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‘Tis the season of giving (nearly), and because it is always better to be prepared, here is Culture Trip’s gift guide for people obsessed with Greece. Whether you’re looking for a souvenir to bring back to a special someone, a gift to tickle a Greek expat’s fancy or even just feel like treating yourself – no judging – here is a list of gifts sure to go down well come Christmas.
Have a fidgety friend or acquaintance? Then a komboloi (or strand of worry beads) is right for them. Used in the past to keep track of prayers, they are now very popular amongst both young and old men to simply calm the mind. This beautiful komboloi made from amber resin beads is a simple yet thoughtful gift. Price: €20 ($22 at time of writing)
Every summer women across Greece head to the stores to find the summer sandals that will see them through the warmer days. This task is taken seriously as summer under the Greek sun can easily last more than 3 months. Keep that carefree feeling alive year-round and offer a pair of Ancient Greek Sandals. Available for women, men and even little ones, these authentic sandals will add a touch of Greek grace wherever your feet take you. Price: from €120.00 and up ($122 at time of writing)
For the book lover, Zorba the Greek may be too obvious a choice so try Che Committed Suicide instead. Written by Petros Markaris, one of Greece’s acclaimed crime novelists, the plot involves police investigator Costas Haritos and the mysterious case involving a series of high-profile and public suicides. The book offers an excellent rendering of Greece’s political reality. Price: €21.50 ($23 at time of writing)
The reason why everyone loves gift boxes? It’s like receiving a treasure trove of different gifts all at once. The Olive Spa Box by Chic Greek Gifts celebrates the sacred olive tree. Comprising 5 items including a Greek lucky eye bracelet, this box samples Greek goods made with olive oil that will help create a spa ambiance at home. Price: €49 ($52 at time of writing)
Greece is big on marble, so why not score one of the most characteristic items whilst upgrading your lucky receiver’s home décor game? This Aegean marble bowl from the Cycladic Art Museum is a keeper. Clean, minimalist and elegant, it is the perfect gift for your die-hard Scandinavian décor friend but happens to be 100 % Greek. Heck, this one could look good in your house too!
Price: €32 ($34 at time of writing)
Know a frappé lover? Search no more. Here is the ultimate Greek Frappe maker from Greek manufacturer Artemis. The elegant mixer has a streamlined design and takes virtually no room on the kitchen counter. And to thank you for your gesture, your friend has no excuse not to make you one in return. Price: €120 ($128 at time of writing)
We all have that one friend obsessed with Pinterest, whose 20 moodboards include one titled ‘Dream Home Office’. Consider this the perfect gift for them. The Traces Athens mouse pad and organiser was created to compliment the average Joe’s desk. Made of tanned leather and padded with 100% wool felt, it is stamped with a map of Athens’ urban grid and can be used from both sides. Price: €70 ($75 at time of writing)
Forget about the usual map-themed gift for your globetrotter friend. Switch it up a little and give them an artistic print or watercolor painting of the map of Greece. The print can be framed and will be a nice addition to a minimalist décor with a tiny pop of color. Sometimes simplicity is key.
Price: €10 ($10.72 at time of writing)
For your crafty friend, why not give her an embroidered necklace? Carefully created by Greek designer Meet The Cat, this beautiful necklace comes in three colors – gold, silver or pink – and is the perfect conversation-starter piece for the craft lovers in your life. Price: €49 ($52.55 at time of writing)
A great gift to ensure you always have a taste of Greece at home is a Greek Coffee Machine. With an elegant design, this coffee machine is the perfect gift for any coffee lover. And if you need more convincing about the benefits of Greek coffee, read the opinion of none other than Dr. Oz. Price: €74.85 ($80 at time of writing)
Everyone in Greece remembers 2004 very clearly. Not only was it the first time since 1896 that Athens hosted the Olympic Games, but it was the year when the football team proved that a country without a noteworthy sports history could win the Euro Cup (UEFA European Championship). The 2016 Greece away kit is ideal for your sports-obsessed friends. More than just a jersey and a beacon of national pride, it is a symbol of winning against the odds.
Price: €69.90 ($75 at time of writing)
Think Greece is all about ouzo? Think again. Introduce aged tsipouro to your Greece-obsessed friend and there is no doubt they will be asking for more. Made from grapes, tsipouro is another national spirit in vogue in Greece that is served as an aperitif or digestive. This aged tsipouro produced on Greek soil is bound to put a smile on someone’s face. Or the entire family, if they feel like sharing. Price: €32.50 ($35 at time of writing)
Convenient, sophisticated and 100 % handmade, this unisex backpack perfectly compliments any casual or professional outfit. Handcrafted from suede leather by Greek brand Workshop, it can easily hold a tablet, a wallet and everything you need on the go; the ideal accessory for the city dweller. Price: €189.00 ($200 at time of writing)
Famous for his ‘This is’ series, illustrator and author Miroslav Sasek has been writing and illustrating children’s travel books since his first ‘This is Paris‘ book was published in 1959. His colorful views on Greece in the This is Greece book will definitely put a smile on any Greece-obsessed person’s face. Price: €14.89 ($16 at time of writing)
This is the ultimate gift for any music lover. Bouzouki is considered to be the national Greek instrument and although it may seem difficult to master, there are plenty of online resources to help learn this stunning instrument. Kampana is a family-run business with a long tradition of bouzouki-making, offering instruments starting at 250 euros. Make sure to have a look at their collection to score your unique gift. Price: from €250 and up ($268 at time of writing)