Since olden times, Oliva and its territory has welcomed the many different cultures and races that have settled in the Mediterranean region. Iberians, Romans, Muslims and Christians have all left their mark in its archaelogical ruins, its famous irrigation network, the castle ruins that define its landscape, the urban typology...
The history of Oliva is full of events and characters that pay testament to an unforgettable past. The Christian conquest brought the first lords to the region : the legendary Carròs family, the Riusec family, the Centelles and the Borjas. Through the Centelles in 1448, with their wonderful Renaissance palace (today disappeared), Oliva lived one of the most glorious phases in its history, founded largely on a thriving sugar cane industry. This was the motor of an economy that grew with the help of an abundant muslim workforce. In 1609 the moriscs were expelled, leaving the Valencian Province and its towns deserted. Oliva was not the most affected by this expulsion; nonetheless this was the precursor to a period of economic hardship for the town.
In the 18th century, Oliva began its economic and cultural renaissance, led by the erudite Gregorio Mayans. Gregori Mayans nephew Gabriel Ciscar Admiral of the Navy and Regent of Spain, lived the troubled events of the change of century - the proclamation of the first constitution, the war of independence - only escaping a sentence of death thanks to his friend, the Duke of Wellington.
Oliva entered the modern era with the new challenge of replacing its declining sugar cane industry, initially through white mulberry and silk production. This was followed by the introduction of rice and orange cultivation to the area.
As rice farming began to decline in the 1960s, orange growing continued to thrive and has made Oliva today one of the leading producers of citrus fruits in the Valencia Province . Orange growing has become the foundation of the Oliva economy, though in recent years a growing tourism industry has diversified the economic base.