Nice photos but short on practical detail

This is my review of Berlitz: Madeira Pocket Guide (Berlitz Pocket Guides) by Berlitz.

This attractively produced little guide provides a useful summary of the main points of interest when planning a short visit, but I found it quite hard to use during my holiday because it proved short on precise details of public transport and the geography of places bearing in mind that Madeira is lacking in clear signposts and information boards for tourists. It does not consider sufficiently how places appear from the viewpoint of a total stranger.

For instance, it would be useful to know which buses useful for excursions start near the "Teleféricos" cable car to Monte, or that on leaving the bus from Funchal at Ribeiro Frio you need to walk on up the hill round to the left to find the start of the levada walk to the viewing platforms, and so on.

The guide would have benefited from more maps and walking routes (say from the Funchal Lido to Formosa Praia and on to the fishing village of Camara de Lobos, rather than chatty descriptions of say "leviathan" sperm whales (which actually resemble black logs in the water except when they dive). The index is also unclear since it does not highlight the main reference to each place e.g. for the highlight of Monte it's page 41.

I found the Lonely Planet Pocket Guide less "pretty" but of much more practical use.

⭐⭐⭐ 3 Stars

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