The village of Rocio is located in Almonte in the province of Huelva, Spain. It is famous for being on the border of Doñana natural park. According to a 15th century legend, the image of the Virgen del Rocio appeared among bushes and wild olive trees there.
And it is that at this time when a forest of wild olive trees, oaks and other bushes began to show up in the famous village. However, all the trees were all unharvestable and wild.
From that leafy forest, there are still 15 wild olive trees. They have been given the name Acebuches del Rocío Natural Monument. All of them are centenarians, very close to completing their first thousand years of life.
The oldest of them, which is more than 800 years old and 8 meters in diameter, is called “el abuelo” by locals. This tree was a direct witness of the appearance of the Virgen. This is why the procession stops to pay homage when it crosses the tree’s path every year in the famous pilgrimage of El Rocío.
The wild olive tree is a tree that, together with cork and carob trees, was part of the original Mediterranean forest that once existed in these lands. These are trees well adapted to high temperatures and periods of water scarcity. Its fruit, the acebuchina, has a very large pit and a pulp that isn’t so thick. Since ancient times, people have known about the fruit’s culinary, medicinal and cosmetic properties. In fact, throughout history, humans crossed this species in search of specimens of a more fleshy, pulpy fruit to get the different varieties of olive trees that we know of today.