A Book-Lovers Guide to Travel: Our Favourite Literary-Inspired Destinations
There’s nothing better than curling up with a good book…except perhaps stretching out on a sun lounger with a good book in one hand and a cocktail in the other.
Books have the power to transport us to any destination on Earth — and all without the hassle of a long-haul flight! If wanderlust is distracting you with dreams of palm-fringed beaches and exotic, faraway cities, why not indulge in some literary fiction or a captivating memoir set in a dream destination?
If you’ve already got a trip planned, reading a novel set in the country you’ll be travelling to is a great way to get even more excited about your upcoming holiday. And if you don’t have the time or budget for travel right now, at least you can treat your imagination to the sights and sounds of a foreign adventure. And who knows — maybe the inspiration will help you turn your reading list into reality.
So from the rolling hills of Tuscany to the teahouses of Japan, here are some of our favourite places for book lovers to consider for your next trip.
Italy: Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes
Who hasn’t dreamed of buying an Italian villa and spending idyllic days there enjoying wine, good food, and life’s simple pleasures? Not many are lucky enough to live out this dream, but Frances Mayes has captured the experience in this evocative memoir for the rest of us.
The book explores the author’s journey of renovating the rundown property, navigating ex-pat life in a foreign country, and of course — plenty of cooking and eating delicious Italian food (there are even recipes included).
If you’d like to embark on your own Italian adventure, you might want to take a look at our Italy trips to experience the best this country has to offer in a holiday to remember.
Egypt: Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie
One of Agatha Christie’s most well-known novels, Death on the Nile, takes the reader on a journey of mystery and intrigue set against the backdrop of 1930s cruise ship glamour.
Join Hercule Poirot and a cast of fascinating characters in this page-turning murder mystery, which also includes some vivid descriptions of Egypt’s stunning landscapes, bustling markets, and fascinating culture. The characters also visit some of Egypt’s most famous ancient sites, including the awe-inspiring Abu Simbel temple complex in Aswan.
Most Nile cruises play the film adaptation of Death on the Nile onboard, so if you really want to get into the spirit of things, you can lose yourself in the book before your trip and imagine yourself as a background character while on your own Nile cruise (included on our Egypt Essentials trip)!
Greece: My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell
British naturalist Gerald Durrell relocated to Corfu with his family as a young boy in the 1950s. The resulting memoir is a tender and humorous account of his time on the idyllic Meditteranean island.
An expert storyteller, the young Durrell surrounds himself with a menagerie of puppies, goats, tortoises, and bugs aplenty as he navigates the landscape of olive groves, lemon and orange orchards, and sun-bleached coastline.
Bali, Indonesia: Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
Set in three locations, Italia, India, and Indonesia, Elizabeth Gilbert’s memoir follows the author on a trip of self-discovery after a relationship breakdown and midlife crisis.
While the descriptions of Italy and India are just as captivating, it’s Bali that steals the show. Gilbert paints a vivid picture of the island’s lush rice terraces, rich culture, and fascinating characters as she slowly learns how to be at peace with herself.
Japan: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
Set in Kyoto, Japan, in the mid-1940s, the novel tells the story of Chiyo, an apprentice geisha, and her trials and tribulations as she navigates the secretive world of the most famous geisha district in Japan.
You can still see geisha in Kyoto’s Gion today, although their role has changed significantly over the years. The book’s poetic descriptions of tea ceremonies, temples, and lantern-adorned backstreets will transport you to another world. All our Japan trips include three nights in Kyoto so that you can step into the pages for yourself.
Where Will Your Next Book Take You?
If you’re feeling inspired to step out of the pages of a book and into your own travel story, take a look through our curated selection of trips, including accommodation, transfers, guided tours, and special extras.
Our trips include plenty of free time if you want to explore locations from your favourite book, and our local guides will be happy to help you choose your own adventure.
Happy reading, and happy travels!