Greek souvenirs in the list include favourite edible and non-edible gifts, cheap but also more expensive choices, and classical souvenirs for every budget. How easy is it then to find something to remind you of your Greek holidays especially if you ever feel nostalgic? Not hard at all, as souvenir shopping is part of the enjoyment of exploring the city so try to have time and enjoy it as your choice of Greek souvenirs will bring memories of your journey when you get back home.
You will find lots of souvenir shops in the historic centre of Athens, selling beautiful and also tacky things. To name a few: from Acropolis miniatures, artistic creations by Greek folk art, leather products especially shoes and bags, to contemporary jewellery. How about cheaper alternatives for friends and acquaintances?
The list is full of great ideas and with so many beautiful stores, tourist shops and lively markets, you will find yourself lost for choice. You know how friends are! They would be expecting even the slightest and cheapest knick-knack -sign that you were thinking of them. Try not to lose track of the space in your suitcase. I wish you happy shopping!
Hand-painted Ceramic Art
You can find ceramic art in almost every souvenir shop, most of them have intricate designs. They will for sure make you miss your Greek holidays. Several, are exact copies of art pieces from museums, hand-made so this means that no two products are the same. You can use them as decorative pieces, or if you buy sets, for special occasions. Prices vary depending on the designs, but I guess you can do some bargain for a better price.
Spices and Herbs
How I love spices and herbs! If you love to cook and like the spicy cuisine, welcome to paradise. Where to find them: Evripidou, (right above Aiolou Street) the traditional and commercial market part of Athens, Sofokleous and Athenas Streets, daily are bursting at the seams. Bahar store (31-33) and the Elixirion store (41) sell high quality and provide expert advice on the healing properties of herbs or spices.
The Cretan Mountain Tea stands out for its endemic qualities made up of Cretan herbs like Diktamo, Faskomilo, Theme, Mantzourana and several more.
Kozani Saffron is one of the best varieties in the world and stands out for its aroma, colour and flavour used in a variety of dishes.
Traditional Greek Products
Globally famous for taste and nutritional benefits, the traditional local Greek products support in general a balanced diet model for a better life, well-being and physical health.
The Greek liquid gold – Olive oil
Greece is one of the best three olive oil-producing countries. With its exceptional aroma, taste and quality it is indisputably the finest in the world. Greek ties to the systematic cultivation of oil trees go back on the island of Crete in Neolithic times.
Tourists love it and it is one of the top souvenirs to take home. (Virgin Olive oil is characterized by acidity between 0.8% and 2%) so watch out for the acidity before you purchase any. In souvenir shops, you can find actual olives especially packed for travelling, as well as a large selection of olive oil products like soaps, shampoo and face creams.
The Chios Mastic Products
I bet, you won’t fly back home without one at least Mastic product to carry home with you or give as a gift to friends. Mastiha is an exclusive component of trees found only in the island of Chios and nowhere else.
The medicinal properties of ‘Mastiha’ which is very popular worldwide, relate to many health benefits and come in many forms. You will find Mastiha not only in cosmetics but in candies, liqueurs, even in chewing gums.
Popular Greek Cosmetics
Greek cosmetics reflect their company’s philosophy and values. Find them in aesthetically sophisticated stores like malls, department stores and beauty shops. The KORESS Cosmetic brand is a reputable Greek company based on natural products. The APIVITA Natural Cosmetics Company –the ‘Hippocrates Garden’.
Handmade Leather Sandals
Leather signature products are notably popular in Greece, especially the leather sandals which are comfortable, practical and trendy. Some designs never changed since ancient times, while others come decorated with laces and pieces of metal. Indicative, the third generation sandal designer and maker Pantelis following his father’s footsteps, -Stavros Melissinos. (2, Aghias Theklas St. next to Monastiraki Square (Psirri)
Bronze sculptures will also catch your eye while browsing at souvenir shops. Mostly inspired by Greek mythology, heroes like Poseidon, Zeus or Aphrodite, some are small like the size of chess pieces, some still smaller, to imposing dimensions. You will also see several legendary heroes like Hercules, Achilles, Alexander and many more. You will come across hundreds of such themed souvenir shops throughout the country. If in Athens, it pays to take a walk in the Monastiraki area and Plaka.
Tavli (Greek Backgammon)
Particularly widespread in Greece, a hand-carved backgammon set can be a particular item or an inspiring gift. While your summer holiday may be a distant memory, it is never too late to get a taste of sunshine, with a glass of wine of your choice that you brought home after your visit to Greece.
You will find several stores throughout the country selling leather goods besides sandals. Suitcases, belts and bags are the most popular. In Athens, Monastiraki overflows with shops selling fur and leather products.
The region of Kastoria is one of the principal global processing centres of fur production and supply the global market with beautiful samples of the fur art and technique. The knowledge of fur manufacture has passed for many generations since medieval times. You will find beautiful coats, handbags and hats of exceptional quality throughout the country.
Did you know that Greece has a rich history of wine-making in the world? With several notable varieties, Greek wines offer great pleasure and value for money. While your summer holiday may be a distant memory, it is never too late to get a taste of sunshine out of a bottle of Greek wine.
Wines from islands like Santorini, Crete and Samos are among the finest and times and again have been awarded. The rugged landscape provides the perfect natural environment for red, white and rosé, but even sparkling wines. On the other hand, we cannot overlook the ones from the mainland of Greece. Epirus, Halkidiki as well as the Peloponnese are some leading wine-producing regions.
Ouzo –The Traditional Beverage
If you are after something extra special, take a note of Ouzo which is considered the national drink. Actually, it acts as an ambassador for Greece! Refreshing in taste with a sweet aroma Ouzo is considered a favourite aperitif. It has become synonymous with summer, the sea and sun, the meze dishes, and it travels the world with its milky white colour superimposed on the blue of the Aegean.
Worry Beads –Komboloi
A perfect gift for a gentleman, it is used to relieve stress, pass the time away and keep hands busy. Komboloi is made up of various types of beads. The most popular is made up of amber, but you can find others made of glass and wood. If by chance you get to Nafplio, visit the Komboloi Museum. If in Athens, visit the Kombologadiko Exclusive close to Kolonaki Square.
Jewellery with the Blue (Mati)
Shops around the Plaka and Monastiraki are full of the blue eye that comes in different forms. Bracelets and necklaces, rings and earrings or pendants. People have different beliefs concerning the evil eye. They can pass it from one to another even by a glare that has negative intentions. It can cause bad things to happen, even a headache. Wearing it is said to help prevent the curse from happening. Little tourist shops with Greek treasures are waiting to meet every taste, and according to quality and style, prices vary. Prepare yourselves to get lost in an amazing shopping spree in the commercial streets of Andrianou, Pandrosou and Iphestou.
Nice article. But like others out there no indication of prices 🙁
Thanks for your comment, Adam.
I avoid indicating prices only because with the economic crisis prices change constantly. I indicate the most popular and leave it up to the customers to decide what they wish to purchase.