Are you looking for something to take back as a souvenir from your vacation in Crete? While this task is often postponed until the last minute, finding a little gift or keepsake for you or your loved ones back home is a great way to make your stay even more memorable. Here are the top places you can buy souvenirs in Crete.
Located in a pedestrian area in the Old Town of Heraklion, Mayaba is a lovely shop where you will find countless little trinkets to take home as a souvenir. It’s a modern-day Ali Baba Cave filled with art, handmade crafts, colorful string paper lanterns, wooden sculpted figurines, and everything in between. If you are tired of the generic souvenirs, then Mayaba may be what you are looking for.
Forget the infamous graphic T-shirt with a map of Crete (or Greece) and discover the fascinating collection of souvenirs in Kurkuta, in Chania. This store sells “100% made in Greece” items with a twist, mementos you will definitely like. From notebooks to T-shirts, tote bags, mugs and baby bibs, you will find a creative and innovative assortment of design memorabilia that won’t collect dust on your shelves.
Located near the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion, Zalo, which means “steps” in the Cretan dialect, is a unique souvenir store—neat, cute, well organized, and colorful. Reinventing the concept of “something Greek to bring home,” Zalo offers a wide range of products and locally made souvenirs, from local honey to handmade board games and fancy cosmetics. Everyone will find something to take home.
Who said a souvenir had to be a small knick-knack or a boring magnet? A souvenir can be anything you wish it to be. That is why Eklektos, a bookstore, made this list. That’s right, a bookstore. There, you will find a wide collection of Greek, Dutch, French, German, Russian, Italian and English books, as well as maps and DVDs and other trinkets. If you are a bookworm or know one, there is no doubt that a visit to Eklektos (and a chat with Lynne, the lovely owner) is a must if you pass through Elounda.
If you are passing by Kissamos, make sure to pay a visit to To Kaniski. This souvenir shop features a wide variety of gifts, including jewelry created by local artists, cosmetics, accessories as well as local delicacies, such as organic honey and olive oil. And for those who wish to buy a few bottles of alcohol, try the pomegranate raki. You won’t be disappointed.
If you plan on taking Cretan olive oil back home, then your best bet is to head straight to Koutsounari, in Ierapetra, to stock up on the well-loved liquid gold. At All About Oil, you get to smell and taste the oil and discover a wide range of olive-oil-based products, including all-natural cosmetics and olive wood utensils. Don’t hesitate to ask George, the owner, questions; he owns an olive grove and will charm you with his stories.
Purchase a unique souvenir while supporting local talent at MoozArt. This wood art workshop located in Matala features a range of wood items produced by artists from Crete and the rest of the country. From wooden signs, wood paintings and wooden puzzles to key rings and driftwood sculptures, you will also be able to browse through the collection of ceramics available at the shop. If you are a wood lover or know someone who is, this place is just what you need.
Boasting a long tradition, Crete is known for having one of the most diverse and richest ecosystems in Europe, where a large portion of herbs used for cooking and medicinal purposes grow on mountain slopes. As such, Cretan herbs are some of the best and useful souvenirs you can take with you, so don’t hesitate to pop by Botano, a little shop in Kouses, near Matala, where you can discover a rich assortment of local herbs, as well as spices and teas. The store also sells local delicacies and treats, which will keep you exploring for hours.