Got an adventurous streak? Prefer destinations oozing with Old World charm? Wanting to pack lots of dreamy locales into one exciting trip?
Chances are booking a European cruise on Carnival Cruise Line® will answer all these questions and more. Your next step will be to make sure the island of Corfu is a part of your travel plan. Situated between Greece and Italy in the Ionian Sea, Corfu offers a rich and varied history.
Here’s our list of 15 souvenirs for you to shop for while you explore this beautiful Greek Isle.
1. Marble Carvings
As you tour the city of Corfu, you’ll discover that several of its historical structures are made of marble. The entrance to the Old Fortress, for instance, is an impressive arched gateway made of marble with symbols carved into it.
Ionian Parliament’s main entryway bears inscriptions in Greek and English chiseled into its marble walls. And the inside of the Church of St. George is majestically built out of pure marble.
In Corfu’s shops, you can find locally-made marble statues, coasters, and other handcrafted carvings to literally bring back a piece of the city with you.
2. Olive Oil Soap
Olive oil in Corfu isn’t just for cooking. Artisans also makes a wonderful soap that locals have been producing for over 150 years.
This soap made from olive oil cleans, softens, moisturizes and disinfects skin. And other products you’ll find on Corfu feature additional local ingredients like herbs, honey and kumquats.
3. Olive Wood Kitchen Items
For one-of-a-kind kitchen items, look for products made from olive wood. Artisans on Corfu sculpt olive wood by hand to create utensils and other kitchen items that are just as beautiful as they are functional.
Look for wooden bowls, pitchers, cutting boards, rolling pins and mixing spoons.
4. Leather Sandals
While you’re shopping around Corfu, you can find something worn by local Greeks for centuries: leather sandals. Featuring locally-sourced leather and simple, timeless style, Greek sandals are handmade and built to last.
Additional stylish leather products found in Corfu include handbags, wallets and wrist cuffs.
Make game night with family or friends even more fun by introducing Tavli, the Greek version of backgammon. Played with the same board, checker-style pieces and dice, Tavli does, however, feature different rules than backgammon.
Learn how to play this age-old game from friendly locals, and find beautiful, handmade boards in various shops across the island.
Of all the souvenirs from Corfu, some of the most beautiful are the ceramics. Artisans mold clay to create one-of-a-kind pieces like plates, bowls, vases, pitchers and more. You can see these craftspeople working at their wheels in many studios/shops across the island.
7. Lace and Embroidery
Do you need a new tablecloth, some placemats or a few doilies? All across Corfu you’ll find shops that feature handmade Greek lace and embroidered goods.
Stop in and purchase a few for yourself or loved ones. Created with techniques passed down through generations, no two of these products are alike, and they won’t take up much room in your luggage.
8. Worry Beads (Komboloi)
For a truly authentic souvenir, pick up some worry beads, known to the Greeks as komboloi. You’ll notice as the beads move between your fingers, they click together and make a kind of music.
Find worry beads made from various materials including amber, coral, glass, wood and plastic.
9. Coffee Products
Featuring a very fine grind and a robust flavor, Greek coffee is often sweetened with sugar and sipped.
Enjoy Greek coffee long after your trip to Corfu with the purchase of coffee beans, a special brewing pot called a briki and some small demitasse cups, which you can find in many styles and colors.
10. Mati, The Greek Eye
If you’re in need of a good luck charm, take a tip from Greek folklore and get jewelry that displays the evil eye known as matiasma or mati for short.
This blue glass eye is meant to repel evil looks and bad energy that comes with them.
Across Corfu, you can find the evil eye on all kinds of jewelry including bracelets, necklaces, rings and pendants.
11. Dried Herbs
For cooking enthusiasts, you’ll find that Corfu has a wealth of dried herbs available for purchase as a gift or souvenir.
Shop for oregano, red saffron, basil, thyme and sage, and share the flavors of the Greek Isles with friends and family.
When you get home, whip up tasty Greek dishes like souvlaki, moussaka and gyros with tangy tzatziki sauce.
When you’re looking for things to do on Corfu, chances are you’ll sip some ouzo, an aperitif featuring the robust flavors of anise, fennel, cardamom, cloves, coriander and cinnamon.
If you like the taste, pick up a bottle of ouzo to take home.
When shopping for alcohol, remember that you can purchase one, duty-free liter per adult, which will be held for you by Carnival staff until the end of your voyage.
The lush, fertile landscape on Corfu produces additional agricultural products to those already listed, including golden honey.
Look for containers of honey in shops across the island, or purchase related products like bee pollen, royal jelly or beeswax candles.
14. Kumquat Products
Another home-grown product important to Corfu is the kumquat. In fact, Corfu is one of the few places that you can find kumquats in Greece.
Resembling tiny oranges, kumquats are used to create fruit preserves called spoon sweets and are served on top of Greek yogurt.
Pick up a jar of these delicious candied fruits, or purchase a bottle of neon-orange kumquat liqueur, a beverage for sipping after dinner or stirring into cocktails.
15. Flokati Rug
Add some Greek flair to your home with an authentic flokati rug.
Made with a centuries-old method invented by Greek shepherds, these shaggy, wool rugs are traditionally off-white in color, yet today you can find them in almost any hue. Flokati rugs also come in an assortment of shapes and sizes.
If you’re looking for a vacation packed with dream destinations, consider touring Europe on a Carnival cruise ship. Add a stop in Corfu for an experience you won’t forget, and keep the memory alive with one of these special souvenirs. From olive oil and leather sandals to dried island-grown herbs, there’s something for every traveler to enjoy.