There are many reasons why travelers from all over the world are drawn to this increasingly popular colorful and unpredictable country--the Moorish treasures of Andalucia; the eccentric architecture of Gaudi; the castles and monasteries of Castille; or simply the lazy attractions of golden Mediterranean beaches. This new edition explores the distinctive culture of each region and has full listings of the best places to eat, drink, and stay for every budget. With personal insights and style for which Cadogan is renowned, it includes the very hottest things to see and do, from touring the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao to finding Flamenco bars in Madrid that only the locals know about.
Excerpt: Nights in the Gardens of Spain
According to legend, the first proper garden in al-Andalus (as the Moors called Andalucia) was planted by the first caliph himself, Abd ar-Rahman. This refugee from Damascus brought with him fond memories of the famous Rasafah gardens in that city, and he also brought seeds of the palm tree to plant. He built an aqueduct to Córdoba, partly for the city and partly to furnish his new Rasafah; his botantists sent away for more palms, and also introduced the peach and the pomegranate into Europe.
Following the caliph’s example, the Arabs of the towns of al-Andalus laid out recreational gardens everywhere, particularly along the river fronts. The widely travelled geographer al-Shaquindi wrote in the 11th century that the Guadalquivir around Córdoba was more beautiful than the Tigris or the Nile, lined with orchards, vines, pleasure gardens, groves of citrus trees and avenues of yews. Every city did its best to make a display, and each had a district of villas and gardens. ...click here to read the rest
The Best Guide On The Market For Spain, /5
All of the major tour companies serving Europe are British owned (Trafalgar, Insight, Globus, etc). The Brits know international travel, and when they do, they use Cadogan. This recently updated edition is a must have if you are going to Spain. Cadogan also publishes regional guides if you want even more detailed information. It is filled with more cultural and historical discussion than you will find in the "mass market" type guides like Fodors or Frommers. Clearly, the intelligent traveller's choice. The site, hotel, and restaurant recommendations are spot on, heed them. Five stars with no reservations whatsoever.
My second choice became my first!, /5 Cadogan's writers are extremely knowledgable about Spain, and it shows on every page. If you don't want a guide book geared exclusively towards Ibiza-bound high schoolers, this guide will be much more in line with what you are looking for. That's not to say it's classist or for the rich! The deals and tips in here will appease the budget-minded traveler as well as expand the mind. A person reading this book will not only understand the history and tradition behind what he or she is visiting, but will digest it in a manner that won't put them to sleep. Elegantly written, it shows that a person can be highbrow and have a sense of humor as well. Whether touring a museum or trying to find some great paella, Cadogan will help you appreciate and understand another part of our world. And I think, at one point, that used to be one of the reasons why people toured Europe.
I started looking at this guide because the Blue Guide, bastion of all things cultural it is, was sold out. However, Cadogan Guides proved that not only can it match Blue Guides step for cultured step, but does it with a wry humor and wit that is lacking from that venerable series. The format is plain but navigable, and the maps sufficient. But the strength of this guide does not lie in those areas.
Cadogan's writers are extremely knowledgable about Spain, and it shows on every page. If you don't want a guide book geared exclusively towards Ibiza-bound high schoolers, this guide will be much more in line with what you are looking for. That's not to say it's classist or for the rich! The deals and tips in here will appease the budget-minded traveler as well as expand the mind.
A person reading this book will not only understand the history and tradition behind what he or she is visiting, but will digest it in a manner that won't put them to sleep. Elegantly written, it shows that a person can be highbrow and have a sense of humor as well. Whether touring a museum or trying to find some great paella, Cadogan will help you appreciate and understand another part of our world. And I think, at one point, that used to be one of the reasons why people toured Europe.
Great Resource, /5
I believed the only other reviewer, bought the 6th edition, and am glad I did. My wife and I recently spent 3 weeks in the Northern half of Spain, much of it in regions that aren't covered in the standard guides. This book provided accurate, practical information and much more. With a lovely British sense of humor, it gave an insightful history and background to Spain that added a lot to our enjoyment of the sights we were seeing. I will take it with me the next time I go to Spain.
Don,t visit Spain without this book!, /5
These two are the world's finest writers when it comes to travel guides. This book is not your average "Visit this site when you are in this city" kind of travel guide. Rather it is a guide filled with history and an understanding of each of Spain's regions that you would never expect to find in a travel guide. I read it before I visited Spain and have read it over and over since I returned.
Beautifully written, insigtful, and thorough, /5
Reviewed by Olivera Baumgartner-Jackson for Reader Views (12/06)
Every now and then one discovers a guidebook that is not just useful and comprehensive, but also beautifully written and truly insightful. Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls have written such a guidebook to Spain, a wonderful country wonderfully introduced and presented to a reader who would like to discover more than just the couple of most well known sights and places to visit.
Offering practical advice on all the "when - how - where - how much - why" questions, with over 1200 suggestions for places to stay, over 1100 suggestions for places to eat and drink, 59 maps, fantastic color photographs and great suggestions on what to see and do, this truly informative book offers so much more. The short section in the "Introduction" gives you a glimpse into what to expect: "Keep your eyes open. Spain is a subtler country than many people think, and reveals itself in surprising ways. You may catch it in the moon reflected in the pool of the Alhambra, in the face of the Velázquez infanta, in a fond medieval jest such as the cats and the rats chiseled into the cloister in Tarragona, or in a lone eagle coasting over a fortified castle in Extremadura. Travel on a train through a sparse Andalucían district in the spring, and all at once your glance may take in more colour than you've ever seen: pink and almond blossoms, oranges on the trees, red poppies and yellow daffodils along the track bed. In a second it will be gone, but you will have seen Spain." If you follow the advice of the authors, I am certain that you will truly see Spain.
It does not matter which part of Spain you intend to visit, but in any case make sure to read the first six sections in the book - the "Introduction, History, Art and Architecture, Sketches of Spain, Food and Drink, Travel and Practical A - Z." Each of them offer invaluable information and tips to make your stay easier, more pleasant and richer. The "Sketches of Spain" deals with such diverse topics as the bullfights, churros, Templars, flamenco, the Inquisition and more. Reading those pages will make Spain much easier to understand. The Food and Drink sections explains how Spaniards eat, how to order and what to order. It also includes a very useful "menu decoder," which will make it much easier to order duck and get duck and not a turkey (pato - duck, pavo - turkey).
We used this guidebook during our brief visit to Barcelona and found it accurate, well organized and informative. The provided maps were extremely helpful and the numerous tips on different subjects even more so. We wanted to use the public transportation and thanks to this guidebook we found out that the ten single rides pass can be shared between several people, which saved us enough money to have some excellent coffee and cookies for the difference in price that we would have paid using single tickets.
I would highly recommend "Spain" to anybody who is willing to keep his or her eyes open, as the authors suggested in the introductory section. A book this well written will delight anybody who loves to travel, wishes to travel or is just dreaming of traveling.
Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls can be reached at: email@example.com