A-Z Guide to Santorini
The very thorough A-Z Guide to Santorini by Tony Oswin is now in its 15th edition, a sure sign that the guidebook is both popular and kept up-to-date.
At 173 pages, the A-Z Guide to Santorini is one of the most thorough Santorini guidebooks around. In fact if you check on Amazon, there are only a handful of guides that deal purely with Santorini, and of these the longest we could see was the Marco Polo guide, which came out in 2018 and is only 136 pages long. Other guides are under 100 pages.
One advantage the author has is that he lives in Greece and has done since 2006, giving him a deep insider knowledge of the way of life. He doesn’t live on Santorini but on Thassos, which is about 500km (311 miles) due north, making regular visits to update the guide quite easy. Needless to say, the first of his four current guides to Greece was to Thassos (the others are to Kos and Rhodes).
A-Z Guide to Santorini Contents
The author is obviously a history buff as the A-Z Guide to Santorini begins
with almost 20 pages of history and mythology. It was a bit too much for me and
I began skimming, although Santorini does have more history behind it than most
other small Greek islands. At the back of the book there are also six pages of
a Greek Timeline, which starts in 2700BC but curiously ends in 1453, the fall
of the Byzantine Empire. Did nothing happen in Greece after that?
Oia on Santorini at Dusk
It’s for the practical information that people will want to
buy this book, and in that respect it scores really well. There’s a section on
culture, another on how to get to Santorini, eight pages just on beaches,
another ten pages on activities, and advice on hotels, camping, tavernas, and
Greek food generally. There are, however, no listings of hotels or restaurants.
Places of Interest
The main section of the book is the Places of Interest, which
is very comprehensive. There are several pages on Akrotiri, plus a map (though
the map is at the back of the book and would be more helpful next to the text,)
Ancient Thera gets three pages, and a map at the back, and the rest of the
island’s main attractions, from archaeological museums to wineries, is listed
Some Cool Santorini Gifts
Personalised IPhone 14 Cover
A-Z Guide to Santorini Photos
In short, there are none. The author uses a POD (Publish on
Demand) service, which keeps the cover price down, but if you start to add
photos, especially colour photos, the cost of the book rockets. I would have
done exactly the same. For a guidebook, facts are more important than photos,
and there are several black and white maps and tables. And if you want to see
what Santorini looks like, check our Pictures
of Santorini page!
Cruise Ships Visiting Santorini
If you want up-to-date information on Santorini then that is
no problem. Buying the A-Z Guide to
Santorini also provides you with free membership of the Travel Club which
the author runs through his website: atoz-guides.com.
This provides you with bonus information and updates on all the A-to-Z guides.
As if that wasn’t enough, the author also provides his email address in the
book so you can send him any questions you might have directly. That’s the
advantage of buying a book from a small-scale publisher.
See Our YouTube Video of Santorini
In short, although this isn’t a glossy guidebook with lots of colour photos (and a price to match), we definitely recommend is as a very thorough guide to everything you might want to know about Santorini.
Buying the A-Z Guide to Santorini
Other books pages
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Greece Book Reviews on the Greece Travel Secrets website with reviews of the best guidebooks to Greece, the Greek Islands, Athens, Crete and elsewhere.
Taverna by the Sea is an account by Jennifer Barclay of her summer spent working in a taverna on Karpathos and a welcome new book of Greek travel writing.
Wild Abandon by Jennifer Barclay and published by Bradt Guides is A Journey to Deserted Places of the Dodecanese islands in Greece, including Rhodes and Kos.
The Summer of My Greek Taverna by Tom Stone is a memoir of his time on the Greek island of Patmos in the Dodecanese, running a restaurant.
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The Lonely Planet guide to the Greek Islands is a thorough and helpful guide to all the Greek island groups, with Athens included.
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Lonely Planet Crete is an excellent and thorough guide of almost 300 pages to the largest of the Greek islands.
Ikaria by Meni Valle, brings together the best and healthiest Greek recipes with an evocative travelogue about Ikaria, one of the world’s Blue Zone places.
Peel Me a Lotus by Charmian Clift is a Hydra travel writing classic, describing her family’s life on this tiny Greek island near Athens in the 1950s.
There are many great Greek poets, with two authors winning the Nobel Prize for Literature and names include Sappho, Cavafy, George Seferis and Odysseus Elytis.
Fire on the Island is a romantic thriller novel by Timothy Jay Smith set on a fictionalised version of the town of Molyvos on the island of Lesbos.
Eurydice Street, A Place in Athens by Sofka Zinovieff is an honest account of what it’s like to move to Athens and live as a foreigner, learning Greek customs.
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The Bradt Guide to the Peloponnese is the best book on the Greek region which includes attractions like Mycenae, Epidavros, Olympia, Monemvasia and Nafplion.
The 2022 edition of the A-Z Travel Guide to Kos is the 15th edition of the best and most comprehensive guidebook to Kos in the Dodecanese islands of Greece.
A Rope of Vines by Brenda Chamberlain is an evocative memoir of the author’s time living on the Greek island of Hydra in the early 1960s.
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