Going to Greece in itself is a surreal experience. Greece is one of the sunniest places and a beautiful home to more than six thousand breathtaking Greek islands. The land is also famous for its ancient philosophers and monumental buildings and temples. If you have plans to visit there for a vacation, you might think about what to buy in Greece.
If you visit there, you might have the time of your life. The wonderous Greek mythology. Greek culture and the Greek cuisine will take you in awe. However, when you return from there, you would love to have Greek souvenirs which will forever remind you of this beautiful vacation. You can get the best Greek souvenirs for your friends and family as well as they would make excellent gifts.
1. What to Buy in Greece?
The best Greek souvenirs are not only bought by tourists but by locals as well. This is because the Greek souvenirs have a huge range and diversity and serve as a great addition to your showcase or wardrobe. So, if you are wondering what to buy in Greece, here are options to let you choose unique Greek souvenirs.
1.1. Greek Olive Oil
Greek olive oil is one of the best souvenirs that you can have. It must be surprising for you to know that olive oil is a staple in Greece. It is said that Goddess Athena gifted an olive tree to Athens. After the tree was gifted to Athens, the place bears that name.
The specialty of Greek olive oil olives is its aroma. The olive oil has a silky fruitiness combined with freshness which is why the olive oil can add a certain flavor to anything it is added to. The olive oil is also known as “liquid gold” because of its amazing flavors. You can get extra virgin olive oil as that is the best.
Olive oil is said to be used a lot for cooking in Greece. Extra virgin oil is considered a really important ingredient in the Mediterranean diet. People there consider it so important because it is rich in antioxidants. Consuming this will even lead to a lower risk of cardiovascular diseases. However, you cannot eat olives straight from the trees. You can cure it in brine. The process needs to be done for certain weeks and then you can eat them.
If you visit a Greek restaurant, you can see them serving raw olive oil as a dip. The olive oil is generally served with toasted bread and oregano and it makes a really good appetizer. Greek olives are in fact considered one of the world’s best because of their premium quality. They have different varieties depending on the region where the olive trees are harvested.
The taste of Greek olives ranges from bitter and fruity to a sweet and tangy flavor. If you ever visit Greece and think of buying olives, then try to go for variations. Variations are always better than just trying one type. The famous types of olives, which are pretty famous among the locals are Kalamata olives, Nafplion green olives, and an ancient variety of plum olives.
1.2. Get Greek Honey
In Ancient Greece, the Greek honey was called ambrosia. It means food of the Gods, which reflected their admiration for Greek honey. It has been in use for thousands of years because of its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties making it one of the best Greek souvenirs.
In Greece, there is a massive production of several types of honey such as thyme honey, pine honey, and heather honey. Among them, the best quality Greek honey is the thyme honey. It has a deep golden complexion and a rich viscous texture, almost like silk.
The specialty of Greek honey is its fragrance. Even pine honey or flower honey has an amazing fragrance. There are enough variations and the viscosity of the honey depends on that. Although the viscosity differs, the taste of the honey is always light and sweet with an aromatic flavor.
You can use the honey in different variations. You can spread the honey over bread and butter as a topping and you can even add it to your beverages. This will make your dishes flavorful and also beneficial for your health. If you visit Athens, you can find good quality honey at a really good price. Local honey is easily available on Greek islands.
So, you can definitely add Greek honey to your wishlist to buy in Greece. You will just have to be sure if it is possible for you to bring it home. This is because, in certain places like Australia, you are not allowed to bring honey. So, you will just have to be sure about your country’s customs and you are good to go.
1.3. Olive Wood
One of the best souvenirs to buy in Greece is Olive wood. This is because olive wood is really rare to find outside of Greece. Its specialty is that it is solid and sturdy. It looks gorgeous because of its color tones, honey tones along with lots of water.
The products that are generally made from olive wood are unique and built to last a lifetime. Certain products that are generally made from olive wood make amazing gifts. They include cutting boards, utensils used for serving salad, chessboards, cheeseboards,, and even different kinds of bowls.
You can gift these Greek gifts to your friends and family and they will surely love them because of their uniqueness and sturdiness.
1.4. Traditional Greek Pasta
Traditional Greek pastas are a unique souvenir to buy in Greece. The Greek traditional pasta is made of eggs, milk,, and wheat and is amazingly delicious. Certain local terms for Greek pasta are hylopites, gogkoi, striftades, and many more. You can also go for the sweet and sour tracheas.
The Greek pasta is generally considered a delicacy by the Greek locals. So, when you are there buying pasta, just be sure to browse all of them and choose the best one.
1.5. Greek Coffee
Greek coffee is a must to buy in Greece because of its strong and aromatic flavor. Greek coffee is usually considered a staple in Greek breakfasts. You can find them in every Greek morning and evening chat, otherwise, it’s incomplete for them.
They generally serve Greek coffee in small cups. Those small cups are known as demitasse cups as they are meant to be sipped slowly. The Greek people sip them slowly in those small cups while the grounds settle. Greek coffee is known as “Turkish coffee” in Turkey.
Greek coffee needs a fine grind which is only possible in a narrow and tall shaped pot, termed as briki. Briki comes in a copper or utilitarian inox and they do the brewing of coffee slowly over a cooker. The brewing is often done at a Bunsen burner over an open fire system.
You will just have to make sure that you accidentally do not drink the thick sediment that is found at the bottom of the cup. Coffee is an important part of the Greek lifestyle. So, Greek coffee along with a pack of demitasse cups will make wonderful Greek souvenirs.
1.6. Delicious Greek Sweets
This comes among the amazing Greek souvenirs. You can never say no to Greek sweets as they are no less than a treat. Most of the Greek sweets are a mixture of ancient Greece, Middle Eastern, and Western influences. The sweets are made of crunchy phyllo and doused in honey syrup.
You can go for baklava, halva, kourkoubinia, and kantaifi. Baklava is a Turkish delight that contains ingredients like filo pastry, thick syrup, and nuts. The main ingredients in halva are tahini and sugar. Certain confections that you must definitely try are chocolate olives and koufeta which are basically egg-shaped treats.
You can also try almond candy, sesame pies, and pasteli. Pasteli is a really popular snack in the Greek tradition. This snack contains sesame seeds, honey, and sugar. It is also seasoned with cinnamon, cloves, and mastika. You can go for a crunchy as well as a soft version of pasteli.
Traditional spoon sweets are also popular. You can see fruits that are preserved in sugar syrup. These spoon sweets have ten different types to try from. The amazing part is that they are low in calories. So, it is possible for you to satisfy your sweet cravings without any guilt.
1.9. Try Greek Herbs and Greek Spices
One of the amazing Greek souvenirs to gift your loved ones are Greek herbs and spices. This is because those herbs are only available in Greece and the quality is great. Some of the herbs and spices are too expensive outside as compared to Greece.
Greece has a wide range of herbs and spices and they have medicinal benefits to the health. They are also fragrant, and tasty and add a scent to other ingredients. Most Greek islands have growth of hundreds of different herbs. Shrubs and bushes can be found even on the driest Greek Island.
The most common types of herbs that are found in Greece are fresh or dried oregano, thyme, and rosemary. Those herbs are collected, dried, and then used for preparing Greek food. Along with these herbs, you can even find herbal teas. The herbal teas include chamomile tea, linden tea, and sage. They are available in sachets or loose leaves.
The most popular Greek tea known as ‘tsai tou vounou’ is available in bags. You can find the bags which contain the stems, leaves, and flowers of the tea plant. You can also look for Greek red saffron, Olympus tea, Cretan mountain tea, marjoram, and mountain mint.
1.10. Evil Eye
According to traditional Greek culture, you might get an evil eye if someone is staring at you in a very intense way with deep envy or jealousy in your heart. The idea of evil eye is common in the Mediterranean, Middle East, African, and Asian countries.
The evil eye might make you experience a lack of energy, bad luck, headaches, and nausea. Many people say that you can wear a ‘mati’ to avoid the evil eye and bad luck.
Mati is a structure of a blue colored eye. It resembles the shape of an eye and is dark blue in color. It is available in different forms such as earrings, bracelets, pendants, and even wall or desk ornaments. So, you can find that mati evil eye in any Greek shop that sells souvenirs. They will make amazing Greek souvenirs for your loved ones.
1.11. Feta Cheese
The most popular among Greek cheeses is the Feta cheese. It has got a really unique taste with a soft and crumbly texture. It is really popular in Greek culture. It might be possible that it is available in your country as well. However, the taste is different and definitely worth a try.
Feta cheese is available in Greece supermarkets. You can get them in sealed packets if your country’s regulations allow you to bring them.
1.12. Greek Worry Beads
One of the best souvenirs that you can buy from Greece is worry beads, also known as kompoloi. The worry beads are generally made around a piece of string. An odd number of beads are used in making these worry beads.
It is said that older men used to play with worry beads 50 or 100 years ago. However, they are now used as decoration pieces in Greek households. The kompoloi is often made with a tassel at the end. It is purposely made loose enough so that when the beads are tossed along the string, they make a distinct sound.
Worry beads can be made of many natural materials. They include olive wood, ebony, bone, coral, amber, resin, and bakelite. The string that is used for making the worry beads can be silver or silk. Make sure that you get handmade worry beads rather than imported ones.
1.13. You Can Go for Greek Alcohol
Greek alcohol has a rich history which is deeply intertwined with Greek culture and traditions. Greece has got certain well-renowned wines and Greek ouzo is one of them. To prepare ouzo, a base of neutral alcohol is used. It is then flavored with anise, fennel, coriander, and certain other herbs which are aromatic.
Ouzo is generally crystal clear but it turns milky white in color once you mix this with water. You can enjoy it best when you sip it slowly alongside appetizers. Greece has certain climatic and geographic conditions which are ideal for the cultivation of grapes. Several regions in Greece offer wines that are uniquely flavorful.
If you like strong-flavored Greek wines, then you can go for raki, tsikoudia, and tsipouro. They have a really high alcohol degree as they are distilled from different types of pomace. On the other hand, if you want to go for more flavorful stuff, there are certain options. The options include rakomelo which is raki mixed with honey and spices, and Metaxa brandy.
You can also try several types of liquers like Mastiha liqueur, Tentura, and Kitron. They have all unique flavors of their own that you cannot find anywhere else.
1.14. Greek Leather Sandals Are a must-try
The handmade leather sandals are the best to buy for your loved ones. These handmade leather sandals are usually flat and light and have a leather or rubber sole. You can see these leather sandals available in various colors but mostly, brown in color.
If you watch any Greek version of movies, you will notice that the ancient Greeks wore the same kind of handmade leather sandals. You can easily get these leather sandals in tourist shops available in the Plaka area. You can also find good family-owned businesses selling these leather sandals.
You can find the historical replicas of these sandals. The best thing is their availability from all historical periods. Also, you can find modern versions of those sandals which are perfect for walking around the islands and mountains of Greece. They are comfortable and your feet can properly breathe in them.
1.15. Mastiha products
Mastiha is the product of mastic trees. The mastic trees are found on the island of Chios. The aroma of Mastic is fresh and flowery and equally light as well as strong. Some of the most popular mastiha products are chewing gum, perfumes, cosmetics, mastiha liquers, and mastiha drops.
1.16. Greek Backgammon
The Greek backgammon board is an essential part of Greek leisure. This is one of the Greek souvenirs that you can definitely consider bringing for your friends. It is a fun and convenient game to play. The backgammon set has a wooden case where you basically play the game.
The board is indeed an example of beautiful artistry as it’s made with inlaid wood and ivory. Even the dice and the pieces that are involved in playing the game are made with fine materials. This game was originally invented in Mesopotamia. The game became really popular all over Greece, Egypt, and Persia.
If you visit Greece, you can see a lot of Greek men playing this game in cafes. It is skill-based and will even need some luck. The game boards are easily available in the markets of Greece. They are quite bulky but can easily fit into your hand luggage. The price varies according to the product’s quality. It can range from around 10-15 euros to hundreds of euros for purchasing backgammon boards made of leather or olive wood.
1.17. You Should Buy Handmade Ceramics
Pottery is considered a really big thing in the streets of Greece. You can find exhibitions of ancient Greek ceramics all over the world. So, you can definitely consider getting handmade ceramics as one of the Greek souvenirs for your family.
If you roam around the streets of anywhere in Greece, you will find beautiful ceramics. You can find colorful cups and bowls. You may also find hand-painted ceramics made by the local artists of Greece. You can also get vases, water jugs, tea, and coffee sets which have amazing flowery and traditional patterns.
If you have love for decor pieces, then you should definitely check them out. You can visit the flea markets of Athens to get your hands on those beautiful hand-painted ceramics. However, make sure to pack them well and carry them safely in your bags. This is because they might be a bit tricky to travel with.
1.18. A Greek Bouzouki
A Greek bouzouki is a type of instrument that is a mandolin look-alike. It is a version of the historic Greek pandura, more advanced though. If you find it heavy or bulky, you can grab its mini version.
The miniature version of a bouzouki is a baglamas. You can get other musical instruments as well which are prominent in Greek musical heritage. The bouzoukis and baglamas are made with materials such as darker wood or ivory.
These are the similar materials that are useful in making the backgammon board. They also have beautiful designs and colorful patterns on them. This makes those instruments beautiful ornaments to be showcased at home even if you do not know how to play them. If you have any friend or family member who is a music lover, this makes a really beautiful gift for them.
1.19. Replica of an Ancient Greek Statue
If you are looking for an interesting gift, the replica of an ancient Greek statue is quite appealing. If you visit souvenir shops and museum gift shops, you can find certain statues. They are structured with variations of materials such as clay, resin, bronze, and alabaster.
The figures or statues that are quite popular in Greece are the figures of Aphrodite of Milos, Nike, and Greek Gods such as Goddess Athina and God Apollo. You can either go for the white ones and certain colorful figures are also available.
1.20. Religious Icons
Greek people are really religious. Their art can be seen in the icons and artifacts that they make. Most of their religious items are handmade. Also, those religious items are often made when the artists are deep in their prayers.
Certain religious icons are gold or silver-coated. So you can take Byzantine iconography or any golden or silver work as a beautiful token from Greece. Your friends and family would definitely love the beautiful idols from Greece.
1.21. Traditional Greek Clothing
Greek fashion is one of its kind and defines the powerful and historic moments of Greece. You can surely add some Greek fashion to your closet as a memorable piece. If you want to go for the ancient fashion sense, you can go for a tunic or a dress in an archaic style. You can even pair them up with matching accessories.
You can get a Greek fez or a gold embroidered jacket which has wide sleeves. You can also try the beautiful traditional flowy skirts and embroidered aprons. It is basically a shoe that is made of heavy leather and sandals and has pompoms on it.
1.23. Famous Greek Cosmetics
Greek cosmetics are known internationally for the pure ingredients used in them. They are a mixture of herbs, flowers, and different plants. You can indulge yourself in the goodness of those products for skin cleansing, rejuvenation, and protection.
You should also not miss out on olive oil beauty products, soaps, and bubble baths. Make sure to give yourself a heavenly experience with skin-friendly products and cosmetics. You can also look out for the products by Apivita and Korres.
1.24. Leather Accessories
In this article, we have talked about leather sandals. However, there are a lot more leather products that can only be found in Greece. You can find leather bags that are made in a traditional method. The method involves burning and stamping. It is used for the decoration of bags, tobacco pouches and wallets.
If you are into leather jackets and fur coats, you can also explore the market of North. You can find fur coats and hats which you can enjoy wearing. So, you can definitely put your hands on some leather items from Greece for you and your family.
1.25. You Can Get CDs With Greek Music
If you are a music lover, you should surely get your hands on CDs having Greek music. You might feel that you do not need a CD in the era of YouTube and other music applications. However, you may not be able to get the songs always that you want.
Also, it will act as a beautiful token from Greece as it will contain the songs of some great musicians and composers of all time. Certain examples include Agelakas, Vissi, Alexiou, Hatzidakis, Theodorakis, and many more. You can research them and get something that suits your music tastes and preferences.
1.26. Heavy Greek Carpets
If you are done with synthetic carpets or rugs, you will be amazed by the collection of traditional carpets in Greece. If you want to add an authentic touch or a character to your living room or bedroom, you should surely check out the collection.
You can either go for the traditional flokati rugs or kilimia. They are heavy and thick woolen material and look really unique and pretty. You can visit Adrianou Street for a good collection of Greek rugs and other homeware products.
Most visitors fall in love with Greece and make sure to visit the place again and again. This is because of the delicious Greek recipes, beautiful beaches, traditional culture, and the relaxed pace of life.
Greece is known for its diversity. If you are thinking of visiting Greece, you might think about which things will make beautiful tokens. If you visit a place, getting gifts and tokens from there is a brilliant idea. This is because it will keep you reminded of the beautiful memories that you spent in that place.
It will not only make you happy but will put smiles on the faces of your friends and family members. Getting tokens will bring a small touch of the place that you have visited to your loved ones. In this article, you will learn about the 26 amazing tokens or gifts that are famous in Greece. You can roam around in the markets of Greece and buy yourself lovely souvenirs.
1. What are the most popular souvenirs I can buy in Greece?
There are a lot of souvenirs that make perfect gifts. However, the most popular ones are olives, leather sandals, backgammon board games, and gold or silver-plated jewelry. You can also get the evil eye charm that is known internationally . You can see most visitors buying these products in the streets of Greece.
2. What Greek souvenirs are good to buy for kids?
The Greek souvenirs that are amazing to buy for kids are Playmobil figurines, statues, and other board games. You can also purchase books that are based on Greek mythology. If your kid happens to be a music lover, you can go for a bouzouki or CDs of Greek musicians.
3. Which kind of jewelry is Greece mostly known for?
The kind of jewelry that Greece is mostly known for is silver jewelry. The jewelry has got designs that are equally unique and intricate. You can also get Greek jewelry which involves various materials for its making process. The materials include different kinds of resins, metals, gemstones, cardboard, wood, and glass.
4. Is shopping cheaper in Greece?
You will be surprised to know that shopping in Greece is much cheaper than you think. The Greek markets have fashion products at the cheapest rates possible. If you are into luxury shopping, you should definitely check out the luxury bags collection. You must definitely shop in Greece because of the best rates available.