Pick Olives. Taste Palestine

The ancient land of Palestine is home to about 12 million olive trees; one dates back between 4000 and 5000 years making it the oldest olive tree in the world. The Palestinians make full use of the abundant fruit and have been cultivating the olive tree for generations. The only olive press conserved in the old city of Bethlehem dates back to 1792.

For Palestinians, the olive tree is more than just a tree. Its beauty and historical presence made it known as the “blessed” tree. Kings were anointed with olive oil and today in the Christian tradition; oil is still used to anoint children just before receiving the sacrament of baptism. It also has a symbolic and economic significance. It represents Palestinians’ resistance and resilience and it is the source of income for many families.

Harvesting olives in Palestine is usually a family tradition. Families get together to pick their olives, eat together in the fields and then bring the olives to the press. The real treat, however, comes as soon as they can dip a piece of bread in hummus topped with freshly pressed olive oil- the best oil of the year, especially if they had a hand in making it.


If you are interested in participating in the olive harvest, join us at this amazing social event every autumn! You’ll also learn some healthy recipes from our fabulous Palestinian cuisine while touring the country!

Olives are generally harvested from mid-October right through to mid-November.

Every year, Bethlehem celebrates its Annual Olive Harvest festival. The festival usually lasts for one day and gives visitors the opportunity to taste the local product, shop at a traditional market at Manger Square and enjoy Palestinian folkloric performances! Keep an eye on our page for the festival date!


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