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About us

Genius Loci Travel – the real Italian specialist for active holidays

Genius Loci Travel was founded in 2001, as (one of) the first Italian tour operator(s) specialized in ‘activity holidays’: walking, cycling, rafting and sea kayaking tours. Previous to that, many of our trips were developed and tested by our staff, on behalf of other specialized tour operators, in the UK, France, Germany and the Netherlands. On behalf of these companies we developed some of the most successful tours ever – in terms of numbers, but also of clients’ satisfaction ! Since the beginning Genius Loci Travel has handled thousands of satisfied clients.

Our  Commitment to You

  • Responsible & sustainable tourism – all our trips are run as ‘responsible’ and ‘sustainable’ as possible, socially, culturally, economically and environmentally. For further details of our Responsible Tourism page.
  • Quality – Genius Loci Travel doesn’t aim to offer the most luxurious tours, and neither the cheapest. But we do give the best value for money. Compare our tours & prices to what other companies offer (and check what is included).
  • Satisfaction – We started to sell our tours directly upon demand from our customers and still rely very heavily on word of mouth and repeat custom for our bookings. Our clients know we give them the best holiday experience possible.
  • Financial security – We provide complete financial security for all our clients and adhere to all regulations concerning the safety of our clients’ money.
  • Feedback – At the end of every trip, we provide our clients with a questionnaire that we ask you to fill in. Our clients’ feedback is used to continuously improve the quality of our holidays (or maintain the quality of our ‘perfect’ tours).
  • Exclusivity – We specialise in one country Italy, and are able to offer a more extensive programme of walking and cycling tours than anyone else in our country. Many of our tours are ‘originals’, designed & developed by our staff members. These are painstakingly researched routes across many of the most inspiring parts of Italy. Often imitated, never equalled !

 

Genius Loci Travel until recently has always been ‘only’ a supplier for many renowned tour operators worldwide, ranging from Europe to North-America and Australia. We never actively promoted our tours directly, for which reason we did not do any advertising. Over the years though, we have built up a loyal group of direct clients, which convinced us that there is a big demand for special (customised) walking & cycling tours in Italy, a demand which often cannot be met by the bigger tour operators, which deal with tours all over the world.

Therefore from now on, while still continuing to sell most of our yours through the best specialized tour operators worldwide, we have decided to market some of our special trips directly.

Our staff members are among the most experienced in the field of sustainable tourism. We are a mix of nationalities, geographers, environmentalists and economists, but above all travellers. And keen walkers and cyclists ourselves. We have personally developed & tested all our walks & rides.

Local Guides

All our guided tours, the ‘small group adventures’ are led by our own Expert Tour Leaders. Italy is a big and varied country and this reflects also in the choice of our tour leaders: wherever possible your tour will be led by somebody from the area. So in Tuscany, you’ll be guided by our Tuscan guides, in Sicily by a Sicilian, and on the Amalfi Coast, the ‘couleur locale’ will be assured by our ‘Neapolitan’ guides. As our guides live in the regions you travel in, they can facilitate ‘insider access’ every minute of the tour.  They open doors wherever you travel and present a local’s perspective on the people, places, and regional cultures.

Our Tour Leaders come from a myriad of professional backgrounds, but all have a profound knowledge of the area where they guide our tours. Some are geologists, some are biologists or art historians, and can you tell all the details in their fields, but above all they all have the special ‘local knowledge’ about their country, Italy and their region. Including the best ice cream shop or the nicest restaurant in town, Italian soccer & politics…

Also, Genius Loci Travel Tour Leaders have two other things in common: the ability to ‘connect’ with each and every guest and the desire to facilitate the most unforgettable experience for each guest in their area, time after time. Their goal is to help provide a fun, safe and unforgettable experience for our guests.

All our guides are professionals and adhere to the national association of outdoor guides,
the AIGAE.

Why ‘Genius Loci’…?

‘Genius Loci’ is a Latin term meaning ‘the Spirit or Genius of the place’. For the Romans every place had its own  ‘guardian deity’. While in Roman times it was thus referring to the presiding deity or spirit, today the meaning has changed. The concept is nowadays often used by landscape architects & planners to state that every place has its own unique qualities, not only in terms of its physical makeup, but also of how it is perceived. It is therefore often translated as the ‘distinctive atmosphere of a place’. So it ought to be (but far too often is not) the responsibilities of the architect or landscape-designer to be sensitive to those unique qualities, to enhance them rather than to destroy them.

For us, at Genius Loci Travel, it is important that our clients will be able to perceive the ‘Real Spirit of Italy’ on our tours. We not just take you to places, or worse ‘do’ places, but select the most special places of this wonderful country – both known and unknown ! – and try to make you understand the places you visit and take in the best parts of it. We make you feel the special atmosphere and unique qualities of each place we take you to. We make you experience the places you travel to with us, live them and return home richer.

And perhaps we are also a ‘genius’ in creating your best possible holiday !

 
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