Olive trees grow readily in the Mediterranean. They have been cultivated on Hvar Island from ages past, where the 'oblica' variety has become the most dominant, although several other types of olives are grown as well. Olive trees are usually pruned during winter. They flower in the spring and then produce their fruits, which develop and mature gradually over the summer. Harvest time usually begins in October: some olive growers prefer to pick the fruits while they are still mainly green, whereas others wait until they turn deep red to black. On Hvar the olives are mostly picked by hand, although in recent times people have started using hand-held machines. Olive oil is highly prized as an accompaniment to food, and is also used medicinally, and in cosmetics and soaps. The leaves also have their uses. Olives are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. Olive oil is recognised as an important part of the health benefits of the Mediterranean Diet. On Hvar there are delightful walking paths among the olive groves, where visitors can enjoy the fresh air, aromatic colourful plants and the beautiful landscape.