With a diverse landscape of quaint whitewashed villages, lush meadows, dramatic gorges, and pine-scattered hillsides rolling towards a periphery of beautiful beaches and interesting coves, it’s not surprising that the Guardian described Crete as being “one of the most distinctive and beautiful” of all the Greek islands.
From spending lazy days relaxing on the beach to making the most of the azure water that surrounds the island by embarking on a water sports adventure, there’s certainly something to do for everyone on Crete, including self-confessed shopaholics.
Whether you’re looking for beautiful handmade leather goods, fragrant herbs and spices, unique handcrafted jewellery, brightly-coloured beachwear, or an ornate keepsake of your holiday, Crete’s many markets, boutiques, stalls and shopping centres will have what you’re looking for.
If you’re determined to get your shopping fix during your holiday on Crete, head to the following fantastic shopping sites.
The street markets of Rethymnon
Rethymnon is a vibrant old town that lies on the north coast of Crete. Asides meandering round its Venetian harbour lined with quality tavernas and colourful fishing boats, enjoy some quality shopping time in this characterful Cretan town.
One of the town’s liveliest markets takes place on a Saturday morning at Porta Guora on the southern edge of Rethymnon’s historic centre. The streets are lined with stalls selling everything from leather sandals, unique jewellery, antiques and virtually everything in between!
Visit the shops of Agios Nikolaos
Agios Nikolaos is a chic town nestled in the stunning Mirabello Bay on the northeast coast of Crete. This beautiful harbour town boasts an upmarket, arty ambience and, like Rethymnon, is a paradise for shoppers.
The town centre is lined with shops, stores and boutiques selling souvenirs, swimwear, accessories, beach toys, and much, much more. It also caters well for the town’s strong art scene, with local artists selling their delightful wares from street stalls and boutiques.
Muse round the narrow shopping streets of Chania
Chania is a delightful Cretan town that is home to a wonderful Venetian harbour. Flanking this beautiful old port are stunning ancient buildings, churches, museums, and a copious number of craft shops.
These inviting craft shops sell a plethora of interesting, handmade items made by friendly locals. A raft of bars and restaurants are interwoven between the shops, providing the perfect place to restore some energy between shopping.