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VINE VOICEon 28 September 2015
I like DKs travel books. Whenever I go abroad I like to have one with me. They may not tell you everything, and they don't, but they are a good starting point and if you are only away for a week then this is handy. Sights to see, places to eat, cafes, bars, what to buy, local customs and festivals, what to eat...what more could you want? But if you do want more a thicker publication will be out there.
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on 23 April 2017
good information for our holiday
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on 27 September 2011
As far as guidance goes, this was pretty good...and I suppose appropriate for the price. The maps are a real plus and it was generally useful to people who had minimal knowledge of Maderia before visiting. However, we found some of the guidance a bit off! For example, the market in Funchal is in the top ten - but it really did not seem to be anything special. There is also the most amazing art gallery in Calheta, absolute highlight of Maderia...but it does not feature in this book at all! This is a useful guide if you want something very general and as a brief overview of the country.
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on 23 April 2011
This is everything that we have come to expect from DK! I always buy these books (along with Lonely Planet) before going away as they are perfect to take out for the day!

We have literally just come back from our first trip to Madeira and stayed in Funchal. As a warning, this book focuses mainly on the Funchal area - which is perfect if you are staying in the hotel district as everything is a short trip away on the bus. There is a bit about other areas of the island, but I suggest looking for other books if you are staying elsewhere on the island as it literally is the `Top 10 of the East of the Island" compared to "Top 10 places to eat (in Funchal)" "Top 10 places to shop (in Funchal)" ... you get the idea!
We tried some of the restaurant suggestions in this book and we were not disappointed, so you can trust them! Be warned though, as its top 10, the restaurants seem to be a bit more pricey so if you're looking for cheap and cheerful, try the `Old Town' where the locals are lovely!

The `focus' places in the book such as the Botanical Gardens, Blandy's Wine Lodge and Nun's Valley are great to give you a good idea of what you're going to see - so get this book to prepare you! But as like most holidays, just exploring and chatting to the locals will give you even more information!

I would definitely recommend this book as something to get you started, but don't use it as your book with all the answers! I'm giving it 4* because you get a brilliant introduction to Funchal, but not so much on the rest of the Island. I think DK should definitely think about writing a more detailed book on Madeira as there is lots to do there!
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I have a large number of these travel guides. What I like about them is their format - each book gives an overview (rather than lots of detail). It provides a summary of what is on offer. Inside is not just the obvious i.e. the Top 10 sights to see. Also you get things like the Top 10 museums & galleries, Top 10 markets, Top 10 Arts & Crafts, Top 10 events etc. - even the Top 10 things to avoid. That makes them very useful, and a unique approach to travel guides. I use them to decide what to do, and then use another book (or a website) to give me more detail if I need that.

This book covers, for example:
 Funchal Cathedral
 Museu de Arte Sacra, Funchal
 The Old Blandy Wine Lodge, Funchal
 Monte
 Curral das Freiras
 Pico do Arieiro
 Top 10 Moments in History
 Top 10 Museums
 Top 10 Churches
 Top 10 Historic Buildings
 Top 10 Gardens
 Top 10 Beaches
 Top 10 Outdoor Activities
 Top 10 Children's Attractions
 Top 10 Festivals
 Top 10 Madeiran Wine Outlets
 Top 10 Restaurants
(This is some, not all)

The book in its physical format is small - just small enough to fit inside a DL envelope (i.e. the standard white envelope, designed to accept a sheet of A4 paper folded twice). It is actually a few centimetres shorter than a DL envelope. This compact size makes it easy to fit into your pocket.

This book can't provide detail - it can provide `the big picture'. I now normally take two travel guides with me - a DK Top 10 one like this and a detailed travel guide, to get the best of both worlds. If you just have a detailed travel guide, you can miss out on things that you wish you had visited.

On a separate issue, I originally bought my Top 10 books in the Kindle format (because I am a Kindle lover) and to my surprise found the Kindle format terribly irritating. It taught me that when using a travel guide, you want to be able to flick quickly through it and jump around easily - that's SO much easier with a physical book. In addition, you want it to be in colour - you can cure that by taking your iPad with you but an iPad is bigger and heavier than this book in its paperback version. You can get round that if you have an iPad mini or a large screen smartphone (neither of which I had when I bought this) but you are still left with the problem of being unable to flick around the book quickly. Travel guides just don't work well in the Kindle format, in my opinion.

You may feel otherwise but that is how I feel. I found the relative awkwardness in flicking around the Kindle book a major handicap. And this is despite the fact that I buy most of my books in Kindle format.

The beauty of these books is that they give you an overview, which means that you end up doing things that you would not have done otherwise.

There is an updated version of this book available: DK Eyewitness Top 10 Travel Guide: Madeira
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on 19 January 2014
We've just returned from our first visit to Madeira. We had a fantastic holiday & will return, but it was interesting to compare my Kindle download with our friends' printed book version. We both used our respective versions to help us decide where to go each day. The printed book won hands down - ease of use, colour pictures, 'pocketability'. The (paper white) Kindle version was just so much harder to use/get around the different sections. So in future I'll probably stick to fiction downloads for holiday reading and buy printed guide books. PS I do like my Kindle - it just doesn't cope well in a reference book situation.
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on 9 February 2014
We were in Madeira for only a few days so wanted a book that would point us to the main places to visit and things to do. We've found that other books in the "Top 10" series do the job pretty well and this was no exception. Not by any means an in-depth book but it does give some background and useful info on the sights listed. And of course as withh all DK books, the pictures are lovely and it makes a nice souvenir to reminisce over during long cold rainy winter evenings
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on 10 December 2013
A good summary of the island's main attractions. Prices are a touch out of date but a quick check on the web before you go will always sort that out.

This is nicely set out with lots of double page spreads which give just the right amount of information if you are a standard sightseer.

I found it useful to read in conjunction with Trip Advisor so you get some personalised views on each attraction too.
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on 21 February 2014
There are a limited amount of things to see and do on Madeira so most guides tend to have the same material written in them. If you haven't bought a guide this is a useful compact guide to to take on holiday with you. If you already have one this version won't add much more info.
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on 14 June 2015
This is a great size book, yet contains LOADS of information. We took it out with us every day, just in case; it helped us decide how to spend our time in Monte, and gave us some really interesting facts about what we were seeing. It told us everything from how big a levada is, to what sort of information we needed to look for on the Madeira wine! Our copy is now extremely well-thumbed!
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