OWPG Photography Award (Outdoor Writers and Photographers Guild Awards for Excellence, 2012), for a portfolio of images of the Lofoten Islands.
Best Travel Feature (Outdoor Writers and Photographers Guild Awards for Excellence, 2012), for ‘Once were pirates. In search of the Uskoks of Senj’ (hidden europe, July 2011).
Judges’ comments: ‘Fascinating historical background brought slap up to date with compelling characters, local colour and useful info. A true hidden gem of Europe revealed. Travel writing at its best.’
Kenneth Westcott Jones Memorial Award for Best Specialist Feature (British Guild of Travel Writers Members Awards, 2011), for ‘Magic of Montenegro’ (OE magazine, September 2010)
Best Outdoor Feature (Outdoor Writers and Photographers Guild Awards for Excellence, 2009), for ‘Velebit. A Mountain in Croatia’ (hidden europe, September 2008).
Judges’ comments: ‘This was the hardest category to judge because there wasn’t a single entry that disappointed. It was heartening to see that, in these times of the dumbing-down of the print media generally, there are still outlets where good writing is appreciated and published, for which we should all be grateful.
‘Any one of three or four superb and very different pieces might have won, but after reading and re-reading, there was one entry which the judges felt was consistently good from first word to last. It showed a deep understanding of the destination, and its people; it was both thoughtful and entertaining, cleverly wove together the author’s own thoughts with history and legend, and highlighted a part of the world that is on everyone’s doorstep but remains mysterious and very special.’
Best Guidebook (Outdoor Writers and Photographers Guild Awards for Excellence, 2008), for The Mountains of Montenegro (Cicerone, 2007)
Judges’ comment: ‘It passed the most important test of all – the itchy feet test!’
The Mountains of Montenegro (Cicerone Press, 2007)
‘A great little book, compact so that I could keep it where is was easily accessible. Information was current and made travel plans a breeze. The menu reader was a life saver, and the language guide most helpful. It has a plastic sleeve which was great for the few times I was rained on. Highly recommended.’ (5 stars)
www.fishpond.co.uk (April 2010)
‘Rudolf Abraham’s Cicerone Guide, The Mountains of Montenegro, is essential reading if you want to explore the country’s mountain regions.’
Archie Thomas, writing in The Telegraph (January 2011)
‘This is a hugely welcome and finely presented walking guide to the mountains of a European country which not many British people think of going to. Montenegro, newly independent from Serbia in 2006, may have only 700,000 inhabitants and few natural resources but, inland from the relatively well known coastal delights of Budva and the Gulf of Kotor, lies a truly mountainous country with four National Parks already designated and another area, the Prokletije range in the far south of the country up against the Kosovan and Albanian borders, about to become one, and about time too! The Durmitor National Park in the north takes in both the Tara river canyon, 1600m deep, and Bobotov kuk, at 2523m not quite the country’s highest peak. That accolade goes, albeit with some controversy, to Maja e Kollatës, 11 metres higher at 2534m on the Albanian border. Durmitor is the most visited area and also a UNESCO World Heritage site.
This guide describes 15 waymarked walking routes in 7 different mountain areas, with suggestions for further exploration and for multi-day treks because these mountains are as attractive to walk through as to climb. The coloured sketch maps are clear and the whole book has a wealth of information on Montenegro itself: history, geography and geology, fauna and flora, language (a very useful section), travel to and within the country, food and drink, contacts and useful addresses. There is important advice on maps, which apart from those produced by the National Parks, are hard to come by. The photographs are highly seductive, but it is a pity that the author had bad luck with the weather when he was in Prokletije; atmospheric scenes of cloud-wreathed valley sides can’t do justice to the dramatic, saw-toothed ridges and peaks of this amazing area….
This is an important book, not just as an attractive and enticing guide but because Montenegro needs visitors to its mountains and valleys to climb, walk, kayak, mountain bike or study the environment, all ‘sustainable visitor activities’, bringing money into the local economy and leaving the mountains still unspoiled. If you glance at Rudolf Abraham’s book you too will want to go there.’
Richard Hargreaves, Climbers’ Club Journal (2006-2007)
‘…a good resource for alpine adventurers…’
David Dragicevic, Lonely Planet Montenegro (2009)
‘The author describes Montenegro as containing some of the ‘wildest, most spectacular and least visited mountains in Europe.’ At a glance the photographs reveal a collection of jagged limestone peaks, alpine meadows, lakes and canyons.
The guide describes fifteen routes in seven different areas, with two or three walks in each area. The route descriptions are clear and contain many helpful suggestions as to the location of water and camping spots. The local maps seem to contain many inaccuracies, such as huts and springs that don’t exist and routes obliterated by rock fall, venturing on these trails with a map alone seems a recipe for some unforgettable adventures and this guide will undoubtedly repay its cost many times over.
This book is no exception to the high standards of the Cicerone guide series and is of excellent quality. It is well worth the investment if you are looking for something different for your IML log book.’
AMI news (September 2007)
‘Excellent all round travel guide. Superbly presented, this book gives good details, links, numbers, names to arrange/travel around Montenegro. Certainly one of the best of this kind of books I have come across.’
Adrian Smith, from a review on www.amazon.co.uk (March 2008)
‘The author describes fifteen circular and point-to-point routes, generally on waymarked trails, with options for further routes identified. He asserts that Montenegro has some of the wildest, most dramatic and least-visited mountains in Europe, and who are we to disagree?
This at present is the only English language guide to walking in Montenegro – and it is a good one. Montenegro is a land of jagged limestone peaks up to 2,500m high, linked by fine ridges, and its gentle valleys are dotted with picturesque lakes. It is just waiting to be discovered.’
Walking World Ireland (2008 Annual)
‘All sorts of questions arise at the very idea of visiting Montenegro, the first being where exactly is it? Separated from Serbia a year ago, it is a rough parallelogram squashed between the Adriatic, Bosnia, Serbia and Albania, and containing “some of the wildest, most spectacular and least visited mountains in Europe.”
Montenegro has a long, dramatic and complicated history, and Abraham, unusual in a walking guide, provides a 12-page historical appendix. I can’t check any of the routes, which vary in length from an hour up to a few days, but from the illustrations they look interesting, and in some cases exciting, in a scenery of glacial cwms and rocky ridges.’
Irish Mountain Log magazine (Autumn 2007)
Walking in Croatia (Cicerone Press, 2004; 2nd edition 2010)
‘Essential reading for anyone serious about hiking around these parts.’
‘The best guidebook for walkers….’
‘Great little guidebook on trails and hikes in Croatia. Easy to read and gives a good overview of where to go and what to do in terms of hiking. Get it before you head over!’ (4 stars)
Jim, from a review on Amazon.ca (May 2012)
‘More than just a trail guide.’ (5 stars)
Harry E Rogers, from a review on Amazon.com (December 2010)
The following reviews refer to the first edition of this guide:
‘How the map of south-east Europe has changed in recent years – as the overview of that wonderfully evocative part of the world shows on pages p10-13 of Rudolf Abraham’s new book. With their forested hills, limestone crags and spectacular massifs, the mountains of Croatia are tailor made for outdoor adventure.
This pocket guide is certainly well researched, thorough and very detailed. Before you eventually reach the section detailing the walks, there are almost 60 pages of history and general information to get through, including tips on eating out, festivals to visit and wildlife to study. Perhaps not surprisingly, the chapter on Croatia’s bloodstained history covers 15 pages, but is nevertheless a fascinating insight into how this troubled corner of the world has changed and evolved over the years. The day and multi-day hikes range from the Dinaric Alps to several islands in the Adriatic, catering for all tastes and abilities.’
‘An adventurous new guide for the adventurous traveller.’
Walk magazine, the Rambler’s Association (Autumn 2004)
‘The first ever English-language guide to walking in Croatia is now available from Cicerone Press. The walks in the guide provide an intimate view of Croatia and its people, opening up the country to the more adventurous visitor who wants to explore beyond its well-known coastline. The routes cover all the main hiking areas, from the Dinaric Alps along the coast to a number of other areas further inland, as well as some of the country’s beautiful Adriatic islands.
Catering for varied abilities, the routes range from easy day-trips to muti-day treks across jagged mountain chains. All the walks are graded in difficulty -though some involve scrambling, none requires any climbing skills or specialist equipment. The guide is designed to put the walker in control, it offers numerous trips and alternative routes whjch allow the walker to shorten or extend the routes to suit their itinerary and ability.
Croatia, with its stunning scenery and sunny summer climate, is becoming an increasingly popular destination for travellers from the UK, though few stray beyond the country’s celebrated coastline. Much of Croatia’s interior remains largely untouched by tourism, and its mountains, rising suddenly and spectacularly beyond the narrow ribbon of coastal cities and rocky beaches, are an ideal and, as yet largely undiscovered, walking destination.
Paths and trails are clearly waymarked, and the country’s network of excellent mountain huts enables walkers to explore the more remote mountain areas, where the scenery has a dramatic and rugged beauty. Ranging from gently sloping forested hills to rugged tops and limestone crags, the mountains are at their most spectacular in the massifs collectively known as the Dinaric Alps, a wilderness of magnificent grandeur.
The author, Rudolf Abraham, has travelled extensively in eastern Turkey, the south Caucasus, Iran and the Central Asian republics. He lived in Croatia from 1999 to 2001, working as an English teacher in Zagreb, and has undertaken numerous walking trips into the mountains of Croatia and Slovenia. He shares his wide knowledge of the country in a generous introduction, which includes sections on history and geography, culture, food and drink, as well as practical information on accommodation, maps and local transport. Appendices give details of mountain huts and shelters, as well as information on the language. The guide gives all the information you need to explore this fascinating country.’
David Lynch, Bluedome (2004)
Torres del Paine. Trekking in Chile’s Premier National Park (Cicerone Press, 2010)
‘Comprehensive and well written… one of the better guidebooks on Patagonia.’
Ken H on Amazon.com (4 stars)
‘Excellent guide book: details the trekking circuit of the park, both the complete circuit of 10 days or so and the shorter ‘W’ circuit of 4 to 5 days. Describes the refugios and the campsites, terrain, weather and everything that a good guide book should do. We are planning an unguided trek of the ‘W’ circuit and this book was most helpful’
wwilderness on Amazon.com (5 stars)
‘When I first hiked the Paine Circuit in 1981, there was no guide but a sketch map provided by Chile’s Corporación Nacional Forestal, which administers Parque Nacional Torres del Paine, plus tips provided by its rangers in a language that I understood imperfectly at the time. Surprisingly, it’s taken nearly three decades for someone to publish in English (or any other language, to the best of my knowledge) a guidebook to the park and its trails. My own Moon Handbooks to Chile, Argentina and Patagonia cover the park in some detail but, because they’re comprehensive guides that cover much greater areas, there’s not room for the detail of a specialized hiking guide.
Published in the UK by the walking guide specialist Cicerone, Rudolf Abraham’s Torres del Paine is the only guidebook of which I’m aware that focuses (almost) exclusively on Chile’s most famous national park and the hikes within it. Following the introduction, it details eight walks – four treks and four day hikes – seven of them in Paine and one in Argentina’s Parque Nacional Los Glaciares, starting from El Chaltén. It also includes brief descriptions of a couple other walks and a few other excursions including the rarely visited Sierra Baguales and Argentina’s popular Moreno Glacier.
The key walk, though, is the Paine Circuit, which Abraham describes in easy to understand stages that can be combined, as desired, in various days of hiking. He also covers side hikes off the main trails, such as the one up the Valle Francés, which can be taken while undertaking the circuit or the so-called “W’ route, which is rather shorter. The guide includes full-color maps and photographs, though the maps are good enough for orientation only – though they give a sense of the topography, they lack scales and the contour lines do not even indicate the intervals between them. Nor do they include the heights of the summits.
Abraham also includes a fairly substantial entry on the town of Puerto Natales, the gateway to the park, and sketchier entries on Punta Arenas, Santiago and, oddly enough, the UNESCO World Heritage city of Valparaíso, two hours northwest of the capital. Apparently Abraham, as an avid photographer, couldn’t resist Chile’s most photogenic city, even if the single photograph of it seems out of place in the introductory section, among depictions of wildflowers and park landscapes.
Practical information, such as bus transport to the park and accommodations with it, is arranged in easy-to-read tables. There are occasional Spanish language errors and typos in the text, but the material is always serviceable.
Paine’s trekking season starts soon as, with relatively low trail elevations in Paine and Los Glaciares, the snow there melts early. At 200 pages, the book’s compact size (roughly seven by 4.5 inches), light weight and weather-resistant cover make it a suitable companion on the trail – as a complement to my own more comprehensive efforts, of course!’
Moon Handbooks author Wayne Bernhardson, www.southernconetravel.com (September 2010)
‘An invaluable pocket guide and a welcome addition to the Cicerone range.’
From a review by Sue Lee in Strider, the journal of the Long Distance Walkers’ Association www.ldwa.org.uk (December 2010)
‘…has been invaluable in trip planning.’ (4 stars)
Steven L Peterson on Amazon.com.
National Geographic Traveler Croatia (National Geographic Traveler, 2011)
‘Fantastic guide, especially for the adventurous. This guide has been incredibly helpful in planning our vacation to Croatia. The guide is especially helpful for people who like outdoor activities – hiking, biking, walking tours, kayaking, etc. In addition to providing the reader with excellent recommendations for outdoor activities, the writer also provides details and descriptions of cultural experiences – touring museums and ruins as well as participating in local festivals. The guide has a fairly extensive list of recommended places to stay, eat, and visit for all types of budgets. The writer knows Croatia inside and out. Finally, the guide is very recent, so it is likely to have the most recent information available. Great buy!’
Sara on Amazon.com (5 stars)