15 Favorite Books About Greece to Read Before a Trip
Reading books about Greece is a great way for reading and travel enthusiasts to learn more about the history and culture of a country that has inspired many for centuries.
Books set in Greece are often filled with fascinating stories about Greek gods and goddesses, inspirational heroes, and legendary battles. Whether it’s fiction or nonfiction, there can be no doubt that stories from Greece are the most captivating.
Greece Books All Ages Should Read Before a Trip
If you’re considering traveling to Greece, reading Greek books is a great way to experience the beauty of Greek landscapes without needing to leave the comfort of your own home. It’s a way to get excited about your trip, learn about the customs and culture, and give yourself a good idea of what you can expect on your travels.
Books About Greece for Wanderlust Travelers
If you’re ready to explore the mystical land of Greece, sit back and enjoy one of these exciting novels. There's options for all ages!
Children’s Books About Greece
If you’re looking for something that gets kids excited about travel to Greece, then you’ll love these inspiring kids' books.
Perhaps one of the world’s most beloved children’s series is the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan.
Percy Jackson has just arrived at boarding school and is struggling to handle his temper. His mother realizes it’s time to tell him where he comes from, and sends him away to Camp Half-Blood, a summer camp for demigods.
Here, he learns that his father is Poseidon, the God of the Sea. When he is tasked with retrieving Zeus’s stolen lightning bolt, he and his friend, a satyr named Grover, must travelacross the seas to America to find it.
This is a middle-grade fiction book that beautifully entwines Greek Mythology and modern-day fantasy traits to appeal to today’s audience. It’s the perfect read-aloud chapter book for second graders.
When Sherlock Holmes meets Ancient Greece, you get Mark of the Cyclops. This is a wonderful historical fiction book about Greece for kids that support the study of Ancient Greece in a fun and captivating way.
The story follows Nico and Thrax who travel to a wedding where they find a slave girl, Gaia, who they want to free, and also learn what the mark of a cyclops means.
The Magic Treehouse is a much-loved series for children who are just starting out with reading chapter books. The sixteenth book in the series takes young readers on a journey to the Olympic Games!
Jack and Annie travel back to the time of Ancient Greece, where Jack decides to take part in the games but Annie has something else in mind. Jack knows she is up to something, but can she find a way to make it back in time to see the games? Or will they, as usual, find themselves in some kind of trouble…
The Magic Treehouse, Hour of the Olympics is both entertaining and educational, offering young readers a chance to glimpse into the exciting past of Ancient Greece.
If you have a reluctant reader, this might be the perfect book. This series invites the reader to get involved in the story and learn about what really went on behind the scenes in the Ancient World.
In this book, children learn about the difficulties and training involved in being a Greek athlete at the Olympic Games. Through humorous illustrations, the author shows the fascinating (and sometimes dark) side of ancient history.
For those fascinated by Greek history, The Rise of Athens is the perfect non-fiction book about Greece that covers the highlights of its long and tumultuous history.
Anthony Everitt explains how the tiny city-state of Athens in Ancient Greece went on to become one of the most influential civilizations in the world. Although it’s non-fiction, it reads like fiction, as he describes key events in history like tales of adventure.
From the democratic revolution to the city’s golden age, to its eventual decline into a university town. There is nothing left out of Athens's history in Everitt’s book.
While Anthony Everitt’s book focuses on history and events, Edith Hamilton’s book, The Greek Way, focuses mainly on the people and the culture.
Edith captures the spirit of the Greek people, from as far back as the golden age in the fifth century BC, to the modern day.
She writes about the aesthetics of Greek sculptures and literature, especially the works of Homer, Pindar, Sophocles, Aristophanes, and many more. She also dives into the philosophy of Ancient Greek, especially those of Socrates and Plato.
This inspiring book broadly covers all the psychological aspects of Ancient Greece, and explains how this tiny country became so monumental to the rest of the world.
If you are looking for a guidebook about Greece, then the Lonely Planet Best of Greece is one of the newest and most in-depth guidebooks on the market.
It offers up-to-date advice to help you plan your trip, including what to see and do and places to eat and stay.
Whether you’re looking for things to do in Santorini with kids, or you’re looking to find your way around the Greek islands, there is no better resource for your travels than the Lonely Planet guidebook.
After a dentist advises Daniel Klein to get implants, he decides to forego the advice and instead use the money to make a trip to the Greek island of Hydra and discover the secrets of being content as one ages.
Using the inspiration of Greek philosophers and his new Greek friends, Klein realizes that there are simple pleasures available late in life, as well as refined pleasures that only a mature mind can fully appreciate.
Fiction Books About Greece
Everyone loves a fictional tale, and some of the most iconic stories are set in Greece. Here are the best Greek fiction books…
When you think about books from Greece, the number one book that comes to mind is probably Odyssey by Homer. It was first written in the 7th or 8th century and the first printed edition was released in 1488.
Because of the archaic language, we recommend reading a modern translation, such as this one that has been translated by the classicist Robert Fagles, the winner of the PEN/Ralph Manheim Medal for Translation and the Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1996.
The Odyssey is the story of Odysseus who takes a ten-year voyage from his home in Ithaca after the Trojan War and tells of his encounters with divine and natural forces that are designed to test his strength and endurance.
If Homer’s Odyssey is a little too long and challenging to read, don’t worry, because Circe allows you to enjoy the masterful stories created by Homer but in a writing style more suited to the modern-day reader.
It tells the story of Circe, who was born without powers, unlike her parents who were Greek gods. She turns to the mortal world for companionship, where she discovers that she does in fact possess a power - a power to turn rivals into monsters.
Because her power can also be used on gods, Zeus banishes her to a remote and deserted island where she practices her craft. She tames wild beasts and meets several of the creatures we hear about in Greek mythology such as the Minotaur, Daedalus and Icarus, Medea, and Odysseus himself.
It’s a story of female empowerment, strength, and determination, as well as one woman’s resilience to find her place in the world. It’s a tale of travel and self-discovery.
Facing a life-changing decision, Alexis plans a trip to her mother's childhood home in Plaka, Greece hoping to unravel her hidden past. She is given a letter to take to Sofia’s old friend, Fotini, who will tell her what she wants to know.
Arriving in Plaka, Alexis is surprised that it lies a stone’s throw from the tiny, deserted island of Spinalonga—Greece’s former leper colony.
Fotini finally reveals the story that Sofia has buried all her life. It is the tale of her great-grandmother Eleni and her daughters, and a family marked by tragedy, war, and passion.
Alexis discovers how intimately her family is connected with the island, and how secrecy holds them all in its powerful grip.
Zorba the Greek is about a working man named Zorba who travels to Crete to work at a lignite mine.
The narrator, who accompanies Zorba, hires Zorba to be the manager of the mine and his right-hand man. The story follows the pair as they embark on adventures on the island of Crete and how they work to make this mine prosperous.
But the story is less about the plot and more about the character of Zorba and how his personality slowly develops.
Zorba lives life to the fullest and always thinks in the present. He is not afraid to be emotional, he is not afraid of embarrassment, and is the kind of character that we all aspire to be. He is a man that can only be described as quintessentially Greek - warm, fun-loving, hospitable, and open.
Deadline in Athens is a crime story about Inspector Costas Haritos, a homicide detective on the Athens police force.
When an Albanian couple is found dead, it’s up to Inspector Costas Haritos to unravel the case. Pressured into uncovering the case by a news reporter, Janna Karayoryi, he has not only to solve the mystery but bat off this ambitious young journalist at the same time.
When Janna is suddenly murdered, he realizes the case is bigger than he thought. Who wanted to silence Janna? It’s up to Costas Haritos to get to the bottom of it.
Final Word on Books About Greece
Whether you’re looking to be transported back to an Ancient Greek civilization or you’re looking to understand modern-day society, reading books about Greece is the best way to appreciate the importance of this country.
Hopefully, this guide has helped you pick out a few books to add to your reading list and give you some inspiration for your trip to Greece!
Kirsten is a family travel expert who has been traveling with kids for over 20 years. She is also the content creator behind Groups Are A Trip, a site for planning trips with extended family and friends.