Genius Loci Travel is not ‘only’ a professional tour operator, the Italian specialist for active holidays, we also prepare exclusive information packages & maps for all our tours.
Our geographer’s background shows in the information you get on our independent ‘self-guided tours: accurate up-to-date info and of course the best available maps.
Where good maps are available (e.g. Dolomites) we use these, in other areas we prepare our own maps, in scale 1: 25 000 or larger. Exclusive detailed maps – purpose-made for the walk or ride you’ll do!
So you can do the hikes with who you want, at the pace you want, at the time you want… and you will never get lost. All the freedom you want, all the security you need !
Our exclusive set of “Route Notes & Maps” contains:
- ‘Route Notes’, i.e. the description of all walks ‘step by step’; these include written route directions, all necessary information on the daily organisation (including arrival & departure information), as well as tips for sightseeing, dining etc.
- If available: copies of the best available ‘commercial’ maps (scale 1:25.000 or bigger), with your selected route clearly indicated.
- When no good maps are available we prepare ourselves original, very detailed maps (normally in scale 1:25.000 or 1:15.000, sometimes up to scale 1:5000).
- Time tables of public transport services (boats, trains & buses), where necessary.
- GPX/GPS tracks of the walks (on request), compatible with GPS-devices & mobile phones.
- Up-to-date info about forest fires and landslides which might interfere with your route (especially useful for the Amalfi Coast).
- Extra info about the area.
Thousands of clients have found their way over the years with our “Route Notes & Maps”. And also you will be able to walk any route independently, in full freedom!
Independent does not mean unsupported, though! On independent ‘self-guided’ tours it is nice to know that our local staff is always available, and just a phone call away.
And if I book a group tour ?
Then you can of course rely on our well-trained walking or cycling guides!
All our guided tours, the so-called ‘small group adventures’ are led by our own Expert Tour Leaders. They are among the best connaisseurs of the region you are travelling to. 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 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. All are professionals and adhere to one of the 3 national associations of ‘environmental walking guides’ (AIGAE, Assoguide and LAGAP). 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.
But we know that many of our clients like maps, to keep track of the route and to take a copy home. Therefore we provide all clients on our group tours with general maps of the area you are visiting.
One more word about maps….
Many books have been written on Italy, and many tourist guides and apps are available to plan your journey. Maps are another story though!
For many regions of Italy simply no good walking maps are available. True, the national geographical institute (IGM – yes, still military!) does indeed publish good 1: 25.000 maps, a scale perfect for walking & hiking. The only problem is that in many regions these haven’t been updated for the last decades…
In the Alps & Dolomites private companies have published a number of very good maps, and also some national & regional parks have published some good material, but especially for many southern regions the perfect map has yet to be published. Moreover, many existing so-called ‘walking maps’ (also those published by official bodies such as National Parks) are just not reliable….
We therefore prepare our maps on purpose for each specific walking tour, basing ourselves on the best available walking maps of the area, on which your itinerary is clearly visible.
Our maps are usually in scale 1: 25 000, the best scale for walking tours, but if necessary we use a larger scale (up to 1: 10 000), while for cycling we also use maps in scales 1: 50 000 to 1: 200 000.
Be assured that you get the best available maps for your tour, we are map makers ourselves!
In case you book a tour with us, the maps are included in your information package, but some of our own walking maps are on sale too.
A word about public transport
Public transport in Italy is inexpensive and – with the right information – relatively easy to use. Moreover, it is a full immersion in local living. No need to separate yourself from the life and soul of Italy, rub shoulders with the locals and relax. We provide the necessary info on how to get from one place to another. All info will be clearly outlined in our unique ‘Route Notes & Maps’, which feature lots of information o9n the local transport, our ‘Transport Pack’.
But of course, if you wish, we can always provide a private transfer. And where no feasible options to use the public transport are available, we can always provide private transfers.