Turtle, Ecuador

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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.

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  • 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
    Joan Murphy

    First Exodus Adventure

    Highlights of the Dolomites was a week long tracking holiday with one rest day, mid way through. the walks were varied in length, ascent and intensity. Each day was a different walk within the valley where we were based. We used the ski lifts to take us up the higher areas from where we started our walks and we usually walked down to the valley at the end where we would find a hostelry to quench thirsts and to discuss the days' highs and lows! We used public transport when required as well as ski lifts; the purchase of a pass for each form of transport certainly kept us moving smoothly , with no queuing" Our hotel was excellent with a wide variety of breakfasts and dinners. Food was in abundance! No one went hungry, unless by choice. The staff were friendly and always eager to assist when required.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Each day brought its own "moment" where you felt you had done or seen something special. Whether it was reaching the top of the mountain and looking out on the Dolomites or further afield to The Alps, walking through meadows carpeted with spring flowers, sliding down a snow filled gully on one's behind, jumping into mountains lakes, cruising down on a fly wire in silence, scrambling on steep paths, using a precariously situated toilet at 3000metres ...............

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Albert, our guide, was very knowledgeable and the group felt safe in his care. He let people go at their own speed, encouraging those who needed it and recognising those who wanted to stretch themselves and go faster. Albert knew the history of the area, could name the flora and the fauna. He had a great sense of humour and was a font of knowledge about all things local from best bakery to best hostelries on our bus routes!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Potential travellers should make sure they have decent gear, particularly socks and boots. Poles were also very useful, especially for hanging onto when you had run out of breath!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was my first organised walking holiday and was anxious on how I would manage on the walks and which level I should choose. However, as there were two levels (3&5), we were able to move between them if we wished, depending on the walk which was detailed the night before.
  • 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
    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

    Walking the fjords

    A stunningly beautiful adventure exploring Norway. Such a great variety of treks and landscapes led by an excellent, v natural guide who is v passionate about his country. If you love trekking and the outdoors, then Norway should be on your bucket list!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Every day was different offering a wide variety of treks on different terrains, seeing an amazing variety of landscapes - you really get a real taste of what Norway has to offer trekkers. We scrambled over rocks to get quite close to the mouth of a glacier, peaked Mt Molden above the clouds, walked through the dreamy green valley (still a few ups - not all flat!) and even trekked through a bit of snow in the mountains. We also had a few ferry rides too so we got to experience the fjords close up (a couple of us even took a dip in the 'refreshing' fjord back at the guest house). A well paced tour - not too quick, not too slow and great bunch of travellers to share this experience with.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Einar was a brilliant and v natural leader. He knew the area extremely well and took great care of the group, his passion for his country always shining through. Led an excellent pace that suited everybody and encouraged a v supportive environment where everyone helped each other.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Ensure your fitness level is suitable for this grade of holiday (Exodus training guides are a great starting point). You are trekking every day with many upward slopes (you get the great views tho!). There are options given for some days e.g. you don't have to scramble over all the rocks at the glacier if you don't want to etc. The pace of the days are good and it's a supportive walking environment (not all of it is up slopes). Take waterproof boots - we walked over boggy ground and through streams - and ankle support is advised as you will walk on quite a lot of uneven ground. But above all - enjoy every moment! It's a spectacular place to trek in and you cram a lot in the five days of trekking. Walking poles are useful too for those not blessed with a natural sense of balance!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The varied weather added to the amazing experience from the moodiness of the cloudy days to the glorious colours seen on the bright sunny ones. We were lucky and didn't have much rain.Take layers as you get warm when trekking so we were in t-shirts and you will need something warm up the top of mountains when you stop for lunch.
  • 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.
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