Crete Shopping and Districts
Well-known in Greece for its long tradition of craftsmanship and artisanship, the shopping scene in Crete has changed somewhat in recent years, becoming nothing short of a major industry. Shopping offers a very different experience depending on where visitors are staying on Crete, with many souvenirs stores targeting the summer tourist market.
Visitors shopping for souvenirs will find plenty of choice, with popular gift ideas including ceramics, handmade leatherware, embroidered linen, many colourful woven rugs and also gold jewellery, which often features Minoan influences. For traditional Greek crafted items, you will also be able to purchase locally produced olive oil, Crete wines and tasty Greek cheeses.
Where to Shop
It is usually quite obvious that many souvenir shops on Crete do stock goods that have been mass produced and therefore may lack authenticity somewhat.
Those wishing to search for more authentic Cretan souvenirs will find plenty on offer in the largest towns, with the souvenir shopping around Hania being especially good, particularly behind the harbour.
For linen, do consider shopping at some of Crete's centrally located villages, such as Anogia or Kritsa.
If you are prepared to look through the endless lines of gift shops in both Agios Nikolaos and Rethymno, then you can find some true gems, while for clothes shopping on Crete, head to the wealthy capital city of Iraklio. Although Iraklio does have fewer souvenir outlets, the city does contain many more high-end stores.