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Rough Guide Iceland 3e Paperback – Apr 17 2007

4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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The Rough Guide to Iceland
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Rough Guides; 1 edition (April 17 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1843537672
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843537670
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2 x 19.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 408 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,037,760 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

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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Top Customer Reviews

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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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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By A Customer on 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.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa77cc18c) out of 5 stars 15 reviews
31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa77d1e40) 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.
33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa77d1e94) out of 5 stars Informative and well-designed April 13 2005
By snowbat - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I'm coming slowly to the conclusion that the Rough Guides may simply be the best series out there. This particular Rough Guide is certainly the best guidebook to Iceland. It lovingly details every section of the country, and has pithy, relevant remarks on accomodations, places to eat, and things to see.

What I really love is the logical and thorough way in which it divides up any given area. Any time it introduces a new place, it gives you a comprehensive and sweeping overview, and then proceeds to lay out details district by district. You're left with a very clear picture of the area, and the comfort of knowing that additional details are available to you if you need to refer to them later. The maps are likewise extremely clear, providing plenty of detail while allowing you to get a sense of the overall lay of the terrain at a glance.

I've also found that a number of guidebooks for Iceland have a way of speaking negatively or dismissively of aspects of the country - especially Lonely Planet. This Rough Guide honestly mentions problems - hitchhiking is unreliable, cycling is hard, the bus is expensive, etc. - but it never gives you the impression that you might just be better off staying home. The book was written as if the author really loved Iceland, which was quite refreshing.
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa68a12e8) out of 5 stars An Excellent Planning Resource Aug. 13 2005
By Douglas R. Melin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Having spent over three years in motion overseas, I have come to appreciate a guidebook that can blend the practical and cultural in a concise treatment. The Rough Guide to Iceland does this skillfully, and it is well-organized to boot. You'd use the Rough Guide to plan and layout your trip and then keep it by your side as your interpretive companion

While the Lonely Planet guide to Iceland contains more detail on logistics, it is not particularly user-friendly. That being said, I'll buy a copy of the Lonely Planet Guide to supplement the Rough Guide. Lonely Planet Guides have seen me through more difficulties than I can count, and I'm sure the Iceland edition will get me out of a few jams while I circle the country.

But if I could use only one book, it would be the Rough Guide
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa68a16a8) 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.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa68a1444) out of 5 stars Provides a Good Overview Aug. 25 2005
By Frostman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
It is always hard to read reviews for travel books. One person's treasure is another person's waste of money.

For the Rough Guide to Iceland 2, I found this to be a good book for casual traveling through the country. The book's 20 "must see and do things" was helpful and interesting. The maps were good, and from what I could tell, had a pretty thorough list of accommodations and going-ons.

While it did provide some information on the popular treks, I was a little disappointed in the amount of information on outdoor activities. I mean, c'mon, this is Iceland!

I would recommend this to someone going to Iceland. However, if you are going off the beaten track as I did, you will need to supplement this book with some internet research.

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