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Lonely Planet Hiking in Spain 4th Ed.: 4th Edition Paperback – Apr 8 2010

3.6 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Paperback, Apr 8 2010
CDN$ 253.79 CDN$ 124.09

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 396 pages
  • Publisher: Lonely Planet; 4 edition (April 8 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1741044707
  • ISBN-13: 978-1741044706
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 2.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 440 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #396,858 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Review

'For tens of millions of globetrotting readers, the Lonely Planet guides are the gospel of adventure travel.'-- New York Times Magazine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

As a child English born Stuart Butler received his first travel inspirations from weekly visits to his local zoo and the constant re-reading of the late, great Gerald Durrell's books about his animal collecting exploits in Corfu and beyond. A few years later Stuart put the lizard hunting onto a back burner and took up surfing. A short and not very successful professional surfing career quickly evolved into the far more enjoyable task of surf exploration along some of the worlds most remote coastlines. The results of these trips, which have seen him riding waves in places as diverse as the Arctic tundra in winter, the burning coastal deserts of Pakistan and Yemen in high summer, the rain soaked jungle beaches of Colombia and the shark infested reefs of eastern Africa, have appeared widely in the international surf and travel media. His stories and photos from these trips have gained Stuart a well-founded reputation for stumbling blindly into minefields, getting his travel companions thrown into Third-World military prisons and becoming tangled up in all sorts of magical duals with passing sorcerers and ghosts. His first guidebook work was all surfing based and included writing for the legendry Stormrider Guides as well as compiling his own Oceansurf Guidebooks to Portugal and Spain. Since joining Lonely Planet Stuart has worked on guides to South Asia and the Middle East and for other publishers he has written about Africa.Stuart now lives beside the beautiful beaches of southwest France where the lack of a decent zoo is compensated for by the lizards and terrapins living in his garden. Photographs and stories from his trips can be seen on his website www.oceansurfpublications.co.uk

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
We are fairly seasoned hikers having been to a number of countries. Normally we do quite a bit of research before going, which in part includes getting hiking guides for the area. This time due to the lack of time we ended up relying mostly on this hiking guide, not with the best result.

On the first glance the book is well written, it has a few hikes in every area of the country, the hikes have a description, a map as well as the route outline. All is fine until you actually get on the trail.

A few of the things we have experienced:
* Not being able to follow the route directions, more than once, the things described in the route just were not there
* Routes having inconsistent difficulty ratings which ended up with us miscalculating both the time and the amount of supplies to take with us
* The book directing us to walk for more than 2 kilometers on a dirt road with no views while it was possible to just drive on this road to a provided parking area
* Some of the route description having weird details while all that was required to say was just follow the clearly posted signs

Overall if you can find another book on hiking in Spain go with it, use this one only if there is no other option but be aware of the books problems.
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Format: Paperback
I am walking the Camino de Santiago now and can only comment on the Lonely Planet in this context. Day after day I become more convinced that Lonely Planet's researchers have never been on the Camino. They make much of the albergues or refugios but all this information is printed on the back of pilgrims' credencial (price one euro not 25 cents as LP claim). All of the other places where one might stay are hardly mentioned if at all. Punte Reina is described as a one street village, absolutely wrong! The trail leaving the same town is totally mis-described and all the trail mythology plagiarised from other sources takes up space that might be given over to hard facts. Distances are frequently misleading because of sloppy language. A typical example, is something like ¨"start from the crossroads, you'll pass x, y and z and continue for 5 kms to reach a crossroads¨." So where does the 5 kms start, at the crossroads or is it x,y and z? Whichever you choose you'll be wrong, there's no consistency. It happens time after time. An iron bridge near Estella is described as wooden. All small errors you may say but it just piles up day after day. Do not waste money on this useless book. What you need to know is what awaits you at the end of each day when you struugle into the next place after 20 or 30 kms only to read more vague errors from this.
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Format: Paperback
I think some of the reviewers' comments below are probably correct but none of them are serious drawbacks. True, the maps in this guide are not EXTREMELY detailed, but if you want a really detailed topographical map, you can always get one. The actual trail descriptions in this book are painstakingly detailed -- it even gets tedious. So if you can't find every tree along your route marked on the maps here, just use your imagination a little and wing it.
"Walking in Spain" describes thirty or so of the best trails in Spain, highlighting trails in Mallorca, the Alpujarras Mountains of Andalusia, the area around Valencia, Castile's Sierra de Gredos and Sierra de Guadarrama, the Spanish Pyrenees, Galicia, and the Cordillera Cantábrica. Hikes vary from longer hauls like the 23-day Pyrenean traverse and the month-long Camino de Santiago to shorter 5- and 6-day hikes and walks you can do in less than a day.
I've used the guide to get some great ideas for an upcoming hiking trip to the Alpujarras Mountains and the Sierra Nevada and have found it extremely useful. It lists numerous places to stay, ranging from 30- and 40-euro "pensiones" to dirt-cheap hikers' "albergues". You're not going to find a list of every single cheap place to crash your head here (if you did, you would have a book twice as big as this one), but you won't find yourself stranded. There's also a bunch of affordable eating places listed in this book.
A plus for hikers who want to tackle all or part of the famous St. James pilgrimage route is that the guide's recommended day-to-day itinerary drops you off at the end of each day in towns where you can get food and water. A chart also shows the distance between each official "albergue" and the next.
This book comes up a little short on cultural information, but you can always take a look at Lonely Planet's general guide to Spain. Recommended. Five stars.
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Format: Paperback
I walked the Camino in 2001, using the 36 pages of the 2nd edition guide, in conjuction with the Confraternity of St. James Camino Frances. I found a large amount of excellent info in the 36 pages, and have been recommending it on our Camino web page ever since. The refugios change so rapidly that you shouldn't rely just on one guide. When I saw the recent negative review from a 2003 pilgrim, I went out and bought the 3rd edition, to see if there were drastic changes. The changes were few, and were all improvements - a list of refugios at the beginning, bolder print on the maps, so they are easier to read, slight rewording of some of the text. The authors of the Camino segment are still Nancy Frey and Jose Placer. Nancy has a PhD from University of California, Berkeley, and has written a well respected book on the Camino: Pilgrim Stories. The two of them own the On Foot In Spain adventure company and personally lead walks on the Camino and other treks in Spain. The history in the Lonely Planet segment is authentic, though necessarily condensed. I stand by my original recommendation. In addition to these 37 pages, get the Confraternity Camino Frances guide, and get either Davies and Cole's guide or John Brierley's guide.
You will find some errors or changes needed in all of these guides, due to conditions changing on the trail, overlooked typos, etc. When you do, help future pilgrims by sending an email to the publication's website so that they can revise the next edition.
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