Beyond the well-known luxury fashion and jewellery boutiques of Oia, the captivating island of Santorini has a vibrant shopping scene – find everything from vintage postcards to Greek design and Byzantine-inspired icons.
Ever since Santorini became a firm favourite among the jet-setters and the influencers, upscale boutiques and concept stores have been popping up across the island. Even though Oia still remains the hub when it comes to luxury shopping on Santorini, Imerovigli and Firostefani are also becoming must-visit destinations for anyone seeking the perfect Santorini souvenir. Fira, Santorini’s capital, boasts retail therapy options to suit all budgets and styles, while Kamari is famed for its alternative shops, which draw the island’s bohemian crowd.
Dive into one of the world’s best bookshops
Bookstore, Shop, Store
Courtesy of Atlantis Books
Founded in 2004 by a group of friends from Cyprus, UK and USA, Atlantis is regularly listed among the world’s best bookshops. Craig Walzer and (then) fellow student Oliver first came up with the idea of setting up a bookstore in Santorini back in 2002, when they ran out of books while visiting the island. Two years later, this group of young American and European bookworms transformed the basement of a traditional whitewashed house in the heart of Oia into a book lovers’ haven, filled with literature classics and first-edition gems. Once you’ve explored Atlantis’s great collection, be sure to make a pitstop in one of the nearby restaurants and cafés and enjoy the spectacular view of the caldera.
Packed with old maps, coins, vintage comic books and postcards, Epilekton is the ideal place for bargain hunters looking for treasures from around the world. Each item in this family-run store in the heart of Oia is unique. Aside from collecting decorative items and knick-knacks, the Kontos family also specialises in amber jewellery and worry beads. “We like to call our store ‘Alibaba’s cave’,” says Maria Kontou, one of the store’s owners. “Because it’s full of treasures that we’ve discovered in different places around Greece and the world.” Once you’ve found your own treasure from Epilekton’s collection, grab a refreshing ice cream from nearby Lolita’s Gelato.
In the small scenic town of Pyrgos, close to the castle, lies Crossroad Antiques. Housed in a former grocery store, Crossroad Antiques still preserves its traditional character, with its outdoor stone benches a popular meeting spot for the local community. Porcelain bric-à-brac, old photos and hand-carved wooden artworks are just some of the highlights of the antique store’s unique collection. Located in one of the least touristy places on the island, Crossroad Antiques looks nothing like the crowded stores you’ll find in Oia or Fira – stepping inside is like getting a taste of life in Santorini in eras past. Don’t miss out on the chance to explore the scenic village and grab a coffee or a glass of ouzo on the main square.
La Bohème Santorini has a mixed collection of traditional and modern decorative items, as well as a huge variety of handmade jewellery and accessories. This stylish shop in Kamari, a seaside town on the eastern side of the island, has won a special place in Anna Skoog Mavridis’s heart. “I usually head to La Bohème Santorini for the interior decoration items but I also really like the store’s bags and the accessories collection,” says the renowned Swedish style blogger and influencer, who splits her time between Athens and Santorini.
Another of Anna’s favourite shopping spots is Speira. This elegant concept store is housed in a contemporary building, with both its indoor and outdoor spaces artistically combining Cycladic tradition with modern architecture. Here you’ll find award-winning Greek products (think olive oils, honeys and chutneys) as well as fashion by Greek designers. “Our dream was to revitalise the idea of the old Greek marketplace, but in a modern way – a modern-day agora (market) where people gather to socialise and shop for local products,” says Efi Loupakou, one of the members of the Speira team. “Through our rich collection of handmade items that tell a unique story from different corners of Greece, we try to make our guests feel like they’re making a journey across our country,” she explains.
Andronis is a fashion project made up of three clothing boutiques in Oia. Part of Andronis Exclusive, a five-star luxury collection of boutique hotels, the Andronis boutiques feature fashionable swimsuits and elegant summer clothes created by Greek designers.
With a mixed collection of international and Greek designers such as Missoni, Dsquared, American Vintage and Athina Klo, Ammos Stores should be on every fashionista’s list. With boutiques in Fira and Kamari, the high-end clothing stores blend perfectly with the island’s upscale atmosphere. Ammos Fira is surrounded by restaurants and cafés for all tastes and budgets, while the Kamari boutique is close to Kamari Black Pebble Beach – take the opportunity to combine a day at the beach with a bit of retail therapy.
Run by painter Ilias Vlavianos and art restoration expert Marilena Sgountzou, Thiras Art Gallery sells handmade paintings and jewellery created by the gallery’s owners. Here, you won’t find the typical knick-knacks most souvenir shops sell; instead, you’ll discover unique paintings, Byzantine icons on mortar and landscapes of the island painted on plaster. Thiras Art Gallery is just a 10-minute drive from Santorini’s old harbour, which is an idyllic setting for an evening stroll.
If you’re planning to adopt a more casual and bohemian style while visiting Santorini, then make sure to pass by the Secret Room in Kamari. Packed with colourful sarongs and beach coverups, straw hats and bags as well as jewellery and accessories, this little store in Kamari will instantly get you in the mood for summer. Here, you’ll also find the clothing collection of Philos (meaning friend), a youthful Greek clothing brand which could make the perfect gift for your loved ones back home.