Verdial olive oil, a specificity of the Axarquia in Andalucia

Axarquia's wonder

olive variété verdial de velez
olive verdial

Verdial olive oil: the liquid gold of Axarquia, in the province of Malaga in Andalucia


In this article you will find the essential information about verdial olive oil produced in Andalucia:

  • The verdial olive variety
  • Characteristics of verdial olive oil
  • The main villages that grow the Verdial olive variety
  • The Olive oil route with a guide
  • Some useful links

Riogordo olivos
Olive grove in Riogordo – Axarquia –

The verdial olive variety


The Verdial olive variety produced in Andalucia – in Axarquia- is one of the 1000 varieties of olives grown in the world (and 60 countries producing olive oil).


However, this variety is only grown in Axarquia. Its exact name is Verdial de Velez.


aceituna Verdial axarquia
aceituna Verdial

It is particularly well adapted to the local climate (subtropical), and to the orography of Axarquia (the olive groves are in mountainous areas, on particularly sloping ground with dry stone walls (balates) to stabilise the soil.


balates en Axarquia
balates y olivos verdial en Axarquia

Walking through this area you will easily see these terraced crops that present a singular landscape.


Other varieties grown in Axarquia are hojiblanca, picual and nevadilla.


Its characteristics


  • It is harvested very late, between December and April
  • It remains green for a long time (it gets its name “verdial” from this characteristic)
  • Its taste is fruity, almost sweet and without bitterness

Its organoleptic characteristics make it an ideal ingredient for preparing typical local dishes such as ajoblanco and gazpachuelo.


The main villages with olive groves of this variety


These are mainly Mondron (Periana), Riogordo, los Romanes (La Vinuela), Alcaucín, Alfarnatejo and Colmenar. The most spectacular landscapes seem to me to be in Alfarnatejo.


Alfarnatejo paisajes 2
Alfarnatejo landscape

In each village you can go directly to the cooperative to buy a bottle of olive oil.


Personally, I have a small preference for the Borbollon of Riogordo and the one from Periana, especially the unfiltered one. This remains a matter of personal taste.


Below, a nice place to discover the olive oil mills of the past: the Etnographic Museum of Riogordo (there is a mill from the 18th century and a lever press from the 19th century).


riogordo museo tinajas
a tinaja in the museum of Riogordo

Every year in February there is also the possibility of witnessing the production of verdial olive oil.


The village of Riogordo organises an annual Olive oil Festival at the end of February: The Molienda de Riogordo.


molienda-riogordo-febrero-2023

On this day, you can learn a lot about the cultivation and bottling of olive oil.


The Olive oil Route with a local guide


A passionate local and English speaking guide, Cipriano, offers an excursion to discover the olive fields, the culture, the traditions, the production and the tasting of olive oil.


Alfarnate ctra velez
landscape between Periana and Alfarnate

On this day you will visit a field, an incredible olive oil factory and the villages of Alfarnate and Alfarnatejo.


During this excursion, you’ll also learn how to recognise good olive oils, and after that, it’s all a matter of taste.


You can also try your hand at harvesting verdial olives using the traditional method. I have fond memories of this experience and the hard work involved, see photo :


olive-oil-tour-from-nerja-olive-harvest

During this excursion, the guide will show you some amazing specimens….



You can find all the details in this link, as well as the price and the possibility to book online:


Olive Oil Tour in Andalucia


Some useful links


Here is a great car rental agency in Andalusia and more specifically at Malaga airport : book a rental car.


If you are in Andalucia as part of a tour with several major cities to visit, here are some links that may be of interest:




  • All you need to know about Granada, the Alhambra, the Albaicin neighbourhood before visiting Granada

  • If you are passing through the geographical centre of Andalusia, then you can visit Antequera, with the incredible natural site of El Torcal right next door

Experiences to discover in the province of Málaga



Find more ideas for visits to authentic Andalusia: see the blog pages on Andalucia.


Here is the link to receive our newsletter from the andaluciamia.com blog


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