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Lonely Planet Spain (Travel Guide) Paperback – March 1, 2013
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About the Author
In 2001 Anthony fell irretrievably in love with Madrid on his first visit to the city. Less than a year later, he arrived there on a one-way ticket, with not a word of Spanish and not knowing a single person in the city. Now Anthony speaks Spanish with a Madrid accent, is married to Marina, a madrileña; together with their daughter Carlota, they live overlooking their favourite plaza in the city. When he's not writing for Lonely Planet, Anthony is the Madrid stringer for Melbourne's Age newspaper and writes about and photographs Madrid, Africa and the Middle East for newspapers and magazines around the world.
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Top customer reviews
I'm in Spain now and the book was great helping me plan. I also like to be spontaneous with my plans and have found it to be very useful. Rick was right!
The arrangement of the book is relatively straightforward. There's an introductory section which includes practical matters, itineraries and a summary of recommended sites, followed by the main body of the book arranged geographically, wrapped up by historical and cultural contexts for further exploration at the end. Visuals are becoming an increasingly important element of guidebooks, and Lonely Planet supports this trend without turning the book over to them entirely. While the guide includes some nice color photography and color maps, it's nothing like a DK Eyewitness guide that subordinates everything to the eyes. There's still enough useful information to make the guide practical, and historical and cultural information to make it a pleasant read.
The content itself is relatively selective. Though most places of interest are covered in some way, down to even the smallest villages, the relative scope of that coverage is thin. The numbers of sites, hotels, and restaurants listed are limited to the ones the authors believe we will find attractive. As a matter of comparison, the Rough Guide, for example, is far more comprehensive while the Rick Steves guide is more selective still.
One nice feature is the ranking of towns and cities within each chapter by interest. The author has offered an attempt to rank each town within a given region based on its potential interest to tourists. For example, in Castilla y Leon, the city of Avila is listed first, followed by Salamanca, etc... One would assume that Avila is a must-see destination in this case which, in fact, it is. I found the coverage of [sometimes neglected] Extremadura to be quite thorough.
I would recommend this book for people looking for a balanced approach for their travel to Spain. There's enough here to keep the serious heritage tourist interested, but not so much to bore the casual traveler. There are better options for travelers more keenly interested in the history and culture of Spain (Rough Guide), and also better options for travelers more interested in the stunning visual appearance of the country (DK Eyewitness).
I have emailed Amazon about this so I am awaiting some resolution. I will update this review with results of my complains. I will be very aggravated if I have to go through the whole return process for replacement.