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BOOKS ABOUT CRETE



The Rough Guide to Crete by John Fisher and Geoff Garvey

The Rough Guide series has established a reputation for a no nonsense approach to travel writing. The flowery prose and tired clichés of so beloved of old fashioned travel writers have been dispensed with here in favour of a largely objective presentation of pertinent facts and information. Though it’s not possible to write about holiday destinations without including an element of subjective opinion, the opinion that is given is one you feel you can trust. This book covers the whole of Crete splitting it into the four prefectures of Chania, Rethymnon, Iraklion, and Lassithi. Though this is a lot of ground to cover in one book, most of the stuff you will need to know is in here
 
Crete (Lonely Planet Regional Guides) by Victoria Kyriakopoulos

The Lonely Planet series are similar in style to the Rough Guides, and are generally very good. Unfortunately this edition has had a bit of a panning on the Amazon reviews, largely for its many alleged inaccuracies. I can’t say that I’m familiar with this volume, but there is often quite a time lag between someone submitting a manuscript and the end user finding that the opening times have changed, or the price has gone up. You are always best advised to get up to the minute information whenever you can.

Blue Guide Crete (Blue Guides)  15 Feb 2010)

Paola Pugsley is a Cambridge-based professional archaeologist who often works on location in Greece and Turkey and is thus well qualified to author this new edition which focuses on the island’s long history, from Minoan civilization to the present day. A guide book aimed at those with an interest in the history and culture of the island. 

 

Western Crete: Car Tours and Walks (Landscapes) by Jonnie Godfrey and Elizabeth Karslake (Paperback - 1 Mar 2008

The title says it all really, a popular book of relatively easy walks, and indeed drives. If you plan taking a bus to any of the walks, as suggested in the book, I would regard the bus times therein as a guide, rather than guarantee, and get up to the minute information from the internet or Chania bus station.

 

Crete West: ROTH.E4803: Rother Walking Guide by Gert Hirner, Jakob Murböck, and Gill Round (Paperback - 1 May 2000

A useful pocket sized book with descriptions of 50 walks, some of which are of a serious nature. It has been around sometime now, and some descriptions may be a little out of date, due to developement. This book gives the bus routes that serve the walks, whilst tactfully avoiding publishing times.
 

 

The Golden Step: A Walk Through the Heart of Crete (Armchair Traveller) by Christopher Somerville (Paperback - 1 Sep 2008)

The authors account of his trek along the E4 path through, as the title says, the heart of Crete. A descriptive and thoughtful book with an easy flowing prose style. The accounts of interaction with the local population give an interesting insight into the Cretan mindset.

 

 

Living in Crete: A Guide to Living, Working, Retiring and Buying Property in Crete by Carol Palioudakis

A definitive guide for anyone contemplating doing any or all of the things in the title. The author also has a website livingincrete.net with similarly useful information.

 

The Island by Victoria Hislop

Criticaly acclaimed fictional work about the former leper colony of Spinalonga. Here's what The Times said, who am I to argue?-'Adding depth and colour to the story is the description of Cretan life... in particular, the vividly detailed account of life on Spinalonga... It is one of the achievements of this thoughtful novel that it presents the lives of the island's inhabitants with such empathy. The result is a fascinating work that combines a moving love story witha  plea for more understanding about this most cruel of diseases.'

 

Crete: The Battle and the Resistance by Antony Beevor

Antony Beevor is a highly regarded military historian, and this book is widely regarded as the definitive one on the subject. The author gives an objective account of the mistakes that were made.

 

 

The Cretan Runner (Penguin World War II Collection) by George Psychoundakis

George's personal account of his life as a message carrier for the Cretan resistance, from the German invasion up until the liberation. A truly fascinating read, and a rare account from an "ordinary man" at the sharp end of war.

 

 

The Fall Of Crete (Cassell Military Paperbacks) by Alan Clark (Paperback - 11 Oct 2001)

Old school tory lothario and bon viveur Alan Clark had occasional days off from chasing crumpet, which he spent writing books on military history, and surprisingly, was actually quite good at it. This book is a well respected account of the events of 1941, but on this occasion however Antony Beevor’s later account has the edge over it, not least because in his later version he had access to sources unavailable to Clark at the time of writing.

 

Ill Met By Moonlight (Cassell Military Paperbacks) by Stanley Moss

This is the account of one of the officers who took part in one of the kidnapping of General Kreipe, commander of the Sebastapol division in Crete. In 1943 W. Stanley Moss and Patrick Leigh-Fermor, both serving with Special Forces in the Middle East, posed as German soldiers to stop the General’s car at a roadblock and smuggle him out of Crete into Allied occupied Cairo. Seen at the time as a massive morale boosting escapade, it in fact did little to alter the course of the conflict, with the exception of provoking German retaliation against the civilian population. None of which stops it being a remarkable acheivement and a good read.