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Suggested Iberia Guide Books

Iberia refers to Spain and Portugal. Since when travelers visit one country, they often visit the other I have clumped their respected guidebooks together. The following guide books are what I am currently using to plan my trip to this region in June and July. I have selected these guide books based on past performance when I have traveled to other countries. (I.e. I used other versions and liked them). In my preparations, I have found these guide books to be a cut above the rest.

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Book Title Comments

Rick Steve's Spain/Portugal 00
   Rick Steves lives up to his detailed, easy to use guide books with "Spain & Portugal 1999". Rick Steves' provides you with a list of the best and cheapest places to stay including up to date prices, addresses and phone numbers. He also provides a good synopsis of what the worth while sites are as well as a quick history of the sites. The book also provides a list of recommended restaurants and connections in between cities.
  Steves also provides you with a knowable and historical commentary of the sites. I find this very useful because I have a one stop reference book to know what I am looking at and what the historical and cultural significance of it is. What's best about this guide book is its a pocket sized book so you can just carry it around with you at pleasure instead of lugging around a heavy megaguide book that skimps on details.
Michelin Green Guide:
Portugal
  The Michelin Green Guide series provides tourist information as well as mini tours for just about every tourist attraction that you can think of in in Portugal. Very useful if you want to set out on your own and find the romantic, hole in the wall places that other guide books ignore. Also provides maps and a fairly accurate rating system of the sites. I enjoy the detailed descriptions of towns and areas that it has as well as the detailed mini tours it contains for most sites. It also rates how the worth while the sites are to travel off to.

Michelin Green Guide:
Spain
  Like the Portugal Green Guide, the Spain Green guide offers alphabetical listing of any city you would even consider visiting. Furthermore it provides insightful history of the cities. For major attractions and cities the guide provides mini tours and other helpful information. The Green guide has a very accurate rating system for its listing and provides decent maps of areas of interest.

The Lonely Planet:
Spain
   This book provides history, culture, restaurant information and accommodations in a comprehensive book on Spain. Provides detailed information to assist a traveler in planing his/her trip as well the best budget places in Spain. This guide is a good reference book and is best read before going to Spain and only taking photo copies of the pages where you intend on going.

The Rough Guide:
Portugal
   This is a comprehensive guide book of cities in Portugal. Has accommodations listings and city information for just about any city in Portugal you can think of including prices. It also gives museum listings as well as crude maps of large cities.The Rough Guide also gives you a brief introduction to Portuguese culture and what to look out for. Unfortunately though it gives the prices for Hotels, it does not go into the quality of them.
The Rough Guide:
Spain
   Like the Rough Guide of Portugal, the Spain Rough guide gives comprehensive city listings. Including accommodations, some restaurants, museum. Also includes a brief history of Spain and information about the cities it lists. Again, like other rough guides, does not really rate hotels except for price.
Other Guide Books

These guide books seem popular but I have never read them so I can not give any feedback on them.
Let's Go Spain and Portugal Many people find Let's Go to be a bit large and confusing. However, it is written by students and it sells thousands of copies so I guess some people like it.
Eyewitness Spain Many people like this book because of its detailed pictures. It lets you know what to expect before you get there.
Eyewitness Portugal See above.
Eyewitness Madrid Great for getting an idea of what paintings are.
Eyewitness Barcelona and Catalonia See Madrid.
Eyewitness Lisbon Again, useful for getting oriented with pictures.
Green Guide: Barcelona. Green Guide for Barcelona.
Fodor's Spain. Another Popular Book.
Fodor's Portugal Fodor's book on Portugal. Same series as the Spain book.

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