Book Review: My reading companions to Crete


What did I read when I travelled to Crete? A rather eclectic selection of travel writing, which I enjoyed reading and from which I learnt a lot more about Crete.

Greek Islands, Lonely Planet

I think I have a good relationship with the Lonely Planet guidebooks. I’ve been using them for a while and find them easy to use and follow, but I must mention that I only read their sight-seeing suggestions, I don’t check their recommendations on restaurants or accommodation.


Xenophobe’s Guide to the Greeks by Alexandra Fiada

If you read this blog, you will know I love this series and I adore the Xenophobe’s Guide to the Greeks written by the Athens-born Alexandra Fiada. The author introduces her culture with all the quirkiness it brings and entertains the reader with many examples of the funny habits, customs or obsessions the Greek have. A very pleasant read.


The Greek Islands by Lawrence Durrell

First published in 1978 and even now The Greek Islands by Lawrence Durrrell still gives us a flavour of the Islands. The chapter on Crete is a 50-page-long description of Cretan life, character, scenery and associated myths (with particular attention to the Minotaur: a half-man, half-bull creature). It is an informative, interesting read with some thought-provoking questions which Durrell himself attempts to answer.


The Colossus of Maroussi by Henry Miller

Henry Miller was a very good friend of Lawrence Durrell, so I decided to also read about Miller’s travels to the Greek Islands in 1939. It is a beautifully written story of his life on the Greek Islands with some philosophical digressions here and there, like “I was never more certain that life and death are one and that neither can be enjoyed or embraced if the other be absent.” An excellent read, to be enjoyed on a deserted beach, perhaps?


What are your favourite reading companions to Crete? Please let me know in the comments below.

Written by Kinga Macalla

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