"COMPREHENSIVE is a word that could have been invented for this Frommer's guide to France with 125 maps and 105 self-guided tours in more than 700 pages.
Packed with information, but never dense due to the superb photographs, maps and information boxes, the guide gives day-by-day itineraries to get the best out of a stay: whether long or short.
Chapters cover the main areas with sections on Favorite Moments, Budget France, how to do each area in up to a week, spotlights on special features and what to see for history, outdoors or art buffs.
There is also a section on special-interest trips which cover topics like flying, photography and outdoor crafts.
However, crazily it has an over-ambitious France in One Week itinerary covering just Paris, Versailles, Chartres, Blois, Tours and La Rochelle – which certainly fills a week but is by no means "France in a week".
The guide does, however, recognise this, saying one week is barely time to see Paris alone.
Surprisingly, it states that French hotels are graded on a five star system but omits to mention the Palace grade which was created last year as the ultimate accolade.
For a catch-all guide to France this is magnificent." (The Connexion, 2 March 2012)
From the Inside Flap
Spotlight on France
Complete coverage of France's history and culture begins on page 656. The following features take a closer look at the most compelling aspects of French culture.
What Lies Beneath (page 58) The City of Light's Dark Underbelly
Je Proteste! (page 86) The French Spirit of Resistance
Renaissance Kings (page 166) Lifestyles of the Loire's Rich and Famous
The Longest Day (page 216) The Allied Invasion of Normandy
Dom Pérignon (page 248) The Monk & His Bubbly
L'Art Nouveau (page 292) Natural Forms by Industrial Means
Alpine Cheeses (page 348) Tradition-Bound Cultures of the RhÔne Alps
Camargue Wetlands (page 416) The Bouches-du-RhÔne's Salty Inhabitants
La Nouvelle Vague (page 446) France's Postwar Cinematic Breakthrough
Not Tonight, Napoleon! (page 480) The Emperor's Personal Waterloo
Lascaux (page 612) The Sistine Chapel of Prehistoric Art