Mar 03 2023

Spain, Closer to Including Sea of Olives on UNESCO’s World Heritage List

The Sea of Olives spans 1.3 million hectares and over 180 million olive trees between Jaén and Estepa

It’s official. Spain may be able to add another of its spectacular sites to UNESCO’s World Heritage List. After several years of diligent work on the part of both public institutions and the olive industry in Andalusia, the southern region’s Sea of Olives—which spans 1.3 million hectares—has been able to move its application for inclusion on the coveted list forward.

The United Nations may very well grant the giant olive grove landscape protected status at its 2024 July meeting. Ultimately, if the bid is successful, the Sea of Olives will be added to Spain’s lengthy list of World Heritage Sites, of which there are more than 45.

The Sea of Olives refers to the Jaén region, which is the largest olive oil producer in the entire world, stretching to Estepa, near Seville. The landscape is completely unique as olive trees extend as far as the eye can see, with over 180 million. It’s not only a tourist attraction, but it has also been recognized in both poetry and literature.

One of the objectives, according to, is to “[safeguard] the patrimonial values of the place […  and to safeguard] the intangible values linked to the tradition of the exploitation of the olive grove by human beings for centuries, millennia, techniques that have contributed to its perpetuation until today.”