Greek travel literature made its first appearance during the mid-1920s and has since grown to an impressive volume. Before World War I, Greek travel writers who visited places in Greece and abroad generally recorded their experiences in one of two ways: One was by extended, detail-rich descriptions of the natural and urban landscape, and the other was by exploring and setting the historical context, enabling readers to follow the journey on a different level.
In the years following the war, Greek travel writers lost some of their earlier prestige, in part because the development of tourism meant that travel was no longer a remote objective but had become widely accessible. Yet Greek travel literature did not give up; instead it shifted its aims and ambitions away from the objective, global account to the subjective and necessarily fragmented viewpoint, while also engaging in a productive dialogue with other genres, such as diary, autobiography and reportage.
Annita Panaretou’s clear, well-informed guide, Greek Travel Literature, published in 2002, provides a systematic account of the history of Greek travel writing, both its early phase and its later revival and modernisation.