“There is no night life in Spain. They stay up late but they get up late. That is not night life. That is delaying the day.” – Ernest Hemingway
TRAVELING TO SPAIN & PORTGUAL
We love Spain for its proud culture, the beautiful cities of Madrid and Barcelona, its love of festivals, lovely little towns, astounding cathedrals, and the concept of tapas. Portugal brings its own unique set of sights and experiences, with its own set of coastlines, castles, and scenery. Here are our recommendations on the best travel books for those visiting Spain and Portugal.
Rick Steves: Spain
For first time visitors to Spain, we recommend the Rick Steves guidebook. Always a good choice for travel in Europe, the Rick Steves series is known for making recommendations on specifically what to see and do and how best to save time and money. Steves only recommends what he feels is best, which can be especially helpful when exploring smaller towns and going beyond the most popular attractions.
DK Eyewitness Travel: Barcelona & Catalonia
One of our common recommendations for a guidebook for larger cities is the DK Eyewitness Travel series, and the Barcelona guidebook is no exception. These books are very visually oriented, with beautiful photos and custom maps. We particularly like their coverage of Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia and the city’s museums. And the guides are of course filled with a ton of helpful content on anything a traveler might need to know.
A Village to Village Guide to Hiking the Camino De Santiago
There is a lot of debate on the best travel guide for those deciding to join the millions of pilgrims who have walked across northern Spain on the Camino de Santiago. We have not yet made this trip, and so our recommendation comes from research. The books by John Brierley get very good reviews, but we would choose the Camino de Santiago Village to Village Guide. The full-color topographical maps are beautiful, and there is a nice combination of travel coverage and historical context. There also is a Kindle edition available for those who don’t want to carry a book on their journey.
The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway
Hemingway's love of Spain is shown in his novel The Sun Also Rises. The story follows a group of “Lost Generation” American expats who travel to experience the famous festival of San Fermin in Pamplona. The book captures the post-World War 1 disillusionment of this generation, amidst the spectacle of bull fighting. The Sun Also Rises is truly a classic in American literature. Click here to see our review of The Sun Also Rises.
It's Not About the Tapas, by Polly Evans
Enjoy Polly Evans’ tour of Spain by bicycle – 1,000 miles over six weeks. The narrator takes the reader with her as she crosses the country, with a real look into the landscapes, food, and people that make up such an amazing place. Evans also includes some history, ranging from the Spanish Inquisition to the Tour de France. It is a relatively funny and down-to-earth book. Click here for our review on It's Not About the Tapas.
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