Greece is one of the world’s most popular holiday destinations and is home to numerous historical monuments and sites, incredible architecture, sun-kissed beaches, and a paradise for distinctly unique souvenirs. The things to buy in Greece are endless and may differ from region to region. Whether it’s a work of art for the lovers of handmade goods or something edible for the food connoisseurs, Greece has it all. So, whether you're shopping for a loved one or just want to get yourself something to remember your trip, support the locals and artisans and bring home unique souvenirs from Greece with love!
A Mati for the Evil Eye
The most favored of the Greek souvenirs is the mati. The mati is meant to ward off evil or bad energy and is extremely popular in Greek folklore. The evil eye is a curse given to someone by a nasty glare attributed to feelings of jealousy, anger, or even admiration. Eye charms are typically that deep blue which is sure to remind you of the Greek Mediterranean Sea. When in Greece, you will see the eye amulet everywhere. They decorate shop walls, protect households or are worn as jewelry. There are so many places to shop for evil eye amulets in Greece. The Plaka District in Athens or the flea market of Monastiraki are your best bet to find this perfect souvenir. Bring some cash and have some fun haggling over the best price with the sellers.
The Owl for Knowledge & Wisdom
In Greek mythology, the owl represents or accompanies Athena, the goddess of wisdom. Because of such association, it is referred to as the "Owl of Athena" and is the symbol of knowledge and wisdom. Athena was so impressed with the solemn appearance and the beautiful eyes of the owl that it became her favorite feathered creature. The people of Athens considered the owl a good omen and adopted it as proof of allegiance to their patron goddess. An owl trinket or statue is a must-have souvenir that is exclusively Greek!
Don’t Worry, Bead Happy
From the whirring, clicking sound in the tavernas or kafeneia to the sparkling of amber on the street, you’ll spot the komboloi, the fidget toy of the modern Greek, everywhere. Though almost always a loop of string filled with an odd number of beads, the komboloi can vary in shape and size. These Greek worry beads are made of materials ranging from high-end hand-cut amber to colorful glass or olive wood. They are used primarily by men as a sort of stress reliever, however, more and more women are now picking up this pastime trinket. Its great popularity has brought about the appearance of specialty stores and a museum dedicated exclusively to the komboloi found in the port town of Nafplio.
Greek Wines - The Nectar of the Gods
Greece, the homeland of Dionysus the god of wine, is one of the oldest wine-producing regions in the world and among the first wine-producing lands in Europe. Although not so well-known in the past, Greek wines are now creating a buzz worldwide!
Bring home sweet Vinsanto from the cliff vineyards of Santorini, with an ancient winemaking tradition that dates back thousands of years. The past volcanic eruption on the island has formed a soil of unique texture which gives birth to grapes of distinctive flavor-profile.
The island of Kefalonia also has a long tradition and fame in winemaking. Kefalonian wines are among the most desirable in Greece for their fine quality and excellent taste. According to Homer, the wines of Kefalonia make the most appreciable gift; they can hold friendships, form new bounds, resolve misunderstandings and build alliances.
Wreaths & Anything Olive
The olive tree has played an important role in Greek mythology, the cuisine, and everyday life in Greece since ancient times. It symbolizes peace and prosperity, while in ancient Olympia it had a sacred symbolic meaning.
Olive wreaths were given to the winners of the Olympic Games in ancient Greece and are associated with Hercules in Greek mythology. Make your own olive wreath souvenir and challenge others for the crown as you run the Olympic track in Ancient Olympia!
Greek olive oil, or "liquid gold" as Homer described it, is of exceptional quality and taste. Discover why the ancient cultures believed that olive oil consumption is responsible for longevity, strength and youth on a wine tasting experience in the Olympia region. Take home some “liquid gold” of your own, in a bottle!
The Kalamata olive is the “king of Greek table olives.” Perhaps the most well-known of the Greek olives may be just the gift you’re looking for.
Bee Healthy with Greek Honey
Honey, nature’s sweet gift to man, is produced everywhere in Greece. It is very healthy and symbolic in Greek culture. Each region, depending on the geographical location, makes its own version. Experience Greek honey trickled over a sweet dessert, like diples, on a local farmhouse in the Olympia region. Then, take home a jar of excellent quality honey and keep that vacation feeling going on - down to the last drop!
The Fashionable Greek Key
The Greek key pattern is among the most common designs in ancient art. It was the most important symbol in Ancient Greece, symbolizing infinity or the eternal flow. Recently made famous again by well-known fashion designers such as GUCCI, the Greek key can be found on anything from expensive jewelry to ceramic vases and handcrafted stone or marble artifacts.
For the traveler, the right memento has the power to conjure up memories of wonderful journeys or beloved places. Greek souvenirs reflect the history and culture that make them unique but also valuable. So, on your next trip to Greece, be sure to leave room in your bags for the most unique souvenirs from Greece with love!