Turtle, Ecuador

Review Centre

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

Here at Exodus we thrive on feedback from our customers. It's the only way we can ensure our trips continue to be the best they can be. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of the trip you're interested in, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.

Simply use the selector below to search our trip reviews and start reading real feedback from real Exodus travellers who have ‘been there and done that’!

Lots of our clients also like to post handy tips and advice about their travels. It’s great to know what to expect on an Exodus adventure before you go, so make the most of their experience and you’ll make the most of yours!

Haven't posted your review yet? Here's how to do it...

After you have returned from your Exodus adventure holiday you will be emailed a link to the review page. Any feedback collected is posted straight onto our website - totally unedited.

If you have recently returned from an Exodus adventure and want to help other travellers with your feedback then click here to start the process to post your holiday review.

  • Reviewed July 2019
    Chris Nixon

    Fabulous

    A fabulous combination of walking the Tuscan countryside, combined with wine tastings and city visits. Alejandro was a brilliant leader. Villa Castalta is a perfectly adequate base for a walking holiday. The meals at the Villa are basic but wholesome. The restaurant used in the village were all different and very good. The best being Il Re Gallo. The 3 main walks are all interesting, each finishing in an interesting town for lunch and gelato! Despite the high temperatures during our week (highs of upper 30s) all the walks were at a a relaxed pace with plenty of stops along the route.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The trip to Siena was excellent, with a very good guide in Sara. It was great to find out about the history of the city and the different districts. During our visit, they were preparing for the Palio, which added to our interest. The visit to the Tuscan Wine School in the afternoon was very informative. This did not take anything away from the other city visit to Florence, where we had another excellent , but different type of guide, Elizabetta, who told us about the history of Florence with great charm and wit.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alejandro was fantastic. The walks were well paced and we had sensible early starts, considering the heat. He was very informative about the flowers and trees along the route. And feed us cherries and white mulberries. His choice of restaurants in Castellina was excellent.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    As others have remarked, good walking boots or shoes are advised for the hill walks. Plus you will need long trousers on the first part of the walk to Radda. (Read the trip notes!) A torch is useful for walking back from Castellina at night.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you want a walking holiday combined with visits to Siena and Florence, this is the trip to go on.You also learn about Chianti and experience varying types of Italian food.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Martin Dennis

    One of the best...

    For me, there are three criteria that make a great Exodus trip: the members of the group, the leader, and the location/activities. The members of the group on this trip were wonderful: great company, entertaining, and considerate. Mark was the perfect leader (see below). The location was stunning with beautiful Tuscan villages, towns and cities. How can the combination of wine and walking be beaten? (OK, maybe cycling and wine at a push...)

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    So many: approaches to archetypal Tuscan villages; stunning views of Florence, San Gimignano and Siena. Hearing scops owls and nightingales (why are both so difficult to spot?!). Wonderful food and wine.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The perfect guide: helpful, knowledgeable, considerate, funny, flexible and an exemplary driver (reversing with trailer into a space at Pisa airport, first time and in front of an audience!).

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a bigger case to accommodate the chianti, cheese, olive oil you'll want to bring back. I didn't buy dresses or handbags but some did!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Book now!
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Carole Grimwood

    Excellent trip - But a bit more than gentle walking

    We had a great of walking and wine tasting in the Chianti region with our excellent guide Alejandro. Our accommodation at Villa Castela was probably the best we have enjoyed with Exodus - great location, tranquil, lovely pool, big room, comfy bed and simple but delicious food.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Sienna was fabulous.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alejandro was an excellent hard working guide who went the extra mile

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We were 'blessed' with very hot weather in early June (high 30s and 37 deg on our last day) which made some of the very undulating walking hard work for us and definitely not 'gentle'.
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Gill & Don Yuile

    Our first Exodus trip

    This trip met all our expectations and requirements and was a really good holiday for us. The daily organisation and all the experiences were excellent, we cannot praise Liz enough for her competence at making the week so good. The walks were amazing, just at the right level for us and we felt spot on with the leisurely/moderate rating. The hotel was beautifully situated, traditionally furnished, clean and homely, the staff were very nice, helpful and pleasant. Just a few quibbles that have prevented us awarding the top rating: the hotel breakfast was good, although a bit more variety would have been nice, but the evening meals taken in the hotel were fairly basic. The meals taken outside in local restaurants were fantastic. Our pre trip information supplied from Exodus gave us the wrong departure terminal at Heathrow, which we realised just two days before departure, however, this was dealt with efficiently and we appreciated how well it was handled. All in all an excellent week, we enjoyed it immensely and are looking at our next adventure!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Probably the best thing about this trip was the ratio of walking, city visits and wine tasting. A perfect amount of each meant that it was all most enjoyable.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Liz was a fantastic guide in all ways: leader experience, local knowledge, language skills, driving, organisation, and making sure every member of the group was comfortable and any special requirements taken care of. She was nice with it!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We recomend taking walking boots rather than trainers for the walk days as many of the tracks have loose stones and rocks. Flat shoes recomended for the rest of the time, especially in towns and cities.
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Debbie Henderson

    Fantastic Holiday

    I'd wanted to go to Tuscany for years and this exactly fitted the bill. Wonderful walks, hilltop towns, visiting Siena, Florence and San Gimignano. Wine tastings were informative. Lovely group too. I can definitely recommend!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the fabulous scenery at every turn!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Mark was a great leader: fun, courteous, always ready to help out and a very safe driver.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The walks can be a bit more of a challenge in the heat...but don't let that put you off.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Christine Meusz

    Lots to see and lots of food

    This is a busy week with a lot crammed in to a short space of time. As you would expect, a lot of the scheduled activities are food and drink related but there's also some sightseeing. After two nights in Palermo, you transfer to a different hotel every night so there's little in the way of down time but you certainly get a flavour of Sicilian life and culture - and, of course, food! The hotels were a bit of a mixed bag - some better than others but all of them were adequate for one night - we particularly liked the Hotel Carmine in Marsala.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Probably the (optional) walk at the top of Mt Etna with stunning views. And, although I wouldn't describe it as inspirational, we really enjoyed the cookery lesson - and eating the results!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rosario was friendly, helpful and knowledgable, ensuring everyone got the best out of the trip. As the only vegetarian/pescatarian on the trip, he had made sure that the organisers of the scheduled food tastings and activities (such as the cookery lesson) were prepared with suitable options for me.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Travel light - there are lots of opportunities to purchase food and drink to take home so you'll need room in your suitcase.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is quite a hectic, whistle-stop tour which could easily occupy ten days at a more leisurely pace. If we'd had the time available it would have been good to stay on for a few days relaxing at the end.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    David Gartside

    An enjoyable week with lots to see, do and taste!

    We chose the trip after seeing an advert in the Guardian and decided that it sounded fun - mixing food and drink experiences with archaeology, history and geography. We weren't disappointed. Though we don't normally go for group holidays, this trip worked well. The opportunity to share food and drink tastings with the group added a dimension that would have been missing if we had been on our own. Rosario, our guide, and Maurizio, our driver, both worked dilgently to ensure we really enjoyed the trip - getting us to everywhere we needed to be without fuss or bother, and handling queries and minor problems with unfailing patience and good humour. In a relatively short time, we saw a good cross-section of the island, and came back with happy memories and a much stronger 'mental image' of Sicily. Thanks to all concerned who made this work.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Hard to choose....! The cathedral at Monreale (Palermo) with seemingly every surface covered with mosaics was amazing. Similarly the temples at Valle dei Templi near Agrigento. Ragusa Ibla was a fascinating hilltop village which repaid careful exploration. The trip up Etna was well worthwhile - the snow and gale-force winds a stark contrast to conditions at sea-level. On the food side of things the market visits in Palermo and Ortigia, and the olive farm were memorable, though in fairness to all the other locations, we were warmly welcomed and treated as honoured guests by owners and staff.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rosario worked hard throughout the trip to make sure we got the most out of it , without being pushy or bossy. He quickly gained the confidence of the group, answered a myriad of questions (on a wide variety of topics) with enthusiasm and insight, and routinely gave us sufficient information about the next few hours' activities without overloading us with minutiae. As appropriate, he organised local restaurants for evening meals and was a good person to have around to help navigate menus, clarify issues etc. He seemed to cope well with the occasional personal issues that arose, treating the person with the issue with respect, while not overlooking the needs of the wider group.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The trip is described as 'leisurely' and in terms of physical effort that is probably about right if you choose to take a laid-back approach. However, the days were long and action-packed (not complaining) and the various stops offered lots to see and do - so in practice you could be on the go for big chunks of time. Warm clothes (layers best) and decent walking shoes / boots essential for the Etna excursion. Several people commented that they wish they'd brought a decent map to keep track of our progress. I had the TCI:Touring Club Italiano 1:200 000 Sicily with me, that was more than adequate. Available locally or from Stanford's in London ~ £10.00

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The hotels were the usual eclectic mix - some with great character: eg Hotel Carmine in Marsala, Hotel dell'Orologio in Ragusa Ibla; some with a good location eg Hotel Villa Esperia on the coast road in Mazarro (close to, but away from the tourist throng of Taormina) . Some people were unimpressed with the Hotel Posta in Palermo, but we were fine with it. The Jolly Aretusa Palace (what a name!) in Syracuse was OK but not brilliant - no idea whether there are better alternatives. The booby prize goes to the Hotel Dioscuri in Agrigento/Santa Leone. On paper and from the outside it looks fine - seaside location, generous plot etc, but the reality disappoints. The room was fine but the walls terribly thin and hence neighbour noise an issue. The hotel handles a lot of tour groups (I do realise the irony of this comment) and struggles to cope - especially at breakfast where service was overwhelmed and finding things became farcical.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Gordon Frankland

    A Very Mixed Bag

    Our first experience of Sicily so chose this holiday. It gave us a mixture of culture, Greek, Roman as well as modern. A variety of food and drink experiences as well as exploration of the countryside. The small group and an excellent leader made for very good holiday travel.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Going to the top of Mount Etna in unseasonal snowy weather.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rosario was very well informed and caring. He conveyed his love of the area to the group. He obviously had made many contacts which enabled us as a group to participate with local people.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Not really a relaxing week. Be prepared for a variety of activities from early morning until evening.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A positive experience for our first time with Exodus
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Peter Day

    Sicily Food and Culture Trip

    A great balance of food and culture - all of the highlights covered, and no food specialities left untasted. The itinerary was a perfect blend of food and culture, and the itinerary itself was perfect - nothing could really be improved upon.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Roman villa mosaics

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rosario was excellent. He looked after every detail of the trip, was always available to assist with any question or problem that arose. Incredibly enthusiastic, and a native Sicilian, he acted as our entree to Sicily.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    While classified as level 1, there was a great deal of walking on some days - up and down stairs in most locations, and while detail is provided under "Is this trip for you?", the word "leisurely" is a little misleading, and it would be worth reclassifying the trip to at least a 2! That said, in many places, there were options to do more or less strenuous activities. e.g. at Mount Etna, there were three grades of activity possible. While nothing more could have been included within the 8 days of the tour, travellers may consider adding two-three days on their own to visit Cefalu (including a trip to one or more of the Aeolian Islands) which is easily accessible by train from Palermo. The other locations visited relied on in-depth local knowledge, and some of the attractions are only accessible by private transport, so it would be impossible or impractical to visit most of the places we went to if you did your own thing in Sicily.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The tour is at least as much about culture as it is about food, and while this is detailed in the trip notes, it might be worth reflecting this in the title of the trip.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Jan Strasser

    A Great trip to celebrate a milestone birthday!

    We had a fantastic time with a great group of people walking along the beautiful hills of Tuscany - visiting quaint hilltop villages - viewing spectacular scenery and partaking in wonderful food and wine

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Hard to name just one! I loved the hilltop villages but I also love Florence - something incredible to see around every corner!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Liz Proctor was our group leader and she is amazing! She knew so much about every single place we visited.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you enjoy walking and great food and wine I highly recommend this trip
Call us on 056 631 86 64