Artisan Adventures: Exploring Local Crafts on Greek Island Routes

Discover artisan traditions and archaeological ruins across Greece on this 10-day adventure. Spend time in the historic capital, visit Delphi and its fabled oracle, then sail around the crystalline islands.

Workshop your way through this 10-day family trip, with school-aged children participating in treasure hunts and comic-making workshops in Athens. Later, explore the Cycladic island of Tinos with its beach-focused daytimes and lively nightlife.


Many local products come from Greek islands, but some stand out above the rest. On the northern island of Milos, for example, the artisan center Pythagorion offers a variety of workshops and studios dedicated to contemporary art and sustainable design. The site also hosts a gallery, a theatre for screenings and presentations, and a startup summit to support young entrepreneurs in the region.

The southern island of Skyros, meanwhile, attracts a devoted following for its diminutive carved furniture and painted ceramics. The island is also known for its mastic, which can be found in sweets, beauty products, and liqueurs throughout the region.

The Cyclades are the prototypical “Greek Islands” with their chalk-white houses, rocky landscapes, and delightful beaches. You can spend your days visiting ancient sites on the mainland, strolling a lively bazaar in Athens’s Psyrri district, or shopping for t-shirts and sunglasses at Mykonos’ famed windmills.

As you island hop, look for the small non-chain stores that focus on artisan pieces and are committed to more sustainable practices. This way, you can avoid the crowds of tourists and support a good cause while you shop for souvenirs. You can find all the best places to buy local goods in Greece on, where you can also check ferry schedules and book your trip! If you’re bringing a large group, consider renting a car or scooter with one of our partners to explore the island’s back lanes and beaches at a relaxed pace.


The most cosmopolitan of the Sporades Islands, Skiathos has been a popular summer destination for generations and is still a favorite with families, but it’s also well-loved by couples and singles seeking a romantic getaway. Beaches are a main draw but there’s also culture to discover in the form of old-fashioned wooden monasteries and a ruined citadel, plus plenty of watersports, riding, hiking, and biking for active travelers.

Car hire is available but not really necessary because the island is compact and a frequent bus service connects the beaches and towns. You can also rent scooters, ATVs and ATV/motorbike tours but be sure to understand the local driving laws before renting (plus don’t forget a helmet).

A highlight of your time here should be a visit to the Kounistras monastery in the hills behind Troulos. It’s an unassuming place run by a lady named Roula who lives on the money she makes from selling candles, but it’s a must-see. Other highlights include the ruins at Kastro which can be reached by excursion boats and the Evangelistria Monastery where revolutionaries plotted their fight for independence from the Turks.

The main town of Skiathos offers a wide range of hotels from beachfront to boutique and family-friendly. If you’re looking for something a little different then try the new Nami (street food) which is on Papadiamantis Street in town, it’s owned and run by two young Greek men who pride themselves on quality and service.


The sleepy island of Skopelos shot to fame when the movie Mamma Mia was filmed on its beaches and forest-clad coastline. The island’s mix of Aegean blue and pine-forest green has captivated visitors ever since. In fact, it’s one of the most popular Greek islands.

Take your time to explore the dreamy beaches and village alleyways of Hora (the main town) on foot or by bike and be sure to visit the dazzling white church of Panagias, which resembles a Byzantine icon. You might also enjoy tasting local cheeses and honey, which are a staple of the cuisine here. The most famous of the cheeses is feta, a semi-soft, crumbly, well-salted white cheese. It’s often used in Skopelos cheese pies like tiropita, a deep-fried spiral of cheese and phyllo dough. Locally produced honey comes in a range of varieties including pine and flower-honey.

Discover artisan markets where you can unearth one-of-a-kind souvenirs crafted by talented Greek artisans and support small businesses at the same time. You might find intricate pottery, exquisite jewelry, or traditional handwoven textiles that reflect the beauty and elegance of Greek culture. Or, pick up a glass of ouzo, the local spirit, at a bar or cafe. On some Grand Circle itineraries, you’ll also learn about Greece’s modern-day culture from those who live and work here—from a baker who still makes her own phyllo dough by hand to a small community of nuns who welcome travelers for a home-hosted dinner.


Rhodes has long been a cosmopolitan, popular vacation destination. Its vast beaches, ancient ruins and remnants of the Knights of St. John during the Crusades make it a draw for all types of travelers. But this Dodecanese island has even more to offer, from a rich and complex history to a variety of cultural attractions and natural wonders.

The imposing walled city of Rhodes is the most obvious highlight of the island, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Stroll the medieval Street of the Knights and admire the castlelike Palace of the Grand Masters, a former residence for the Knights that was captured by the Ottoman Turks and is now a museum.

Other top sights include the Acropolis of Lindos, a ruined temple dedicated to Athena, and the Colossus of Rhodes, a bronze statue erected in 305 bce to commemorate the city’s victory over a siege by Demetrius I Poliorcetes. Rhodes was a leading centre of artistic expression in antiquity, and its sculptors produced notable works such as the Laocoon group.

For an off-the-beaten path look at the island, head inland to Asklipio, where a little church and exhibits honor the continuity of medical science from ancient times to modern midwives and nurses. Another highlight is Cape Prasonisi, the southernmost tip of Rhodes and a great spot to watch for dolphins.