Reading lists

9 holiday reads set in Greece

Whether you're in the mood for a summer romance, a murder mystery or a feminist retelling of an Ancient Greek myth, these are our favourite books set in Greece.

Katie Russell
Image credit: Flynn Shore/Penguin

If you’re headed for Greece this summer, it only makes sense to take a book that’s set on a sunny Greek island. Because while there’s nothing like losing yourself in another world, it’s even better when you can look up from your book and see the story’s setting in real life. Whether you’re into crime thrillers or heady summer romances, this is our round-up of the best holiday books set in Greece.

Laila arrives at an idyllic Greek resort and soon becomes fascinated by another family, watching the parents and teenage sons closely. When a tragic accident occurs, Laila thinks she saw what happened. But what if she’s got it wrong? This thriller is a perfect summer read that will keep you guessing until the end.

When Tess agrees to accompany her heartbroken best friend to Corfu, she agrees to stay single for the summer. But then she meets the charming restauranteur Andras. She agrees to pretend to date him to keep his mother happy but, as they spend more time together, she can’t be sure her feelings are entirely fake…

Rachel fell for Alistair when she was 17, despite him being 20 years her senior. She remembers their all-consuming romance on a sun-soaked Greek island with fondness – even longing. But now, as an adult, she starts rethinking their relationship: was it love, or was she a victim? This poignant, thought-provoking debut is a compelling read.

When Lottie’s boyfriend lets her down, a call from her first love prompts her to take drastic action. Namely: she agrees to marry him on the Greek island where they met. Lottie’s older sister is appalled by this impulsive behaviour, and will go to any lengths to stop the wedding – with hilarious consequences.

The Iliad tells the story of the Trojan War from the perspective of the male heroes who stormed the city. But what happened to the women whose town was invaded? Pat Barker’s novel, told from the perspective of Briseis – a queen-turned-concubine – is perfect for fans of Circe and The Song of Achilles.

Retired publisher Susan is frustrated with her new life running a hotel on a Greek island. So, when a couple mention their daughter has gone missing a few hours after finishing a crime novel, Susan helps them find out what happened. Because the key to this mystery might lie in the novel itself…

In this reimaging of an Ancient Greek myth, Clytemnestra is a powerful queen who has been wronged by her husband. So, while he is away fighting in the Trojan War, she plans her revenge. This feminist retelling breathes new life into an old story and will have you rooting for the main character.

Two wealthy young women stumble across a man on the shore of the island of Hydra. Their next actions spark an increasingly disturbing chain of events that shine a light on the dark side of human nature. This sinister thriller is full of sun-soaked descriptions of Greece.

You’ve probably heard of the Durrells – and maybe even watched the ITV drama about the family who moved to Corfu in the 1930s. In The Corfu Trilogy, Gerald Durrell (who was a boy when they moved) writes about the people and animals they encountered in their new home. It’s a wholesome and witty read.

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