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Rough Guide Iceland 3e [Paperback]

Rough Guide
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Paperback, April 17 2007 --  
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Rough Guide Iceland 5e Rough Guide Iceland 5e 5.0 out of 5 stars (2)
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Book Description

April 17 2007 Rough Guide to Iceland
"The Rough Guide to Iceland" is your complete handbook to uncovering the delights of Europe's largest glacier. From Reykjavik's nightlife to the dramatic Western Fjords and table-top mountains to the rich birdlife of Lake Myvatn, the full-colour introduction highlights all the 'things-not-to-miss'. For every town and village, there are insider reviews of the all best places to stay, eat and drink, both on and off the beaten track, with the new 'Author's Pick' feature highlighting the very best options. There is plenty of practical advice for a host of outdoor activities, from skiing on the Vatnajokull glacier to whale-watching and viewing the Northern Lights. The guide also looks at Iceland's rich Viking history and its extraordinary geology and wildlife. "The Rough Guide to Iceland" is like having a local friend plan your trip!

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About the Author

David Leffman is co-author of Rough Guide to Australia, China and Indonesia. James Proctor studied Icelandic at the University of Iceland.

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First Sentence
Until recently, Iceland was one of the most expensive countries in Europe to reach from Britain, due in large part of Icelandair, Iceland's national airline, holding a monopoly on the route. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Loaded with useful information Sept. 29 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I've not used other Rough Guides before, but a friend swears by them, so I tried this one for Iceland. I also got the Insight Guide, which had pretty pictures and background info but little else. The Rough Guide was infinitely more useful, and I totally relied on it during a weeklong trip around Iceland. We drove all the way around the ring road and out to the Westfjords, and the only incorrect piece of information we found in the entire book was the price at one guest house. Plenty of info on where to stay and eat, what to see and do, and background information was useful and interesting. My one criticism is the maps, they are small and only of small regions of the country (but what are you going to do in such a small book?). It would have been nice to have a large, comprehensive map of the island, so we bought a large road map in addition. The book was particularly useful in the isolated parts of Iceland where 'towns' on maps consisted only of a single house or 2. It was comforting to know the Rough Guide contained accurate information we could rely on to find a place to stop on those remote roads.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Good First Effort for a Great Series Sept. 5 2001
Format:Paperback
The ROUGH GUIDE series has produced some wonderful books -- I am particularly fond of the titles on France and Scotland, which I have used extensively. This is their first crack at Iceland, and it is a commendable, if not outstanding, effort.

As a result of a recent 15-day trip to Iceland, I can say that it is mostly reliable but far from exhaustive. For one thing, the emphasis is on sleeping bag accommodations exclusively. (Okay, maybe I'm not quite so "rough" a traveler: Two weeks in the same smelly down bag is not my idea of comfortable travel.) Also, the book omits many very viable accommodation options, such as the Bolti farmhouse at Skaftafell. Also many oustanding restaurants such as the well-known Bautinn in Akureyri are unaccountably missing.

What did this guide have to say about my guesthouse in Reykjavik (the excellent Baldursbra)? Only that it had "rather narrow beds and unfortunate floral curtains." Good grief! Firstly, the size of single beds in Iceland tends to be quite standard: No extra inches were shaved off. Secondly, the curtains were indeed floral but not so aggressively bad as suggested by the writers of the guide, who appear to have been suffering from a bad hair day.

On the plus side, the "Basics" and "Contexts" sections are both useful and entertaining introductions to travel in this most fascinating of destinations. I've always regarded a good bibliography as an asset to any guide, and this one has an excellent one. Included is a helpful summary of the key Icelandic sagas, a knowledge of which is essential to understanding the uniqueness of Iceland.

You won't go far wrong with this guide, but there is room for improvement in editions to come. For now, I recommend the 2001 Edition of the Lonely Planet Guide as being the most authoritative guide.
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4.0 out of 5 stars So much to see! June 14 2001
Format:Paperback
We had a 3-day stopover in Iceland, and used the Rough Guide as our main source of information. The information in the book was accurate and very useful, especially when driving in the less populated areas. It was nice to know which towns had fuel stations, cafes, guesthouses, etc. It was a little confusing when we drove east from Vik, and the book was written as if driving west toward Vik, but we managed.
The sections on culture and history were also very useful when planning a trip to a place we'd never been before. This book and a good map (1250 ISK at the tourist information desk) is all you should need for a great trip.
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.5 out of 5 stars  11 reviews
31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good First Effort for a Great Series Sept. 5 2001
By James Paris - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The ROUGH GUIDE series has produced some wonderful books -- I am particularly fond of the titles on France and Scotland, which I have used extensively. This is their first crack at Iceland, and it is a commendable, if not outstanding, effort.

As a result of a recent 15-day trip to Iceland, I can say that it is mostly reliable but far from exhaustive. For one thing, the emphasis is on sleeping bag accommodations exclusively. (Okay, maybe I'm not quite so "rough" a traveler: Two weeks in the same smelly down bag is not my idea of comfortable travel.) Also, the book omits many very viable accommodation options, such as the Bolti farmhouse at Skaftafell. Also many oustanding restaurants such as the well-known Bautinn in Akureyri are unaccountably missing.

What did this guide have to say about my guesthouse in Reykjavik (the excellent Baldursbra)? Only that it had "rather narrow beds and unfortunate floral curtains." Good grief! Firstly, the size of single beds in Iceland tends to be quite standard: No extra inches were shaved off. Secondly, the curtains were indeed floral but not so aggressively bad as suggested by the writers of the guide, who appear to have been suffering from a bad hair day.

On the plus side, the "Basics" and "Contexts" sections are both useful and entertaining introductions to travel in this most fascinating of destinations. I've always regarded a good bibliography as an asset to any guide, and this one has an excellent one. Included is a helpful summary of the key Icelandic sagas, a knowledge of which is essential to understanding the uniqueness of Iceland.

You won't go far wrong with this guide, but there is room for improvement in editions to come. For now, I recommend the 2001 Edition of the Lonely Planet Guide as being the most authoritative guide.
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Loaded with useful information Sept. 29 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I've not used other Rough Guides before, but a friend swears by them, so I tried this one for Iceland. I also got the Insight Guide, which had pretty pictures and background info but little else. The Rough Guide was infinitely more useful, and I totally relied on it during a weeklong trip around Iceland. We drove all the way around the ring road and out to the Westfjords, and the only incorrect piece of information we found in the entire book was the price at one guest house. Plenty of info on where to stay and eat, what to see and do, and background information was useful and interesting. My one criticism is the maps, they are small and only of small regions of the country (but what are you going to do in such a small book?). It would have been nice to have a large, comprehensive map of the island, so we bought a large road map in addition. The book was particularly useful in the isolated parts of Iceland where 'towns' on maps consisted only of a single house or 2. It was comforting to know the Rough Guide contained accurate information we could rely on to find a place to stop on those remote roads.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars So much to see! June 14 2001
By "swilsen" - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
We had a 3-day stopover in Iceland, and used the Rough Guide as our main source of information. The information in the book was accurate and very useful, especially when driving in the less populated areas. It was nice to know which towns had fuel stations, cafes, guesthouses, etc. It was a little confusing when we drove east from Vik, and the book was written as if driving west toward Vik, but we managed.
The sections on culture and history were also very useful when planning a trip to a place we'd never been before. This book and a good map (1250 ISK at the tourist information desk) is all you should need for a great trip.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just returned Sept. 12 2007
By Ehud Cohen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Very organised and detailed guide book. Each section has a "highlights" introduction, allowing for an easy and quick planing of the next day tour.
All detailed we have used (phone numbers, email addresses) were up-to-date.
The context chapter, encompassing Iceland history and overview on geography is a good reading - just what you need when you have an hour to read, and would like to know more on the place you visit.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a book to start planning a trip with July 8 2010
By Algirdas - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
First of all, I must admit, this book contains a lot of information and if you study it really well, I suppose you can find a lot of interesting things to see and do in Iceland. The problem I have with this book is that there is too much text and too few maps and photos. Ok, perhaps this is more of a problem with the rough guide series, than exactly this book, as I've had a chance to take a look at the Rough Guide to China and it had the same problem.

Now, you might think, why is a lot of text a bad thing, which in itself is not. However, when there is text that gives directions to points of interest in stead of providing a map, I find it too hard to read, especially when I don't understand Icelandic language and basically all the names of the places mean the same to me.

Don't get me wrong, there are some maps in this book, but they are just too scarce and they don't give you a complete picture of what and where is and how to get there. There are some photos as well, but the same can be said about them. I remember having an Eyewitness Trevel Guide to China book, which I found very precise, it gave me a full picture of what was in one region or another or which roads i needed to take to get there. This is not it and unfortunatelly there is no Eyewitness Travel Guide to Iceland at this moment...

This brings me to my conclusion, which is that this is not a book to start planning your trip. I think this could be a great source of reference for example to find out historic facts of certain places or just to look up some interesting attractions around the place you decided to go to. But you need to have a trip plan beforehand.
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