Holidays in Greece are not only about the magnificent sea, nature and ancient monuments, but also a chance to bring home unique souvenirs. In addition to traditional magnets, there is a wide selection of goods reflecting the traditions of this country. Let's take a look at top-10 of them.

1. Olive oil

Long heralded as Greece's primary treasure, olive oil has been revered since ancient times. Legend has it that Athens derived its name from the olive tree, gifted by the goddess Athena in competition with Poseidon. While Poseidon offered water, Athena's olive tree won the hearts of the city's residents, leading to the city's namesake and her depiction on coins wielding an olive branch or amphora filled with oil.

Ancient Greeks cherished olive oil for its cosmetic, medicinal, and culinary properties. Today, it remains a cornerstone of Greek gastronomy and economy, pivotal to the renowned Mediterranean diet associated with Greek longevity. Notably, the island of Ikaria boasts one of the highest concentrations of centenarians worldwide.

Renowned globally for its quality, Greek olive oil makes for a splendid gift for oneself or loved ones. With a plethora of options available, souvenir shops offering Greek delicacies showcase beautifully crafted bottles in various sizes. Alternatively, large supermarkets offer a wider selection with slightly lower prices. However, recent natural disasters such as floods and wildfires have driven up olive oil prices in Greece. Hence, purchasing directly from local farmers during your vacation, such as those in Halkidiki, presents a compelling opportunity to obtain high-quality olive oil.

2. Herbs

For a practical and aromatic souvenir, consider Greek seasonings and herbs. Oregano and rosemary, known for their exceptional fragrance, are readily available, while lavender graces the markets during summer months. Explore the vibrant markets boasting an array of spices to suit every palate, along with pre-packaged sets tailored for Greek salads, barbecues, and soups.

3. Local Cheeses

Greece is a haven for cheese lovers, offering an extensive array of types and flavors that may seem daunting to the uninitiated. From classic local feta crafted from goat or sheep milk to the delicate mizithra and cheesecake-like manouri, the options are plentiful. Don't miss out on sampling hard varieties such as Kasseri, kefalotyri, and graviera. Some cheeses come infused with delightful additions like pistachios, lavender, or pepper.

A must-have Greek product to bring home is authentic halloumi. It was officially recognized by the European Commission as a traditional Cypriot delicacy, alongside with feta that was recognized a Greek traditional product. Look for the PDO (Protected Design of Origin) mark on packaging to ensure authenticity and quality. You can find these cheeses in supermarkets, tourist shops, and bustling markets. Discover the best markets in Thessaloniki for fresh produce in our dedicated article.

4. Honey

Renowned for its sweetness and purity, Greek honey makes for an exquisite souvenir. Opt for honey sourced from local beekeepers at markets, where you'll often find varieties infused with nuts—a delightful treat. Greek mountain honey, in particular, boasts a distinctive flavor profile. Consider exploring the offerings of local beekeepers while on an excursion to Olympus for an authentic taste experience.

5. Greek Sweets

Indulge in Greece's rich dessert culture by sampling an array of traditional sweets available at zacharoplastio, local confectionery shops scattered throughout the country. Treat yourself to baklava, halva, lokum, pastels, kozinaki (nut or sesame seed bars), and tsoureki (sweet butter bread), along with an assortment of pies—a perfect gift for loved ones.

These delectable treats can be found in supermarkets, markets, and specialty zacharoplastio. Don't miss out on iconic desserts like portokalopita (orange pie soaked in syrup), karidopita (walnut pie with syrup), chocolate pie, as well as various cookies and chocolates. During festive seasons, melomacarona honey cookies are ubiquitous during Christmas, while whimsically designed chocolate eggs adorn shelves before Easter.

Each Greek region boasts its own unique desserts, such as Thessaloniki's trigona panoramatos—phyllo dough cones filled with custard. The only thing to consider here is to pack your sweets well to ensure their safe trip home. 

6. Wine and Ouzo

Greek alcohol makes for cherished souvenirs, offering a taste of the country's rich winemaking tradition and vibrant spirits. Explore the numerous wineries scattered across Greece, where you can sample local wines and select your favorite bottles to bring home. When browsing souvenir shops, consider wines from Crete and retsina—a traditional light wine often mixed with cola for a refreshing drink.

For a stronger option, consider ouzo—a quintessential Greek aniseed vodka. Many shops and cafes offer ouzo in charming 100 ml souvenir bottles, perfect for convenient travel in your hand luggage.

7. Greek Cosmetics

Greece boasta a rich cosmetic heritage. While the mass market selection may be modest, numerous local brands offer high-quality cosmetics infused with natural ingredients. From hair and face masks to creams and body milk, explore formulations featuring volcanic ash, honey, Greek yogurt, olive, or rose extracts. Discover more about Greek cosmetics and brands in our previous article.

8. Church Utensils

For pilgrims and culture enthusiasts alike, exploring church utensils offers a glimpse into Greece's rich religious heritage. As an Orthodox country adorned with ancient monasteries and churches, religion holds profound significance in local society.

Browse church shops or temple stalls for handwritten icons, books, silverware, and woven bracelets—a symbol of good fortune worn by locals. To acquire special church souvenirs, venture to Greece's Christian centers like Corfu, the monasteries of Meteora and Athos, or Thessaloniki's vicinity, particularly near the Church of St. Demetrius.

9. Wool Products

Surprisingly, Greece—a predominantly southern nation—produces captivating woolen products, especially renowned in its northern and mountainous regions such as Olympus, Kastoria, and Thessaloniki. Explore traditional sheep wool slippers adorned with vibrant embroidery, handmade vests, blankets, rugs, pillowcases, and textiles featuring intricate local patterns.

10. Local Brands

While journeying across Greece, keep an eye out for small local brands crafting verious treasures—from delectable sweets to apparel, cosmetics, jewelry, bags, and traditional souvenirs. Every city and village boasts local artisans, offering an authentic taste of Greek craftsmanship.

For instance, Tilt—a quaint shop nestled in Thessaloniki's vibrant Ano Poli district—offers traditional souvenirs, handmade notebooks, shopping bags, and T-shirts. If you want to dive deeper into Greek fashion, take a look at gazou boutique rooting from Thessaloniki.