Often times when traveling, the people you meet and purchases you pick up along the way are integral parts of the tourist experience. In Athens, the person is Pantelis Melissinos and the purchase, custom fit leather sandals.
Gheorgios Melissinos (grandfather of Pantelis) opened the now renowned sandal shop in Athens’ Monastiraki neighborhood in 1927. In the 1950′s son Stavros took over and the sandal shop became the stuff of legend that it is today. A favorite of royalty (the Queen of Greece would come in personally), celebrities (Jackie O. and Sophia Loren were regulars), locals and tourists alike, The Poet Sandal Maker of Athens is now a part of modern Greek mythology.
Today, Pantelis runs the shop where sandals (and bags) are hand crafted on premises, custom fit to each buyer by the Melissinos heir himself.
While most items that are hand crafted and custom fit require advance purchase and ample spending power, the sandals from The Poet Sandalmaker are anything but. Visitors to the shop pick from one of 41 available designs and have theirs tightened, molded and shaved to their feet on the spot. All sandals echo classic Greek footwear and are made of a light tan Cretan leather that darkens beautifully over time.
Aside from the beautiful quality of the footwear, the cost to purchase a pair made may take your breath away. At 13€- 27€, sandals from The Poet Sandalmaker may be your cheapest European purchase yet.
The Poet Sandalmaker of Athens, 2 Aghias Theklas St., Athens, Greece, +30 210 321 9247