Shop Till You Drop in Agios Nikolaos
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Even though Agios Nikolaos is mostly active during the summer months as tourists pass through by the dozen, the town doesn’t shut down come winter. Many locals live in the area and run the stores, tavernas, and coffee shops that surround Lake Voulismeni and are found throughout the city. Regardless of what time of year you visit Agios Nikolaos, make sure to stop by to browse through the local shops. You’ll never know what you might find.
Tips for Shopping in Agios Nikolaos
A lot of shops can be found on the perimeter of Lake Voulismeni. While the central shopping area is around the street Oktovriou, there are shops scattered throughout the city all of which are worth a visit. Don’t worry about having the right currency as Agios Nikolaos is essentially a tourist town, there are many ATMs and currency-exchange machines that line the streets leading into town away From the harbor. The shopping streets are often lined with outdoor merchandise, so make sure you plan enough time for your shopping excursions, as there is plenty to see.
What to Look For:
Agios Nikolaos has many jewelry and handicraft shops featuring items from local artisans. Historically the Greeks are known for their jewelry and the local shops continue the tradition by featuring original Greek jewelry at competitive prices.
While the city does offer some designer label clothing stores, look instead for clothing and textiles that are locally made. You will find racks of clothing lined up along the shopping streets. Look for a store named Xeiropoito , which sells homemade rugs, or Chez Sonia that offers both jewelry and textiles including woven tablecloths and scarves.
Art and Artifacts
There are many shops in Agios Nikolaos that sell reproductions of ancient Greek vases and other famous Greek works of art. Additionally you may find similar items at the Archaeological Museum or Folk Museum for purchase. Stop by Ceramica to browse through reproductions of ancient Greek vases and frescoes. Stepping just outside of the city into the village of Elounda, you’ll find the Petrakis Workshop for Icons. Here Georgia and Ioannis Petrakis have a studio and a gallery to purchase icons, that many Orthodox churches in North America purchase. Besides religious icons the store also carries jewelry, ceramics, and even blown glass.
The Street Market
If you find yourself in town on a Wednesday, be sure to check out the street market. Be sure to go early, as the market is only open from 7am to 12pm. Even if you aren’t an early bird, a trip to the market will allow you to rummage through piles of clothing and other merchandise that are usually available at bargain prices. Much like many of the outdoor markets in the United States, the street market also features local food items including locally grown spices, fruits, vegetables, and honey.
Be Sure Take A Break!
Interspersed between all of these shops are countless tavernas and coffee shops, many with outdoor seating. If hopping from store to store takes a toll, take a break and enjoy local Cretan cuisine or get a caffeinated recharge from one of the many coffee shops.
This post was written by Greek Boston