About Us – Local Knowledge, Passion & Experience !

Genius Loci Travel – the leading Italian specialist for walking, cycling & kayaking tours

Genius Loci Travel is a fully-licensed Italian tour operator, operating under EU law. It was founded in 2001, as one of the first Italian tour operators specialized in walking & cycling tours.

Our mission

The company mission, since its foundation, has been to promote more sustainable types of tourism in southern Italy, by setting up sustainable tours in rural areas, where tourism can change in better the future of local communities. Our mission is to discover those places where travellers can feel and taste the ‘real spirit’ of southern Italy: tours for real travellers, who seek out both the highlights of a destination and true experiences of local culture – in ways that benefit local communities, by fostering the local traditions and culture.As members of the first ethical bank, we also aim towards a more transparent and responsible management of financial resources and carefully assess the social and environmental impacts of our company operations, financing where possible social and environmental local initiatives.

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.

Nowadays there are many new outfitters, but be aware that the internet and social media have enabled many small inexperienced companies to look very impressive. Our profound knowledge of Italy and experience in organising tours are a guarantee for our clients!

Starting back in 1999 we have developed the many walking tours & cycling trips, among which the first ever walking tours along the Amalfi Coast (when the ‘Path of the Gods’ was still unknown!). In the beginning we worked mainly on behalf of other specialized tour operators, in the UK, France, Germany, Australia and the Netherlands, on behalf of whom we developed some of the most successful walking tours ever – in terms of numbers, but also of clients’ satisfaction!

While continuing to do that, we also handle ever more private clients, who can book directly one of our self-guided tours – perhaps the largest selection in (southern) Italy! Also, thanks to our profound knowledge ofthe area, can we customise our tours and organise ‘tailor-made’ bespoke adventures. Want to know more? Please contact us!

Since almost 25 years Genius Loci Travel has handled thousands of satisfied clients every year!

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 those of other outfitters (and check where we stay and 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 S.r.l. is registered in Italy, Business Register No. 32136. Our registered address & head office is: Via Antonio Rotondo 5, 84127 Salerno.

Genius Loci Travel until a few years ago 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 (so you might not know us, even while you have been on one of our tours already!).

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, while still continuing to sell most of our yours through (only the best) specialized tour operators worldwide, we have decided to market some of our special trips directly.

Local Guides & Local Welcome!

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 colour locale will be assured by our ‘Neapolitan’ guides. As our guides live in the regions you walk, they can facilitate ‘insider access’ every step of the way.  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.

N.B. All our guides are professionals and adhere to one of the three national association of ‘environmental walking guides’ (AIGAEAssoguide and LAGAP).

At Genius Loci Travel we are proud of our selection of accommodations!

As stated by some of our clients: one of the strengths of our tours lies in the careful selection of the right accommodation for the type of tour, the type of clients and the type of area. Not the obvious places, but small, well-situated, often family-run places, with a personal welcome. The same is true for the places where we take you for dinner – or where we take our aperitivo.

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 ‘genius loci’, its ‘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 !

Want to work with ‘Genius Loci’…? 

CAREER OPPORTUNITIES WITH GENIUS LOCI TRAVEL – JOBS WITH A PASSION !!! Genius Loci Travel is continuously looking for capable, prepared & flexible staff, both in the office as well as ‘on the field’, in every corner of Italy. Check out the last remaining job opportunities for the new season – 2024 has started already!

Want to know more? Here are the answers to most of your FAQ !



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