Turtle, Ecuador

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

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  • Reviewed July 2019
    Dexy D

    Chocolate Hiking in Chamonix

    Fantastic fun week of hiking based at Chalet Chocolat with amazing hosts Zohi and Ben and top guide Emma. Nothing was too much trouble, including parking my car on demand ;-) Amazing three course meals every evening and interesting and varied salad options for packed lunches. Felt like staying in someone's home rather than a chalet. And the cakes made every day were outrageously delicious. We were made to feel very welcome and Zohi and Ben were very happy to share their knowledge of the local area, which was another bonus. We laughed a great deal this week and that was often due to their relaxed and welcoming manner. The hikes were also varied and challenging and never short of a spectacular view!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing Mont Blanc from almost every angle! Having dinner directly watching the sunset over the mountain and meeting a great group of people who I hope to stay in touch with.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    It was Emma's first tour as an Exodus leader and she did a great job. She shared her vast experience of trekking with us and managed the group very well. She had lots of fun ideas to bond the group and was happy to support everyone as they needed. We enjoyed her company over the week.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't be fooled by the level 3 rating. Even at this level, some of the hikes have significant ascent and descent and require a certain level of fitness. Poles are helpful.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    John Riley

    Fantastic trip

    Hi have recently returned from a wonderful week on the Highlights of the Tour de Mont Blanc trip. Had a wonderful time with a great group. We were so lucky to have Mike Rhodes as our trip leader - Mike's experience and knowledge of the region and routes covered each day was exceptional. Mike was always up for a chat and happy to share his wealth of knowledge - I even learnt a few new techniques to tie up my boots. The accommodation at Chalet Chocolat and the views were fantastic . Zoe and Ben spoilt us rotten - with all their tips and sensational meals . Thanks to all involved in a memorable week. JR

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The walks each day were quite varied - different views and landscapes - and always a spectacular spot near the top for a lunch break.... and a delicious lunch each day it was...

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Being able to walk with Mike was a highlight of my week.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Andrew Thomas

    You'll view steps differently...

    This is a well planned walking week on a beautiful (and steep) part of the Italian coast. Centred in Bomerano, a small town ideally situated - several of the walks start from the hotel - be warned they nearly all involve some steps (mostly downwards). The paths go through beautiful countryside with lemon groves, vineyards and spectacular views down to the sea. A day trip to walk the rim of Vesuvius and visit Pompei was very memorable. The hotel Due Torri was very comfortable and the staff all very friendly and helpful - very sensitive to some of the groups food intolerances or allergies.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I particularly like the visit to Ravello (Villa Cimbrone a must having been there 25 years ago) and the following walk down to Amalfi through lemon groves and a lovely wooded valley with waterfalls and streams (useful for cooling your feet) past old iron works and the site of the first paper mill in Europe. The ice creams and beers at the end were very welcome.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Martina was an exceptional group leader - funny, caring and full of local knowledge and a great ambassador for Italy and all things Italian - she introduced us the the word 'undulating' - some of those steps are uphill!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    There are lots of steps - read the trip notes. Take walking pole(s) if you have them - the hotel do have some if you don't and there are a couple of well equipped outdoors shops in the village. I wore boots and was pleased to have them although others wore good walking shoes - you need something with good a grip (especially on Vesuvius). You can select your packed lunch each day - provided by the hotel - they were good.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is a great walking week in a beautiful part of Italy - just book and enjoy.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Rusne J.

    Highly recommend this trip

    Best holiday ever!!!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The companions, the guide, the chalet with the hosts and the itinerary - I liked everything.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Colin Spence

    Wonderful trip to the Picos

    Our Third trip with Exodus and certainly our best. Magnificent scenery and some great walking. Combined with a hotel with a beautiful setting and Michelin star quality food.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The final walk with a spectacular summit

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Nachos was excellent with great knowledge of the local environment. He took great care to ensure we were all safe and ensured everyone in the group was made welcome. Also a great sense of humour!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Try and incorporate some Hill walking in your preperation!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Don’t hesitate book this trip and you will not be disappointed
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Martin Goodman

    Wonderful experience.

    We were lucky to have attended this trip with glorious weather throughout and had an amazing time with a real diverse bunch of interesting people from all over the world. The Exodus leader Fred was always quite laid back which reflected on the walks which were conducted at a nice pace without feeling too hurried. The two girls who operated the chalet were both exceptional and added to the overall pleasure of this trip. The food they provided was a culinary delight for all. Despite a record breaking heatwave we still experience snow walking at 35c which was a real head-bender. We booked late so ended up in the loft area of the chalet but even that was more than comfortable. The walks are breathtaking and you will find yourself forever stopping for photos.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    We did the parasailing which was incredible. We were in the air for a good 40 minutes so could really take it all in. Please book this using the firm Air Sports which Exodus recommends.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fred was a lovely chap who appeared very laid back but also someone who was fully competent at his job and it showed. I have a fear of steep edges and he calmly encouraged me to overcome this is a professional manner.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you have plenty of room on your camera roll.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you can add the paragliding to your trip because the views are astonishing. Enjoy the walking and take it all in. Enjoy!
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Julia Nufer

    Fantastic hiking trip in a beautiful part of the world

    This is a popular hiking trip, and deservedly so. The views every day were wonderful - you'd be hard pressed to enjoy this area to the same extent traveling on your own; having a tour made it so easy to have the paths charted out for us each day, and transport back to the hotel after a tough day's hiking. Each day brought an exploration of a little bit of a different area. It is rated as a "2" i think, pretty easy, but it was not very easy due to the extreme heat (up to 40C on one day, and well over 35 on every day) and humidity, on steep and rough paths. I'd say it is more like a 3 (I am an over 60 yr old woman in good condition). It is a small (about 15 people) tour so the logistics are manageable, and the group was delightful. Food at the Hotel Due Torri was fine. Only negative: the rooms are haphazard: you might or might not get a good one. Don't pay for the "superior" room - just a jacuzzi tub in a garret, with a sloping roof, can't stand up in half the room.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Actually what i enjoyed most was the day "off" - since we were there in the middle of a bad heat wave, several of us wanted to hire a boat & driver and go boating up and down the Amalfi Coast, and our guide made that happen for us. We swam in the delightful sea water several times, enjoyed a splendid water view lunch at a small town, visited a deserted beach accessible only by boat, etc. etc. It was truly memorable, like a scene from a movie.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Vania did a fine job. She was accessible, kept the group going, very upbeat, went out of her way to arrange our day on the water - we couldn't have done that without her. I was the slowest of our group (and probably the oldest) - on Day 1 I had to ask her to wait up for me at the rest stops and give me a moment to breath, but once i called it to her attention, she was pretty good about extending those rest breaks just a little longer so i could catch up. She provided options for me to bail out of the hiking at a couple of points, and i did so, (skipped one day of all-downhill hiking to save my knees, took a bus partway thru one day when that was possible, for the same reason). I appreciated her consideration and watchfulness. She did a nice job arranging the departures for all of us - many of us could not use the trip-provided shuttle to Naples Airport, and she got us all squared away with our separate arrangements.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I think if you are over 60, you had better be in very fine form to do this trip. I am fit, and found it quite difficult. The first day was 8.8 miles according to my phone, with 44 flights climbed - a rigorous day especially given the heat. Other days were closer to 7 miles. Bring the trekking poles and good boots as Exodus advises, you will use them every day.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Delightful trip, so glad i took this trip!
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Roz Forster

    .

    Having done this trip before I knew what to expect but it was even better second time around. The walks were spectacular, the weather fantastic and the guide made every bit of the trip memorable.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Most definitely plucking up the courage (with Vania's support) to walk the rim of the crater on Vesuvius. The boat we rented on our day off and swimming off the back of it was a very close second!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    She's amazing. She's knowledgable, fun and full of energy. She constantly keeps up with the different needs of the group and makes every walk so enjoyable. Nothing is too much trouble for Vania, whatever you ask of her she arranges to make sure you have the best, most memorable experiences on holiday. Its a pleasure to spend time walking in one of her groups.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Book a boat for a day to see the Amalfi coast from the water.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I'd sign up for any walks that Vania is guiding!
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Julia Burchell

    Prosecco Hills

    My first Exodus trip and I wasn’t disappointed. Very well organised with excellent variety each day. Beautiful walks in an amazing landscape. I wanted to know more about Prosecco and on this tour you will do just that with tasting opportunities. Both wine tasting events were a joy with excellent food.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Having walked for couple of hours in an undulating landscape and reaching our lunch stop we sat eating our simple packed lunch looking down on endless vineyards basking in the heat of the day. Perfect...

    What did you think of your group leader?

    She was pleasant, leading the walks with patience and she had good knowledge of the area. She was sometimes uncommunicative and didn’t want to engage in conversation but upon reflection this may have been self preservation in that with one tour after another she had to pace herself.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take insect repellent! The hotel does not have a restaurant.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    sharon hicken

    the best one so far

    Loved everything about this trip, the chalet, the staff, the food and of course the hiking. Chalet holidays bring out the social side of people and the 13 guests made this trip fabulous and so much fun. Zoe and Ben, your food exceeds expectations!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The fantastic scenery.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very professional and knowledgeable.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do ensure you are fit to hill climb.
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