Lonely Planet's Greece

Greece Book Reviews

The latest edition of the Lonely Planet travel guide to Greece is a comprehensive 750-page guidebook to the whole country.

Front cover of Lonely Planet Guide to Greece

When it comes to guides to the whole of Greece, there are in our view only two contenders: Lonely Planet and Rough Guides. Other series may be good for different things, or for certain places. A guide to the entire country is never going to cover Athens, say, as well as a dedicated guide to Athens. But for comprehensive coverage of everywhere, Rough Guides and Lonely Planet are hard to beat. We’ve already reviewed the Lonely Planet guides to Crete and to the Greek Islands.

The latest guide to the whole of Greece from Lonely Planet weighs in at 750 pages and covers Greece from Avdira (a small town and archaeological site in Thrace) to Zia (a mountain village on the island of Kos). 

Sample pages from the Lonely Planet Guide to GreeceGreece's Top Twenty

Lonely Planet's Greece Top 20

After an introduction and an overview map, the guide begins with Greece’s Top Twenty. Picking only twenty places to represent the best of Greece is no easy task, but it would be hard to argue with the choices here, including the Acropolis, Meteora, Delphi, the Samaria Gorge, Knossos and Cretan Cuisine. We’re especially pleased to see that last one as we’ve been to Crete many times and the food and wine there just gets better and better.

Sample contents from the Lonely Planet Guide to Greece

First Time Greece

A useful spread for beginners is First Time Greece, which is an overview of what to expect. This ranges from what clothes to take and the standards to expect in hotels and restaurants, through to helpful advice on tipping and etiquette. (You can also read our Greece for Beginners page.)

Sample page from the Lonely Planet Guide to GreeceWhat's New in Greece

Itineraries

There are three suggested itineraries, if you have 2-3 weeks to devote to Greece. First is a 2-week Grand Tour, which we have to say is definitely overly ambitious. No-one should attempt to take in everything on this trip. You would be totally exhausted and have very little time in each of the suggested places. Although if you do attempt it you’ll tick off many of Greece’s Top 20 places in one go.

More leisurely and more sensible are the other two itineraries, which are two weeks covering Crete and the Dodecanese, and three weeks visiting the Ionian Islands and the Peloponnese. In the spread on Island Hopping there’s another suggested island hopping itinerary for 2-3 weeks, although in our view the whole purpose of island hopping is to be totally unplanned and go wherever the fancy (and the ferry) takes you. 

Sample map from the Lonely Planet Guide to Greece

Lonely Planet's Greece Spreads

Other feature spreads to help you plan your trip to Greece cover cruising, cuisine, outdoor activities, travelling with children and a month-by-month guide to the main events in the Greek calendar.

At the back of the book a section called Understand covers topics that help you appreciate different aspects of Greece and Greek culture, such as history, architecture, the arts and wildlife.

Sample page from the Lonely Planet Guide to Greece

On the Road in Greece

The bulk of the book is of course the guide to the places, large and small, that you might want to visit in Greece. Well, not every small place is covered. We looked in the index for one of our favourite little islands, Pserimos, and it isn’t listed (although it is covered in Lonely Planet’s Greek Islands guide.) 

We checked another of our favourite places, the town of Zaros on Crete, and the description here is spot on. We’re delighted they single out Vegera as a place to eat. Our meal there was memorable, and the atmosphere was exactly as the book describes.

Most places get comprehensive coverage, with everything you need to know – what to do, where to stay, where to eat, activities, shopping, nightlife, local transport and how to get there in the first place. This level of information is impressive – buses, ferries and flights are all covered in great detail. Even the bus fares are listed, although these will inevitably change a little during the life time of the book.

Is Lonely Planet's Greece Worth Buying?

Absolutely!

Other Greece book pages

  • Greece Book Reviews

    Greece Book Reviews on the Greece Travel Secrets website with reviews of the best guidebooks to Greece, the Greek Islands, Athens, Crete and elsewhere.

  • Books About Greece

    If planning a trip to Greece, what are the best books about Greece to read before you go, or to take with you, to give you a sense of place?

  • The Summer of My Greek Taverna

    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.

  • Wild Abandon

    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.

  • Eurydice Street

    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.

  • Northern Greece Guide

    The Bradt Guide to Northern Greece is a detailed guide to Thessaloniki, Halkidiki, Macedonia, Thrace, The Pelion, The Sporades and the rest of Northern Greece.

  • Monemvasia Book Review

    Greece Travel Secrets reviews the photography book Monemvasia with extracts from works by Yiannis Ritsos and Nikos Kazantzakis.

  • A Rope of Vines

    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.

  • Lonely Planet Greek Islands

    The Lonely Planet guide to the Greek Islands is a thorough and helpful guide to all the Greek island groups, with Athens included.

  • Lonely Planet Crete

    Lonely Planet Crete is an excellent and thorough guide of almost 300 pages to the largest of the Greek islands.

  • Ikaria Book Review

    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.

  • Great Greek Poets: Cavafy, Sappho, George Seferis, Odysseus Elytis

    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

    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.

  • Culture Trails

    Greece Travel Secrets reviews the book Culture Trails by Lonely Planet, which has a section on Artistic Athens and 51 other perfect weekends for culture lovers.

  • Bradt Guide to the Peloponnese

    The Bradt Guide to the Peloponnese is the best book on the Greek region which includes attractions like Mycenae, Epidavros, Olympia, Monemvasia and Nafplion.

  • A Thing of Beauty

    A Thing of Beauty by Peter Fiennes describes ‘Travels in Mythical and Modern Greece’ and places the Greek Gods in the context of modern-day Greece.

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