Everybody loves a good shopping trip, and we’ve all been guilty of shopping ‘til we drop on occasion. However, holiday shopping is a little different; it encourages visitors to enjoy the cultural offerings of local trade and cuisine and provides great souvenir and gift ideas!

Crete is a beautiful island, oozing with culture, tradition and new experiences – shopping included! If visiting Crete for the first time or a returning visitor, make sure you go to the local markets of Cretan villages and embrace the colourful experience, bursting with texture and creativity!

Here are a few of the must-visit local markets and what you can explore.


Crete’s market and trade industry is renowned for its beautiful handmade and traditional ranges including clothing, jewellery, haberdashery and crockery. The best shopping areas are the Kasavetis shopping centre in Hersonissos, the market on 1866 Street in Heraklion and Chania’s covered market. All markets offer something a little different, including the beautiful Agora on Odos Hatzi Michali Yannari which offers the yummiest of local produce.


Crete’s most popular souvenirs and gifts include detailed embroideries, hand carved wooden items, furnishings, beautifully made clothing, handmade jewellery and a variety of leather-made goods. All items are hand crafted and are extremely beautiful, and local inhabitants spend the majority of their time creating new goods.

Alongside the stunning leather and wood handcrafted pieces, Cretan marketplaces are popular for their sensational food and local produce stalls. The markets smell delicious as you walk through and fill the air with tasty treats and smells. If visiting Crete for the first time, indulge in local cuisine and try the flavours of Cretan bread, olives, chestnuts and honey. Crete is also extremely famous for its delicious local cheeses, so be sure to try some of their dairy delicacies.


Cretan market life rarely quietens, and the majority of ‘kiosks’ are open 24 hours, supplying everything from food and snacks to cigarettes and postcards. For the larger village markets such as Chania, daytime is the best bet to fully experience the market vibe.

For bargain hunters, October offers the perfect time to go, and as the tourist season draws to an end, shopkeepers are eager to sell their wares at lower prices.

Crete offers something for everyone; and if shopping isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other traditions to explore and enjoy! Here at Pure Crete, we offer luxurious Crete villa holidays for all types of getaways. For further information please feel free to get in contact with our friendly and helpful team on 01444 880 404 or drop us an email at info@purecrete.com and start planning your Cretan adventure today!