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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My top choice
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...
Published 24 months ago by Four Violets

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3.0 out of 5 stars Rough means roughly accurate
The rough guide is roughly correct and roughly up to date. Admission prices and times are out of date. City maps can be copies of other incorrect maps. It's obvious that the experts have visited some places but not all that they cover. The places they have been are well described. I'll be trying another guide series next time to if these are the best of a poor bunch or...
Published 1 month ago by S. Dix


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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Updated and comprehensive, 29 July 2012
By 
John Tierney (Wirral, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Rough Guide to Spain (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I had a 1997 version of the Rough guide to Spain, but was offered a new version via the amazon Vine programme. I took it because we're off to Spain again soon and I wanted as up to date version as possible . There are several obvious improvements over the version I had (I'm not sure how often RG update each volume) - pesetas are replaced by Euros, colour has been added to aid navigation and also to photos and maps and there are a couple of hundred extra pages. I love the RH series because it's written so clearly by people who clearly know what they are talking about. We're off to Barcelona and really appreciated the following about the aquarium: "it's vastly overpriced and despite the claims of excellence it offers few new experiences." It's not all negative stuff though and it's essential reading when preparing for your trip to Spain - or indeed anywhere. Priceless.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rough Guide to Spain 2012, 11 July 2012
This review is from: The Rough Guide to Spain (Paperback)
I have been a fan of Rough Guides in general and of the Spain guide in particular since I started travelling independently in the mid-1990s and have always found them to be reliable, relevant and up-to-date. They give me the information I need in a format that is a pleasure to use. The most important quality in a travel guide has to be that when you are on the ground in the country it gives you easy access to the information you need to make your trip enjoyable, interesting and tailored to your personal needs.

I now have a young family but continue trying to travel independently whenever I can. Rough Guides are flexible enough to still be useful to me now, even given the fact that my information needs are quite different to what they were twenty years ago. I always turn to the Rough Guide to give me an idea of what to expect from a place in terms of its attractions, accommodation and eating options.

With the 2012 edition of the Spain guide I can see that the Rough Guide format has been brought into this decade. Even my husband commented that the previous version now looks old-fashioned in comparison with this all-colour edition. I love all the colour pictures - they certainly help in allowing my kids to be as excited as me about the places we are going to be visiting. The information contained in the Spain guide is as usual spot-on. I know other reviewers lament the loss of detail on certain aspects of Spain and its history, but when I am travelling with my family I need to know that everything I am carrying in my heavy back-pack is really necessary so I am happy not to carry round pages of information that is not related to the practicalities of my current trip. There are so many ways of accessing information about, say, Spanish history now and I agree with the publishers that a Rough Guide is not necessarily the place for an enormous amount of that information. There are, in any case, 15 pages of Spanish history in this edition, so anyone who is starting out on Spain has plenty of information for a pretty good introduction to Spanish history.

I am sure I will continue travelling with Rough Guide for many years to come and am certainly looking forward to my next trip to Spain in the company of the 2012 edition.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Viva Espana, 8 Aug 2012
By 
L. A. Hardy (Newcastle Upon Tyne) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Rough Guide to Spain (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The Rough Guides series started thirty years ago with a student guide to Greece. Now there are over 200 destinations covered, as well as a range of phrase books and other support material, all designed to help the traveller pick a destination and make the most of it once they're there.

The overall guide to Spain follows the standard layout: a brief introduction to the country, followed by tips on when to visit and the twenty-or-so top things to see when there. After that, you get the basics on how to get there, where to stay, how to get around and what the local cuisine and etiquette are, as well as safety tips. The book then splits into sections, each one covering a particular region of the country in more depth, before finishing off with a brief history of Spain, notes on the fauna, flora and flamenco, a reading list for further research and a short phrasebook section.

The best way to review a book of this size (and, at almost 950 pages, this is certainly a whopper) is to review the parts you know. Having only just got back from Andalucia when I received this guide for review, I went straight to that section to see how fair, accurate and useful the book actually was. I was pleased to see the authors treat the majority of the Costa del Sol with the contempt it deserves and, apart from a slightly unfair comment about Jaen (which, if you stick to the Old City and avoid the urban sprawl, is a really lovely place), the book's information was well researched and correct. The section on El Escorial also tallied with my experiences there, although the details on Menorca seemed a little scant (I know it's been over twenty years since I visited, but I recall there being far more to see and do!)

As expected from the other Rough Guides I've used in the past, this is written in a clear, unfussy style and, if it is a little brief in places, that's hardly surprising, given the scale of the task in hand. There's certainly enough detail here to allow you to make informed choices about where to go and what to do, and the fact that this is all-colour really helps to get across the vibrancy of the country. The maps are also helpful, although some of them do suffer from being a little small. My main complaint would be the advertising for an allied travel insurance firm, but that really is a very minor gripe.

There are a couple of more in-depth guides for parts of Spain, but if you haven't yet made your mind up where to go, then this is an excellent resource to help you do just that. I can also recommend the associated phrasebook, which a friend who lives in Spain told us was a lot more accurate than some of the others currently available.
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10 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The old Rough Guides were far, far better, 19 May 2012
This review is from: The Rough Guide to Spain (Paperback)
The previous reviewer's guide was spot on. Sadly his comments on the Spain guide apply to the entire series. A decision seems to have been made to dumb down the Rough Guides, as if this will somehow boost sales.

Rough Guides used to be informative, opinionated and above all intelligent: now they are bland, written-by-comittee products that succeed in pleasing no-one (apart from, presumably, the bean-counters at Penguin). They also seem to have sacked the sub-ed department (who cares about semicolons anyway ?). If you want confirmation of the type of person who currently runs the series, have a look at the 'Meet the Team' video on their website: about as exciting as cold porridge. Would you want to travel with these people ?

Witty, informed, literate travel guides are now a thing of the past. We're going through the dark ages of travel guide writing: the owners of content don't understand the iPad age, and those who do understand electronic media don't have the content. When someone cracks this nut, dead-tree guides will be consigned to the dustbin. But it's a shame to see a once great series losing its raison d'Ítre. Readers care about history, detail and educated opinion in a guide: the publishers, obviously, don't.

Rough Guides used to be packed with info on Byzantine frescos, obscure social history, informed interpretation of art and architecture, unknown hiking paths, concise political insights. Now they read like a cut & paste from the Facebook page of a dull teenager. You would have thought that Penguin would realise that their supposed target audience don't actually buy books.

So I agree with Derek Tunniciffe - hang on to your old edition: this new one is a huge leap backwards.
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The Rough Guide to Spain by Greg Ward (Paperback - 1 Mar 2012)
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