How to buy the best souvenirs and products on the Greek islands and what are the local crafts and markets?

Greece is a country with a rich history, culture, and natural beauty. It is also a paradise for shoppers who want to find unique and authentic souvenirs and products that reflect the Greek spirit and tradition. Whether you are looking for something edible, wearable, or decorative, you will find plenty of options on the Greek islands, where local crafts and markets offer a variety of items that will make your trip memorable and your loved ones happy.

Here are some tips on how to buy the best souvenirs and products on the Greek islands and what are the local crafts and markets that you should not miss.

What to look for

When shopping for souvenirs and products on the Greek islands, you should look for items that are:

  • Handmade

    : Greece has a long tradition of craftsmanship, especially in pottery, leather, jewelry, textiles, and wood carving. You can find handmade items that are unique, original, and of high quality on many islands, such as Sifnos, Crete, Rhodes, Santorini, Mykonos, Naxos, and more. Handmade souvenirs and products are usually more expensive than mass-produced ones, but they are worth it for their artistic value and durability.

  • Local

    : Greece has a diverse geography and climate, which results in different products and specialties on each island. You can find local products that are made with local ingredients, such as olive oil, honey, herbs, cheese, wine, spirits, sweets, pasta, and more. You can also find local products that are inspired by local culture, such as evil eye charms, worry beads, ceramics with Cycladic motifs, embroidery with traditional patterns, and more. Local souvenirs and products are usually cheaper than imported ones, and they support the local economy and community.

  • Authentic

    : Greece has a rich cultural heritage that spans thousands of years. You can find authentic souvenirs and products that reflect the ancient Greek civilization, such as replicas of statues, vases, coins, jewelry, masks, and more. You can also find authentic souvenirs and products that reflect the modern Greek lifestyle, such as music CDs, books, posters, T-shirts, hats, bags, and more. Authentic souvenirs and products are usually more interesting and meaningful than generic ones.

Where to shop

When shopping for souvenirs and products on the Greek islands, you should shop at:

  • Local markets

    : Greece has a vibrant market culture that dates back to ancient times. You can find local markets on almost every island, where you can buy fresh fruits, vegetables, fish, meat, cheese,
    and other delicacies. You can also find local markets that sell clothes,
    and other goods. Local markets are usually open in the morning until early afternoon,
    and they are a great place to experience the local atmosphere,
    bargain for the best prices,
    and interact with the locals.

  • Craft shops

    : Greece has a thriving craft industry that showcases the creativity and skill of the artisans. You can find craft shops on many islands,
    where you can buy handmade pottery,
    leather sandals,
    wooden items,
    and more. Craft shops are usually open all day until late evening,
    and they are a great place to admire the craftsmanship,
    learn about the techniques and materials used,
    and customize your purchases.

  • Museums

    : Greece has a rich cultural heritage that is preserved and displayed in museums. You can find museums on many islands,
    where you can see exhibits of ancient artifacts,
    modern art,
    and more. Museums usually have gift shops where you can buy replicas of museum pieces,
    and other souvenirs. Museum gift shops are usually open during museum hours,
    and they are a great place to buy quality souvenirs that have educational value.

What to buy

When shopping for souvenirs and products on the Greek islands,
you should buy:

  • Honey

    : Greece is famous for its honey production,
    which dates back to ancient times. Greek honey comes in many varieties,
    depending on where the bees forage. The best quality,
    premium type of honey is thyme honey.
    It is a deep golden,
    almost amber color,
    with a rich viscous texture that is like silk. Greek honey is extremely fragrant,
    even if it is not purely of thyme,
    or it is pine honey or flower honey. Depending on the variety,
    the viscosity differs,
    but the taste remains a light,
    aromatic flavor you can’t find in any other kind. Use honey as a topping,
    spread it over bread and butter,
    add it in tea or milk,
    and enjoy its innumerable benefits to your health. While you are in Greece,
    you can buy it in bulk at a lot lower prices than if you seek it out at home.


  • Olive oil and olives

    : Greek olive oil is one of the best varieties you could possibly have. Olive oil has been a staple in Greece since antiquity. It is thanks to the olive tree the goddess Athena gifted to Athens that the city still bears her name. Greek olive oil has been called “liquid gold” and with good reason. Go for the “extra virgin” olive oil as that is the cream of the crop. Greek olive oil is aromatic,
    with a silky fruitiness and freshness that is certain to add flavor to everything you use it in. In high profile,
    Greek restaurants olive oil is frequently served raw with toasted bread and oregano for dipping as an appetizer. Greek olives,
    are considered of premium quality,
    and of the best in the world. They come in a lot of varieties,
    depending on the region they are harvested from. They have a range of tastes,
    from bitter and fruity to sweet,
    and tangy.


  • Evil eye charms

    : Dating back to Classical Antiquity,
    these traditional talismans have been used as protection from “the evil eye.” In Greek culture,
    the mati (evil eye) is believed to be a supernatural force brought on by jealous glances and negative energy. Receiving this curse has serious consequences,
    such as bad luck or even injury. So,
    as protection against evil spirits,
    Greek people wear charms and wards that look like blue eyes. The outer circle is typically a dark blue with a light blue inner circle. You’ll likely see these symbols all over Greece during your trip. For example,
    you can find mati wall art,
    tote bags,
    and even pillows, making them popular gift ideas for Greece lovers.


  • Handmade ceramics and pottery

    : Although you can find mass-produced ceramics and pottery in most places in Greece, we highly suggest looking for handpainted pieces. Especially if you’re traveling to the Greek Islands, you’ll have no problem finding local shops selling artisanal pieces. Sifnos is particularly known for its ceramics, thanks to its natural abundance of clay. Artisans on the island today continue to practice the ancient tradition of pottery making using the same tried and true techniques as their ancestors.


  • Greek ouzo and other spirits

    : One of the best souvenirs from Greece is the country’s national drink: Ouzo! This dry anise-flavored aperitif is sweet, silky, and appreciated by locals and tourists alike. You can choose to either mix ouzo with water and ice cubes or drink it straight from a shot glass. If you opt for the first option, you’ll notice that the aperitif turns a cloudy white color. Per tradition, you’ll need to pour the ouzo first and then add either ice, water, or both. Thanks to its popularity, you can find ouzo in most places in Greece, including the duty-free stores at the Athens International Airport. Other well-liked spirits in Greece include raki, tsipouro, and mastika. Raki is a Cretan brandy made from twice-distilled grapes, while tsipouro is a brandy from the mainland that comes in two different types: pure and anise-flavored. Both of these grape distillates are considered more potent than ouzo! Meanwhile, mastika is a pine-flavored liqueur that’s made with mastic.


  • Mastiha products

    : Mastiha (or mastic) is a resin extracted from the mastic tree, which grows only on the island of Chios in Greece. Mastiha has been used since ancient times for its medicinal, cosmetic, and culinary properties. It has a distinctive pine-like aroma and flavor, and it can be found in various forms, such as gum, candy, liqueur, soap, lotion, toothpaste, and more.


  • Greek coffee

    : Greek coffee (or Turkish coffee) is a strong brew made by boiling finely ground coffee beans with water and sugar in a small pot called a briki. It is served in