There’s no denying that Greece is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, and really has it all. Beautiful people, beautiful culture, and beautiful landscapes. There really is everything you could wish for in a stunning country.
Whether you’re dreaming of Greece, unable to travel there, or simply want to experience the country yourself, one of the best ways to do this is by reading, and so with this in mind, here are the five best novels based in Greece you need to read!
The Dark Labyrinth – Lawrence Durrell
As the name suggests, this fantastic novel is all about the massive cave network that runs across Greece, an important aspect of the Greek landscape. Set in a world hidden beneath our own, Herakles and Orpheus descend through hades into Theseus’s labyrinth.
While you wouldn’t call this book a masterpiece, it is beautiful in its own surreal way, and really does hit home the cultural wonder that Greece holds as a country.
Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis de Bernieres
While an older book compared to the other novels on this list, if you’re a fan of the movie that goes by the same name, this book should be at the top of your reading list. Set on the stunning island of Kefalonia, the island is still as beautiful as it was when this was written, which ensures this book is still as relatable as ever.
Following the story of Pelagia, a feisty and passionate young woman, this tale is sure to touch something in your core.
North of Ithaka – Eleni Gage
A very personal book, Eleni Gage writes with a brilliant dose on insight and humour into her family experience of rebuilding her family home in Northern Greece. Eleni is, of course, the daughter of Nicholas Gage, and the home was where her grandmother was murdered; making for a very emotional rollercoaster.
Gage also covers the folklore of the area and recalls her experience in this very intimate retelling. A must-read for sure.
The King Must Die – Mary Renault
Mary is one of the greatest writers when it comes to Greece-based stories, and reading any of her work is sure to make you want to visit the country for yourself. This book, plus the sequel, retell the story Theseus and covers Crete and Athens.
If you enjoyed the Game of Thrones series, this book could be for you. There’s a lot of dark stuff and not much in the way of heroes, but it’s still gripping from start to finish.
Uncle Petros and Goldbach’s Conjecture – Apostolos Doxiadis
There’s no denying that Greek culture is sodden with mythology and fantasy, as well as more modern arts, such as mathematics, science, and logical thinking and philosophy. This novel follows Uncle Petros, a mathematician who is struggling to solve an unsolvable problem, therefore seen by the world as a failure.
Only his nephew thinks he can still do it and will do to redeem his name. A classic rendition of the great city of Athens, and you really get a feel that you too will be walking the streets.