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Tony Page's Book Recommendations: France

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France (Eyewitness Travel Guides) March 2006

At 720pp, this country guide imay be heavy but it's amazingly comprehensive for its size. Beautiful graphics and photos as usual for Eyewitness. If I was going just to Provence, Brittany or the Loire I'd be tempted to take those guides (below), but they share a lot of material with this one, and if you're travelling around more widely this has to be your choice.

The section on Paris is perfectly good enough for a short stay, maybe take the Top Ten (below) if you want to carry a lighter book around there!

Paris (Eyewitness Travel Guides)

At 448pp, this guide is all you need for Paris in depth. The maps are particularly good. And it's beautiful...

Eyewitness Top 10 Travel Guide to Paris

At 192pp, this is all you need for a short stay. It's a good companion to the France guide above - and lighter in the pocket!

Provence & The Cote D'Azur (Eyewitness Travel Guides 264pp)

Eyewitness Top 10 Travel Guides: Provence (160pp)

If Provence is your thing, these are the guides for you! The Provence guide gives more information than the France guide, but if you already have that I'd go with the Top Ten to hit the highlights.

Top 10 Travel Guides Normandy (Eyewitness Top 10)

If you're doing Normandy and Brittany as many people do, you might like to bear it in mind. I used the main country guide on my tour of this area, and found it OK for my needs, but if you're staying longer or going with the area guides, this would fill a gap.

Brittany (Eyewitness Travel Guides) 2007

At 288pps this is no lightweight, and really gives you extremely good coverage of the area. If you're just doing Brittany, this is all you need, and you can always add one of the Paris guides since you're probably going there too. It overlaps with the France country guide, so you won't want both.

On the other hand, there is a lot of extra information, especially on customs, food etc., so it's definitely worth considering if you decide to buy individual area guides instead of the big one.

Loire Valley (Eyewitness Travel Guides)

(Revised 2007) Much the same can be said about the Loire guide. I used an older version on my trip, and found it extremely useful. Plenty of details on the various chateaux and beautiful photographs of this attractive area. The country guide has a good selection of material, but this book offers much greater depth on both the chateaux themselves and the wine and food of the region.

It covers Anjou, Touraine, Blesois, Orleanais, Berry, North of the Loire, Loire-Atlanatique, and the Vendee.

Dordogne and Southwest France (Eyewitness Travel Guides) 2006

320 pages in this guide to one of France's most picturesque areas, and one dear to all foodie's hearts! We're covering this area this summer (2006) and will be reporting back. Meanwhile, we've got some details about the food of the area here

Corsica (Eyewitness Travel Guides)

I include this here because a good restauranteur friend of mine hails from Corsica and always told me I should go!

"With so much to offer, from child-friendly beach resorts to rugged mountains and Roman ruins, there is no other guidebook needed to take to this enigmatic Mediterranean island. Includes information on the fascinating traditions and rich wildlife, as well as advice on the best restaurants and where to stay.
Features over 600 full-color photographs, maps and illustrations. "

Not enough for you?
Here is a link to a general France Book List

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