Comprised of more than 2000 islands on the southern end of the Balkan Peninsula, Greece is bounded by bluer-than-blue water. Ionian Sea! Aegean Sea! Mediterranean Sea! Go anywhere in the country, and you’re never more than 85 miles/137km from the ocean. And there are more than 250 sunny days every year.
The daydreamy visions you have of golden sun and turquoise blue water and soothing white-washed houses on hillsides that seem to drop directly into the sea? Yeah, those are pretty accurate.
Greece also boasts mountainous national parks, monasteries perched on dramatic mountaintops, and ancient temple ruins from about 2000 years ago. Plus, a capital city that’s known as the cradle of Western civilization.
Add rousing folk music, intoxicating spirits (Ouzo! Retsina! Metaxa!), and Greek food — olives and olive oil, the freshest of fish, layers of phyllo dough, pillowy pita, meat on skewers — and you’ve got the makings of a great escape.
In this episode, we briefly discuss Greece’s influential history and wax lyrical about all the country offers as a travel destination. Then we recommend five books that transported us there on the page: a graphic novel that celebrates rebetiko music, a gripping family saga, a gorgeous retelling of Greek mythology, a literary novel about living in a liminal space, and an over-the-top (in just the right way) mystery-romance. Opa!
For a complete roundup of all the books we recommend, plus a full transcript and the other cool stuff we talked about, visit the Episode 32 show notes.
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