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Travel related books on and about Elláda/Greece

Historic travel books
Personal Guides
Guides for tourism


Historic Travel books on Ellada/Greece

Robert Byron - The Station (Century, o/p). Travels on Mount Áthos in the 1930s, by one of the pioneering scholars of Byzantine art and architecture.
Martin Garrett - Greece: A Literary Companion (John Murray, UK). Brief nuggets of travel writing and the classics, arranged by region. Enjoyable and frustrating in equal measure.
Nikos Kazantzakis - Journey to the Morea (o/p). Slightly stilted translation of the Cretan novelist's journey around the Peloponese and his increasing alienation from 1930s Greece.
Edward Lear - Journals of a Landscape Painter in Greece and Albania (Century, o/p). Highly entertaining journals of two journeys through Greece and Albania in autumn 1848 and spring 1849, by the famous landscape painter and author of the following books.
The Book of Nonsense. Further doses of Lear and the following book.
The Corfu Years and The Cretan Journal, are published by Denise Harvey in Athens, but may be o/p now.
Sidney Loch - Athos, The Holy Mountain (reprinted by Molho, Thessaloniki, Greece). A resident of Ouranópoli, on the periphery of Mount Áthos, from 1924 to 1954, Loch recounts the legends surrounding the various monasteries, as gleaned from his years of walking through the monastic republic.
Terence Spencer - Fair Greece, Sad Relic: Literary Philhellenism from Shakespeare to Byron (Denise Harvey, Athens, but available in UK/published by Scholarly Press in the US). Greece from the Fall of Constantinople to the War of Independence, through the eyes of English poets, essayists and travellers.

Personal guide books on Ellada/Greece

Eugenia Fakinou's - Astradeni (Kedros, Greece*), in which a young girl leaves the island of Sími, with all its traditional values, for Athens.
Stratis Haviaras - When the Tree Sings (Picador/Simon & Shuster, both o/p) and The Heroic Age (Penguin, o/p). Two-part, faintly disguised autobiography about coming of age in Greece in the 1940s, by the poetry curator at Harvard library. Written in English because Haviaris felt his experiences too keenly to set them down in Greek.
Nikos Kazantzakis - Zorba the Greek (made into a film with Anthony Quinn);
Nikos Kazantzakis Last Temptation of Christ )
Nikos Kazantzakis Report to Greco; Freedom or Death ;
Nikos KazantzakisThe Fratricides (all Faber & Faber/Touchstone). The most accessible (and Greece-related) of the numerous novels by the Cretan master. Even with inadequate translation, their strength - especially that of Report to Greco - shines through.
Stratis Myrivilis - Life in the Tomb (Quartet/New England UP). A harrowing and unorthodox war memoir, based on the author's experience on the Macedonian front during 1917-18, well translated by Peter Bien. Completing a kind of trilogy are two later novels, set on the north coast of Lésvos, Myrivilis's homeland: The Mermaid Madonna and The Schoolmistress with the Golden Eyes (Efstathiadis, Athens, Greece).
Alexandros Papadiamantis - The Murderess (Writers & Readers, US). Turn-of-the-century novel set on the island of Skíathos. Also available is a collecton of Papadiamantis short stories,
Tales from a Greek Island (Johns Hopkins UP).
Dido Sotiriou - Farewell Anatolia (Kedros, Greece*). A classic since its initial appearance in Greece three decades ago, this is an epic chronicle of the traumatic end of Greek life in Asia Minor, from the 1912 Balkan War to the catastrophe of 1922.
Irini Spanidhou - God's Snake (Picador/Penguin, the former o/p). The story of a daughter trying to break free of the all-pervasive legacy of her father, a Greek army general.
Demetrios Vikelas - Loukas Laras (Doric Publications, UK, o/p). Classic nineteenth-century novel set mainly on Hiacinthos.
Yiorgos Yatromanolakis - The History of a Vendetta (Dedalus). Greek magic realism as the tales of two families unravel from a murder in a small Cretan village.
Alki Zei - Achilles' Fiancée (Kedros, Greece*). A recent bestseller, exploring identity and values amid a maze of timeshifts, from the German occupation to the civil war, exile in Tashkent and Paris, and a return to Greece.

Tourism books on Ellada/Greece(partial list)
Robin Barber (6th ed) - The Blue Guide Greece (A & C Black/Norton). Definitive reference guide for the ancient sites.
A R and Mary Burn - The Living Past of Greece: A Time Traveller's Tour of Historic and Prehistoric Places (Herbert Press/HarperCollins).
Paul Hetherington - Byzantine and Medieval Greece: Churches, Castles and Art (John Murray). Gazetteer of all major mainland sites. Readable, authoritative and with useful plans.
Evi Melas (ed) - Temples and Sanctuaries of Ancient Greece: A Companion Guide (Thames & Hudson, o/p). Excellent collection of essays on the main sites, written by archeologists who have worked at them.
Marc Dubin - The Rough Guide to Rhodes and the East Aegean (Penguin).
Marc Dubin - The Rough Guide to Greece (Penguin). Excellent read and guide!
John Fisher - The Rough Guide to Crete (Penguin). An expanded and practical guide to the island by the affable and eccentric contributor of the Crete chapter in this book.
Peter Greenhalgh and Edward Eliopoulos - Deep Into Mani (Faber & Faber, o/p). A former member of the wartime Resistance revisits the Máni 40 years after first hiding there, and 25 years after Patrick Leigh Fermor's work, in the company of a British scholar.
Lycabettus Press Guides (Athens, Greece). This series takes in many of the more popular islands and certain mainland highlights; most pay their way both in interest and usefulness - in particular those on Páros, Pátmos, Náfplio, and the travels of Saint Paul.
Marc Dubin - Trekking in Greece (Lonely Planet). An excellent walkers' guide, expanding on the hikes covered in this book and adding others, both around the mainland and on the islands. Includes day-hikes and longer treks, plus extensive preparatory and background information.
Tim Salmon - The Mountains of Greece: A Walker's Guide (Cicerone Press/Hunter). The emphasis in this highly practical walkers' handbook (by another contributor to this guide) is more specifically on the mountains, with only Sámos covered among the islands. The highlight is a superb walk from Delphi to Albania.
Landscapes of Crete, Rhodes, Sámos (Sunflower Books/Hunter). A series of walking and car-tour titles devoted most usefully to Crete, Rhodes, Sámos, and Corfu. Strong on maps but a little pedestrian and timid in the choice of routes.
Nelles Guides - Greece, The Mainland, a concise and photo rich guide to the mainland.

Tourist Guide to Greece, the best and by far the most informative guide ever published (last printed in 1967) with still valid information over the entire country, however available only in Greek.
Frewin Poffley - Greek Island Hopping (Thomas Cook, UK). A superb, user-friendly guide to the networks of Greek ferries, featuring full timetables and highly imaginative maps.
Deni Brown - Eye witness guide to the islands (DK Publishing). A great guide to the islands, from personal experience.
Rosemary Hall, Paul Hellander - Lonely planet Guide to Greece: One of the best and most complete guides to Greece available; now in its 3rd edition.
Little Conrad Paulus - Fodor's Guide to Greece (April 1997 Edition). Fodor is a well known name for guides and ths one is no exception to the quality. For advanced travellers.
Deni Bown (ed) - Greece, Athens and the mainland A companion volume to the book on the islands above by Deni Bown. Plenty of color photos augment the text.
Sylvie Franquet, Antony Sattin - Fodor's exploring the Greek islands Companion guide to the Fodor's guide to Greece (see above).
Patrick Lyons (Ed) - Let's Go Greece and Turkey (Annual guide). A bottom market guide that also include Turkey for quick excursions from the Greek islands. Excellent!
Staff Michelin - Michelin Green Guide to Greece (Michelin). An expanded and practical guide to Greece in compact format by the staff of Michelin. This is the November 1997 edition.
John Bosman (ed)Frommers Greece on $50 per day (Athens, Greece). This series from the popular $50 per day series now looks into vacation in Greece on a budget.
Geoff Garvey - Crete: The Rough guide(Rough Guides). One of the better rough guides on Crete, a wonderful Greek island.
Arthur Eperon, Arthus Eperson - Essential Greek islands (Passport books). Another excellent guide to the Greek islands.

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