Greece

Mainland Greece :: Books

Travel Guides

Short descriptions of Greece appear in three of Lonely Planet's regional guides listed in the Overview section: Europe on a Shoestring, Southeastern Europe, and Mediterranean Europe. I haven't used any country-specific guides to Greece, so I have listed some of the main ones without comment.

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The Rough Guide to Greece  (14th edition published April 2015)

This is where it all began for Rough Guides - their first ever publication was a guide to Greece. As you would expect, this is a very detailed guide, which is great so long as you don't mind having to carry around over 800 pages (or if you get the ebook version).

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Greece - The Lonely Planet Country Guide  (12th edition published March 2016)

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The Peloponnese - The Bradt Guide  (3rd edition published June 2016) - Andrew Bostock

A guide to the southern part of mainland Greece.

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Background Reading

In addition to the books listed here, several of the works on Balkan history listed in the Overview may be of interest.

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Roumeli - Travels in Northern Greece - Patrick Leigh Fermor

Such is the individuality of the Greeks that the country is really made up of eight million one-man splinter-groups reluctantly forced into a series of temporary coalitions.

Exploring a rural Greece that was already disappearing fast in the 1960s, the author dines with lonely monks in Meteora, tracks down nomadic Vlachs and Sarakatsáns, and depicts Greek life as the result of a constant struggle between the Byzantine and Hellenic aspects of the Greek psyche.

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Salonica, City of Ghosts: Christians, Muslims and Jews 1430-1950 - Mark Mazower

National histories generally have clearly defined heroes and villains, but what would a history look like where these roles were blurred and confused? Can one shape an account of the city's past which manages to reconcile the continuities in its shape and fabric with the radical discontinuities - the deportations, evictions, forced resettlements and genocide - which it has also experienced?

After summing up all of Balkan history in 150 pages in his book The Balkans, Mazower dedicates 500 pages to a single city. Thessaloniki's story is a complex and fascinating one, and Mazower tells it beautifully. Warmly recommended to anyone planning to visit the city, and anyone with an interest in the Balkans.

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