People who visit Greece always want to take small souvenirs back home, either to treat their friends and family or to remember their journey and the amazing time they had in the country.
Whether you prefer your souvenir to be food, clothes or a small art piece, Greek shops can satisfy every taste, even if you’re travelling on a small budget.
Here are some suggestions regarding the 9 best souvenirs you can take home that “scream” Greek culture.
Handmade Greek-style leather sandals
These sandals can be worn with almost everything and they are a must-have summer accessory. Their design used to be quite simple in order to resemble the sandals that ancient Greeks used to wear, however, over the last years, designers have incorporated more designs and colors.
A jar of Greek honey
Honey is very popular in Greece. Mothers used it as medicine for sore throat, sweeten hot beverages, make salad dressing and most importantly, it is the perfect topping to Greek yoghurt. One thing is for sure, you will never be satisfied with just one jar.
A traditional “Komboloi” (worry beads)
During the Ottoman occupation of Greece, worry beads were a symbol of social status and were popular mainly among lords. Nowadays, however, they are used as decorative piece or by people wishing to occupy their hands. For example, many smokers in Greece use the beads in order to quit. Every worry beads store (“kombologadiko” in Greek) features a great collection, suitable for every pocket and taste, even for collectors.
Olive oil products
Greece is famous around the world for its virgin olive oil production. Greeks use olive oil in almost every recipe. Olive oil, however, is also used to create other products such as cosmetics, pharmaceuticals or even soap.
Jewelry with Greek patterns and designs
Who doesn’t love jewelry? When searching for a nice souvenir to bring back home to a female friend, jewelry is always the right choice. Greek souvenir shops offer a large selection of bracelets, cuffs, necklaces, rings and earrings, decorated with ancient Greek symbols and patterns.
A traditional souvenir option is fridge magnets decorated with pictures of Greek landscapes or depicting scenes from ancient Greek mythology. They are very popular and can be found everywhere, from souvenir shops to kiosks across the country.
Packets of fresh herbs
Greek grandmothers are famous for rejecting modern medicine and opting for more traditional and natural pharmaceutical options. There is at least one herb that can help with any problem. Chamomile, for example, can treat a cold, lavender can be used for relaxation and Cretan lemon balm can be used as mild anti-depressant. You will find shops selling herbs in most rural areas and big cities, and if you forget something or want to buy more, there are shops that sell them online.
Handmade backgammon set
When visiting Greece you will see many people, especially old men or university students, playing backgammon while enjoying their coffee. Backgammon is very popular in Greece and almost every house owns a set. There are many shops selling handmade backgammon sets carved from different types of wood, most commonly olive trees. It is a very entertaining gift that will also serve as a decorative item.
A bottle of ouzo
A worldwide famous Greek drink, produced on the Aegean island of Lesvos from the distillation of alcohol, water and perfume materials, mostly anise. Ouzo is sold across Greece, in shops, supermarkets, liquor stores, even in kiosks and you will have no trouble finding a bottle to enjoy back home.