Selected Shops and Services
Carmelas jewellery shop – Old Town Topanas - the charming and slightlly eccentric Carmela has brought together a rich and eclectic collection from Greece’s best jewellers. She herself is a gifted potter and was finally coinvinced a few yeas ago to offer here own work, which is tempting indeed. Carmella’s is a must for presents for self or loved ones.
Kosta’s and Roka carpet & fabric shops - Old Town – Topanas – Both these outlets, on Angelou and Zambeliou Spiridonos Streets offer a well kept secret – home made, antique Cretan bed throws, wall covers and carpets. These come in many shapes and sizes and the most striking are in rich reds and pinks with black or mulitcoloured embroideries. There can be few more treasured sourvenirs ro take home from Crete.
To Mikro Karavi Bookstore - Old Town - Splanzia - Just a few steps from Splanzia Square this is the place to find fine modern Greek literature, prose and verse, in translation (and in Greek, of course) - a valuable contribution to understanding the Greek spirit. The rather charming owner will guide you through her selection and if you ask her nicely may also share her recipe for chickpea soup...
Exantas Book & Map Shop - Old Town – Topanas – great for art books, old prints plus a small selection of classical music CDs.
Natour-Lab tours - We were recently hosted on a tour of South Western Crete by the infectuously enthusiastic team from Natour–Lab, the specialists in gastronomic tours.
This was a laid back tour: gentle driving, gentle chatting, gentle snacking and finally a fine lunch of natural ingredients in a roadside taverna. The tour is less about major sights and more about feeling how locals live and eat. One stop was a snack of simply heavenly sfakia pies (thin dough stufffed with mizithra whey cheese and doused with mountain honey), another was a walk around a village deserted 30 years ago because of a bloody vendetta over stolen sheep. Our group was small - we were able to adapt our trip and we stopped to swim in the cool and clear waters of the Libyan Sea.
Natour-Lab also organise cooking workshops at their own mountain retreat.