Lonely Planet Spain (Travel Guide) Paperback – 1 Mar 2013
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Top Customer Reviews
Most of the rest of the book is a detailed consideration of the dozen regions of Spain including extensive sections on the major cities of Madrid and Barcelona. In each region there is a broad overview including when to go (temperature and rainfall charts), why go and highlights. Then there is detailed coverage of where to eat, where to stay and the main sights which you will want to see whilst you are there. Unlike some guides, the restaurant summaries actually sound like someone has eaten there as opposed to summarising information available elsewhere. I was a bit less convinced about the accommodation guides as I would presume that most people consult Tripadvisor or similar these days.
Towards the end there are about thirty pages devoted to the history of the country and various specialised aspects such as flamenco and bullfighting. Finally there is a very useful survival guide covering the practicalities of visiting the country including transport links. Overall this is a very comprehensive and well thought out country guide and contains a huge amount of information for the visitor to Spain. Normally I would suggest that if you are visiting a major city such as Barcelona or Madrid you would be better off with a City Guide rather than relying on a country guide. However, with about 70 pages devoted to each I would think that this book would be perfectly adequate for a short visit to either of these two cities.
I guess one gets used to the structure of a preferred guide, so I was pleasantly surprised at how immediately readable I found this book. Clearly a lot of thought has been given to the likely needs of a typical reader and the layout designed to suit.
I liked: the 25 Top Experiences section - which was not a list of museums and cathedrals, but included Pintxos in San Sebastian & Flamenco in Andalucia (bth of which are personal highlights of my trips); and the What' New section with updates since the previous edition.
The Eat Like a Local 8 page section was very good, and practical. As an example it explained that you should ask for vino de Manzanilla, not just Manzanilla. I can personally confirm that if you ask for the latter you will get chamomile tea! I thought it was my pronunciation.
I also liked the Tips Boxes presented throughout. So typical tips would be: Don't visit the Alambra and Seville Cathedral on the same day - too much to take in; and how you can reserve (cathedral) tickets online to avoid queues.
The Understand Spain section was excellent, and included sections on Spain Today, History, Bull Fighting etc.
I found the maps very clear, including a fold out Barcelona map, and there is a reasonable number of photographs throughout. It is not a photo guide type book, and I was happy with the balance of mostly text.
In summary I was very impressed with this book. It is excellent for both pre-visit reading, and as a traveling companion. Recommended. Looking through the section covering the regions I have visited, the guide gives the feel and details that mirror my experiences.
There are no header or footers so you don't know where in the book you are
Ok, i want to read about Bilbao so i select 'table of content - oh its taken me to the front cover mmmm, that's not the table of content. OK I'll go forward a few pages and surely I'll eventually come to it as its always in the front of the book right, flick page, flick another page..oh found it...oh hang on this is a funny table of content:
- Spain Cover
- How to use this guide (lol shows me an old photo of black and white kindle with arrows pointing to what the buttons do - And this was published in march 13?)
- Spain Map
- Plan your trip
- On the road
- Understand Spain
- Survival guide
- Behind the scenes
- Map legend
- Our writers
Does it have chapters for each region? NO
Ok....so i want to read about Bilbao...ok so ill use the search button to locate info on Bilbao...WHHHHHHAAAAAAT 100 matches for 'Bilbao, ok so the main section for Bilbao must be highlighted in some way to direct me...errrrr NO
OK...I'LL TRY LOCATION 3318....Is that Bilbao...errrr don't know there's no chapter details
Ok i'll try search location 353...oh looks promising...mmm I'll turn the pags backwards and surely it will take me to a chapter about Bilbao or that region....turn page, no...turn page, no...AAAAAAARRRRHHH its whats new chapter' WHICH ISNT EVEN IN THE TABLE OF CONTENTS ABOVE
Ok...Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Provides good and accurate overviews when visiting places. Lots of detail, maybe a bit too much sometimes but very good.Published 12 months ago by Dave C from EGLF
Doesn't feel as good in electronic format as the book, feels like it has got a lot less than paper version.Published 20 months ago by Puggamuffin
Truth is this looks like a comprehensive guide - but it isn't. To illustrate the point, a glance at the index will show you no entry for anywhere being with a Y - at a stroke... Read morePublished 22 months ago by manatleisure
I love Lonely Planet books, and this one is certainly up to the usual high standard. I learn so much from them. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Diana