40 Years of Experience
Country Walkers began with a simple idea: explore the world actively, passionately, and with a commitment to authentically engaging with local cultures. With this guiding principle, we launched the company in 1979 from an old barn in Vermont. Although we were small (and our office space rustic), our love for the beauty of the surrounding Green Mountains became contagious. Soon we expanded from local to international destinations, introducing travelers to new landscapes and cultures around the world on foot.
Today, Country Walkers is recognized as one of the leading providers of walking adventures worldwide, having garnered countless awards including National Geographic Traveler’s “50 Tours of a Lifetime” and Travel + Leisure’s “World’s Best” Awards.
Meet the Country Walkers Team
Because we’re passionate travelers ourselves, we know what you’re looking for in an active vacation. Meet some of the team that brings our adventures to life.
These travel experts have carefully designed every one of our itineraries—using on-site research and the insider perspective of local friends and colleagues—to guarantee a trip that immerses you in the culture, traditions, natural beauty, and history of a destination.
Our tour consultants are a well-traveled bunch ready to answer all your travel questions. They’ll help you book a trip, recommend your next destination, and give you the inside scoop on our tours (they travel on at least one of our adventures per year)! With 29 years of combined experience and over 43 countries visited, these savvy travelers are an incredible resource.
Jamen Yeaton-Masi, Vice-President of Operations
A 20+ year veteran of the company, Jamen is responsible for new tour operations, the guide program, and team management, ensuring that we offer innovative and quality experiences that continue to delight both long-term fans and new travelers. An avid traveler who has spent years exploring and living abroad, she has walked and biked on every continent except for Antarctica.
Timo Shaw, President
In his role as the President of Country Walkers and our sister brand VBT, Timo oversees all aspects of the company’s day-to-day operations, keeps in touch with colleagues around the world, and pours the odd pint at staff get-togethers. A New Zealand native, Timo has worked in the travel industry for more than 35 years, has been with Country Walkers for more than 10 years, and has visited 53 countries.
Expert Local Guides
Experience your destination like an insider with the people who call it home. Our guides are eager to introduce you to the people, places, and traditions that make their country unique, whether that means chatting with an oyster farmer beside his beds in Croatia’s Mali Ston Bay or identifying wildflowers in Glacier National Park. As experts in diverse fields—from biology to world history to architecture—our guides are adept at sharing their insights. As a result, you’ll enjoy a perspective on local life most visitors never know: the view from the inside.
With his American mother and Sicilian father, Keegan Alagna grew up in a bilingual home in the Umbrian countryside near Assisi. From his childhood on a working farm to post-graduate work in geology, he has always pursued his passion and curiosity for the outdoors, through teaching, guiding, and exploring. He brings his depth of knowledge of geology, nature, Italian history and culture to his walking tours and to his position as a key member on Italy’s premier outdoor group—the CAI, the Club Alpino Italiano.
Claudia Piombi-Barnabé infuses all guests with her passion for mountains and professional expertise in geology. A formal mountaineering guide of the Italian Alpine Club (CAI), Claudia brings a high level of precision and safety to all her tours. Her knowledge and love of the mountains is matched only by her appreciation of the Italy’s food.
During a childhood spent in Puglia, Emiliano developed an unconditional love of nature and outdoor sports. Moving on to become a trekking and MTB instructor and rafting guide, Emiliano loves sport climbing and paragliding. In the summers, he enjoys spending time on the water—working as a skipper and water-scooter rescuer in the clear Adriatic waters off the coast of Puglia. Above all, Emiliano enjoys introducing new people to the beauty and culture of his beloved homeland.
Heidi Ryum Marsh
Born in Flåm, Heidi is the fifth-generation owner of a local goat farm—one of the largest in Norway. A consummate outdoors woman, Heidi enjoys exploring the Norwegian countryside on foot—engaging in traditional outdoor skills such as hunting and shooting. A traveler herself, Heidi loves to introduce her beloved countryside to visiting guests.
A native of Mallorca’s lush Sóller valley, Josep studied mountaineering in La Seu d’Urgell, Alquézar, Benasque, and Salardú in the Pyrenees. An official mountain guide, Josep is a member of the AEGM (Spanish Association of Mountain Guides) and UIMLA (Union International Mountain Leaders Association). Fluent in English, German, French, Spanish, and Catalan, Josep loves to introduce travelers to the incredible natural beauty of the Balearic Islands.
A trained nutritional advisor, personal trainer, and ski instructor, Helle is passionate about introducing people to Mallorca’s incredibly diverse landscape. With a personal motto “better outside than inside,” Helle spends most of her free time trail running in Mallorca’s lush mountains.
Jennifer Buls hails from Great Falls, Montana, and has worked as a rafting and hiking guide since 2002. Gifted in plant identification, Jennifer studied Forest Resource management. When not guiding, one can find her working in a local gear shop or out on the slopes snowboarding.
Awards & Accolades
AFAR Travelers’ Choice Award
Country Walkers was named a Travelers’ Choice Awards finalist in 2020 by AFAR.
Best Places to Work in Vermont
Country Walkers was named one of the Best Places to Work in Vermont in the Small Employer Category.
Responsible tourism is integral to our core values. In all ways we strive to preserve indigenous cultures, support local economies, conserve wildlife, and protect the environment. When you travel with us, you’ll contribute to a more sustainable world too.Learn More
In the Media
We’re making headlines! If you’d like to know what others are saying about Country Walkers, look no further. We’ve been featured in a wide range of media outlets, blogs, and magazines—including Men’s Journal, Travel + Leisure, and Outside. Here are some examples of our recent coverage in the press.