Shopping in the Ionian Islands
Concierge.com's insider take:
You can get all the typical Greek souvenirs in the Ionians—museum reproductions, gold jewelry, nude calendars. But the region also has treasures you won't find anyplace else. Corfu is a good source of olive-wood handicrafts, which are sold all over the island, including on the streets surrounding St. Spyridon church in Corfu Town. Cross-stitch pillows, woven rugs, and hand-embroidered linens made by Greek women for the National Welfare Association are available in the elegant boutique Anti-Kairos in M. Theotoki Square in Corfu Town. More affordable souvenirs include liqueurs made from native kumquats, and retro-chic bars of olive oil soap made by the Patounis soap factory, which has been operating for more than a century—the factory is off San Rocco Square, but the soaps are sold in shops throughout town. Lefkada's mountain villages specialize in embroidery featuring the traditional Lefkaditiko geometric stitch. Zakynthos is clogged with loggerhead turtle tchotchkes, but you'll find handmade lace, crochet, and textiles in the village of Volimes. And all over the islands, local pottery and handicrafts make their way into the chic boutiques of upscale ports such as Fiskardo on Cephalonia and Vathy on Ithaca. Just as tempting is the local honey sold by enterprising old villagers along the highway.