Friends & Links
19. April, 2018

Friends & Links

Friends of mine run excellent local tours all around the world and I highly recommend their services to you. Like me, all the guides mentioned here also guide on Rick Steves’ Europe Through the Back Door tours –  – a clear sign that they are among the best in the business. These short half-day and full-day excursions may be just what you are looking for to complement your independent travels.
Czech Republic
Jana Hronkova lives in the beautiful historical city of Prague and has worked as a licensed guide for more than 13 years. With Jana you will discover all the different architectural styles of Prague, walk across the Charles bridge, visit St. Vitus Cathedral, learn about the fascinating Jewish history of Prague, talk more about recent history and life under Communism.
Katerina (Katka) Svobodova runs a small company,  PragueWalker, a group of local experts and professional guides (her good friends) who are eager to share their knowledge, experience and love for their city and country during private traditional, tailor-made or specialized walking tours of Prague and day trips around the Czech Republic.
The British Isles, Europe and virtual tours
Mark Seymour & his team guide small group tours of The British Isles or Europe. These are fully customised tours which include your own driver and guide determined to make the tour a once in a lifetime experience.
Originally from the Netherlands, Elisabeth van Hest is a licenced guide-lecturer in France since 1975. She led many tours through Normandy, Brittany, Loire valley, Burgundy and other French regions in English, German , Dutch and French  language. She designs personal tours in Paris and it’s surroundings to suit each client, using mainly public transportation.
Art historian and photographer Daniela Wedel, a German native living in France shares her passion for Provence in the area between Avignon and Marseille. She offers city walking tours or customized private mini-van excursions. Daniela can also help you to organize a day out on a bike or hikes of the area.
Born in England, Julian Brown made his home in Paris almost 30 years ago. An art historian and licensed guide, he specializes in tailor-made museum visits and walking tours of Paris. He has a PhD in Southeast Asian art history and lectures on his research for museums, universities, Royal Societies and at international conferences.
Mark & Toni Seymour offer personal small group 1 day tours of Normandy and Brittany in France. These are fully customized tours which include your own driver and guide as well as pickup and drop off at select railway stations and airports.
Contact Rolinka Bloeming for tours in the Languedoc, the largest wine region in the south of France with visits to Carcassonne, Cathar castles, Narbonne, Pont du Gard, Canal de Midi etc. Her food & wine tours include market visits, cooking classes and wine tastings. Also there is a possibility to stay at her fully autonomous wine property.
Discover buzzing Berlin with Holger Zimmer – radio journalist and expert tour guide. Based in Berlin for 25 years, Holger loves exploring his lively hometown with you. Berlin equals history – Kaiser, War and Berlin Wall – yet is young at heart. Berlin today boasts museums, galleries and clubs – it’s thriving ! He offers tailored tours, especially art, music and nightlife explorations for groups and private clients.
George Farkas is from Budapest, Hungary with 14 years of guiding experience. He loves what his city has got to offer; the history, architecture, culture, food &wine, spas and the exciting layers of entertainment. He is there to share all that with you when you are ready to explore Budapest.
Peter Polczman guides local tours of Budapest. Both Pest and Buda take half a day respectively, the full day tour of Budapest includes major sights on both sides. Special tours (museums, architecture & such) are available and so are day-excursions to the countryside or transfers outside the country.
Barry Moloney and Don Herlihy run the acclaimed Don & Barry’s Kinsale Historic Stroll, a daily walking tour of their hometown Kinsale, a scenic medieval town on the south coast of Ireland. Their walking tour focuses on the dramatic naval and military history. Private tailored tours including food tours, educational school/university tours and storytelling workshops are also available.
Ireland (including Northern Ireland)
Stephen McPhilemy, a history graduate of Queens University Belfast, has been an award winning registered guide since 1995. Stephen operates the ‘Essential Walking Tour of Historic Derry’ in his hometown of Derry (aka Londonderry). He runs guided tours of the famed Giants Causeway and Belfast city tours. He also offers guided tours of his second home – Dingle and the beautiful Dingle Peninsula.
Nina Bernardo is a dual American – Italian citizen living currently in Rome and conducting private Rome Daily City Tours. She loves to show Rome from her own expat perspective. Her walking tours can include lots of food & wine tastings, ancient plus modern history blended with classical & modern art.
Tommaso Pantè, an experienced and licensed Tour Guide, specializes in half- and full-day tours in Sicily. If planning for a trip or cruise ship stop, contact Tommaso about customized excursions. He also offers 4 holiday apartments: Casetta Rosetta in Milazzo; Villa Greca (3) in Salina on theAeolian Islands.
Tricia Brady lives in Le Marche, Italy and offers full and half day private driving tours of this beautiful region of Italy.  She also has a stylish farmhouse for rent in Le Marche and an apartment for rent in a nearby 14c monastery in the hill town of Sant Angelo In Pontano
Cristina Duarte is a licensed Portuguese guide with an experience of more than 20 years. She is based in the Lisbon region and provides walking tours in complement with regular city public transportation (private transportation also available). City Museums, Old/Down town Lisbon, Belem district and Sintra are some of her most popular tours.
Enjoy a private tour of Glasgow with Scottish ‘Blue Badge’ Guide, Colin Mairs. Experience the culture and humour of Scotland’s largest city with a native Glaswegian. City centre and West End walks, guided visits of Glasgow Cathedral, Kelvingrove Musem, Glasgow University, Burrell Collection, Riverside Museum and more… Available in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish for full day and half day tours.
Liz Lister is a Blue-Badge Scottish Guide, who provides walking tours around central Scotland including Edinburgh, Glasgow, Stirling and St Andrews. She aims to bring contemporary Scotland alive for her visitors through an understanding of the history, culture and folklore of this intriguing small country. Happy to tailor these short tours to particular interests, she is also able to co-ordinate transport for the less mobile or those who wish to travel further afield.
Francisco Gesrural is part of a team of guides that tour Pamplona and the region of Navarre. They specialize in the week of the running of the bulls “SAN FERMIN” where they can help getting guides, balconies to watch the running, tickets for the bull fight… Almost anything!
Javier Menor runs The Guiding Company who offer customized day or half-day tour of Madrid or Barcelona. They have extensive experience in cultural tours for schools and universities.
Nygil Murrell runs Madrid Tours & Tastings which offers guided walking tours of Madrid’s historic centre, as well as gastronomic tapas tours and wine tastings that help you make the most of your visit to Madrid.  He also writes a fascinating blog on Spain and its exciting capital, covering historical locations, bars and restaurants, and traditional shops.
Aysegül Ünlü runs day or half-day walking tours or bus tours of Istanbul.
Mine Karahan Taner and Mert Taner run walking tours in Istanbul which cover Byzantine Heritage, Ottoman Heritage, Muslim Heritage, Christian Heritage, Roman Heritage and Jewish Heritage in a half day and full day basis. They also guide passengers from cruise ships for half or full day tours. They run daily cruise ship tours in Kuşadası (Ephesus) area as well.
Yaren Turkoglu is a professional tour guide based in Istanbul, Turkey. She is an art historian and an archaeologist. She guides daily walking tours in Istanbul.
United States of America
Chicago Detours, founded by travel writer and tour guide Amanda Scotese, brings people to explore the architecture, history and culture of public art, building interiors, historic bars, Chicago neighbourhoods, and jazz and blues history. Chicago Detours offers a variety of private group tours, and walking tours are offered daily to the public.
Reid Coen has been a tour guide, travel consultant, and speaker for Rick Steves’ Europe for the last 18 years. He runs Imprint Tours where they “Travel with Intent”- taking a reflective approach, connecting with the cultures they visit, and balancing the enjoyment of discovery with responsible travel. His ever expanding tour portfolio includes Thailand, Vietnam, Southern Africa, New Zealand, India, and Bali.