46 days, during this 10th Journey.

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End of the 10th “Routes of the Olive Tree”  – 3/9/2008

The Cultural Route “The Routes of the Olive Tree 2008”, an international event of special importance, was completed after 45 days of journey through 12 countries. The participants followed the tracks of two great civilizations: first the Olive Tree Routes and later the Silk Routes, crossing the following countries: Greece, Georgia, Azerbaitzan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Rumania and Bulgaria.
This a Chamber initiative was implemented by the Cultural Foundation “The Olive Tree Routes“ and was placed under the auspices of several Greek and international institutions, such as the Central Union of Greek Chambers, the European Chamber, the European Council, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Development and the Ministry of Culture, which had officially included the Routes in the “Cultural Year of Greece in China”.
The Journey started on July 14, 2008 from Messinia with a message of Peace to Asia, Beijing and Moscow, in the framework of “2008 European Year of Intercultural Dialogue”. It was an impressive and courageous endeavour of great difficulty, conveying the important message of peaceful coexistence as a requirement of well being. The message was accepted with joy in all the transit countries, where the Greek delegation received a warm welcome and the local press covered the event.

The initial itinerary had to be modified on the way due to the “silent refusal” of Chinese authorities to grant entrance permission to the country, after all the time limits had expired (the delegation reached the Chinese borders and was waiting for the green light), and every possible action had been taken (an official entrance demand had been filed and the initiative had been officially included in the Cultural Year of Greece in China).
Apart from the motorcyclists, whose participation made the Routes of the Olive Tree special, the delegation consisted of delegates of UNESCO (which has acknowledged the Routes of the Olive Tree as “International Cultural Itinerary”) and the European Council (which has officially acknowledged the Olive Tree Routes as “Great European Cultural Itinerary”), scientists, support staff etc.

The most important transit cities were Izmir, Baku, Tashkent, Almaty, Moscow, Kiev, Odessa and Bucharest, where the authorities organized successful promotion events about the civilisation of the olive tree and its products as well as contacts with local institutions, in particular Chambers and Universities. The purpose was to inaugurate a steady communication channel with the signing of Cooperation Memoranda, opening the perspective of cooperation and exchanges in all levels. Totally 14 Cooperation Memoranda were signed among the Central Union of Greek Chambers, represented by the President of the Messinian Chamber and chief of the delegation Mr. Giorgos Karampatos, the Cultural Foundation “The Routes of the Olive Tree”, and important instituitions in all the above countries, such as the Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Tashkent, Kazakhstan, Moscow, Bucharest, Odessa and the Universities of Almaty and Bucharest. During the work meetings the President of the Messinian Chamber and delegation Chief Mr. Giorgos Karampatos was informed in details about the financial reality and needs in the transit countries, so that the next steps for an efficient and deep cooperation are organized in the best possible way.

Meetings of special interest took place in Moscow, where there were contacts with local authorities and events for the Russian public. In particular, at consecutive work meetings between Mr. G. Karampatos and the District and the Municipality of Moscow, the Russian Ministry of Agriculture and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Moscow, the “Routes of the Olive Tree” were officially placed under the auspices of the District and the Municipality of Moscow; the scheduled great Feast of the Olive Tree and the Entrepreneurs’ Forum in Moscow was cancelled because of the death of Michalis Kalogeropoulos, a member of the Organizing Committee, during the Journey. There was an agreement to realize all the events in September 2009 and make special mention of the Olive Grove of Peace that is being constructed in Sotsi, in memory of Michalis.

A topic of the above contacts was the creation of a Center of Olive Oil Tasting and Distribution of Greek Olive Oil Products and other traditional products was also discussed, aiming at a more efficient marketing of these products in Russia. Mr. G. Karampatos and his associates had also an important meeting with the General Director and members of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Moscow; during this meeting the bases for a broader cooperation were set and details were discussed about strengthening the entrepreneurship relations among their members and the potential presence of our businessmen in Russian market.

The innovation of this year’s 10th Route was the extension of the contact network in countries outside the Mediterranean and Europe and the creation of a “Network of small friends of the Olive Tree Routes” in the transit countries (in cooperation with the Center of Environmental Training of Kalamata). The target is the update of future consumers in these countries and their acquaintance with the places, history and products of the olive tree.
The promotion events for the olive tree civilisation included a great Exhibition entitled “The Olive Tree Routes, routes of intercultural dialogue” with 2 large sections dedicated to the Olive Tree and Olive Oil and the meeting of 2 civilizations: “the Olive Tree Routes” and the “Silk Routes”. They also included a painting workshop about olive tree, olive oil products tasting, distribution of leaflets and projection of audiovisual material about this subject.
At the return of the motorcyclists to Greece, their first concern was a stop in Athens to say “goodbye” to their beloved co-traveler, close friend and associate of the Olive Tree Routes Michalis Kalogeropoulos, who left them so soon.
The Press Office



Our stop in Kiev, the Ukrainian capital, included contacts with institutions and many cultural events. Intercultural dialogue was a desire of the organizers and a goal of this Journey, that was achieved in many ways and with great success during our stay in the city.

During the day many official meetings took place between authorities of Kiev and the delegation’s chief Giorgos Karampatos (as delegate of the Central Union of Greek Chambers, President of the Messinian Chamber and Executive Director of the Cultural Foundation “The Routes of the Olive Tree”). In the framework of these meetings Cooperation Protocols were signed for the establishment of a fertile and sustainable cooperation.

In the afternoon a great cultural event organized by the Cultural Foundation “The Routes of the Olive Tree” at Contractore Square attracted many people and Ukrainian motorcyclists: the Exhibition “Routes of the Olive Tree, routes of intercultural dialogue” organised in cooperation with the Museum of Civilisations of Europe and the Mediterranean of Paris (Musée des Civilisations de l’Europe et de la Méditerranée Paris / Marseille) and the European Council (Institut Européen des Itinéraires Culturels). At the end of the Exhibition, the public had the opportunity to learn and amuse themselves at a tasting demonstration of olive oil and other traditional Greek products. Visitors were distributed printed material in Russian language about the Olive Tree Routes and olive tree. They also had the opportunity to participate in the workshop of creative painting about the olive tree, organized in cooperation of the Center of Environmental Training of Kalamata. The artists who took part in the Journey were honoured with an original presentation of their work: drawings and aquarelles of the painter Heike Kummer and selected photographs of the journey taken by the photographers who traveled with us, Andrea Bonetti, Giorgos Prinos and Tassos Vamvakas. Their work overwhelmed the public and the participants of the Journey, who had never seen it before! Another interesting part of this cultural itinerary “The Routes of the Olive Tree” 2008 was the presentation of traditional items from the Routes of Silk, collected and bought by the Cultural Foundation by A. Sagiannou, one of the Exhibition’s Stewards and participant in the Journey. The collection, consisting of hats real works of art, jewellery, silk and other items, completed in the best way the photographs, drawings and written information and underlined the human dimension of this journey from Greece to Kiev. 

The same night the Ukrainian motorcyclists organized a feast to the honour of the Olive Tree Routes travelers in a special place, the Club «Route 66», a meeting point of motorcyclists from the whole country. The program included live rock music and delicious local beer that united us in an ambience of good mood that will always remain in our mind.

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Το ίδιο βράδυ, οι Ουκρανοί μοτοσικλετιστές οργάνωσαν μια υπέροχη γιορτή προς τιμή των οδοιπόρων των Δρόμων της Ελιάς σε έναν μοναδικό χώρο το Club «Route 66» που είναι και ένα top σημείο συνάντησης των μοτοσικλετιστών της χώρας. Στο πρόγραμμα, μουσική rock live και έξοχη τοπική μπύρα που μας απογείωσαν σε μια ατμόσφαιρα καλής διάθεσης και κεφιού που θα μας μείνουν αξέχαστες.



24 August 2008: Bucharest

Out second day in the Romanian capital was dedicated to motorcycles! The motorcyclists of the Olive Tree Routes accepted the invitation of Romanians to a national motorcycle meeting in a suburb of the capital.

Around afternoon the travelers of the Olive Tree Routes, with or without a motorcycle, headed to the Romanian capital to stroll around and get a better idea of the place.

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