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Extremely Comprehensive Rough Guide
on 3 August 2012
Spain is a large and diverse country and it is encouraging that there has been no attempt here to limit this Rough Guide to a few hundred pages by leaving out large and essential chunks of information. In fact this is a weighty beast which runs to well over 900 pages. There is little doubt that there has been a repositioning of the Rough Guide brand in recent years. Originally launched in the early 1990s as a low cost guide for backpackers, they should now be regarded as general guides with broad appeal in direct completion with Lonely Planet, Fodors et al. On that basis I would judge this guide to be very good indeed and the only country guide that most will need for Spain.
The first 50 or so pages are devoted to the usual general basics, such as how to get there, culture, customs, suggested itineries etc. We also have the almost obligatory sites not to miss, which in this book stretch to 28. However, with a country this large this must be, in the main, regarded as highly subjective. However, the meat of the book is in the following 850 pages which are well organised by area. The country is divided into 13 regions (clearly not a superstitious editor!), and then each region is split into sub areas. Each of these covers sites to visit, accommodation, eating and any other information deemed to be useful. There are plenty of maps and illustrations to assist.
This is an impressive guide. My only slight niggle is that the publishers clearly have not gone overboard on printing costs and although in colour, the colour printing is of low quality. I have to question whether it is really sensible to try to save a few pennies in this area for a guide with a headline price of £17 and which has numerous strong competitors. However, this obviously does not detract from the job this book is intended to do and my personal rating would be that it is extremely comprehensive and well put together.