10 Travel Books to Escape With

Culture /

10 enchanting tomes to whisk you away from home

This post may contain affiliate links. Learn more

From a sun-soaked Italian Riviera to the alpine glamour of St. Moritz, these captivating travel books will transport you to an array of extraordinary places.

10 Long Books You Finally Have Time to Tackle

10 Travel Books to Escape With

Photo 1 of
Athens Riviera

Athens Riviera by Stéphanie Artarit

A capital which John Milton once branded ‘the eye of Greece, mother of arts and eloquence’, Athens is simultaneously a beautiful ancient city and thriving modern-day metropolis. This book captures both by exploring the intrinsic charm of the Athens Riviera; from its refined hotels and reflective art to its prepossessing coastal neighbourhoods with views overlooking the Aegean Sea. Assouline, £70, assouline.com

Around the World in 80 Trains

Around the World in 80 Trains by Monisha Rajesh

From Tibet’s Qinghai railway to the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, if it’s a world-famous railway, you can guarantee Monisha Rajesh has ridden it. The journalist and travel writer took to the rails with her fiancé, Jem to travel the world in 80 trains, across 45,000 miles, forming new friendships, experiencing astounding views, and affirming the magic of exploring the world by tracks. Bloomsbury, £7.99, waterstones.com

The Enchanted April

The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim

An ideal read for when you’re basking in the sun (or wishing you were), The Enchanted April transports readers to the 1920s Italian Riviera, in which four dissimilar women, each disheartened about life at home in Britain, spend a month residing together in a Mediterranean medieval castle. Whilst it’s not all smooth sailing, the charming Riviera soon arouses restorative change and new-found friendships between four unlikely women. Penguin Modern Classics, £6.68, amazon.co.uk

To Venice With Love

To Venice with Love: A Midlife Adventure by Philip Gwyne Jones

Ever wondered what it would be like to up sticks to another country? Well, that’s exactly what Philip Gwynne Jones and his wife Caroline did. This uplifting memoir details the couple’s move from Edinburgh to Venice ‘in search of a better, simpler life’; an ode to the ‘floating city’ and an honest account of emigrating to an extraordinary place. Little, Brown Book Group, £11.99, whsmith.co.uk


Uzbekistan by Yaffa Assouline and Laziz Hamani

As travel books go, this visually impressive ode to Uzbekistan does well to inspire a voyage to the exotic Asian nation. Yaffa Assouline’s vivid commentary paired with breath-taking photography from Laziz Hamani transports readers to ‘one of the few destinations on Earth where imagination aligns with reality’. Assouline, £70, assouline.com

The Old Ways

The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot by Robert Macfarlane

Prize-winning nature writer Robert Macfarlane journeys through Britain in search of a ‘lost world – a landscape of the feet and the mind, of pilgrimage and ritual, of stories and ghosts; above all of the places and journeys which inspire and inhabit our imaginations’. Take a walk on Britain’s wild side and explore man’s historic ties to the nation’s beautiful landscape with this captivating guidebook. Penguin, £8.99, waterstones.com

The Alchemist

The Alchemist: A Fable about Following Your Dream by Paulo Coelho

With over 65 million copies sold across the globe, it’s fair to say that Paulo Coelho’s 1988 novel is a trailblazer of the travel genre. An inspiring tale about following one’s dreams, The Alchemist details the life-altering journey of an Andalusian shepherd boy as he searches for ‘worldly treasure’ in the Egyptian pyramids. HarperCollins Publishers, £8.99, waterstones.com

The Art of Travel

The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton 

Whilst most travel books detail the places we should visit and how they should be indulged, Swiss-British philosopher Alain de Botton takes a different approach. The Art of Travel ponders the concept of journeying afar; why do we long to do so? And how can we make the most of our travels? Prepare to think differently about your next adventure. Penguin, £10.99, waterstones.com

A Year in Provence

A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle

In this best-selling 1980s memoir – also a BBC TV series – British author Peter Mayle writes of his eventful first year living in Provence after emigrating with his wife to a two-hundred-year-old farmhouse in the French countryside. A comical and uplifting account of a couple’s adjusting to Provençal life, the book went on to win Best Travel Book of the Year at the 1989 British Book Awards. Vintage, £7.95, amazon.co.uk

St.Moritz Chic

St. Moritz Chic by Giorgio Pace, Text by Dora Lardelli

Escape to one of the world’s most celebrated ski resorts which has attracted a whole host of illustrious residents, from John Lennon to Audrey Hepburn, Claudia Schiffer and Sofia Loren. St. Moritz Chic explores the ever-lasting allure of the luxury alpine resort, from its A-list haunts and ‘hidden’ parties at Badrutt’s Palace to the awe-inspiring natural beauty of the alps which surround the Engadin valley. Assouline, £70, assouline.com

Featured image: Dan Novac on Unsplash

Must-Have Fashion Coffee Table Books / 7 of the Best Self-Improvement Books