We know what you’re thinking — going on holiday to a place like Santorini means all rest, no real shopping…right? Well, that’s where you’re wrong. Santorini has grown a reputation as a true shopping mecca for a lot of different crowds. The focus on handmade goods attracts quite a few people who are jaded by the usual garbage in the big box retail shops. It also attracts people that are looking for something one of a kind that their friends wouldn’t have back home.
If you’re a big shopping fan, this guide is definitely for you.
The first thing that you’re going to have to pay attention to is geography. We’re not trying to make jokes here — the island has a big caldera that plunges right down into the sea. This means that if you want to do any shopping, you’re going to have to climb hundreds of steps to get anywhere. You can do that, or you can take the railway. If you’re going to walk everywhere, comfortable shoes are a must. While some people take Santorini by storm in heels, you’re asking to wear yourself out. The hills are just too steep and there are plenty of steps to go up and down in.
Be aware that some places are ripe for negotiation, and others are not. Know when it’s allowed to negotiate the prices and when the prices are fixed. If it’s your first time in Santorini, you will want to know that the market is where you go to haggle, and the regular shops aren’t really a place where you haggle. Of course, if you see someone else doing it, you might want to ask just in case. There’s nothing like being able to get a good deal on your hands, you know!
There are a lot of different things that you can take off the island of Santorini.
Clothes would have to be the biggest surprise for first time travelers to the island. A lot of people don’t associate high fashion with an island like Santorini, but they definitely should. You’ll be able to find a lot of different clothes, and there are even people that can make custom pieces for you. Just ask around — the locals will tell you where you can go!
There’s also plenty of jewelry to be found on the island, with amazing stones set into the metals. You won’t be spending nearly as much as you would in say, London or somewhere else. It’s completely up to you to figure out what you want to get done.
There’s some yummy food to be had as well. If you’re into wines and cheeses, Santorini has plenty of choose from. The soil is very rich on the island, and it produces some of the finest grapes in the Greek Islands.
You can also find an amazing cheese called Chlorotiri. It is a bit sour, but many locals wear by having it. If you go into any local taverna, they’re likely to have some for you to try before you order a lot of it.
There are a few places on the island where you can get fine leather goods, like purses and even big leather coats. Even though the island has a temperate climate, they know that tourists are usually coming from colder places.
This is a place where you would do well to bring a bit of shopping money, because you will not get away with bargain prices everywhere. This is an island that runs on tourism, you know. The less tourist-infested the village is, the more likely it is that you’re going to get a good deal. Just keep your eyes peeled, be willing to walk away from bad deals, and have fun with it!