Turtle, Ecuador

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

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604 Reviews

  • Reviewed February 2020

    Fresh air, sunshine, mountains - a heavenly February escape!

    Fantastic trip - wonderful walking and scenery - almond trees in blossom, spectacular geology, great company and camaraderie among the group, a very knowledgeable and attentive guide (Jose) who clearly loves his home region and wants to share it with others as well as being a competent and experienced mountain guide, a comfortable family-run hotel with a personal touch in a tranquil location, copious amounts of very good food... We were lucky in having perfect weather in February and it was a tonic to get away from stormy Britain.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The two ridge walks were my favourites, with the 360-degree panoramas across the mountain ranges.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jose is an excellent leader, very personable and kept us laughing and on our toes. He tended to every member of the group and was very aware of people's different needs. I found all he had to tell us about the local politics, history, culture etc. very interesting. He is very well organised and conscientious - I don't underestimate how much hard work his job is but he performs it all with charm. Finally, he clearly places safety and wellbeing front and centre.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you have only done 'moderate' rated holidays before, don't be put off by the 'moderate to challenging' rating of this holiday. Yes, it is challenging at times, but if you are of reasonable fitness and hill-walking experience (read the trip notes on this!) then go for it - it's just a question of pushing yourself a little harder and it pays off in terms of the views and sense of accomplishment. Being a pessimist I couldn't quite believe that it would truly be warm in February and at the last minute ditched several t-shirts and my sunhat from my packing - if you go at this time of year, pack for all temperatures! We had 19 degree sunshine but it does get chilly in the evenings (I appreciated the evening fire in the restaurant). Most people on the free day chose to relax close to the hotel. I went to Altea and Villajoyosa on the coast and had an enjoyable day - transport between the two by tram/train is easy and we even swam in the sea. It was a good way to break up the week and see another side to the region.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Only that I would thoroughly recommend this trip. I didn't think that the Picos de Europa week could be beaten within Spain but I enjoyed this one equally - the peacefulness and remoteness of the location is really surprising given its easy proximity to Alicante and the rest of the coast. I would be interested in similar trips elsewhere in Spain - Cabo de Gata looks good, Exodus!
  • Reviewed February 2020

    Snowshoeing in the Catalan Pyrenees

    A pleasant weeks snow shoe walking in the Catalan Pyrenees, although it was unseasonably warm so we had to go quite high to get decent snow. It's a beautifiul range of mountains with lots of traditional villages which are much nicer than the overdeveloped skiing centres in the Alps. The hotel in Rialp was fine, with a comfortable bed and powerful shower. Overall the food in the hotel was very good, although my bathroom could have done with a bit of TLC and the rooms are short of sitting space for couples, although there is always the bar area. Our tour leader was Miguel Ibanez, who's company deliver the tour as a package for Exodus. He has a deep love of Catalan and delighted in showing us the mountains and the local produce from the region.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The final days walk above Espot, where we carried on abve the refuge into a bowl with a frozen lake and mountains all around. I also enjoyed the visit to the little museum in Sort on our rest day where we were told about the WWII refugees and Allied pilots who escaped via the Pyrenees.
  • Reviewed January 2020
    Bailey Troccoli-Hughes

    Does not get better then this!

    I highly recommend this trip for anyone who loves the mountains, hiking and Spanish culture. Our outstanding, charismatic guide Jaime took great care of us from start to finish; from transfers, cultural knowledge, outdoors expertise I always felt we were in excellent hands. Jaime knowledge and love of the mountain range and culture added invaluable insight to our Spanish adventure. The cozy, family run hotel we stayed in was situated partially up a mountain providing breathtaking views. As well, the family running the hotel ensured we received delicious, authentic Spanish food every day... Easily the best Spanish food I have ever had! The 3 others I traveled with and myself are fairly active and hike regularly at home, as a result we did not find the 5 hikes challenging. However there was some technical spots and it was very rainy and windy (still lots of fun!) the last day so I would recommend proper hiking shoes and some hiking experience. This was my first exodus trip and after my outstanding experience I would definitely do another!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Meeting people from different parts of the world of all ages! The 3 others I traveled with and myself were the youngest in our tour group and the only ones from Canada! It was very inspiring to see individuals in their 60s conquer these hikes with minimal problem! As well, it was a lot of fun to get to know the others in our tour group from other parts of the world that share the same passion for hiking and mountains!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader Jaime was awesome! His outgoing personality and love for the mountains made the trip extremely exciting and memorable! I had complete confidence in his abilities and knowledge of the mountains. Jaime took great care of us throughout the week long tour by offering us support on our hikes, ensuring all our transfers were organized, sharing knowledge and advice on how to maximize our Spain trip, etc. All guides should take after Jaime's compassionate and personable ways... we loved our week adventure with him! :)
  • Reviewed January 2020
    Anne Macintosh

    Amazing

    What a fantastic walking trip - beautiful scenery, well organised and varied walks, and enhanced by a lovely group of fellow-walkers. Eduardo is a first class guide, and manages to accommodate everybody's abilities. This was the Grade 5 level walk, which was quite challenging towards the end of the week, mainly due to the unseasonably hot weather.. But so rewarding. My first trip with Exodus. Can't wait to book the next one!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching the summit on the last day of the trip - higher than Ben Nevis and in 28 degrees heat!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    First rate leader, so proud of his Mallorcan roots. Full of interesting anecdotes, and lots of historical facts.
  • Reviewed December 2019
    Cathryn Spence

    Great walking on a beautiful volcanic island

    We did a variety of walks on the island through temperate rainforest, across coastal gorges, up in the high caldera ridge and through the caldera itself. The scenery was beautiful with amazing geology from volcanic activity. Our tour guide was very good and let everybody in the group find their own pace. The sunshine and light during December was a real bonus.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking the ridge of the caldera and looking down on clouds and across to Teide on Tenerife.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Enthusiastic, organised and providing practical information.
  • Reviewed November 2019
    Alison Barclay

    As good as it gets

    November is a superb time of year to do this trek. Late autumn sunshine, cool air, clear views. For us, no rain at all. There were 14 on the trip. Some days we had one guide -Jose - who had won the Exodus trip leader of the year in 2018. Some days we had Jaime who was equally good. Both were first class mountain guides with a huge amount of experience in those hills. They were also very informative re local customs. And very entertaining. The walks were quite challenging. It was not the length as much as some difficult underfoot conditions which added difficulty. Superb views from all summits both to the coast and to distant mountain ridges. The food was very good as were the lunches. The hotel was rural and we took it over for the week. The village of Benimantell which was 15 minutes walk away was in a delightful setting. We had a bit of difficulty with Wi-Fi for the first few days but that was resolved by the end of the week.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    After crawling through a tunnel beneath the cliffs of Bernia we emerged to superb views to the coast, to Benidorm in the distance and to further mountain ridges. (I think this particular walk was on the program to celebrate the 20th anniversary of running this trip) Also on the last day , after summiting Aitana At over 5000’ we walked along a ridge for an hour giving superb views on both sides

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Both leaders were as good as they come. Fully trained in mountaineering techniques. Helping at scrambling sections. Thorough knowledge of the routes on the mountains. Entertaining.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    November and December are possibly the best 2 months to go.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The other members of our group were very pleasant to be with and all added to the enjoyment of the week.
  • Reviewed November 2019

    Great autumn walking in a beautiful area

    A very enjoyable holiday in a surprisingly quiet area of Spain, despite being quite close to Benidorm. The walking was varied, in beautiful limestone country, with great views from the summits and interesting paths. The weather improved over the week for us - one day's walk was rained off so we visited a local town instead - but we had sunshine on the later walks. Our guide, Jose, was very knowledgeable and has a passion for the area, its people and way of life. He guided us well and was supportive of group members. Our hotel was well-positioned with views to the coast, and the owners were very hospitable. The food (vegetarian for us) featured local dishes and was excellent and plentiful. Our guide made our triple-decker lunchtime sandwiches and they were the best we've ever had on a walking holiday.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Views from the summits, particularly Serella and Puig Campana. Also, those amazing sandwiches!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader, Jose, was excellent throughout.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take walking poles for the quite lengthy descents

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We were pleased to be able to book a grade 4 (moderate/ challenging) holiday in Europe and would welcome more at Challenging grade.
  • Reviewed November 2019

    A great week

    An interesting and varied walking trip with a side trip to Seville.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking the Caminito del Rey. A brilliant day, but all walks were scenic, interesting and full of interest.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Michael is a star. Loves Spain and the culture. Gave great info about flora and fauna and willing to go the extra mile to keep everything interesting and relevant. A top Exodus leader and we have done over 30 trips with the company.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is rural Spain, not the seaside. You really get to see home people live and enjoy the country.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Do it and count yourself lucky if Michael/Miguel is your guide.
  • Reviewed November 2019
    J C

    Excellent guided walking in stunning scenery

    Thoroughly enjoyed our trip, with Michael Newcomb doing a first-class job as leader - passionate, widely knowledgeable, full of great recommendations and more than willing to go the extra mile for his guests, the best Exodus guide I've had out of several other trips (all of which also had excellent guides). This trip is based in a very remote rural location in Andalusia, in a region not usually visited by tourists. The walking is mostly fairly gentle if you are reasonably fit, but you explore some stunning scenery and are usually the only people on the trails (with the exception of walking the Caminito del Rey, which is busy but you wouldn't want to miss it). The holiday is based at the Cortijo de Rosario, which has gorgeous views and provides a cosy 'house-party' atmosphere (Exodus having the sole use of it). The day out in Seville is wonderful. We travelled at the end of October/early Nov, and were very lucky with the weather - dry and sunny every day we walked, some days being very warm.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were several, but the second day of walking took us to some high mountains in a National Park, with gorgeous views, a wealth of wildlife and the opportunity to walk on an original Roman road. The final walk, starting from the Cortijo, was also very enjoyable and a little more challenging than the others. The Caminito del Rey is also not to be missed, and the leisurely tapas lunch in a local village on the first Sunday was a great way of getting to know your fellow travellers.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fantastic!
  • Reviewed October 2019
    Vishakha Phatak

    Trip and group leader review

    Absolutely wonderful trek with stunning scenery each day. The whole trek was very well organised. The accommodation was good and the staff were really amazing, always ready to help with a smile on their face. The food that Jim, Pilar and the team served was delicious! Had not expected to be served 4 course dinner everyday ! Saw plenty of vultures, mountain goats,horses and of course the cows with cowbells! Would definitely recommend the trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were so many !

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader Nacho was the best group leader amongst all the treks I have done with Exodus. Nacho had excellent knowledge of the local area, and had fantastic organisational skills. I would definitely vote for him for the star Leader award !