Every once in a while I’ll get an email asking if I know any good books that are set in Greece. It seems there are others out there that just can’t get enough of all the beauty and wonder that Greece has to offer.
Some want to read a few books to get them in the zone for an upcoming trip (the lucky ones), while others want to reminisce about a recent holiday, or experience what it would have been like to walk among the ancients, or hope to visit her shores one day.
I get it. As a matter of fact, I too do the same thing. I like to read a few fictional books that are set in a country I’ll be visiting before travelling to an area. Sometimes you can actually see some of the places you had read about, so that’s always a cool thing.
With that in mind, I decided to put together a list of books that are set in Greece. Some are set in modern day, others in ancient times. Historical fiction can be really fun to read; if you’ve never read one before, this may be a great opportunity.
So here are 10 books to get you started. They are listed in no particular order:
- The Last of the Wine by Mary Renault – a historical novel set in ancient times. Story of two young Athenians that include everything from the olympics, Sparta, to studying under Socrates. This author has also penned a lot of other novels set in ancient Greece.
- The King Must Die by Mary Renault – A novel about the mythical Theseus
- The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller – A twist/different look on the trojan war.
- Gates of Fire: An Epic Novel of the Battle of Thermopylae by Steven Pressfield. This one is for all the 300 lovers and Spartan fans. It creatively tells the story of the mighty 300 that stood against the largest army in the world at the time.
- Tides of War by Steven Pressfield – Set during the Peloponnesian war of Sparta vs Athens.
- Greece: A Traveler’s Literary Companion by Artemis Leontis – This is a unique book. It has a collection of short stories set in Greece written by modern Greek writers – many of which appear in the book for the first time in english. Not useful for travel, but a great read of modern day Greek fiction.
- Murder in Mykonos by Jeffrey Siger – Detective Lovers rejoice, a whodunnit set in Mykonos.
- Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis De Bernieres – Set in a Greek island of Cephalonia (Kefalonia) when the Italian armies land on it’s shore during WWII.
- Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis – . Arguably the most well known on the list. The story of friendship, happiness, and finding your kefi. You could also watch the movie, which is great!
- The Olympian: A Tale of Ancient Hellas by E.S. Kraay. Set in 480BC during the 75th olympics. Xerxes comes with a million men to take over Greece.
- Bonus! Because there always has to be one: The Ten Thousand: A Novel of Ancient Greece by Michael Curtis Ford – Set in 401BC, Xenophon and his army try to return home.
I know there are many other books out there, some I may have never even heard of. If you have any good recommendations for novels that aren’t listed that are set in Greece, please leave the info in the comment section below so we can all enjoy a good read!
Kenton & Jane
Ps. the above links are amazon affiliates, meaning if you buy them via those links, we get a small commission.