The best part about shopping in Greece is that these products are affordable and genuine. Yes, there are some cheaper products such as soap that includes parabens and SLS, but searching for a pure product is easy and does not require hours of reading labels. I spent time in Crete and Santorini and found that Santorini was more expensive compared to Crete. But, overall both islands offer products that are cheaper than the US and EU. Don’t worry about the Euro to Dollar exchange, its near even and these products taste and feel so good that you’ll later cry at the grocery store buying some “thick as tar” olive oil that was processed in a plant in Timbuktu, Texas. Leave plenty of room in your suitcase for these fantastic Greek products.
Do you like olive oil infused with chili and Greek herbs? Do you need a vat of oil to cook your favorite pasta sauce? If so, you’ll find all kinds of oil in Greece. Greek olive oil differs from most oils I’ve tasted. There are two exceptions – Italy and Croatia – I found the olive oil is similar between these three countries. The oil is thinner, almost a watery substance, that boasts flavor and purity. The oils produced in Greece are the highest quality extra virgin olive oil ever created on the planet. It’s an addicting substance that you know is doing the body good.
Greece has an abundant of olive and grape trees due to its high desert landscape. Every oil differs based on the olive, but most use the traditional silver-green olive. In Crete, I like the Zero Two brand.
Olive oil soap is the candy of Greece. Everywhere and every shop sells olive oil-based soaps. It is a must try for your sun-kissed (or burnt) skin. Depending on the brand, various scents are available with olive oil as its main ingredient. I recommend reading the labels to distinguish artificial ingredients. The brand I found to love is KNOSSOS. I purchased the aloe vera soap and it contains four ingredients: olive oil, water, salt and aloe vera fragrance.
Once again, olive oil-based skin and spa products are every woman’s fountain of natural youth. Lotion, shampoos, hair treatment cream, sunburn cream and nighttime face lotion – you can find every type of skin and body product in Greece. In fact, I recommend not bringing anything over and just buying everything you need in Greece. The brand I found and fell in love with is Messinian Spa. The aloe vera sun burn cream and olive oil, pomegranate & honey body milk is out of this world amazing. Each time I apply the products it smells as if Zeus massaged my body with ancient herbs while bathing under a trellis of grape leaves. The products are paraben and SLS free.
Oh yes, what’s been a trending topic for the last two years in the States have been part of the ancient Greek diet for Centuries. You can find the pink salt at many of the natural-based gift shops and street side markets. I purchased a 500-gram bag for 1.50 Euros. Seriously, it’s that cheap. Stock up before you have to spend ten dollars for a small shaker at Whole Foods.
I know, I know. Honey is not vegan. But most people reading this is probably not vegan and may have an interest in honey. Greek honey is a powerful healing tool used to overcome immune issues and maintain weight. It’s an integral ingredient in Grecian desserts. I taste tested several honey products and marveled over the romance my tongue experienced. My favorite included the “Flower Greek Honey” made from Grecian flowers and wild herbs.
No Greek experience is complete without a bag of spices. Shops sell everything from single spices to mixed herbs suitable for meats, salads and rice dishes. I recommend purchasing the Greek salad or feta spice packets. These consist of four to five herbs used in Greek salads or placed atop of a hunk of feta.
Oh what the hell, why not pick yourself up an olive tree? Local shops sell these tiny trees for a reasonable price. I’m not sure how this would hold up with immigration into the United States, but if in the EU, you can easily transport the plant without border control hassle. Trees are energy, and olive trees are the most authentic forms of Grecian energy (besides lemon trees).
Santorini Island is one big pumas stone consisting of white, black and red pumus rock. Rub, scrub and massage your feet and body with an authentic pumas stone made directly in Greece.
When in Stalis Beach, Crete, I recommend these products from Diktamos located at 110 Ag. Ioannou Str. Stalis, Heraklion, Crete. Phone number: 28970 32573. I purchased all products (except the salt) at Diktamos.
I purchased travel-sized products because I had a carryon bag. Prices based on the products in the picture above:
Honey – 1 Euro
0.1 liter Olive oil and 100 gram Soap combo pack – 2.50 Euro
Messinian Spa lotion 55 ml – 1.60 Euro
Himilayan Salt 500 grams – 1.50 Euro
Greek Salad Spices 40 grams – 1.30 Euro