Guided or not guided?

With or without a guide? or worst, with an unprofessional and unethical guide?

The path is suitable for most people, really easy to follow. The map is freely available here or here and all you need is: comfortable shoes for bushwalking, possibly long pants, a camera and love for walks in the open air. On the path of the Gods you won’t find any dangerous animal, plant or insect, so you really could do this walk by yourself but “why would you watch a great movie without the sound track“?

Look at these examples:

You: what is that? is it an ancient house?

zia.lucy-path.of.the.gods.ruin.october.2013.001
UNprofessional Guide: Yes, ancient and, hum, now in ruin after the last big eruption of the Vesuvius in the 1920’s.

Professional Guide: No, the house is old but not ancient, probably made around the end of XVIII century (we can say this because as you can see here, this … is an old technique). It is damaged for a specific reason: during the … living here was really hard and going … was the easiest way to run away from a world made of fatigue.

You: What a beautiful island!

Path of the Gods / Coastline view
UNprofessional Guide: Yes, the island was uninhabited up to World War II. Nowadays you can find a hotel over there.

Professional Guide: Yes, “The Sirenusas” archipelago, “Le Sirenuse” or “Li Galli” in italian, is marvellous. They are tre islands mentioned in the 1st century BC by … . Originally the site of an ancient Roman… . Then, in the Middle Ages, the islands were inhabitated by … . Now they are property of … and they are used for … .

You: Oh wow, look at that pink flower!

zia.lucy-path.of.the.gods.spring.flower.001
UNprofessional Guide: Here you can find lots of those flowers, bees are avid eater.

Professional Guide:Which one? this? It is a Cistus Creticus, Pink Rock-Rose or Hoary Rock-Rose, bees are greedy of the cistuses nectar. Oh, and can you see the orange bubbles on bee’s leg? it is … . Do you know the name of bees sound? it is called … and it is caused by … . By the way, in popular medicine infusions of cistuses are used to treat … diseases.


So, why to choose a local guide?

You’re not the kind of person who takes the shorter and more simple way. You prefer to get lost, just for the heck of it. You like eating that weird local food because it is just part of the adventure! Or maybe you like meeting locals. If you have an addiction to travel, you probably want an exclusive, yet uncommon, experience. So why would you book a package vacation with an unprofessional or not-local guide when you could get a peculiar taste of local life(style)?

Hire a local guide and you’ll have an amazing and unforgettable experience. This will bring you off the beaten path so to come upon face-to-face with locals, visit tourist-free sites, taste unique food and browse local artisans’ wares. You’ll have the possibility to see something uncommon and different. You’d be surprised on how many affinities people share across the planet. The joy of travelling encompasses all the senses and lots of memories are made by the unique and the unexpected. You’re not going to find much of that if you stick to hotel’s pool and tourism offices.

Letting a local guide show you around gives you a chance to meet other locals and experience how people really live. You’ll be able to ask everything you want to everybody, also to that nice “only-strict-dialects-speaking” grandpa sitting over there. This changes your holiday into a real and unforgettable trip.

Buying local supports local farmers and artisans, the local economy. This helps sustain the very people who make your destination worth visiting. By booking with a local guide, you’re ensuring your money stays in the place you’re falling in love with.

Probably you visited Pompei, Ercolanum, Amalfi… the “you must see that place“, and then? what else? Do you really want to invest your hard-earned money and precious vacation time into hanging around a bunch of other tourists boxed into buses, without ever venturing into the unknown? It can be tough staying in a new place; sometimes, you don’t even know the right questions to ask. A professional local guide can help you, and can introduce you to things you didn’t even know you didn’t know. Going local ensures that you will have an authentic, unique experience. Why? because a local guide does the legwork, literally, for you. In one day you can have the experience that took months to acquire. Discover the hidden treasures — point of view, small churches, open gardens — that were unnoticed at a “first-glance”.

Exploring a place with a local guide gives you an intimacy and a personal connection that just isn’t possible doing alone or with a big company or unprofessional guides. The first because alone or in a group of 30 people this could be simply impossible, the last because they want to “lemonize you”, squeezing money out of you (like a lemon), with commissions on restaurants, shops and transport uncaring about locals, environment, folway… oh, by the way, a professional local guide knows which cultivar of lemon is cultivated in every garden and all the uses of the fruit (and juice, zest, flowers, leaves), not only limoncello!

Usually people book a local guide with big travel companies because they’re safe and it is easier. These days most people in the local tourism industry have a website, a Facebook account, an online presence and with all those stars, giving out ratings, it doesn’t take long to reliably assess who they are and what they’re about. Yet, many of them, have a secure online payment systems like Paypal, which is a leader in antifraud technology, so you’ll be able to hire a local guide online and safely. Before confirming anything with a local guide, or if you’re feeling a little hesitation, ask some questions, like:

Ask! What will we do on the tour?
Ask! How many people will join the tour?
Ask! How much experience do you have as a guide?
Ask! What do you do aside from guiding? Is guiding a second job done in spare time?
Ask! Why do you enjoy being a local guide?
Ask! Are you a registered guide and are you insured?

A reliable, experienced and registered guide will have a lot to say about the area and shouldn’t hesitate to answer your questions.

Don’t hesitate to contact us for further information!

6 Responses to Guided or not guided?

  1. Madeline says:

    Where would one find information on local guides?
    I have the name of 2 but they provide no information as to cost. What should we anticipate paying for a guide? there are 4 adults in our group.
    We are stating at the Villa Antica in Positano so not sure which direction makes most sense.

    thank you for your response.

    • Good evening Madeleine,
      forgive me for short reply, I’m on tour. You are right, I should put the names of some guides on the websites but, you know, I don’t want people thinks this is a “scam” information website, just a “tourist trap”. I’ll think on it before the end of the year.

      Unfortunately, or fortunately (depends of the point of view) I’m fully booked. I’ll write you privately the names of two of the best guides around in this period (as write to David others are for sure fully booked). They are fully licensed, with good insurance.

      Enjoy your hike!

      * pay attention, while the guides I use to recommend are all authorized, with good insurance, not everyone is. Also, there is a huge difference between tour guide and hiking guide, they can do different things (legally speaking) and not everyone is both.

      • Diego says:

        Please email me names of guides, Oct 7-12, 2016 time range. Thanks!

        • I’m trying, but you inserted a wrong email addie. Retry your request double checking your email address:

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  2. David O'Grady says:

    Hi,
    My two children (14 & 16 years old) & I will be in Positano (staying at Villa Rosa) on 14th July and are very keen to do the Walk of the Gods from Bomerano back to the hotel (or as close to it)starting in the morning.
    We would like a guide to show us not only the way yet all the interesting facets of it.
    Can you let me know if you can guide us, how much it will cost, when can we start and how long it would take, please? Any other advice would be welcome.
    Cheers,
    David

    • Hi David,
      unfortunately, or fortunately (depends of the point of view) I’m fully booked. I’ll write privately the names of two of the best guides around in this period (others are for sure fully booked). They are fully licensed, with good insurance. I think you have two choices you can discuss with the guides: one in the first morning, quite early, around 07:00, using public transports, you’ll reach Bomerano in 90-120 mins and be back at Villa Rosa for, probably, 14:00/15:00. Otherwise in the afternoon to enjoy the sunset, but quite sure you’ll have to choose a private transfer, more expensive but the tour will be tailored on your desire.

      Enjoy your hike!

      * pay attention, while the guides I use to recommend are all legally authorized, certified and with good insurance, not everyone is. Also, there is a huge difference between tour guide and hiking guide, they can do differents things (legally speaking) and not everyone is both. So, don’t be scared or shy, ask the guides everything you want to know. If you ask politely every good guide will reply you without problems.

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