Jewelers, leather-goods shops, and souvenir stores are everywhere -- but it's hard to find that special item that's both tasteful and distinctively Cretan. To help you, there's Kaparakis at 32 Portou (the street running below the Venetian wall, approached from the top of Kondolaki; tel. 28210/99-205). Then there's Carmela, at 7 Anghelou, the narrow street across from the Naval Museum's entrance (tel. 28210/90-487), which has some elegant ceramics and jewelry -- all original, but inspired by ancient works of art and even employing some of the old techniques.

Below, I point out some things you will not find anywhere else. And unless otherwise noted, these shops are open daily.

XPOMA (Chroma) at 42 Daskoloyiannis has a truly fine (and not cheap) selection of old prints and maps. The new Notos Bookstore (tel. 28210/86-771) at 10 Kondolaki has a surprisingly sophisticated (for its location) selection of books in several foreign languages. Call ahead if you have a special title in mind.


Step into Cretan Rugs and Blankets, 3 Anghelou (tel. 28210/98-571), to experience a realm not found elsewhere on Crete. It's an old Venetian structure filled with gorgeously colored rugs, blankets, and kilims. Prices range from 100€ to 2,000€. Or visit Roka Carpets, 61 Zambeliou (tel. 28210/74-736), where you can watch a traditional weaver at work. The carpets come in patterns, colors, and sizes to suit every taste; prices start at 20€. These are not artsy textiles, but traditional Cretan weaving.

There is no end of shops selling ceramics, trinkets and souvenirs of all kinds, for a more sophisticated selection of Greek handicrafts, try Mitos at 44 Halidon, opposite the Orthodox Cathedral (tel. 28210/88-862). Castello Vechio, at the corner of Episkopi Chrysanthos, has a unusual selection of ceramics and woodware. For a varied selection by amateur Cretan artisans, visit the Local Artistic Handicrafts Association (tel. 28210/41-885), located where the new harbor turns the corner into the old harbor.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.