Beginnings behind the Eastern Bloc
Our parents have worked in the tourism industry since the 1980’s. They organized trips around the Eastern Bloc in the state-owned travel agency. During the 1990’s, we hosted many foreign couples in our household as part of the exchange program covered by the US organization.
Together with my brother Peter, we always had the world close to us. I always loved travelling. Then I spent some time abroad in Scotland, Ireland, Denmark and Sweden, where I had some inspiring experiences with guided tours. Becoming a tour guide was a natural consequence of my previous life experiences.
It was in 2010, when I got an idea of the alternative guided tours of Bratislava themed to the transition of the city from its communist past to freedom and unregulated economy.
Raise of Authentic Slovakia
I think that travelling can be really an eye-opening experience that brings tolerance, peace and empathy to the world. As a tour guide, I feel honoured to be in touch with people from other countries and have the ability to share our stories, experiences and histories. Therefore we prefer private tours and small groups, where there is more space for this sharing. Also, I like to present our fascinating turbulent history as well as to surprise our guests with unexpected locations and experiences.
My brother Peter had in his mind to organize guided tours to the fascinating castle ruins in the Carpathian mountains. So we joined our forces and founded the Authentic Slovakia tour company. Year-by-year, we were growing a bit and started to cooperate with other great guides. Our team became a friendly group of great enthusiastic colleagues.
I studied human geography and specialized in tourism sustainability issues. Therefore, for me it was a natural outcome of my background to create private guided tours products. Although, driving classic 1970’s communist-era cars, which is a very popular aspect of our tours, is maybe not the most sustainable from an environmental point of view. My brother Peter studied philosophy. We try to incorporate this high intellectual asset in our tours!
Apple cider making is a huge fun
The last year has hit as hard, indeed. We created some virtual tours, that is a really interesting new trend, but it really can not replace in-place experience, both for a guest and for the guide. We also prepared a new platform for self-guided bike tours around Slovakia. And last but not least, together with my wife, we made almost 1000 litres of home-made apple cider from locally grown apples in our orchard that was a great new experience!
I really do hope that the world reopens soon and we will be able to meet and share people from all around again. I love creating new experiences and I just wait for the possibility to make them real.