What are the best non-fiction travel journals?

asked by Anonymous
538 contributors
24 solutions
  1. 53

    #1Kon-Tiki

    Kon-Tiki

    Kon-Tiki: Across the Pacific in a Raft is Thor Heyerdahl's narration of his successful attempt to cross the Pacific Ocean on a balsa log raft with the hope of proving that ancient Polynesian people achieved similar results centuries ago.

    Books

    Check price

    Marie Mills
    Written on April 18, 2018
    "Unusual storytelling and social interaction. Very interesting narrative."
  2. 47

    #2Seven Years in Tibet

    Seven Years in Tibet
    Seven Years in Tibet is a memoir by Heinrich Harrer. It tells the story of the author's travels in 1943, when he escaped from a concentration camp in India and crossed the Himalayas to Tibet, where he became the Dalai Lama's tutor.
    Books

    Check price

    Anthony Chapman
    Written on April 17, 2018
    "This is an interesting sounding journal depiction of a man who traveled while escaping a concentration camp. He ended up being an influence on an affluent individual."
  3. 42

    #3A Year in Marrakesh

    A Year in Marrakesh

    A Year in Marrakesh is a memoir written by English traveler Peter Mayne. It was re-released in 2003. It is about a Westerner trying to fit into the vibrant and colorful Moroccan world in Marrakesh.

    Books

    Check price

    Janet Wagner
    Written on April 17, 2018
    "This is a really interesting read. It isn't so much about someone's continuous travels, like I was hoping to find, but is indeed about a traveler living in a foreign city for a year. The depth it goes into is fascinating, but it isn't quite the same as a travel journal."
  1. 42

    #4The Caliph's House

    The Caliph's House

    The Caliph's House is a travel and adventure non-fiction written by English Tahir Shah. It was originally published in 2006. It is about the author's travel from London to Casablanca, where the author was culture-shocked.

    Books

    Check price

    Madison Bradley
    Written on April 23, 2018
    "This is an exciting and moving book! From accomplishing your dreams to the risk and and thrill of doing so! This is a great book! "
  2. 39

    #5Skeletons on the Zahara

    Skeletons on the Zahara

    Skeletons on the Zahara: A True Story of Survival is the dramatic historical novel for adults written Dean King. It became a National Bestseller. It is about American sailors who lost their ship to the waves of the African West Coast.

    Books

    Check price

    Nicholas McDonald
    Written on April 26, 2018
    "I have always found real life to be much more exciting than fiction so this book was right up my alley. The author traveled to Africa himself to get a first-hand experience of what the people went through in this ordeal and it was nothing short of dramatic."
  3. 38

    #6In Harm's Way

    In Harm's Way

    In Harm's Way is Doug Stanton's creative retelling of the sinking of the USS Indianapolis, which was torpedoed in the South Pacific by the Japanese in 1945. Around 900 men survived the impact, but only a third of them survived what came next.

    Books

    Check price

    Andrea Rivera
    Written on April 18, 2018
    "I was searching for the topic of best non-fiction travel journals and was given the solution of In Harm's Way. This is not a non-fiction travel journal so it does not meet the topic at all. "
  4. 35

    #7Catfish and Mandala

    Catfish and Mandala

    Catfish and Mandala: A Two-Wheeled Voyage Through the Landscape and Memory of Vietnam is an autobiography by Andrew X. Pham about his bicycle ride from Mexico to Japan, and then to Vietnam. The book won a Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book award.

    Books

    Check price

    Gerald Hunter
    Written on April 21, 2018
    ""Catfish and Mandala" was a surprisingly good tale of culture, travels and persistence. Written whimsically but descriptively, it was great from front to back."
  5. 33

    #8The Voyage of the Beagle

    The Voyage of the Beagle

    Published in 1839, this book is a collection of notes and texts from Charles Darwin written by him during the second survey expedition of the ship HMS Beagle. In it, we can see how Darwin's views on the species' fixity change, and how the first theories on evolution start to form. 

    Books

    Check price

    Tammy Hughes
    Written on April 19, 2018
    "This is great with plenty of information that you need. It is a true book to read so everything actually happened."
  6. 31

    #9Between a Rock and a Hard Place

    Between a Rock and a Hard Place
    Between a Rock and a Hard Place is about a man's fight to survive for six days while trapped in the canyons in Utah. Written by Aron Ralston, himself, this awe-inspiring memoir is considered as one of the best survival stories of the modern era.
    Books

    Check price

    Vishal Das
    Written on April 19, 2018
    "Not sure this fits in the category. I guess it does, but it seems more like a real life survival story. A fine read to be sure, but just don't know about being in the category."
  7. 30

    #10Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery

    Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery

    Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery is a memoir written by astronaut Scott Kelly. It was published in October 2017 and became a National Best Seller book. It is about Kelly's year-long stay in the International Space Station.

    Books

    Check price

    Aaron Matthews
    Written on April 16, 2018
    "Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery is a great non-fiction travel journal for people that are interested in travels. It will make you feel like you are in the life of Scott Kelly."
  8. 27

    #11The River of Doubt

    The River of Doubt
    The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey is a biography written by Candice Millard on the 26th president of the United States. With over 400 pages, this book is published in 2006 by Anchor Books.

    Books

    Check price

    Albert Bishop
    Written on April 15, 2018
    "This is a very cool look at a time in Teddy Roosevelt's life that is not often remembered. The book recounts his exploration of the Amazon after his presidency and is filled with incredible stories of adventure, fear, and the unknown."
  9. 20

    #12Papillon

    Papillon

    Papillon is Henri Charriere's autobiography published in 1968, detailing his numerous attempts to escape prisons, including his successful breakout from Devil's Island, the prison which no one had ever fled until Papillon came along.

    Books

    Check price

    Gerald Gonzalez
    Written on May 14, 2018
    "Papillon is about a man of the same name being convicted for a murder he did not commit. It's an exciting and daring escape that has lots of intricate details and twists. It's literally Alcatraz time 50. If you're interested in shows like 'Breakout' then this is right up your alley. I really loved getting that insight into the thought process and seeing how it all works out. Highly, highly recommend you read it!"
  10. 19

    #13Miracle in the Andes

    Miracle in the Andes
    Miracle in the Andes: 72 Days on the Mountain and My Long Trek Home is a non-fiction adventure survival book written by Nando Parrado with Vince Reuse. Published in 2007 by Broadway Books.
    Books

    Check price

    Elizabeth Peña
    Written on April 15, 2018
    "Miracle in the Andes is definitely a must read travel journal. A moving tale of survival, it's a book very much worth your time, even if travel journals aren't your go-to genre."
  11. 18

    #14The Discovery of the Tomb of Tutankhamen

    The Discovery of the Tomb of Tutankhamen

    The Discovery of the Tomb of Tutankhamen by Howard Carter is a nonfiction history about Northern Africa. This book describes artifacts that came from a tomb. This book was published in 1977.

    Books

    Check price

    Elvira Aguilera
    Written on April 18, 2018
    "I thinks this book is a great story!"
  12. 16

    #15The Trigger

    The Trigger

    In The Trigger: Hunting the Assassin Who Brought the World to War, Tim Butcher is part travelogue, reportage, and history. It's the story of a young man who changed the world forever.

    Books

    Check price

    Julia Brooks
    Written on April 13, 2018
    "While he does travel in this book, it's more about how an action started a war. It's a great lesson in history."
  13. 9

    #16The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon

    The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon

    The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon is a non-fiction book written by David Grann. This book was published in 2009, and it tells the exploration of Fawcett in 1925.

    Books

    Check price

    Luz María Zárate
    Written on April 27, 2018
    "I loved this book it takes you on a jorney with the characters and you feel like your in the story with them i found it a easy read that was well rounded in history very exciting story"
  14. 7

    #17Turn Right at Machu Picchu

    Turn Right at Machu Picchu

    Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time is a nonfiction travel book written by Mark Adams. It was originally published in 2011. 

    Books

    Check price

    Susan Banks
    Written on May 4, 2018
    "This book provides a way for the reader to follow Mark Adams along on his Peruvian adventure as he has the comical mishaps that a first time traveler would. Although his knowledge of the area is vast, his practical sense of getting around is totally lacking. This is a funny book with a bit of a mystery that I liked very much. "
  15. 5

    #18Undaunted Courage

    Undaunted Courage

    Undaunted Courage: The Pioneering First Mission to Explore America's Wild Frontier is a historical non-fiction book written by Stephen E. Ambrose. This was originally published in 2006.

    Books

    Check price

    Betty Romero
    Written on April 22, 2018
    "We all grew up learning about the Lewis and Clark expedition in middle school. In "Undaunted Courage" we are feed with great new knowledge of the historical expedition. The book does a great job of keeping the reader interested in 18 century history. "
  16. 3

    #19Over the Edge of the World

    Over the Edge of the World

    Over the Edge of the World: Magellan's Terrifying Circumnavigation of the Globe by Laurence Bergreen is a non-fiction biography of the author likened to Magellan's expedition. This was originally published in 2003.

    Books

    Check price

    Jordan Garrett
    Written on April 19, 2018
    "Magellan and his voyage are subjects that seemed to get swept aside in the history of Western civilization, that is, until this book came out. A great study of an incredible tale of seafaring, exploration, and "manifest destiny". "
  17. 0

    #20Cool Gray City of Love

    Cool Gray City of Love

    Cool Gray City of Love: 49 Views of San Francisco is a non-fiction historical book written by Garry Kamiya. It was first published in 2013 by Bloomsbury USA. 

    Books

    Check price

    Donna Peters
    Written on May 15, 2018
    "I was looking for a book that described someone's trip to San Francisco, as sort of a precusor to my own vacation there, and what I ended up with was a history lesson instead. Really disappointed that it was not about his own experiences and travels. Also...you have "views" in your book title and all we get are a single drawing per chapter? TOTALLY regret buying this. "
  18. 0

    #21The Stones of Florence

    The Stones of Florence
    The Stones of Florence by Mary McCarthy and Evelyn Hofer is a travel literature novel originally published in 1959. This book describes the rich history and social culture of the city of Florence, Italy.
    Books

    Check price

    Ruth Baker
    Written on May 10, 2018
    "This is the one book I'd take to Florence with me alongside a good travel guide for maps, meals, and sights. Mary McCarthy turns Florence's people--living and dead--and its streets and monuments into a single cranky, brilliant, and independent character you'll want to get to know. I'd read it before I go, then read again while I'm there."
  19. 0

    #22Land's End: A Walk in Provincetown (Crown Journeys series)

    Land's End: A Walk in Provincetown (Crown Journeys series)

    Land's End: A Walk in Provincetown is a nonfiction book about Cape Cod written by Michael Cunningham. This nonfiction book was published on August 6, 2002 by Crown.

    Books

    Check price

    Cheryl Jensen
    Written on May 11, 2018
    "This travel journal focuses on one of the oldest towns in our nation, at the tip of Cape Cod in Massachusetts. Most folks associate Provincetown with it's idyllic coastal afternoon getaways. But deep down, this town has a rich gay life at it's center. Could be any small town in America today. Very fascinating read."
  20. 0

    #23Journey to Portugal

    Journey to Portugal
    Journey to Portugal: In Pursuit of Portugal's History and Culture is a novel set in Portugal written by José Saramago and translated by, Nick Caistor and Amanda Hopkinson. Journey to Portugal was published by Mariner Books.
    Books

    Check price

    Albert Weber
    Written on May 5, 2018
    "I found Journey to Portugal to be interesting and different, but ultimately not that satisfying. Saramago obviously cares about Portugal and tries to reveal the country and its people to us through his observations, but I think he often stumbles and forgets that he's not the subject here. I've read a lot of non-fiction travel journals, and there are significantly better and more interesting books than this, regardless of their setting. Try Steinbeck's Travels with Charley instead."
  21. 0

    #24The Best American Travel Writing 2013

    The Best American Travel Writing 2013

    The Best American Travel Writing 2013 is a travel literature novel written by Elizabeth Gilbert and Jason Wilson. This guidebook was originally published in October 2013 by Mariner Books.

    Books

    Check price

    Ronald Tran
    Written on May 4, 2018
    "A well written book about some great places to visit around the world. It made me want to plan my next trip as soon as possible. They really describe the locations well and make you feel like you've been there before."

Summary

Best What are the best non-fiction travel journals
RankSolutionsTypeVotesPrice
1Kon-TikiBooks 53 Paid
2Seven Years in TibetBooks 47 Paid
3A Year in MarrakeshBooks 42 Paid
4The Caliph's HouseBooks 42 Paid
5Skeletons on the ZaharaBooks 39 Paid
6In Harm's WayBooks 38 Paid
7Catfish and MandalaBooks 35 Paid
8The Voyage of the BeagleBooks 33 Paid
9Between a Rock and a Hard PlaceBooks 31 Paid
10Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of DiscoveryBooks 30 Paid
Close

This action requires you to be logged in

Quickly sign in with your social media account:

What interests you most? (Select at least 3)

This will help us to keep things fresh and relevant!

Close

Now that you’ve found a solution...

Why not join our community of sharp minds and pro-active posters?

Be part of a rewarding interactive knowledge exchange!
Close

Join These Inquisitive Minds

Engage, learn and share with a friendly community versed in a massive range of trending topics.