Top 10 Souvenirs from Greece (Photos)



With so many souvenirs to choose from in throughout your travels in Greece, let’s be sure that you purchase the best ones to help you relive your Grecian holiday. When you return home having basked in the warm Mediterranean sun and having experienced the country’s rich ancient history, here are 10 items sure to make you nostalgic about Greece.

Honey

Exploring local villages it’s possible to find authentic memories to take home. Here’s a list of the best ten souvenirs people are buying in Crete.
Cretan honey (photo Gabi Ancarola)

Honey is everywhere in Greece and each region, island and village makes their own versions, depending on the geographical location, natural herbs and types of climate. One thing is for sure, honey is an essential part of every Greek kitchen and home.

Many times you will see a Greek yiayia (grandma) offering a spoonful of honey to a young child, for honey is considered to be very healthy and symbolic in Greek culture as well.

Whether you experience Greek honey in a desert or trickled over some Greek yogurt after a meal, this is one delight that you can easily purchase and take home with you.

It also makes a wonderful gift. You can find honey in many different flavors, such as honey from bees having pollinated thyme and herbs or pine trees. Also there is a variety of honey that have nuts in them.

Halvadopita and Loukoumi

Here we have two great examples of traditional Greek treats that travel well and have no problems getting through customs.

Halvadopita is made of two wavers stuffed with a sweet cream nougat that contains honey and almonds. It is traditionally wrapped in white paper and costs only around 50 cents. A cheap and delicious treat.

Also, ‘loukoumi,’ known to many as Turkish delight, is a great sweet to purchase and pack away to indulge upon your return home.

These traditional sweets can be found all over Greece’s mainland and islands, however the island of Syros is perhaps one of the most famous for them.

Ouzo

While visiting Greece, you are sure to try out ouzo and love it. This unique and distinctly Greek beverage comes in traditional and decorative bottles and are a must have souvenir for anyone visiting Greece.

The Greek spirit has a unique and strong taste of anise and is served cold on hot summer evenings. Some people mix it with water whilst others enjoy a straight shot before or after meals.

Why not get a bottle-shaped as the goddess Athena or the Parthenon? After you return home and enjoy reminiscing your Greek holiday with friends and family, the decorative bottle is a keepsake you can display around your home.

Mati, the Evil Eye

At the root of Greek culture is the superstition of the ‘evil eye’, which makes it a perfect souvenir.

When you are visiting Greece, you will see people wearing ‘the eye’ everywhere. This is rooted in superstitions that refer to having a hex placed on you as having the ‘evil eye,’ or ‘mati.’

In Greek culture, it is believed that someone can cast the evil eye onto another person out of envy and jealousy.

So, in order to avoid being ‘matiasmeni,’ or having the evil eye cast upon you, Greeks wear the infamous ‘eye’ charm as protection. What a great story to tell anyone who asks you what that eye on your necklace means once you go home to your country.

Komboloi

As you travel throughout Greece you will undoubtedly come across Greeks fiddling with a strand of beads, spinning them one way and then the other. Komboloi, also known as ‘worry beads’ evolved from the Greek prayer rope, komboskini, although they have no religious function. They are a great way to relax and also makes a great gift.

You can find jewelry with ‘the eye’ and komboloi all over Greece as well as at EfiStore.com and Doromu.com and etsy.com. At these sites there are even more handmade varieties to choose from as well as the option to ship your purchase worldwide.

Hand-carved Olive Wood Item

Since Greece is abundant in olive trees, it should be of no surprise that there is an arts trade seeped in tradition of creating wooden items out of olive trees. Beautiful and unique, you can find everything from kitchen utensils to sculptures hand-carved from olive trees.

In Crete there are some well known shops that sell these products, although you are sure to come across them in many villages, islands and even in Athens city center shops.

Olive Oil and Products Made from Olive Oil

Ten souvenirs to buy in Crete
Olives and olive oil from Crete (photo Gabi Ancarola).

Greeks love their food and they love their olive oil. Greek olive oil is at the heart of every Greek kitchen and is a natural product of which Greeks are very proud.

Olive oil is used in many dishes, and can be found in cosmetics and beauty products as well.

You can find natural soaps, gift boxes or a basic bottle of Greek olive oil to take back as a souvenir. There is something for everyone.

Handmade Ceramic Replicas

After you have fallen in love with the ruins and ancient artworks of Greece, why not purchase a handmade replica? This is the perfect way to enjoy memories of your Grecian holiday long after you have returned.

There are many shops that sell ceramic plates, vases and sculptures that are exact replicas of the originals.

Spice mixes and teas made with dry herbs

Herbs and ingredients to make Cretan tea (photo by Gabi Ancarola)
Local herbs for mountain tea (photo Gabi Ancarola).

One of the easiest ways to flashback to your Greek holiday is to re-experience the amazing Greek food that you sampled.

Of course, you might not be able to recreate the Greek masterpieces exactly, but by purchasing spice packets and herbs that are prepackaged for specific dishes, you might come close.

You can find Greek herbs for traditional teas as well as local herb and spice packages for sale everywhere throughout Greece.

Tapestries

Leave Greece with a beautiful traditional tapestry to adorn your walls. There are many stores throughout the islands and well as mainland that sell tapestries that have design and colors representing local customs.

These unique art pieces are easy to transfer home with you in your luggage, or if you purchase a larger one, the shops will arrange shipment details for you. When you look at it on your wall, you are sure to be reminded of beautiful Greece.