• Classic Journeys Portugal Guide Susana Portugal in Lisbon

    10 Female Tour Guides from Around the World

    In honor of International Woman&#39;s Day, we&#39;re highlighting our female trip leaders from around the world! At the heart of every tour is your <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/local-tour-guides/" target="_blank">experienced local guide</a>. From exploring glaciers in the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/canadianrockies/" target="_blank">Rockies with Rosemary</a> to caravaning through the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/morocco/" target="_blank">Sahara with Saida</a>, these women are more than map-readers and spouters of statistics. They are colorful, caring personalities who are genuine and as sunny as they are sincere. As your cultural hosts, they will open doors and help you see their world through their eyes. So, let&#39;s introduce you to these amazing ladies and learn what they love about guiding tours on their home turf...<br><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/morocco-tours/" target="_blank"><b>SAIDA | MOROCCO</b></a><br>&quot;I have a degree in English Literature and originally wanted to be a journalist. I channeled my natural curiosity and outgoing personality into working extensively with the U.S. Embassy in Rabat, where I guided visiting U.S. senators and ambassadors around <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/morocco/" target="_blank">Morocco </a>and even teamed up with Matt Lauer for an appearance on The Today Show. I love showing people how hospitable Moroccans and Arabs are and dispelling preconceived notions about other cultures.&quot; <i>- Saida | Professional guide for 22 years</i><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/morocco/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SSY&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012Ca9" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/norway-tours/" target="_blank"><b>VIBEKE | NORWAY</b></a><br>&quot;I decided to become a guide as I believe in international communication on all levels. I believe the more we learn about each other`s culture in this world, the better we live side by side. I feel very privileged and humbled to present my country to travelers during their relatively short stay here. I have always liked traveling, and making an itinerary from A to Z, considering all the details en route, is really fun. One of my favorite moments is <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/norway-tours/" target="_blank">taking guests out on a glacier</a>, which to some is a bit exciting and challenging, but they always end up with a great sensation of having mastered something slightly scary!&quot;<i> - Vibeke | Professional guide for 10 years</i><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/norway-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SSY&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012CaE" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/basque/" target="_blank"><b>FREDERIQUE | BASQUE</b></a><br>&quot;<a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/basque/" target="_blank">San Sebastian</a>, Spain, is everybody&#39;s favorite place. Tapas started here. We go bar hopping - to this bar because the pimientos are the best, that one for ham, the place around the corner where the shrimp are too delicious.&quot;<i> - Frederique | Professional guide for 27 years</i><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/basque/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SSY&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012CaJ" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/quebec/" target="_blank"><b>LUCETTE | QUEBEC</b></a><br>Lucette earned a degree in outdoor recreation before becoming a guide. Fearless, fun and deeply connected to all things Quebecois, she&#39;s just the right companion to find you a flock of 450 sheep—and a farmer who turn their milk into cheese. <i>- Lucette | Professional guide for 25 years</i><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/quebec/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SSY&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012CaO" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank"><b>MARCIA | BRYCE, GRAND CANYON &amp; ZION</b></a><br>&quot;I was a ceramic artist for many years and my specialties were reptiles and the Grand Canyon, sculpted out of clay. I decided I needed to get out more! After observing the Southwest for so long, I enjoy helping others appreciate the reality of it. <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank">Six days in the three parks</a> is a life changer for a lot of guests. The cultures and landscapes, the air, animals and food are all so different from &#39;home.&#39; Doing things a little outside their normal comfort zones leaves an impression on people that really stays with them.&quot; <i>- Marcia | Professional guide for 17 years</i><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SSY&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012CbR" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/montenegro/" target="_blank"><b>VESNA | MONTENEGRO</b></a><br>&quot;A good traveler possesses curiosity in pursuit of new cultural horizons and respectfully exchanges opinions and experiences. I love taking my guests for a morning cappuccino in Budva, the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/montenegro/" target="_blank">Saturday market in Kotor</a>, a visit to the monks in a lake monastery and a hike to Stoliv. When all the other guides take their guests to a side road restaurant in a village for sandwiches, I take my guests to a mosaic artist&#39;s house in the national park and show them traditional home-made cooking.&quot;  <i>- Vesna | Professional guide for 10 years</i><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/montenegro/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SSY&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012Cbl" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/japan-tours/" target="_blank"><b>YUMIKO | JAPAN</b></a><br>&quot;What is so ancient in <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/japan-tours/" target="_blank">Japan </a>is always something new for my guests.&quot; Yumiko plans for lovely revelations, whether it&#39;s a tea ceremony or a woodland walk to Hakone Shrine. &quot;Everyone recognizes the crimson tori gate in the lake!&quot;<i> - Yumiko | Professional guide for 19 years</i><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/japan-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SSY&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012CbH" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/england/" target="_blank">DIANE |</a></b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/england/" target="_blank"><b> ENGLAND</b></a><br>&quot;I have spent the last 15 years guiding throughout <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/england/" target="_blank">England and Wales</a>, doing a job I absolutely love!  Food and drink are always one of the most important elements for any traveler, so whether <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/cornwall/" target="_blank">Cornwall </a>or <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/londonstonehengecotswolds" target="_blank">Cotswolds</a>, I really enjoy introducing guests to local produce and specialty foods that they may not have tried before... like cheese such as Stinking Bishop and Double Gloucester. Also, I like to give our guests wide-ranging dining experiences. From village pubs and traditional tea shops to picnicking at a scenic spot, to our farewell dinner in a more sophisticated setting such as Wormington Grange in Cotswolds and The Old Quay House in Fowey.&quot;<i> - Diane | Professional guide for 15 years</i><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/england/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SSY&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012Cbq" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/portugal/" target="_blank"><b>SUSANA | PORTUGAL</b></a><br>&quot;I&#39;m a go-for-it guide who loves guests that are eager to have a good time. That would explain how one of my groups found themselves knee-deep in a vat of red grapes, wine stomping like Lucy and Ethel.&quot; <i>- Susana | Professional guide for 8 years </i><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/portugal/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SSY&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012CbC" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/canada-tours/" target="_blank"><b>ROSEMARY | CANADIAN ROCKIES</b></a><br>Born and raised in the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/canada-tours/" target="_blank">Canadian Rockies</a>, Rosemary is a native guide who loves sharing the wonders of Banff National Park with individuals and groups. <i>| Profesional guide for 20 years</i><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/canada-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SSY&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012Cbg" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a>

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  • Colombia Guide Carolina

    5 Reasons to Travel With A Local Guide

    <p>It’s tempting to say that you don’t need a guide when visiting a new country. Between the internet and the thousands of guidebooks on the market, it’s pretty hard to get lost these days. After spending many of my traveling adventures alone, my first experience with a local guide convinced me that it was a great way to go (although this was in Costa Rica, on a river paddleboarding excursion, and my guide prevented me from paddling right into a couple of dozing crocodiles), and my last experience in Italy (<a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi-tours/" target="_blank">with Sergio</a>!) confirmed it. What I truly took away, was that my trips wouldn’t have been nearly as memorable had I not been with a friendly local with tremendous knowledge of his country. Here are five reasons why traveling with a local guide makes all the difference. </p> <p><b>#1 Save Time AND Money</b><br>Visiting another country can be overwhelming. There’s so much to see, and this might be the only chance you’ll ever have to see it. You could easily spend a week in <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/prague/" target="_blank">Prague</a> and still miss out on some great sights. A local guide will not only take care of all the planning for your daily activities, but he or she will also make sure you get to see the things that other tourists often overlook. And a good local guide will get you from place to place in the most efficient, least expensive way possible. So, you won’t have to worry about paying exorbitant cab fees that inexperienced tourists often rack up.<br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/prague/" target="_blank"><img alt="People walking in Prague" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATNF&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f844" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a></p> <p><b>#2 Eat Like The Locals</b><br>You didn’t spend 12 hours on a plane to dine at the local McDonald’s. <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/local-tour-guides/" target="_blank">Local guides</a> are experts on their country’s cuisine. After all, they’ve spent years eating it and will steer you towards the restaurants that best represent their country’s cooking. They&#39;ll make sure you eat the dishes you’ve been wanting to try and introducing you to some that you might never have heard of.<br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/morocco-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Men in Morocco Market" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATNF&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f849" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a></p> <p><b>#3 A Walking Encyclopedia</b><br>Local guides are an unparalleled source of information about the places you’ll visit. True story: on a recent <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi/" target="_blank">Classic Journeys trip to the Amalfi Coast</a>, I was surprised when our guide Marco stopped in the middle of the trail we were on, yanked what looked like a handful of weeds out of the ground, and ate them. He saw the looks on our faces and laughed. “This is wild arugula,” he explained. “It’s great in salads!” I wish I’d had some balsamic vinegar with me. From giving you a detailed <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfifamily/" target="_blank">history of Pompeii,</a> to… well, showing you what plants you can just pull out of the ground and eat, local guides know their country’s history and even biology like the backs of their hands and are delighted to share it with you.<br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Amalfi tour guide with guests" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATNF&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f84J" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a></p> <p><b>#4 Support the Local Economy</b><br>One way to be a good global citizen is by <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/giving/" target="_blank">supporting local economies</a>. Having a local guide is a great way to do that. Not only do you help those guides earn a living, but you’re also supporting the various businesses, restaurants, and shops to which your guide visits. <br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/giving/" target="_blank"><img alt="Woman in Panama with children" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATNF&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f84E" style="height: 354px; width: 500px;"></img></a></p> <p><b>#5 Make a New Friend</b><br>It might seem like a cliché, but local guides love what they do because they truly enjoy the company of new people. Perhaps the best part of hanging out with your guide is just that... hanging out and enjoying each other’s company. Whether it’s sampling wine in a <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/loire/" target="_blank">French chateau</a> or hiking the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/peru-tours/" target="_blank">Inca trail in Peru</a>, you’ll find that the company of a local guide is just as memorable as the sights and tastes you’ll experience.<br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/peru-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Guests with guide in Peru" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATNF&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f84O" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a></p> <p> </p>

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  • Amalfi Coastline, Italy

    At Home with Sergio & Ulysses

    You have to love a father who names his son Ulysses. My friend Sergio and his opera-singer wife christened their only child in honor of history’s most epic traveler. “They wanted to embed wanderlust in me,” laughs Ulysses. When I asked Sergio if it was true, he confirmed the family tale with a trademark mustachioed smile that his fan club of <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi-tours/" target="_blank">Classic Journeys</a> guests would recognize instantly.<br><br>Almost 25 years ago, Sergio met us in his native <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi-tours/" target="_blank">Naples </a>to scout our very first Classic Journeys’ trip to the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi-tours/" target="_blank">Amalfi Coast</a>. In our debut year, <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi-tours/" target="_blank">Amalfi </a>was one of just six itineraries we offered. Every year since, it’s been one of the most popular trips, and Sergio has been with us all the way. As a teenager, Ulysses (his name is Ulisse in Italian, but he prefers the English pronunciation) interned in our office in California. Over the last 16 years, we were almost as proud as his father to watch him become an accomplished guide for several companies, one of which named him their European tour leader of the year multiple times. He’s been one of our most popular local guides for a decade or so, and with the upcoming birth of his first child, we like to think the third generation is on the way!<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Sergio &amp; Ulysses overlooking harbor in Naples" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATPR&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f88L" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br>“It’s wrong to call this a job,” Ulysses insists. “Every day, I wake up happy for another chance to show guests around the places and the secret corners where I live and where I grew up.” As for Sergio, I suppose that at some point in history, he met a stranger. But I’ve never seen evidence that there’s anyone he doesn’t know in his native <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi-tours/" target="_blank">Naples, Capri or Positano</a>. He makes it sound deceptively simple: “I’m lucky to have many friends. Many have known Ulysses his whole life. Our friends are your friends, too.”<br><br>The depth and sincerity of their ties have blown us away again and again. None of the guides that other companies shuttle in from the U.S. or Canada — no matter how gung-ho or well-versed in guidebook facts — can match their connectedness. For proof that it’s not what you know, it’s who you know, look no further than a family house that sits on a <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi-tours/" target="_blank">cliff above Praiano.</a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="View from hills of the Amalfi Coast" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATPR&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f88Q" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br>For generations, the family that lives in that house worked the land for the monastery that’s even higher up the slope. The monks are gone now, but the family remains, tending their terraced vineyards and gardens. All <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi-tours/" target="_blank">Classic Journeys</a> guests know this because — thanks to the good graces of Sergio and Ulysses — the family invites you to lunch after you meet the artisans who are restoring the monastery’s frescoes.  Signora Grazia will wave you out to the terrace where you can see <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi-tours/" target="_blank">Positano</a> and all the way to <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi-tours/" target="_blank">Capri</a>. Over at the barrel of “grape juice” (aka homegrown wine), you’re instructed to twist the spigot and fill your glass as often as you like. In the cave built into the cliff behind the house, there’s a disk of pizza dough for you to stretch, top to your taste, and bake in the wood-fired oven. Lunch on that terrace as you chat with the family and soak in the view is some kind of heaven — a deeply authentic moment that no tourist can experience at any price.<br><br>The greatest gift you can receive as a traveler is the rare thrill of feeling at home in a place that couldn’t be farther from your everyday life. From the first “Ciao!” you hear from Ulysses or Sergio, you’ll feel that great sense that you are right where you belong. When you visit the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi-tours/" target="_blank">Amalfi Coast</a> with Classic Journeys, you become an instant part of the extended family they have created … and add an unforgettable chapter to your own lifelong odyssey.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Group on a hike in the Amalfi Coast" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATPR&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f88V" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi-tours/" target="_blank"><b>LOCAL MATTERS</b></a><br>When you compare tours, be sure to ask if your guide will be a native of the place you’re visiting. All guides on all of our trips are locals. They have deep roots in the region that assure you a very personal, totally plugged-in view of the people and culture you’re there to discover. A lot of them have been a part of the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi-tours/" target="_blank">Classic Journeys</a> family for 10 years, 20 years and even longer. Many operators tout the guides they import from around the world on their Instagram feeds. Nice and well-intentioned they may well be, but if your goal as a traveler is to get the most immersive feel for a place, local truly matters!<br> 

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