There are many olive trees in Corfu, there were some parts of the main road that were covered by the high branches of the trees, it looked like a tree tunel! The local olive trees (pic 2) are different than the ones in mainland, the first thing I noticed was that they are much higher. The funny thing is that although there were olive tress since the ancient times it was the Venetans that forced the local people to plant olive trees because they wanted to export it. So, at that time there were about 2 million olive trees in the island! In our days there are about 3,5 millions of this tree…
The local olive oil is very good and tasty, we tried it and we were satisfied 100%. You will also many stores with wooden souvenirs, most of them are made from olive wood. They aren’t expensive and they are great for gift.
What to buy: We found some nice souvenirs at Agios Spyridon street, not different from other stores in the old town but normal prices and friendly staff. They have a lot of souvenirs made by olive wood, we bought one with a small bottle and two shots, great for decoration but also helpful for the lemonchelo :)
Near the Cathedral, in the Old Town we bought some nice wooden souvenirs here. They have a lot of nice frames for kids’ room with cartoon images etc. You can ask miss Erefili (the owner) to write on it everything, names, date etc (for free). She gouges the frame and make it unique just because it has something you asked on it.
The frames cost 9 euros (small size) and 12 euros the bigger ones
In this little village called Makrades is a selection of shops selling locally made wine, honey, olive oil and olive marmalade etc.
They also have table clothes, men and women clothing, well in fact just about everything you need to take home for family and friends.
The quality of the stuff here is far better than you find in the resorts.
However the downside is, because the shopping is far better, don't be surprised if half a dozen coaches turn up with shoppers. At this point it gets very busy, so just go over the road to the bar and have a couple of drinks until it quietens down a bit and then continue with your shopping.
What to buy: Local craft items.
There are a lot of workshops selling items made from the olive trees, very nice items but a little bit pricey.
Local honey sold on the roadside at little stalls.
We found several local products here, drinks, koum kouat, mandoles, mandolato, We bought some small marmalades from koum kouat(3,30e), the big ones for 6e, some other sweets for 3 to 6 euros, many small bottles of lemonchelo or koum kouat too, at usual size and prices like in other places though.
Most of the stores have the same stuff from koum kouat or lemonchelo. You can also find these drinks at most of the markets with slightly better prices but the difference is not more than 0,5 euros. The souveris shops have better bottle shapes too (especially those ones that have Corfu’s shape)
If you want just to buy fresh fruits and vegetables you can visit the market (pic 4) which is located at the back side of the New Fortress, early in the morning is very busy and lovely with all the kiosks selling fresh products (vegetables, fruits, flowers, fishes)
If you have read my Local Custom about Botides, have in mind that you can buy your own too, During the holy week the street vendors will sell the size/type you like to break or to keep as a souvenir (pic 5)
What to buy:
You can find everything you want in Corfu,Jewellery,Gift Shop,boutiques,leather,book,souvenirs,clothes,shoes,sunglasses.
What to pay: Well i buy a handbag in a boutique,there was the price on it,and the lady say i will give you a discount on it:-)
You can always speak about what to pay.
This supermarket is not that large but has everything you will need. I bought some nice bottles of Ouzo here for a very cheap price. I also bought a towel of Corfu here which was also very cheap. This store not only has food and drink but also sells a good variety of souveniers and best of all it is located right on the beach!
What to buy: Buy Ouzo here. Ouzo is a traditional Greek drink easily found only in Greece.
What to pay: 2-10 Euro a bottle
About 20 Kilometers south of Corfu Town on the east coast you will find the village of Moraitika, nestled on a hillside overlooking the 4 kilometer long, shallow, sandy beach. It´s a bit of a laid back resort with a good sprinkling of tavernas and bars. To be honest the main street of Moraitika is a bit of a ugly strip of bars, restaurants and shops, but its beach is probably the best between Corfu Town and Kavos.
If you´re interested in shopping and getting that Corfu t/shirt and hat, you´re on the right spot. It has it all, like supermarkets, cloth shops, tourists shops, jewellery, leather goods and (for example) olive wood sculptures. Besides that it has Dr. Balis Medical Centre, a hairdresser, go-karting, travel offices providing various boat trips, coach island excursions to Aqualand, et cetera.
We took the path opposite of the church and went to the ruined Byzantine fortress. It's abandoned to the whims of nature and the entrance is almost hidden by wild flowers. The castle was built in the 14th century by the Angevin conquerors of Corfu. The Venetians finally overran the castle and in revenge razed it almost to the ground. But it's still worth visiting, because it lead us to a vantage point offering spectacular views over Kassiopi's bay and up to Mount Pantokrator.
What to buy: After a nice cold frapé in the village centre we returned to the harbour area. We ended up at Agathi's Lace Shop. Greece is famous for its handmade lace and embroidered cotton and there is lots of choice at this shop! We also saw women at work as they made lace tablemats and embroidered tablecloths. When we left the village we said to each other that Kassiopi is still a working historical port and it's an interesting one too!
The monastery of the Blessed Virgin Mary stands on a rocky promontory on the west coast of the island. According to the tradition the monastery was built in the 13th century (1225 to be exact. It consists of the church in the centre, surrounded by a complex of courtyards, rows of monks' cells, storerooms, oil-presses, abbot's quarters and an open terrace and garden with a magnificent view. The church was probably restored in the 18th century, as indicated by the date 1722 carved on the lintel above the main doorway. In the monastery itself is a small museum with Byzantine and Post-Byzantine icons.
We were surprised to see a skeleton of a mammoth (or some other prehistoric fossilized beast) in the center of it. It was curious to see a prehistoric skeleton in the monastery to say the least, but we're sure it has fed many legends from travellers who came upon such beast over the centuries. The little souvenir store inside the monastery is the perfect place to buy hand crafted gifts. I stood patiently in line for about twenty minutes as the man behind the counter added the prices using a small pencil and a piece of wrapping paper, and when the total was tallied, he proceeded to meticulously wrap every piece as slowly as he could. Time didn't matter though!
What to buy: Our favorite were the small bottles of olive oil that was produced by the monks and were contained in the simplest of bottles without any labels.
Kumquats have been called the little gems of the citrus family, and may be fermented and distilled into liquors. You may buy it in a lot of shops and also that include free liquor tasting.