Whether I can’t travel or am planning a trip, I LOVE reading novels that take place in a remote destination. And when you’re dreaming of paradise beaches, enchanting villages, and a light summer breeze, what’s better than fiction books set in Greece?
So to help you transport yourself to one of the most beloved places in the world, I’ve created a roundup of 30 novels you must add to your reading list!
What to expect from this list: Apart from a few exceptions, it is all about easy (and slightly cheesy) reads. These are books to read on holiday in Greece or when you just miss that summer vacation feeling.
*Please consult the constantly-changing local restrictions and safety guidelines before making any travel plans. Note that not all sites and services operate as normal, so check the latest updates on their correspondent websites.
*This post may contain affiliate links from which I earn a commission at no extra cost to you (for more info, read my disclosure). As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
BEST NOVELS SET IN GREECE – TOP 5 PICKS
If you don’t want to go through this entire list right now, check out my top five picks:
- ‘The Island’ by Victoria Hislop
- ‘Moti on the Water’ by Leylah Attar
- ‘The Summer House in Santorini’ by Samantha Parks
- ‘The Girl Under the Olive Tree’ by Leah Fleming
- ‘Villa of Secrets’ by Patricia Wilson
BEST BOOKS SET IN GREECE’S MAINLAND
A SAINT FOR THE SUMMER
Learn about Greece’s history during World War II with this moving novel that will keep you hooked from the very beginning.
‘A Saint for the Summer’ tells the story of Bronte McKnight and her father Angus as they try to solve a mystery of a family relative that disappeared during the Battle of Kalamata.
Throw some wanderlust-fueling descriptions of southern Greece and a little bit of romance into the mix, and you’ve got yourself a read-worthy book (which also has a sequel – ‘How Greek is Your Love?’).
Set in the seaport town of Napflio, this sweet novel follows Kelly, a young woman who is hired by an attractive widower named Alex to be a housekeeper and the nanny for his three boys.
Little does she know that there’s one more resident in the house – the ghost of Alex’s deceased wife.
With mouthwatering descriptions of Greece, romance, and a touch of paranormality, ‘Running Haunted’ should definitely be on your reading bucket list of the best novels that take place in Greece.
Not as ‘unputdownable’ as her other book ‘The Island’ (which will be mentioned later on) but still worth the read, Victoria Hislop’s ‘The Thread’ is set in Thessaloniki, spanning over the 20th century.
Through the love story of Katerina and Dimitri, you’ll learn so much about the city’s history, from the 1917 fire to two world wars to the Greek Civil War.
With all the historical details, I get why it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but for the right reader, it can be a perfect book.
A GREEK AFFAIR
How can I not love a novel whose protagonist is a travel blogger?
A wonderful feel-good book, ‘A Greek Affair’ follows Leah, who was abandoned by her husband a few years back and now finally has the opportunity to have a fresh start with her daughter Rosie.
She wins a prestigious travel blogger award that leads her and Rosie to take blogging trips to some amazing destinations, Greece included.
On these trips, she meets several people that will impact her life, including an archeologist named Daniel, but when it comes to love, things don’t always go so smoothly…
BEST NOVELS ABOUT GREECE’S ISLANDS
ONE SUMMER IN CRETE
Alternating between the past and present, ‘One Summer in Crete’ is set in both Ikaria and Crete.
In need of healing after a tough year, Callie jumps at the opportunity to visit the island of Ikaria on a photojournalism assignment.
From there, she continues to Crete, where her mother is from, to catch up with her family – especially with her sick aunt, Froso.
Through the local slow-paced lifestyle, new friendships, and conversations with Froso revealing a heartbreaking secret from her past, Callie slowly manages to mend her broken heart.
HER MOTHER’S SECRET: THE SUMMER OF ’69
Set in 1969 and 1991 on the fictional island of Pefka, ‘Her Mother’s Secret’ will take on an emotional journey.
After losing her mother, Elin, Alexandra unexpectedly gets her old diary from when Elin spent a summer in Greece at an art course.
When reading the diary provides more questions than answers about her mother’s past, Alexandra sets off to Pefka to discover what really happened all those years ago
THOSE SUMMER NIGHTS
It follows an English woman named Imogen Charlton as she travels to Corfu with her brother to try to bring him back to his senses (and to England) after he bought a restaurant on the island.
They meet the millionaire Panos Dimitriou who wants to buy back his grandmother’s restaurant, and you can probably guess that this is where a romance begins…
ONE SUMMER IN SANTORINI
Its protagonist is Sarah, an Aussie girl who decides to book a sailing trip from Santorini to Mykonos after going through a painful breakup.
She travels to Greece intending to enjoy a new adventure, but surprise, surprise – she meets not one but two men that ruin her plans to stay single for a while.
It is a beautiful novel about a young woman exploring the history of her Cretan family.
She discovers her connection to one of Europe’s last active leper colonies – the deserted island of Spinalonga, through which you will get a fascinating glimpse into the life of an isolated community.
A rom-com set on a Greek island that features guardian angels? Yes, please!
‘The Amulet’ is a delightful, heart-warming novel that follows Katie, a young woman who after losing her job in Athens, encounters a gypsy woman that gifts her an amulet for good luck.
It leads her to a job at a small hotel on the island of Sifnos, where she meets some unusual characters, and of course, a handsome young man named Aggelos, who always seems to be there when she needs help.
MOTI ON THE WATER
This uplifting novel follows Moti, a 24-year-old Indian-American girl who always lived by others’ expectations of her (especially her mother’s).
When her cousin gets married to a Greek man, she needs to survive a 2-week yacht cruise in the Greek Islands with her crazy Indian family.
But then comes along Alexandros (Alex), the yacht’s chef, who helps her feel comfortable with herself and her desires, and as you can imagine, the sparks fly.
Although it’s another summer read on this list, ‘Moti on the Water’ is definitely a refreshing one, filled with lots of mishaps and laugh-out-loud moments.
MY MAP OF YOU
Another novel you’d want to read while soaking up some sun on a beautiful beach is ‘My Map of You.’
It tells the story of Holly Wright, who one day gets a letter saying she inherited a house in Zakynthos from a deceased aunt she never knew existed.
She travels to the island intending to sell it and go back to her life in London. But as she follows a trail of clues that unravel secrets in her family along with her next-door neighbor Aidan, she falls in love with Zakynthos and learns a thing or two about herself.
If you’re looking for a witty novel that combines wanderlust, romance, and self-discovery, ‘Finding You’ is it.
The book follows Jane, who at age 25, feels the urge to find her birth father. All she knows about him is that he’s Greek, his name is Dimitri, and that he was a tour guide.
She decides to book a flight to Santorini, and upon arrival, she meets a young tour guide named Dimitri that takes her on an adventure and helps her step outside her comfort zone and find herself.
ONE LAST GREEK SUMMER
Newly divorced 31-year-old Beth and her BFF Heidi travel to the island of Corfu, where they spent a memorable holiday ten years ago. They were carefree, and Beth even had a vacation romance with a Greek guy named Alex.
Not too long after arriving in Corfu, she crosses paths with him again.
But ‘One Last Greek Summer’ is not just about romance but also friendship and finding yourself again, all combined with humor, fun, and of course – a Greek setting that will make you want to book a flight.
THE GYPSY’S DREAM
Although ‘The Gypsy’s Dream’ is a part of a series of 19 books that take place in Greece’s countryside, each one can be read as a standalone. They will all give you an amazing glimpse into everyday life in a small Greek village.
This one follows two interesting female characters – Abby, a teenager who runs away from home to Greece but ends up in the wrong village, and Stella, a gypsy who owns a cafe/bar in the village.
As their lives intertwine when Abby starts working at the cafe, they teach each other some important life lessons.
AS GREEK AS IT GETS
Set on the island of Crete, ‘As Greek as It Gets’ narrates the story of Alice, who is about to get married to her boyfriend, Max. When he wants an extravagant, over-the-top event, the wedding plans start to stress her out, yet she bites her tongue.
That’s when her friends take her to a bachelorette party in Malia, Crete, where she manages to unwind, gain some confidence, and understand what she really wants.
How will things turn out in the end? Well, I’m not going to give anything away, so I guess you’ll have to read this sweet novel yourself.
THE SUMMER HOUSE IN SANTORINI
With a broken heart and a summer cottage in Santorini she inherited from her estranged Greek father, Anna decides to travel from New York to Greece.
All she wants is to repair the house and sell it, but as time goes by, she falls in love with the island, the people, and of course – a man.
‘The Summer House in Santorini’ is a classic easy-to-read romantic novel involving not only love but also new beginnings, friendship, family, and self-discovery.
MY GREEK ISLAND SUMMER
Another fun-to-read, lighthearted rom-com that has to be on this list is ‘My Greek Island Summer.’ Its protagonist is Becky, who in need of a break from her bossy sister, decides to take a tranquil vacation in Corfu and house-sit a dreamy villa.
On the plane, she meets Elias, an attractive Greek lawyer traveling to the island for business. Due to some unexpected events, they are forced to spend a couple of days in Athens and Kefalonia, until they finally arrive in Corfu and go their separate ways.
But when she gets to the villa, not only is it a complete mess but guess who also shows up there – yup, it’s Elias again…
THE GIRL UNDER THE OLIVE TREE
Without a doubt, one of the best novels about Greece, ‘The Girl Under the Olive Tree’ is a great read for anyone who wants to know more about Crete during World War II.
Going back and forth between 1941 and 2001, through the story of Penelope, who was a Red Cross nurse during the war, you’ll learn about the Battle of Crete, the Cretan resistance, and the Jews in Crete.
SOME LIKE IT GREEK
Perfect for road trip addicts like me, ‘Some Like it Greek’ provides pure escapism.
After losing her father, Anna discovers postcards from a road trip he took many years ago to Kefalonia, and a map with a marked route suggests he was planning to return there.
Following this route along with her dad’s neighbor, Demi, she goes on a life-changing journey across Europe in his old camper van, from England all the way to the island of Kefalonia.
THE BED AND BREAKFAST ON THE BEACH
Located between the islands of Skiathos and Skopelos, the fictional Greek island of Skelidos is the setting of the amusing novel, ‘The Bed and Breakfast on the Beach.’
It follows three best friends, each one dealing with her problems in life, as they decide to buy a B&B on the island.
Little do they know that the place has its own secrets and that it’ll take them on an adventure that involves not only romance but also a secret gin recipe, a 90’s boy band, and even a donkey. Are you intrigued yet?
SINGLE FOR THE SUMMER
I told you this list would be filled with summer romance novels, and ‘Single for the Summer’ is another one you’d surely love.
Tess is a serial dater with no intention of getting into a serious relationship after a painful past event. Her friend Sonya, dealing with her own troubled love life, invites her to go on a vacation on the island of Corfu and makes her swear to stay single while they’re there.
But what can she do when a local gorgeous man asks her for an unconventional favor that brings them closer together?
Throw in some hilarious moments and irresistible descriptions of Corfu, and you’ve got yourself one fun-to-read chick lit.
VILLA OF SECRETS
Rebecca and Naomi, two estranged sisters, finally come together on the island of Rhodes when their grandmother, who raised them, has some health issues.
For the first time, they read her diaries, through which they learn about her life during World War II, from escaping from the Nazis (as her family was Jewish) to joining the Greek resistance.
‘Villa of Secrets’ is definitely one of the best books about Greece during WWII and is perfect for anyone who wants to learn about wartime in Rhodes, which is not a topic we often come across.
DESPERATELY SEEKING SUMMER
This book’s cover alone will make you want to read it. ‘Desperately Seeking Summer’ is yet another feel-good novel by Mandy Baggot on this list, who once again takes us to Corfu (though she also has a few beautiful novels set in France).
With a broken heart and no job, Abby Dolan decides to take a break on the island of Corfu, where her mother and sister run an estate agency. But instead of the relaxing vacation of which she has dreamed, she sees a struggling business.
Wanting to help her family, she finds an amazing property, but as you can guess, she also finds a man (who has some secrets of his own).
STAYING OUT FOR THE SUMMER
I can only assume you wouldn’t be keen on reading a novel involving the events of 2020, but ‘Staying Out for the Summer’ is worth it.
After working hard as nurses during the global pandemic, Lucie and her friend Gavin are going on a holiday in Corfu. It doesn’t take too long for them to get used to the Greek lifestyle, but unfortunately, a landslide puts the village into another type of lockdown.
That’s when she meets local doctor Michalis, who has been dealing with his own challenges and tragedies over the past year. Sparks fly, but will this be a new beginning for Lucie or only a summer romance?
GREEK ISLAND ESCAPE
Mostly set in Crete’s Chania region, ‘Greek Island Escape’ is a moving novel that follows three women – a runaway teenager named Megan, her mother Zoe who is desperate to track her down, and Sophia, an old woman in search of her daughter whom she was forced to give up at birth.
The plot spans between World War II and the present, taking you through some of Greece’s most painful past events and unfolding a fascinating story you can’t stop reading.
A comedic mystery novel (with some romance and a touch of paranormality) set on a Greek island? Sounds intriguing, right?
The heroine of ‘Family Ghouls’ (the first in a series of four books) is Allie Callas, a semi-normal girl who can see and talk to the dead. This comes in handy since her business is all about finding things for people or doing PI work.
When her neighbor is murdered and asks her to find out what happened, the series of quirky characters she meets provide many interesting twists and turns in the plot. Oh, and of course, there’s also some romance involved.
SUNSHINE AFTER THE RAIN
After a PR fiasco at the art gallery she works for in London, Evie decides to take a break on the island of Corfu.
All she wants is to spend some time alone and reignite her own love of painting, but then she bumps into her boss’s handsome son, Sam, who not only explores the island with her but also encourages her to follow her dreams.
‘Sunshine After the Rain’ by Daisy James (who also has a series of novels set in Tuscany) is a romantic novel about rediscovering your passions, and you’ll surely also love the fact that it makes you feel like you’re on a Greek island.
Not your usual feel-good novel set on a Greek island, as this one involves plenty of mysteries.
‘Sophia’s Secret’ tells the story of Kat, a woman who returns to her homeland, Greece, to attend the funeral of her mother, who sent her away to live in England many years back without any explanation why.
With lots of twists and turns in the plot, Kat finally discovers the reasons for her childhood departure.
STAYING AT ELENI’S
A self-discovery journey in Greece? Sounds good to me.
‘Staying at Eleni’s’ follows Annie, who after being fed up with her life going nowhere, decides to take on a new adventure in Greece with her friend Carl, eventually staying with her deceased sister’s Greek pen pal. Little does she know how much this quest will allow her to move forward with her life.