Words by Celebrity Cruises Blog
A vacation to Greece is a must-see destination for many people. From the vast history of Athens and the awe-inspiring sight of the Acropolis to the beautiful cliff hugging, blue-domed churches of Santorini and other gorgeous architecture in the Greek Isles, it’s a varied and fascinating country.
Whether you’re most excited to cruise around the Greek islands or to see the wondrous cities of Greece’s mainland, one thing is for certain: you’ll want to pick up a fabulous Greek souvenir while there to help you remember your trip.
The best Greek souvenirs are ones that are quintessential to the Greek way of life and will help you to experience a bit of Greek culture and style once you’re back home. Here are some of the best souvenirs to get during your time in Greece.
A Greek Souvenir to Drink Back at Home: Ouzo
A bottle of ouzo as a Greek souvenir will help you continue the feeling of being on vacation back at home. A sip of ouzo will have you feeling like you’re still exploring the wonders of Greece. It also might give you a bit of a jolt! Ouzo is a strong alcoholic beverage that has some sweetness to it. It is made from grape or grain and flavored with anise, which gives it a licorice flavor.
Depending on the distillery, ouzo is also sometimes flavored with cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, fennel, and other spices. Since there are so many different flavor combinations it’s wise to do a tasting to be sure to get a bottle you enjoy for a souvenir.
People who live in Greece typically sip a small glass of ouzo poured over a few ice cubes or with a splash of cold water added.
A Greek Souvenir for Your Kitchen: Olive Oil
If liquor isn’t your thing, bring home some delicious cooking oil instead. Greece has an abundance of olive tree farms and olive oil made from Greek olives is in high demand. Greek extra virgin olive oil is often considered some of the best (if not the best) in the world, and – just like with ouzo – a tasting is a great and delicious way to find out which kind you like best.
Beauty items made with Greek olive oil, such as soaps, hair products, and lotions, are also popular Greek.
Greek Souvenir to Make You Feel Fashionable: Leather Sandals
Your shoe collection won’t be complete until you have a pair of leather sandals from Greece added to it. One of the top Greek souvenirs you can get when in port in Athens is handmade leather sandals created by local artisans who sell their wares in Monastiraki Market.
Monastiraki Market is located in Athen’s eclectic Monastiraki neighborhood and is a popular place to shop and dine. When looking for leather sandals, know that several shops sell them so check a few for the pair that best fits your style since you can find simple ones or sandals with metallic or lace embellishments. You can even get custom leather sandals made at some shops if you can’t find just what you are looking for.
Superstitious Greek Souvenir: Evil Eye Jewellery
Flickr/Vik Walker (CC BY 2.0)
Another item you’ll see when shopping in Monastiraki and many other shops all around Greece is evil eye jewellery. Evil eye jewellery is an excellent Greek souvenir because it’s something you can wear and it also has cultural significance in Greece.
The evil eye is used to ward off bad luck created by jealousy from others who may covet good fortune you’re having. The evil eye will help bounce off any bad vibes from those jealous people and ensure your good fortune continues.
It’s hard to miss the evil eye when shopping since it will be a big eye staring back at you as you browse through the shop. In addition to seeing it on jewellery, you also may encounter the evil eye in artwork and home décor while shopping in Greece.
Santorini-Inspired Greek Souvenir: Volcanic Rock Jewelry
If you’re heading to Santorini on a Greek Isle cruise there’s another jewellery souvenir you’ll want to get that comes straight from the Earth.
Santorini’s geographic landscape is completely influenced by the volcano that the island gently curves around. The actual outline of the island of Santorini with its crescent shape and steep caldera on one side was created by a volcano eruption thousands of years earlier that crumbled part of the ocean into the sea (subsequently creating that jaw-dropping caldera). On the other side of the island there many not be magnificent cliffs, but there are other picture-worthy landscapes: black and red beaches.
The beaches get their colour from the volcanic rock and ash that has mixed with the sand and pebbles of the shoreline over the centuries. To remember the incredible volcano-infused views of Santorini you can get a piece of jewellery created with rugged black beads made out of volcanic rock from the island.
The necklaces and bracelets you see may have other gems and stones in them as well, which add pops of colour to the otherwise neutral-coloured volcano beads. If you’re on a budget, look for jewellery with just one volcano stone. For a statement necklace with a whole string of volcano rock beads, expect to spend a lot more. It makes for a great conversation starter, though, when you inevitably get complimented on your uniquely fashionable Greek souvenir.
The Best Greek Souvenir is One You Always Carry With You: Memories
The best Greek souvenir, however, are the memories you treasure after a vacation in Greece. One of the best ways to travel through Greece and create these memories is on a Mediterranean cruise that makes multiple Greece ports of call.
Celebrity Cruises travels to Greece on many Mediterranean cruises and visits the popular cruise ports of Athens, Mykonos, Santorini, and Corfu, as well as Nauplion, Crete, and Rhodes. Booking your Greek cruise with Celebrity Cruises is easy – simply find your perfect Mediterranean cruise itinerary and then book your accommodations along with your airfare and activities all in the same place at the same time.
Travel the world with Canadian Traveller
Experience The World Subscription Box
Do you want to travel to a new country every three months? You can!
Each season, Canadian Traveller ships a destination-themed box curated with 5+ items that evoke the sights, flavours and decor of a country.
Take a peek at our Fall 2019 ETW box which brought our readers to Greece.