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

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  • Reviewed September 2019
    Phil Clarke

    Review

    Positives. Good itinerary. Hotels in good central locations. Good balance between group activities and free time. Well informed local guides. Room for improvement. Book sleeper train earlier so that group can be together rather in scattered top bunks. Update meal cost guide which is mulch too low. Warn of obligatory dress code for Chernobyl extension.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Inspirational is a strange choice of words. Most memorable was Chernobyl.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take more cash than trip notes guide suggests. Take closed shoes, long sleeves and long trousers for Chernobyl. Be aware that the top sleeper bunks are quite hard to climb into.
  • Reviewed September 2019
    John Sharp

    Amazing

    An amazing trip to some of the least visited areas of Europe. An interesting visit to Moldova including a monastery, a farmhouse lunch and the largest underground winery in the world complete with wine tasting and music. The unrecognised country of Transistria was a return to the Soviet era. Onto Ukraine and Odessa with its vibrant culture and the magnificent opera house. OK the night sleeper train was not the most enjoyable part of the trip but Lviv was worth it with its churches, bars and restaurants. Kiev is an amazing city with so much to do. Some great restaurants and bars. The churches are amazing and the War Museum is worth a visit. The memorial to the revolution of 2014 provide a poignant note. The trip to the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone was both fascinating and sobering with it’s visits to the abandoned villages, the reactor site, Piryat and the Duga.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The memorial in Independence Square to those who gave their lives in the Revolution of Dignaty.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Marta was amazing with her enthusiasm and helpful advice throughout the trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Described as leisurely/moderate but I found this trip as full on especially if you decide to do some exploring on your own.
  • Reviewed August 2019
    Derek Gott

    My first visit to Moldova and Ukraine

    We saw a lot of interesting sights though the itinerary did seem a bit rushed early on.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The guided tour of Lviv.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    She was very patient and helpful .

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for the Summer heat. The temperature in Chisinau was 34c. The pavements there were in poor condition. Drink plenty of water everywhere.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I felt safe everwhere even in Transnistria.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Rachel Nockels

    Moldova & Ukraine

    An amazing insight into two lesser visited countries, each very different but unusual especially Transnistria. The state winery in Moldova was staggering in size but the wine not so good. The cities of Odessa, Lviv and Kiev were amazing and interesting. Could have stayed in each city for multiple days.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The trip to the Chernobyl exclusion zone, very interesting but sobering

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Mike was excellent, always kept us up to date with the days plans and any items such as scarves that were needed. Very easy going but highly organised

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take US dollars or euros as cannot get currency outside each country. Also if going to Chernobyl you must wear long pants and a long sleeved top plus closed shoes.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Carl Thomas

    excellent trip to two lesser visited countries

    Overall, this is a great trip to two of the least visited countries in Europe. You see so much, from the quirky Moldova, where it was like going back in time to the 70's & 80's to the vibrant Ukraine which has a great vibe and atmosphere to the country. The trip itself went almost without a hitch and couldnt be faulted. The hotels on the whole were great, but the one in Kiev was slightly of a lesser quality than the others. One downside to this was the customer services when booking this tour. This is the first time I have travelled with Exodus, and from the time they didnt want to book me (and others it turned out) into a single room, to transfers, you got the feeling that they put money before customers Luckily the trip far outweighted these issues

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It had to be the additional trip to Chernobyl, which people should book. Its sad, powerful and a sad indictment on how humans are dealing with the world. It was an amazing and fascinating day and would recommend this to everyone who books this day trip

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Overall he was very good, and pretty unflapable. He was very helpful and attentive to everyones needs. Being a true vegetarian, I do wish he had offered help to me when ordering from menus in restaurants which was a struggle at times

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Cash machines were everywhere so worrying about bringing cash shouldnt be a problem, but Moldova and Ukraine currencies are closed and wont be able to change the currencies at home

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The city tour of Kiev was a 3 hour walking tour. However, the city is quite spreadout and a walking tour only covered a small part of this fascinating city. The better option would have been to have a bus tour that included the major sights outside the centre allowing the group to see more
  • Reviewed May 2019
    John Bagshaw

    Eastern Europe

    Interesting trip including unusual destinations in Moldova and especially Transnistria.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    All of the trip was enjoyable but perhaps without any stand-out moments. Transnistria, not an obvious attraction when booking proved to be one of the highlights. Eating an incredibly good value lunch in a workers canteen above a furniture shop next to a bust of Lenin was certainly memorable. Lviv and Kiev were both interesting and attractive cities without the tourist hordes of the more commonly visited Eastern European cities.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Nir was a very likeable guy with obvious organisational skills. I thought the sheet he gave out at the welcome meeting, detailing key times for the week was a very good idea. On the odd occasion when there was a small problem the support provided could probably have been better. His inability to read cyrillic ws a drawback.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Richard Richard

    Europe's Frontier_ Moldova & Ukraine

    Excellent varied trip, a bit late in the season for Odessa with the cooling weather. But all other destinations were great.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Chenobyl seeing the unfinished reactor 5 for the first time.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader was excellent and very helpful.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Transnistria to Ukraine border crossing was long due to customs officials being awkward.
  • Reviewed July 2018
    Kate Barnes

    Excellent trip to interesting countries

    A very interesting trip through some less visited parts of Europe

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Trip to Chernobyl definitely sobering.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent. Simultaneously laid back and highly organised.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It's a busy trip with lots to do. Not much free time but enough to get the feel of each place. Take insect repellent for Chernobyl!
  • Reviewed August 2017
    Hannah Marder

    Excellent trip

    This is a fantastic trip which packs a lot into a week and visits two lesser known but fascinating countries. The itinerary works well, and you are kept busy without being too rushed. The group I travelled with were a pleasure to be with and we had a great time. Our tour leader was excellent. The hotels and transport were a very high standard. I couldn't have asked for a better holiday.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Kiev was the highlight, a stunning city full of beautiful monuments. The hotel is located overlooking Independence Square. If you visit in August you might see preparations for the independence day on 24th August, which we were lucky enough to. I particularly loved St Michael's Church of the Golden Domes, which is beautiful inside and out, and Landscape Alley which is a Gaudi-esque children's playground. Pechersk Lavra monastery is also well worth a visit. I also really enjoyed the winery tour in Moldova even though I don't like wine much!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our tour leader, Agata, was exceptional and one of the best I've ever travelled with. She always went the extra mile, and was really caring and looked after us very well without being overpowering. She was good fun, and good at spending time with everyone in the group and looking after us all equally.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Transnistria has its own currency, but you don't need to change very much as prices are low and its completely closed so you can't change it back. Your leader will advise you. But bear this in mind when budgeting for your days in Moldova - you only need cash for the first evening and one full day. Moldova has high quality and unbelievably cheap wine so if you enjoy wine, make sure you have space in your suitcase to bring back a bottle or two. That said, I strongly advise travelling light - I travelled hand luggage only and was very grateful. There's a lot of getting on and off trains and moving around stations that don't have lifts, so a medium backpack is the best thing to bring. You don't really need lots of stuff as it's a short trip with no special equipment. Bring good shoes as there's a lot of walking in cities and on cobblestones. The group flights depart very early from Heathrow, if that's likely to be a problem for you, book on the phone so you can discuss flight options and decide if you want to book your own. It's possible to fly direct, although it may cost more. Remember to bring a scarf for the churches (women). Don't be put off by the train journeys, it's a busy trip and the time to just sit is welcome, they're also nice trains. If you visit Chernobyl, you will only get an evening and few hours in the morning in Kiev (if you're on the group flights) and Kiev is amazing, so do consider carefully which you'd prefer to do or think about staying longer.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is a new trip (I travelled on the second departure) and I hope it becomes a regular Exodus offering so others can enjoy it too. I hope that when travellers catch on to what nice things there are to see and do in these countries - as good or better than many other well known European destinations, but without the crowds - they will want to come too.