Walking in Portugal Book Review

Walking in Portugal Book Review

Walking in Portugal: 40 graded short and multi-day walks throughout the country


by Andrew Mok & Simon Whitmarsh
(Cicerone)
ISBN: 1852848898
Paperback; 264pp
You know some travel guide books are going to be good as soon as you open them and skim through a few pages. Walking in Portugal: 40 graded short and multi-day walks throughout the country by keen world hikers Andrew Mok and Simon Whitmarsh is one of those books. For any travel guide to be a success, especially a walking guide, it needs to answer certain questions. Among these are: does the book have easy to understand and follow maps? Walking in Portugal certainly does. Is the book well organized into sections by area? Check. Do the photographs add to the understanding of the text? Check. Are there sections on what to take and where to purchase maps of the walks? Check again. In addition the first part of the book is full of useful information on what to expect and how to prepare to walk and hike one of Europe's most beautiful countries. There is useful information on Portugal's geology, flora and fauna, weather, food and drink and where to stay. The appendix has a summary of the 40 walks covered in the book. These range from mountain hikes in the Peneda-GerĂªs National Park in the north of the country to walks in the Algarve region in the south. There is also a list of useful contacts (airlines, maps, accommodation) and a short language section.
The description of the walks themselves is, of course, mostly directions, (very, very detailed directions) and this book is meant to be taken out into the field. It is thus small enough to fit snugly in a pocket or rucksack. However, the text is enlivened by the authors' asides on the history, plants, animals and legends walkers following in their footsteps will discover. Portugal is well-known to visitors for its historic cities and glorious beaches. This excellent book opens up another side of the country and makes it accessible: the rich and diverse landscapes, the empty spaces and wonderful scenery.

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