Books on Portugal: Travel Guides

Travel to Portugal | Portuguese Language | Portuguese Art | Portuguese Football | Others | Books on South Africa
Frommer's Portugal: Buy this book from Amazon.

Frommer's Portugal

by Darwin Porter and Danforth Prince

(John Wiley & Sons)

ISBN: 0471771244
434pp

Frommer's Portugal offers a comprehensive, jaunty, cosmopolitan commentary on the how-tos and attractions of Portugal in an accessible format. Frommer's forte is its practicality, typified by a standard approach to information delivery that makes for almost instant familiarity with the layout. Also, it has scattered through it 'Tips', 'Finds' and 'Did You Knows?' of the kind that can make all the difference to the traveler at the time. It is especially strong on accommodation and dining, suiting those who can afford to travel well; although the clear hierarchy of pricing it offers is useful for those on a budget too. Notwithstanding an excellent 'Portugal in Depth' appendix, this is the one for those with the means to travel well, and who value their pleasures as much as their edification.

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Rough guide to Portugal: Buy this book from Amazon.

The Rough Guide to Portugal

by Mark Ellingham, John Fisher, Graham Kenyon

(Rough Guides, 2005),

ISBN: 184353438X
688pp

The Rough Guide to Portugal – far from being rough - is printed on good paper, has some excellent photos, and plentiful maps. With its erudite, more wordy style – not to mention its smaller font – it requires a more scholastic take. Unlike the Frommer's, this one is more for plane and hotel room planning sessions than it is for the road. But for those who prefer a guide that takes the time to engage you in some detailed narrative and comes with a turn of phrase, as opposed to just bytes, the Rough Guide will take you conscientiously through the height and breadth of the country, body and soul, leaving few stones unturned.

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Rough Guide to Lisbon: Buy this book from Amazon.

The Rough Guide to Lisbon

by Mathew Hancock

(Rough Guides, 2003),

ISBN: 1858289068
338pp

If your journey to Portugal is confined to Lisbon and its immediate environs this handy pocket guide could be the answer. The guide covers the city's main sites with interesting listings on Lisbon's nightlife, entertainment and sports scenes. There are some good color maps at the end of the book and details on day-trip destinations: Sintra, Estoril and Cascais.

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Insight Guide to Portugal: Buy this book from Amazon.

The Insight Guide Portugal

by Pam Barrett et al

(Apa Publications; Insight Guides)

ISBN: 9814137774
394pp

Insight Guides' formula of quality photography and in-depth essays are ideal for pre-trip planning, a relaxing read in your hotel or as a memento of your journey when you return home. The Portugal guide has some expert and very readable essays on a variety of topics including detailed explorations of Portuguese wine, food and history. The book is handily color-coded to ease the readers's navigation through the regional travel sections, essays and useful info. Though aimed at a more upmarket traveller, the 'Travel Tips' section at the end of the book is a practical bank of information for travellers on any budget. Recommended for the stunning photography alone.

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Insight Pocket Guide to Lisbon: Buy this book from Amazon.

The Insight Pocket Guide Lisbon

by Marion Kaplan

(Apa Publications; Insight Guides)

ISBN: 0887298923
92pp

Well written by Marion Kaplan, author of 'The Portuguese: The Land and Its People', Insight's updated Pocket Guide stands out for its interesting approach of suggested itineraries for the Lisbon visitor: three full-day tours of the city's main attractions and nine more specialized half-day walkabouts covering the rather less mainstream sights such as Queluz, the city's gardens and the south bank of the Tejo. There also useful sections on history and culture, excursions, shopping, festivals and practical info, supported as always by excellent photos and a detachable city map in the back cover. Recommended.

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Let's Go Spain & Portugal: Buy this book from Amazon.

Let's Go Spain & Portugal, 2006

by Andrew M. Torres, Editor

(Let's Go Travel)

ISBN: 0312305958
800pp

This is Let's Go's latest on the Iberian Peninsula, which also includes a section on Morocco. At over 800 pages, this is a comprehensive guide tailored for the backpacker. It is written and edited by and for college students. It is very strong in its sections on how to prepare prior to departure, where to stay, health, and in articles on areas of interest (eg, Pedro Almodovar, bullfighting, etc.). Good maps and up to date telephone numbers and listings make this a practical to anyone's travel kit.
Although this is targeted primarily at Americans, more on the Euro 2004 soccer championships would have been helpful. The quadrennial European soccer championship, which will be held at venues around Portugal in the summer of 2004, is the major event taking place in Portugal that year. Even Americans might find Euro 2004 interesting. Also, in places, the guide has a gee-whiz quality that some might find irritating.

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Lonely Planet Portugal: Buy this book from Amazon.

Lonely Planet Portugal

by Charlotte Beech

(Lonely Planet)

ISBN: 1864501936
488 pp

Lonely Planet has done an excellent job. The first 100-plus pages of this guide are devoted to Facts About Portugal and Facts for the Visitor. This reviewer had never given a thought to, for example, Portugal's Architecture but it made for a great read. There are highly detailed sections on, among others, transportation and dining. The guide is then broken into regional sections, with the longest and perhaps best on Lisbon. There is also information on Euro 2004, with some detail for each venue. Highly recommended, though this is the 2003 edition and may be somewhat dated for 2004.

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Lonely Planet World Food Guide Portugal: Buy this book from Amazon.

Lonely Planet World Food Guide Portugal

by Lynelle Scott-Aitken, Clara de Macedo Vitorino

(Lonely Planet)

ISBN: 1864501111
286 pp

If there's one thing that a travel cum gastronomy guide book should do, it is make you want to go there and eat, and Lonely Planet's “World Food Guide - Portugal” does that with gusto. It makes all the essential distinctions and provides plenty of background information on history and culture as well as current trends and curiosities. Drawing you into a world of long-unchanged culinary traditions, it leaves you begging to be transported there in time for the lunchtime special.
Though this guide will offer little comfort to vegetarians or weight watchers, Portugal comes across as a treasure trove for those willing to avoid tourist restaurants and investigate working-class haunts. Bold flavours and big helpings are served up in unpretentious surroundings from the social melting pot of the taberna to rustic smokehouses hung with whole hams - just don't ask for a salad.
With a special section devoted to regional differences, complete with maps, this book will be of special interest to the traveller who wants to explore the provinces, where great local ingredients fuse with methods handed down through the ages. Wine producing regions too get a look in but the focus is very much on the food. With the aid of a large selection of photographs, the Lonely Planet guide paints a colourful picture of what it is to appreciate, understand and enjoy the culture behind Portuguese cuisine.
An ample glossary of useful phrases will help gastronomic adventurers find what they are looking for and a scattering of tantalising recipes are provided as inspiration for budding chefs. What this guide does not contain however, are the names and addresses of particular eateries. What you get is a basic tour of the kinds of establishments you are likely to come across and plenty of encouragement to delve in.

Will Yong

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DK's Portugal: Buy this book from Amazon.

Portugal with Madeira & the Azores

by Martin Symington

(Dorling Kindersley, 2005)

ISBN: 0751304069
480 pp

Dorling Kindersley's lavish Portugal with Madeira & the Azores confines everything typically ‘practical' to a 75-page appendix. While the information included in it is indeed ruthlessly practical (accommodation, dining, using phones, breakdown services, rail info, photos of police, etc.) the overwhelming thrust of the book is to present the country's cultural, historical and natural attractions in as comprehensive yet easily digestible a form as possible. Glossy and jam-packed with photos, this is the tourist brochure cum mini-encyclopedia of Portugal guide books, providing such intensive pictorial coverage of the country's traditions and treasures that it arguably takes the element of surprise out of it. A little lacking in written detail, this is for the intelligent traveler who nevertheless prefers to wield the camera than write up the notes. Great for those on a tour, especially if also headed for Madeira and the Azores.

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