Travel + Leisure
May 04, 2009

"Having a quest helps you experience the beauty of a place," says clothing designer Norma Kamali, whose search for the world's best olive oils took her all over Europe. It also inspired her to launch an olive-based line of soaps, exfoliants, and artisanal oils (Norma Kamali, 11 W. 56th St., New York, N.Y.; 212/957-9797; www.barxv.com). Here, the peripatetic trailblazer reveals three of her favorite discoveries.

1. "The Spanish province of Jaén produces much of Europe's olive oil. I love the Casería San José de Úrtar [Km. 4, Carr. Jimena Albanchez de Mágina; 34-9/53-35-74-74; doubles from $58], a 10-room inn with a grove that extends as far as the eye can see." 2. "The Château Virant (Route de St. Chamas, Lançon de Provence; 33-4/90-42-44-47; www.chateauvirant.com) is 25 miles from Aix-en-Provence and is the only property in France to produce both oil and wine." 3. "Women I met along the way told me secrets. One in Sicily said that to keep your marriage together, 'you massage your husband with oil.' In the south of France, I even learned how to cure an upset stomach with olive leaf tea—then made my own for my collection."
—Jaime Gross

Château Virant

Producer of both olive oil and wine.

Casería San José de Úrtar

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