As I begin to write gift lists for the upcoming holidays, I thought it would make sense to write a Greek gift guide. You can use it to find gifts for those in your life who love Greece, have traveled to Greece or plan to visit the country.
Here are the categories of gifts you can browse:
- Greece travel-related gifts
- Greece books (photo books, fiction, non-fiction, etc.)
- Movies/DVDs shot in Greece
- Greek music
- Gifts to help you learn the Greek language
- Random Greek-themed gifts
Lonely Planet Greek Islands (Regional Travel Guide) : this is an excellent gift for those who plan a vacation in Greece. This updated edition offers accurate, practical and updated advice from experts who have been to Greece.
Rick Steves Greece: Athens & the Peloponnese: Rick has extensive knowledge about Greece thanks to his many travels in the country. His mission, through his books, television series, radio show, an app, and podcast, is to male European travel fun, affordable and culturally broadening for Americans.
Fodor’s Greece: with Great Cruises & the Best Islands (Full-color Travel Guide): Written by locals, the Fodor’s Greece guide offers expert advice for all tastes and budgets. The guide includes maps, hotels and restaurant recommendations, and itineraries.
Moleskine City Notebooks Atina : the series includes the Moleskine City Notebook Athina and is an excellent journal for those who’ve been to Athens and want to create their own travel guidebook. It includes the map of the metro system and the list of stations.
Nikos Kazantzakis – Zorba the Greek : it is a tale of a young intellectual who ventures to escape his life with the help of Alexis Zorba. The book opens in a café in Piraeus and then the action is moved to Crete. Eventually, the narrator (the young intellectual) returns to the mainland, having the sense that he is needed somewhere else.
Louis de Bernieres – Corelli’s Mandolin: A Novel : it is a story of the island of Cephallonia, which finds itself in the middle of the World War II. Pelagia, a beautiful local girl, is caught between two suitors: Mandras, the local fisherman, and charming, mandolin-playing Captain Corelli, an officer from the Italian garrison on the island. The novel is passionate love story set on the beautiful Greek islands.
More Hidden Crete – A Notebook by Richard Clark: Another book from the “A notebook” series, More Hidden Crete includes even more charming stories about hidden places on the amazing island of Crete. You will also be delighted by accounts of visiting popular places at the perfect time when the crowds are just not there.
Two Faces of January : A classic psychological thriller, The Two Faces of January, highlights Athens and Crete. The action starts in a grubby Athens hotel and climaxes shockingly at the ruins of the labyrinth at Knossos.
Meze: Small Bites Big Flavors from the Greek Table : the reader can learn how to prepare the meze and you’ll definitely be the talk of all the parties you’ll attend or host from now on. You also learn to slow down and enjoy the food made from simple, Mediterranean ingredients. The book comprises 65 recipes. It’s a lovely gift for those passionate about cooking.
Cooking with Loula: Greek Recipes from My Family to Yours : Alexandra Stratou invites the readers into her Greek family’s kitchen, revealing their traditions and bringing their recipes to life. The book includes many classic dishes, as well as unconventional creations.
Greek (Modern), Conversational: Learn to Speak and Understand Modern Greek with Pimsleur Language Programs (includes a CD): Greek is spoken in Greece and also in Cyprus, but it’s not an easy language to learn. First of all, you have to tackle a new alphabet. But when lessons are thought in the right way, it’s impossible not to learn at least some basic Greek. It is an excellent gift for those who plan to visit Greece and also for those who are passionate about foreign languages.
Read ; Speak Greek for Beginners (Book w/Audio CD): The Easiest Way to Communicate Right Away! : this book explains sentence structures for every day use and teaches the basic vocabulary. Learning Greek can be fun and not intimidating. By the time you’ve read the book, you should be able to introduce yourself, ask for directions, describe what you do and ask where things are located…all this in Greek. It’s an excellent gift for those who plan to travel to Greek and want to use the local language.
Greek: 101 Common Phrases (Kindle Edition): It is always a good idea to know some phrases in the local language when you travel somewhere. This book will enable you to be polite and respectful to your hosts, communicate during emergencies, and barter for souvenirs.
Mamma Mia! The Movie (Widescreen) : this is the ideal gift for anyone who loves musicals, ABBA and Greece…not particularly in this order, though. Add Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan to the mix and there’s one movie which can keep you occupied for a few hours.
Zorba the Greek : staying true to the book on which is based, the plot revolved around the Greek peasant Zorba (Anthony Quinn) who teaches the young Brit Basil the facts of life. The soundtrack is also legendary and is composed by Mikis Theadorakis.
For Your Eyes Only: Limited Edition Steelbook (Blu-ray + Digital HD) : this is yet another movie from the James Bond series, with Roger Moore playing the lead. Bond is sent to recover a communication device but the Russians are on his track. Part of the action takes place in Greece. It’s a good gift choice for someone passionate about spy movies, the James Bond series or Roger Moore.
The Bourne Identity (Widescreen Extended Edition) : An American who has mysterious violent skills (Matt Damon) and a European vagabond (Franka Potente), race across Europe to escape the forces which want to kill them. It can be a good gift for someone who collects Matt Damon movies.
Captain Corelli’s Mandolin : the film doesn’t stay true to the book, so those who read the book might be a bit sad (or surprised). Still, it’s a good adaptation and preserves the novel’s flavor. The action is set on the Greek island of Cephallonia and begins in 1940 when the Italians occupied the island. Captain Corelli (Nicolas Cage) is instantly drawn to Pelagia (Penélope Cruz), although she’s already engaged to Mandras (Christian Bale). It’s a lovely story which threatens to have a tragic end. The movie is a good choice for a gift for someone who has read the book and likes love stories. Also, both Cage and Cruz fans will love it.
Summer Lovers: An affair turns into a threesome on the Greek islands. The superb setting will make anyone book their next trip to Greece!
Demis Roussos: Forever & Ever – 40 Greatest Hits : he is one of the best known Greek singers. He has sold over 40 million albums worldwide. One of his best known songs is “Good bye, my love, good bye”.
Vasilis Karras & Elli Kokkinou Best Of Spicy: Close your eyes and feel the passion. Words don’t need to be understood when the language of music is spoken.
Best of Traditional Greek Music & Sirtaki, The popular Dance of Greece: for anyone passionate about the Greek music and dances, this is the perfect gift. It will also spark some memories if you’ve been to a Greek taverna and saw some live dances.
Olive Oil Soap : olive oil is used not only for salads, but also for medical and cosmetic purpose. The soap forms a protective film which keeps the hands hydrated.