ATHENA IOOC is a rapidly growing international olive oil competition and the only one of its kind held in Greece. Over the past six years it has won the trust of olive mills from around the world and the respect of prominent EVOO judges, some of whom rank ATHENA among the three most important international olive oil competitions in the world.
The 7th edition of ATHENA is being hosted by Sitia, a city identified as few others with the cultivation of the olive tree and the production of olive oil. Olive oils from Sitia are world class and enjoy international recognition for their exceptional finesse. Like other olive oils from Crete, they are part of the rich local food scene and embody the quintessence of the Mediterranean Diet.
Athena competition is what we mean by quality and it is one of the three or four most important in the world.
Jose Maria Penco
The judging quality is really-really high and the organization is really good as well.
Dr. Richard Gawel
Athena adds extra value to awards because it takes place in the country where olive oil comes from.
Dr. Kiki Zinoviadou
If you win a prize you are going to sell you oil better.
It is absolutely one of the best competitions in the world.
I think it’s very important that olive oils be tasted by judges from many different countries, as is the case with Athena.
Maria de la Paz Aguilera Herrera
Greece was the first country in the world to harness the potential of the olive tree and to elevate olive oil into a cultural product and it is the country with the highest per capita annual consumption of olive oil.
Just as long distance runners aspire to participate in the classic Marathon run or great actors dream of performing at the ancient theater of Epidaurus, dedicated olive oil producers dream of the opportunity to compete in the land where everything started.
Not only is Sitia amongst the most recognizable EVOO brands internationally, but the whole PDO area of production is stunningly beautiful; here, in the easternmost part of Crete, in a region that is entirely mountainous and semi-mountainous, every bit of land seems to be covered with olive trees creating a landscape that is unique. This peculiarity, in combination with the rich cultural heritage of a region that remains largely free of tourism, make Sitia an ideal place to host this year’s Athena competition.