ATHENA IOOC is a constantly growing international olive oil competition and the only one of its kind organized in Greece. It has gained the trust of hundreds of producers from all olive growing countries and the respect of the most renowned international olive oil judges. Some of them have even ranked it among the three most important international olive oil competitions in the world for several years.
In 2024, it will be the 9th time that it is organized and held in the historic city of Sparta, the capital of the broader region of Laconia, which administratively belongs to the region of the Peloponnese. A region where the cultivation of olive trees extends throughout the lengths and breadths of Laconian land.
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.
Because the olive tree spreads across the length and breadth of Laconia, with Sparta at its center, occupying 65% of the region's arable land.
Sparta is the capital of the Laconia regional unit, a blessed land rich in natural beauty, with a long, glorious history and high culture, which includes gastronomy. A multitude of cities, villages, traditional settlements, fortified cities, and other attractions complement its unparalleled beauty.
This year's ATHENA competition will be held at the foot of Mount Taygetos, in the heart of an olive grove with trees over a hundred years old, at the MYSTRAS GRAND PALACE & RESORTS hotel.
The international jury will have the privilege of tasting hundreds of EVOO samples from all over the world, with a direct view of the exceptional archaeological site of Mystra, founded in 1249 by William II of Villehardouin, then Prince of Achaia, who sought to build a fortress on the heights of Taygetos to protect Sparta, the Villehardouins' favourite place of residence.