The Best Travel Books of All Time. We have all read the lists, compiled by people who have never actually read the books. We learn the best travel writers from hastily-assembled lists: Mark Twain, Graham Greene, Jan Morris, Pico Iyer, Bruce Chatwin, Bill Bryson. These classic travel books survive on reputation, sales, and the summaries on the back cover.
I have actually read each of these books and I am happy to share these reviews of classic travel books with you. Read the travel books that you want to. I will not rank them. Instead, I will tell you who will enjoy them.
For a list of book reviews, click on the Book Review tab under “categories.” To view an individual book review, click on the book title below.
**** 4-star books (If you like travel, you’ll like these)
- Behind the Wall, Colin Thubron (China travel)
- Notes from a Small Island, Bill Byrson (England travel)
- My Mercedes is Not for Sale, Jeroen Van Bergeijk (Africa Travel)
- A Year in Provence, Peter Mayle (Living in France)
- Pillars of Hercules, Paul Theroux (Mediterranean Travel)
- Travels in a Thin Country (Chile Travel)
*** 3-star books (Very good, but not quite perfect)
- A Year in the World, Frances Mayes (Europe Travel)
- Driving over Lemons, Chris Stewart (Living in Spain)
- Off Season, Discovering America on Winter’s Shore, Ken McAlpine (U.S. Atlantic coast)
- Without Reservations: Travels of an Independent Woman, Alice Steinbach (Middle-aged woman in Europe)
** 2-star books (You really need to be interested in the topic)
- Tales from the Torrid Zone, Alexander Frater (tropical travel)
- American in Italy, Herbert Kubly (Italy travel)
- First Stop in the New World, David Lida (Mexico City travel)
* 1-star books (Waste of ink)
Global Postmark Continues to review the best travel books of all time.
I’ve read these, but I haven’t written reviews yet:
- Beyond the Sky and the Earth: A Journey into Bhutan by Jamie Zeppa
- The Shadow of the Sun by Ryszard Kapuscinski
- Searching for Crusoe: A Journey Among the Last Real Islands (later titled: Searching for Paradise: A Grand Tour of the World’s Unspoiled Islands) by Thurston Clarke
- Getting Stoned with Savages: A Trip Through the Islands of Fiji and Vanuatu by J. Maarten Troost
It’s going to take me a little longer to read these travel books, but I’ll get there:
- Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain
- Dinner with Persephone: Travels in Greece by Patricia Storace
Watched the movie, but I won’t read the book:
- Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia by Elizabeth Gilbert