The Olive Festival in Ollioules

Of the many villages with interesting names in the Var, I can’t help but giggle everytime I think of dear ‘ole Ollioules. Apart from having a name with way too many vowels, the village is one of the most “recherché” (sought after) places to live in the area… great access to the autoroute, about 10 minutes from the beaches of fabled Sanary-sur-Mer (really, it’s a gorgeous town) and 5 minutes from the vineyards of Bandol. Sold yet? So are we… and as soon as my quick-pick numbers hit in EuroLotto, there’s a certain little Ollioules’ villa with our name on it…

It was a summer-like day at the olive festival last Saturday, and speaking from a now wet & rainy South of France, that afternoon will not soon be forgotten.

Sunny skies, horse-drawn carriages, villagers in traditional dress (not to mention the colorful “olive committee”), and food galore. And what about those figatelli grilled-sausages from Corsica? My husband did a double-take and was elbow-deep in a figatelli sandwich before I could pull myself away from the macaroon stand.  Rest assured dear readers, you’re never very far away from a macaroon at a French food festival.

Although the main theme was obviously everything olive, as with most Provençal food fêtes, products from all around the region were showcased. We sampled tapenades, confits, special oils, and breads… but also sausages, cheeses, and really excellent cured-ham from the Ventoux area.

We try not to have a lot of “cash on hand” at these festivals, mainly for fear of bankrupting ourselves, but many of the prices were quite reasonable and besides a nice chuck of ham, we came away with bushels of fresh rosemary, herbs de provence, and of course… loads of olives. And if this festival is any indication, it’s going to be a great season for food celebrations in the south.

We’ll see what’s cookin’ at the chestnut festival in Collobrières this Sunday.  I. love. fall.

3 thoughts on “The Olive Festival in Ollioules”

  1. I think this might be my favorite festival you’ve highlighted thus far, Tuula. 🙂 I love that the people got all dressed up for the occasion. That makes me grin. 🙂


  2. I made a quick pass through Sanary-sur-Mer last June after my visit to Bandol and said to myself that we would return now in October. But it is not going to happen. So I will have to save time for a visit to Sanary-sur-Mer for when we return on one of our visits in 2013. I will have to add Ollioules to the itinerary so we can see both when we get down there. Have a good week.


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