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4.3 out of 5 stars51
4.3 out of 5 stars
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
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.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 29 July 2012
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Incredibly thorough and detailed guide book packed with maps and excellent photographs, and peppered with all sorts of additional information on topics such as the wildlife of Spain, its history, politics, food, and a glossary. My old copy dates from 1999 so I was able to make a comparison when researching my next trip to Granada and the Alpujarras, I am delighted to read that "if you only see one town in Spain, it should be Granada" and to find a detailed map of the Alhambra and information about hotels, restaurants, and transport. In comparison the new maps are clearer, prices are in Euros not pesetas! and this new design edition has the staggering additional information that "to protect the Alhambra only 6600 daily admissions are allowed" and it's advisable to book tickets and time slot in advance. I can find absolutely everything I need about Andalucia too, festivals, walks, culture, all described with enthusiasm and by experts. Looking at the "top 28 things not to miss in Spain," I can see I'll pouring over this packed book for a long while yet. As the guide says, be warned, this is a country that fast becomes an addiction. To quote the guide one last time, Spain hs 43 UNESCO World Heritage Sites - more than twice as many as the USA.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 20 June 2012
Probably the most comprehensive guide to Spain I've read thus far. Compact with details on accommodation, travel arrangements and everything else one could possibly need for an in-depth exploration in Espana.

The guide come with a selection of pictures to help illustrate the delights of the different cities, however the real pearl in this guide is the copious amounts of information. Each city/town/attraction is broken down in meticulous detail so as to alert the reader to all options.

As with any travel guide, one would expect the writer to have substantial knowledge of the area and the country in question; this can comfortably be said with the RG - with experts in different areas and ways of life (travelling with children/single travellers etc).

The reviews below have been noted, and this review has been amended to take into account the presented views. Albeit the RG has been slightly "dumbed down" to cater for more travellers, the content and information still exists. Spain is a well travelled country and to find a "new, hidden gem" isn't as common as back in the 70s when these readers seem to be referring too. Further, the guide caters for the masses and covers the important points of travel. One would agree that the guide doesn't contain as many witticisms as what might have been in the past, but one should also take into account the purpose that the book is written - to help guide with travel, not for humour.

A particular favourite feature is the snippets of knowledge and facts found in the highlighted boxes throughout - impressive when travelling with friends, as one can startle and amaze with random information!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Having just used this on my holidays travelling around the Costa Brava with my family, I would recommend it as being an accurate and helpful guide, though best suited to those who are going to be touring the country than staying in one smaller area. It's quite a heavy book (800g as weighed to see if ok for my baggage allowance) to carry around but well worth the weight if you going to be travelling extensively.

In my use of the book I found all the opening times and prices up to date, though as this is a guide to the whole country some of the smaller towns are low in information - I went to Elche and the central park which is much visited by locals and hosts the tourist information office didn't even get a mention though it was well worth visiting. The maps of larger towns - I used the one for Alicante - were very comprehensive however, and the information on eateries, hotels and main attractions all of great use to an average traveller and up to date.

From being a budget guide (I used rough guides whilst back packing in the 1990's), this newer edition does seem to be a "one size fits all", what I like about it is that there is an attempt to get into the heart and culture of the country and in written style it is always informative but never preachy. As so much is crammed into the pages, understandably the print is quite small, though key points are picked out in bold to make reading easier on the eye.

Overall I recommend this guide which will still tell you more than the internet will, all in one place, however as I said at the start best for the tourer than the casual visitor to Spain.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A wealth of information..lovely clear pictures..every town city is broken down into places to stay, eat, attractions etc..there are boxes with extra quirky little bits of information..its the most definitive guide I have thumbed..I have read a few rough guides and they all like this one are well worth the cover price..
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VINE VOICEon 26 July 2012
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
DISCOVER SPAIN - Rough Guide 2012

It is not so long ago that the Rough Guide travel series mainly covered off beat locations for the backpackers/budget traveller, with details of budget accommodation and eateries. There were often historical and geographical reviews of the areas. Maps were in glorious monochrome and pictures of the locations were rare or non existent.
In the last 2-3 years all travel guides appear to have undergone a radical rethink with the use of colour pictures. With the limited times available for vacationers of ALL ages (particularly from the US) there is more focus on itineraries and activities for all ages and "must see" areas.
At last the Rough Guide series has come of age with a full colour guide on Spain (and Majorca or is it Mallorca?), maybe not so detailed , now focussing on 13 specific areas ( in ca 940 pages) with key highlights , possible itineraries , travel options ,local festivals,history ( ancient and Modern) , culture and cuisine , as well as the traditional accommodation suggestions.Gibraltar is also covered.
There are also seperate guides availble on specific areas from Rough Guides, so this remains an overview. With the advent of the Internet, much of the additional detail is on the Rough Guide website.
I found this guide fantastic as a country overview - mainly to select possible areas to visit but knowing that there are more detailed guides (or an internet review) available.
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on 15 November 2012
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Spain is a vast and diverse country, and every inch holds its fascinations. In assessing this book I concentrated on North West Spain - Galicia - relatively unknown to the Brits but a favourite destination for us for a good few years now.

To my mind it gets it just about spot on. For instance, many guide books groan romantically on about wild untamed Galicia: well it isn't - there's a lot of development there & much of it not very attractive, but there's also a lot of space, plenty of Spanish but not much overseas tourism and easy enough to find a quiet and beautiful spot where you have a few hundred yards of beach to yourself. The rough Guide captures the beauty and the ugly ribbon development, the vast unspoilt beaches and the clifftop fish processing factories in all their splendour and squalor.

It gives enough detail to give you a flavour of all the main towns and larger villages, together with somewhere to eat and somewhere to stay. I'd of course like a lot more detail, but if you are going to have just one book for the whole of Spain there have to be compromises, and this seems to me to get the balance between information and compactness about right.

its also good on customs, festivals and animal and bird life - the latter not very available in Spanish bookshops: the Spanish are rather more into shooting birds than looking at them

I don't know a better guide to the whole of Spain
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 29 May 2014
This book reminds me why, if there's a Rough Guide available for where I want to go, then I look no further. It's been criticised for getting some prices and times of admission incorrect, but how can any guide avoid this? Surely they're all at least a little 'out-of-date' even before they goes to the printers and such details should be treated as indications, not concrete fact. The range of information packed into a single volume is amazing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 22 September 2012
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This was published in march so is currently fairly up to date. It certainly seems fairly accurate to me. Certainly the areas that I know are covered accurately .

There are some nice photos and the book itself is quite sturdy.
The maps seem quite reliable. It is easy to get the information that you want. The writing style is easy to follow and isn't too overhyped.

All in all this is a decent and reliable guidebook.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 1 December 2012
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I've never read a bad rough guide. They are what they are, very good comprehensive guides and overviews to the whole of a country - if that's what they're describing; or a region, again if that's what they're describing. This is no different to the comprehensive country guides that "Rough Guide" publish. Regional maps and descriptions of what you can expect and some off the beaten track places to eat, stay and explore. The RG series are very good at providing useful information that is relevent to a traveller who is determined to explore where they are visiting and get the most from their trip. They are almost invariably my first goto reference guides and the first guide I usually consider buying; although I also use Lonely Planet and DK guides as well. My wife has always wanted to visit Spain but hasn't because she's always considered it too touristy and doesn't like beach holidays, this gave her a few ideas of out of the way places to visit where she can soak up the local scenery and history.

As usual for a Rough Guide full of ideas away from the overly touristy bits (although they're covered as well) and well worth the money for an overview of the country.
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