It`s great fun shopping locally for typically regional goods such as olives, cheeses, nougat and honey, dried herbs and decorative ceramic pots. Local shops may have fairly restricted opening hours though – particularly around midday when local people take time out for a leisurely Greek lunch! The tourist shops of course stay open late at night and all day Sunday, and will accept credit cards for most purchases.
Whether you`re after a set of worry beads or cassettes of traditional bouzouki music, you`re bound to find it.
You`ll notice small, one off jewellery shops in every town, selling intricate, original and handmade pieces in gold and silver. The ancient Greek influences can be seen in the familiar meander patterns and dolphin-shaped rings, alongside more modern and unusual designs. Prices are reasonable, and they make great presents!
Gold is generally 18 carat, but it`s also graded according to purity, with 1000 being pure, and 585 having 415 parts of silver and or other metals added to improve its resilience.
Rugs and textiles
Carpets, tablecloths, cushion covers, lace and tapestry may seem quite expensive, but they`re all handmade and represent many hours of highly skilled work. If something takes your fancy, it may well be worth buying since the same item will cost much more at home. Many themes recur in the designs – particularly religious images in tapestries and silk paintings.
Leather goods are everywhere too, in a variety of designs and at good prices. You can pick up good quality belts and bags, perhaps some sandals for the holiday, or satchels for the kids to take back to school.
Designer goods and perfumes
If you`re interested in buying clothes and accessories with designer labels, but you don`t want to spend the kind of cash normally involved, then souvenir shops have the answer – buy their fakes! You`ll find an array of top names including Rolex, Lacoste, Joop, Ralph Lauren, Christian Dior, Levi, Calvin Klein etc – at a fraction of the original prices. But do be careful – although the imitations can be quite convincing, the quality of the goods will not necessarily be up to the same standard.