Rhodes Town

In Rhodes town, it's the Old Town that is of special interest to shoppers. Here you'll find classic and contemporary gold and silver jewelry almost everywhere. The top-of-the-line Greek designer Ilias LaLaounis has a boutique on Museum Square. Alexandra Gold, on Odos Sokratous next to the Alexis Restaurant, offers stylish European work, elegant gold and platinum link bracelets, and beautifully set precious gems. For a dazzling collection of authentic antique and reproduction jewelry, as well as ceramics, silver, glass, and everything you'd expect to find in a bazaar, drop into Royal Silver, Odos Apellou 15 (off Odos Sokratous).

For imported leather goods and furs (the former often from nearby Turkey and the latter from northern Greece), stroll the length of Odos Sokratous. Antiquity buffs should drop into the Ministry of Culture Museum Reproduction Shop on Odos Ippitou, which sells excellent reproductions of ancient sculptures, friezes and tiles.

True antiques (furniture, carpets, porcelain and paintings) can be found at Kalogirou Art, Odos Panetiou 30, in a wonderful old building with a pebble-mosaic floor and an exotic banana-tree garden near the Knights Palace.

Local Products

The truth of the matter is that most of the local and traditional products that can be found in Rhodes are also widely available throughout Greece. Several products, however, bear a special, exclusively Rhodian mark. Some of the top quality local products of the region include:

Rhodian honey
Honey, in its rare form, is yet another distinctive product of the island. It is made by bees especially committed to thimati (like oregano) but also the many other wild herbs, flowers as well as pine forests that grow on the island add to its aromatic richness. To get this you may have to drive to the villages of Siana or Vati and ask who has some extra. It`s mostly sold out of private homes, as locals are in no hurry to give it up.

Rhodian olive oil
Olive oil is another art of the island, and again as in the case of the locally produced honey, the best olive oil is sold out of private homes which goes to say that you have to make discreet inquiries to find the sources.

Rhodian hand-made carpets
Rhodes is also famed for handmade carpets and kilims, an enduring legacy from centuries of Ottoman occupation. There are currently some 40 women around the island who make carpets in their homes; some monasteries are also in on the act. There's a local carpet factory known as Kleopatra at Ayios Anthonias, on the main road to Lindos near Afandou; and, in the Old Town, these and other Rhodian handmade carpet and kilims are sold at Elafos, Odos Sokratous 25, and Royal Carpet, Odos Apellou 15. Finally, there is 'Rhodian' lace and embroidery, much of which comes from Hong Kong. Ask for help to learn the difference between what's local and what's imported.

Ceramics, Pottery, Embroidery
Finally, the island of Rhodes is also famous for its fine ceramic plates made in the village of Lindos, excellent pottery made in Archangelos, its lace and beautiful multicolored embroideries made in the villages of Embonas and Lindos. Alas, nowadays lots of those products come from Asian countries so you might be better off asking for help to learn the difference between what's local and what's imported.