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Your Words - We tell it like it is! Holiday Reviews by previous Exodus travellers  

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552 Reviews

  • Reviewed February 2019
    Romaine and David Byers

    South India Explored

    A thoroughly enjoyable trip which went according to plan with excellent leader Sam Benjamin and with excellent safe driver. Sam went out of his way to show us all the little "incidentals" which make the trip, such as tile making , rubber tapping, rice plantation and spice plantations. The quality of the hotels was excellent. The only real problem we all faced was the slow service at restaurants, whether at hotels or elsewhere, where some people had finished their meal before others had even been served - but realise that this is a problem outside anyone's control.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The train trips were thoroughly enjoyable and sociable. Engaging manner of local people with our group. The beautiful Hindu temples - too numerous to mention. The houseboat stay.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sam was very knowledgeable, engaging and ensured the group was always satisfied, and happy and attentive to our needs. We would thoroughly recommend him as a group leader and it was interesting that he was prepared to learn from us as well as us from him. He was prepared to engage in topics on the bus when we asked him if these were of general interest.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Water - there was plenty of water to drink on the bus from a water cooler. Hotels supplied bottled but we tried to limit using these because of plastic disposal. We were advised that cleaning teeth with tap water was OK. Food - we found the food a little too spicy and found we had to ask for less spice when this was possible.
  • Reviewed February 2019
    Cathy Parmenter

    Great cycling and site seeing combination

    This trip is a great way of seeing a selection of famous sites as well as getting glimpses of the real India from cycling on back roads, waving at friendly locals, looping round cows, avoiding wandering pigs, nipping past sleeping dogs, pausing to allow flocks of sheep and goats to cross, overtaking bullock carts and even camels. The sometimes parched scenery may not be as lush as south India but there are plenty of sights to see along the way and regular snack stops to break up the longer cycling days. The longer rides tend to be pretty flat and there are some stiff but achievable hills too. But there's always a back up vehicle for anyone who has had enough and plenty of snacks and sweet chai to keep you going.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Taj Mahal literally took my breath away, the Amer Fort in Jodhpur was amazing and the City Palace in Udaipur was spectacular, but there were many fascinating insights into local life too whether seeing a couple making rope along the roadside or watching bricks being made by hand.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sanjay and Manu were both excellent, highly experienced guides who worked hard to make sure that everything went smoothly.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you are travelling in January, it is probably going to be colder than you think. I was glad of the down jacket I had worn to the airport and even wore it for cycling a couple of times until me and the day warmed up. Personally, I felt most comfortable wearing my over the knee mountain biking shorts as village women always have their legs covered but no one had any issues when wearing shorter shorts. Two pairs of cycling under shorts were sufficient as there are enough two night stops for them to get washed, three would be better if you have them. You'll need something warm to wear on cold evenings too as we ate outside a couple of times. But I guess that won't apply to later departures.
  • Reviewed February 2019
    Deborah-Jane Lear

    Absolutely fantastic, this really is a holiday I shall never forget!

    An excellent itinerary, a great variety of architecture, religions, culture, scenery and food all in one holiday. Fantastic!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It is very difficult to choose as there were a lot of wonderful sights and experiences during the trip. Visiting Brihadishwara Temple, built in the 10th century, which involved absolutely amazing craftmanship. It was great to revisit it in the morning when it was quiet and just enjoy the view. Meenakshi Amman temple is amazing too, the opulence of Mysore Palace- staggering!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sam, our group leader, was excellent. He is very knowledgeable about the area and India in general. He also had a very good sense of humour which we all enjoyed. He had excellent social skills, circulating amongst the group and chatting easily with us all regularly. He always kept us informed about the itinerary for the day. Every meal time he helped those who needed advice about the menu, he always made sure that everyone had their food before he started eating. He was also punctual and endlessly patient. He did a great job.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We travelled over 2000 kilometres during the tour, there is lots to see, things of interest en route and regular stops, in order to do this, it does mean you are on a coach a lot. When we were travelling we were on the road by 8.00 each morning. Much of this trip is in the tropics, it is hot, humid and dusty, make sure you have water, there was some on the bus everyday.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I am very impressed by the Exodus Travels, the thought and preparation that goes into the itinerary to give customers the best experience possible. I also like teh company's ethics of trying to support the local people through tourism rather than multinational companies.
  • Reviewed February 2019
    Paul Sullivan

    AIS: South India Explored

    This trip is a great way to cover a steady stream of varying, contrasting and engaging sights spread across southern India, in lush landscapes, undulating hills, ornate temples and impressive palaces to name but a few.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    No one single thing for me, purely the sheer range of places visited, almost every day bringing something new and enjoyable. If pushed to choose, it'd probably be between the cruise around the Kerala backwaters (a fantastic way to see another side of the country and people's lives there), and the village visit from Mahabalipuram on a festival day (again, a special way to see how much the event brought to the people there and how they celebrated it)

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Lukose is a highly competent tour leader and guide, as we've come to expect, yet someone who also brings a freshness and vitality to each place we visited, ensuring we got the most from every day, including extra visits and activities which we all very much appreciated. His depth of knowledge and willingness to impart same to the group were two more areas he scores very highly on. Combined with this, his hugely positive attitude, enthusiasm, sense of humour and cheeky grin make him an outstanding ambassador for his country and patently reflect well on his employers and Exodus.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    A superb way to see a huge amount of the southern part of the country, in an itinerary I could find no parallel for with other operators. If you want to experience the essence of the region, this is certainly a trip deserving serious consideration.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Standard of accommodation was on the whole very good, with well-appointed rooms in hotels of very standing, which is not always the case on such trips, and something quite important on a 3-week trip covering a lot of ground.
  • Reviewed February 2019
    Lawrence Wheeler

    A fabulous triñ

    An excellent, very well-balanced tour around Kerala and Tamil Nadu. It provided a good insight into the life, culture and landscapes of these two states.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The day spent walking through beautifully green tea plantations in the Kannan Devan Hills from our base in Munnar, and then up up up!! The views were stunning, and actually attaining a summit that at first appeared to be way too high provided a fantastic sense of personal achievement.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader, Philip Rojan, was excellent. He was very knowledgeable about the history of the region, its culture, its people, architecture, geography and food! He did a great job, which made for a wonderful holiday.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    A highly recommendable and thoroughly enjoyable tour. You will not be disappointed. However, you should be prepared for rather poor English by some hotel employees, and the occasional lack of hot water in some accommodation.
  • Reviewed January 2019
    Carolyn (Judy) Howlett

    Highlights of Northern India

    Absolutely superb. Our guide, Ajay Gupta, was out of this world. All Exodus guides are super but he was just amazing. The sights we saw in such a short time, the standard of the hotels, the food - oh my goodness! I cannot recommend this trip highly enough

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Choosing one is difficult. The Taj mahal is of course a major site - chosen as one of the seven wonders of the modern world, and rightly so. But I loved the observatory, partly because it was so unexpected.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Amazing. wonderful. Friendly, knowledgable, everything a guide should be , and more. He made the trip the delight it was

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    don't change money at the airport - you'll be charged 10% commission. find an ATM from a major national bank and use that.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Difficult to enthuse too highly about this trip. Incredible India indeed.
  • Reviewed January 2019
    Brian Harris

    challenging, but great

    great mix of types of activities. culture, geography, local colour and adventure. some aspects quite physically demanding. needs a couple of extra days to make a bit more relaxed

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    temple caves at Dambulla,, Polonnaruwa and Kandy. also white water rafting

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fantastic! very organised, caring and knowledgeable

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    get more info on Horton Plains - its tougher than it sounds - plain is far from flat and the route is rough pathways. I only made it with extra support from the tour leader!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    overall very good, but a bit rushed in places. Hotels are generally excellent, but most isolated so no option than eat dinner in the hotels. would be good to be able to eat more local
  • Reviewed January 2019
    Laura and Gavin Jones

    Sensational Sri Lanka

    This trip is very varied and introduces the highlights of Sri Lanka. There was a great mix of culture, nature and adventure.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The most inspirational moment of my trip was seeing a leopard laying on the bank of a waterhole in Yala National Park. I also loved the walk in Horton Plains and the visit to Sigiriya.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Roshan was truly exceptional. His english was excellent. He had a great sense of humour. He was extremely knowledgeable and very enthusiastic. He made the trip special.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Nuwara Eliya and its surroundings are slightly cooler than the other places so taking a fleece is helpful.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This trip was busy in places but also gave some "down time" in the late afternoons. It was lovely to be able to sit on a balcony or by the pool, read and relax - not something we are used to doing so very welcome!
  • Reviewed January 2019
    Catherine Larkin

    15 day Discover Sri Lanka trip from Sun 30 Dec 18 to Sun 13 Jan 2019

    An absolutely fab holiday. It exceeded all my expectations. Top top top class Sri Lankan tour guide was one of the highlights. Very well paced. Fantastic variety of activities , often x 2 per day, as well as plethora of places to visit .Activities sometimes meant being organized to get up at 6am to climb up a beautiful rock or spent walking three hours to the ‘world’s end’ , to cycling, water river rafting under the bridge built in 1956 for the movie ‘Bridge over the river Kwai, to taking a train journey from a height of nearly 2,000 meters to just under 1,000 M. Whale spotting, beach side hotel to relax in, a long day on Safari seeing everything BUT the elusive Leopard. We had x 3 days in the lovely town of Kandy and saw their splendid Botanic gardens as well as visiting a gem shop to learn about their famous Sapphires from a gemologist - Princess Di’s ring came from here. Interesting diversion to an Aryuvedic herbal clinic where we had an interesting talk from a long qualified herbalist as well as neck, shoulder and face massages,, Got to sample locally made Sri Lanka curries made by a family almost in the middle of the jungle. Also had a meal in one of the houses that Exodus built for people who lost homes in the 2004 Tsunami when 50,000 Sri Lankans perished. I almost forgot - a trip to a tree plantations/factory is also organised and yes, you will definitely wish to bring some home - prices v reasonable! Very comfortable bus to ride on and all 9 hotels, bar 1, were top class. Our tour guide was immensely informative on all aspects of Sri Lankan life, culture, history as well as past and current politics. He was also extremely kind and attentive and looked after each person,s needs, no matter how diverse or demanding!! Yes, a trip I shall have fond memories of for many a year. I highly recommennd it if you relish adventure, activity and good fun.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were many, may....every day was special so cannot say....

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader, Dilepps Fernanda, deserves a gold medal for his guidance of our trip. His in-depth knowledge of his country and its customs was superbly matched by his ever willingness to deliver it. Added to that his kindness and consideration foreac and every single member of our group made our trip one of top class. I have been on many other Exodus, Explore, Travel Department (Irish co) and also,other travel companies organised holidays in Europe and worldwide and I can say without a shadow of a doubt that I have never before experienced the charm, expert care, guidance and consideration of a guide that marches this person’s. You are very lucky to have him as an employee, in my view. His sense of humour was a delight and further added to our enchantment with this superbly organised and delightful adventure. Congratulations all round but specifically to Dilepps who deserves the Best Exodus Leader of the year and by a very long shot!!! He is a wonderful asset for the Exodus company!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for a wonderful, activity-fueled and adventurous holiday. Leave all of your worries at home and be present for every day of this spectacular holiday. Bring lots of skin Factor, Mosquito repelllanr, a sun hat and extra cash. The small print mentions rewarding your guide and coach driver and his aide. (Well deserved) Not everyone on our trip was prepared for this eventuality.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I was so glad that the trip lasted 15 days. I usually take 1 week-10 day hill walking trips with Exodus/Explore. After my experience on this one I shall only partake in two+ week breaks from now on. Congratulations Exodus. I take my hat off to you for puttting together this 15 days of excitement, fun and adventure. Thank you very much!
  • Reviewed January 2019
    Rachael Meadows

    WOW!

    This was our first Exodus tour and it certainly won’t be our last. We saw so much of the country and had an amazing guide (Sujan) who was passionate about not only his job but more importantly his country. Seeing wild elephants (not only in the national parks) was our highlight of the whole trip. One negative was the gem factory visit, where the staff were quite pushy in gaining a sale. Be warned - you can get the same jewellery in the hotel shop at a much better price.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the wild elephants. When whale watching we saw dolphins, a blue whale AND a killer whale - what an experience.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    AMAZING. So passionate about his job and country. Nothing we asked was too much trouble for him and he made slight changes to timings/order of events so that we got the most out of each activity.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Beware of the pushy gem factory workers who are keen for a sale.