Shopping In Crete


Even if we don't actually buy much when we're on holiday, the urge is generally there to go and see what people buy and what the local shops have to offer regardless of whether we want to indulge ourselves.

Don't imagine that retail therapy is restricted to olive oil and sheeps milk yoghurt because you're visiting a Greek island! You may well find that you'll have to give yourselves a stern lecture before you venture out, particularly into the large towns. Then again, you might go out with the intention of taking home some mementoes of a lovely holiday and in this case you will be spoiled for choice.
Shopping In Crete
 

Gold
This has always been one of the most popular choices with
ladies who like to collect small but not necessarily economical
pieces of jewellery. Most high quality pieces are made
in 18 carat and the ancient Greek copies are more
frequently fashioned from 24 carat as it is softer
and can be molded to better resemble the original
pieces in the museums. For less delicate pieces 14
carat is the norm. Look out for craftsmen where you
can design your own jewellery and the goldsmith will
make it. The same goes for silver. Greek designs are
very different and very special.

Local markets
All the main towns have markets on specific days of the week. Here you will mainly see local produce which farmers bring to town so it might be a good idea to buy your fruit, vegetables and cheeses here rather than the supermarket. Prices are better and produce will be fresher. This is also a good place to look out for cheap swim suits for all the family as well as clothing and shoes.
Olives
Yes really! The most common Greek olives which are imported to Britain are the black Kalamata olives preserved in vinegar but there are so many more varieties from tiny, salty, shriveled black olives served with an aperitif to soft squishy ones which are great with a lump of cheese, salted cucumber sticks and crusty bread. Keep a look out for them on the local markets, in small corner shops as well as large supermarkets. You can usually try before you buy!

Ceramics
Wherever we go on holiday we can always seem to find a local industry producing ceramics and Crete is no different. Except of course here they come in all shapes, sizes, colours, uses etc.

There is a good export market for the huge 'pitharia' – the tall terracotta pots – traditionally used for storing wine and oil. These can be transported to your home if you want but it might be easier to scour the local artisans shops for a small but unique piece with more modern lines and colours. The problem will be where to start and how to choose!

Tea
Honestly! Local herbs are gathered, dried and blended into many different infusions so if you're a lover of herbal teas you're in for a treat. Look out for packets labelled Mountain Tea and Malotira which is a light refreshing infusion which has similar soothing properties as chamomile tea. Tilio has soporific effects and aids sleep whilst every home should have a packet of chamomile if only to use it as a final rinse after washing your hair.

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