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Choosing souvenirs to take back home is not a difficult task if you holiday in Greece. There are thousands of little things to buy for your family and friends, and also thousands of shops in almost every corner. Here are some suggestions on the best things to buy in Greece in order to take them home.
There are souvenir shops in almost all islands. Wherever you go, you can find a nice shop with tourist souvenirs, like fridge magnets or candle holders shaped after a typical sight of the island. For example, in Mykonos, Paros, and the other Cycladic islands, you can find candle holders in the shape of a windmill or a small church. Such souvenir things to buy in Greece are small and easy to carry back home.
In these souvenir shops, you can also find worry heads, necklaces with natural stones, summer jewelry, bathing suits, beach bags with stamped photos of Greece, hats and many other items. Some islands with typical local products have these products sold in souvenir shops to take them as a gift. For example, Kalymnos island has many shops with natural sponges, as sponge diving is a large part of the local tradition there.
Spoon sweets and liqueurs
Very typical products and nice things to buy in Greece as gifts are the spoon sweets that are made from various fruits and vegetables. They are actually well-boiled fruits preserved in syrup. You can find spoon sweets from apples, cherries, melon, chestnuts, fig, orange, citrus, or even eggplants and pumpkins. Some fruits, like cherries, citrus, watermelon, and strawberries, also make excellent liqueurs that are bottled and sold in many local souvenir shops.
Greek wine and ouzo
Apart from liqueurs, other typical local beverages are Greek wine and ouzo. In fact, Greece has a large and high-quality wine production, therefore wine bottles are among the most popular things to buy in Greece. Regions famous for their wine production is Nemea in Peloponnese, Santorini, Rhodes, Crete and many others. Ouzo is also a famous Greek beverage that usually accompanies small dips and seafood in taverns.
Every single place in Greece produces its own local products. The typical products are honey, wine and olive oil that are found in every destination. However, each place has its own special products. For example, Chios produces mastic from the mastic trees on the southern side of the island. Corfu is the only place in Greece to produce ginger beer and kumquat, that is made into spoon sweet or liqueur.
Santorini produces amazing wine, that gets special taste due to the volcanic soil, capper and fava beans. Thassos and Halkidiki make excellent honey, while Kozani produces high-quality red saffron. Also, many islands produce special kinds of cheese, such as kefalotyri from Naxos, kopanisti from Mykonos, kalathaki from Lemnos and xinotyri from Ios.
Many Greek islands have a long tradition in pottery art and ceramics. The islands of Sifnos and Skyros, for example, had a rich tradition with pottery workshops in the past due to the clay elements of their soil. Although today these workshops are less in number, there are still some ceramists working and producing handmade decorative items, plates, kitchenware and more. These items can have both utility and decorative purposes.
Carpets and handmade textile
Many Greek towns and islands have a long tradition with carpets, textiles and other handmade weavings. In the past, Greek women used to create many carpets and other textiles in the loom, however, this tradition has largely vanished in our days. Only a few villages create handmade carpets with traditional Greek motives, decorative textiles and handmade shirts or blouses that are actually special things to buy in Greece and give as presents.
The Greek nature is also famous for its high-quality herbs that are largely used in cooking and make great things to buy in Greece. Some green herbs are even boiled and served as salads or accompany meat dishes. Others are used when cooking, like oregano, rosemary or laurels. Some herbs are also boiled and drunk like hot beverages, such as mountain tea that is collected from the Greek countryside. There is nothing better than drinking hot Greek mountain tea on a cold winter evening! Such herbs and beverages are frequently sold in open kiosks and special shops in Greece.