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

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  • Reviewed September 2018
    Marie Myles

    Varied and interesting landscapes

    Every day delivered a new experience and interesting cycling challenge. The bikes were excellent quality - though at first I was a bit concerned about the weight of it and the traditional style - but they were robust! No one had a puncture and given how rough the roads were, that was impressive. The hotels were all a high standard and in good locations. It was good that it was B&B as it meant the accommodation was central and left you free to do your own thing in the evening. The guide notes were good and the yellow arrows on posts along the route were a reassurance. The route and places we visited were all very good and certainly on anyone's list for Puglia. Every cycle was rewarding and we felt we had achieved something every day.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Difficult to pinpoint one moment as the trip offered so many different places and scenery. The coastal routes were the most interesting and the views amazing.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    N/A it was self guided

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Book an extra day at the start in Matera - our friends (who have done this trip) advised us to do that and it was worth it. Maybe consider staying an extra night in Lecce at the end - that city had to more to it than we expected.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The first day was the longest and probably the most difficult. It would have been better to have that on say day 3 so that people will have got used to the bikes and gear changes - and to how to interpret the notes. It was hot and quite a few of us were a bit dehydrated by the end.
  • Reviewed July 2018
    Russell Nelson

    Constructive comments

    Great scenery on most days. Distances were longer with steeper uphills than we thought. Rectify by using actual "tires on the ground "distance and not GPS planar distances (such as a satellite sees) for both online trip notes and detailed route notes. Post more detailed elevation gains and looses on your website so buyers can see the steepness of the hills. A GPS enabled app for a phone would have been a good help. Many days were too long for the recreational cyclist with no time for leisurely lunches or swims, especially in the heat. We are in our mid 60s, but fit for our age with regular exercise and hiking. Day 1 and 2 come to mind; long with lots and lots of hills. Arrow markers were great, except (understandably) a bit sparse in the towns. Day 1 in Matera: Cave town was nice to see, but we did not need to stay in a run down cave! A regular hotel up on top of the cliff would have been fare nicer. Also instructions on how to get a taxi would have been nice since the train station had none, so we spent the better part of 2 hrs finding the cave hotel. Or better yet, meet us at the train station. Also if hotel is up on top, you could have got us the bikes that day saving precious cycle time on Day 2 getting the bikes, etc (especially since day 2 was one of the longest and hilliest). Day 2 Nice scenery. Need better instruction on how to find the street off the square to the Trullidea hotel (almost impossible to see a street sign. Day 3 Need better instruction on how to find the hotel la Terra since all hotel and street signs were behind us once in the square and there were several roads leading uphill. Day 4 (Ostuni - Lecce via late train, then to Gallipoli). Long day since train with bike racks did not leave until mid morning. The cycle from Lecce to Nardo was very boring with nothing to see but parched land and the odd olive grove over high walls. Far better to offer a transport option to get from Ostuni to Nardo. Day 5 was a great day for scenic views of the Mediterranean. Not enough time to swim. Hotel in Leuca was nice. Day 6. Another scenic day, but the climb out of Leuca was a killer! Forewarn in online trip notes. Day 7. Nice enough. Good route selection to get us into Lecce without too much on busy roads. Great hotel, with ac

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Ocean scenery.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    no leader, self guided

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be more than fit as there are lots of hills and long distances, all in the heat, especially if you want time to swim.
  • Reviewed July 2018
    Trish Davis

    Great way to see the unique landscape and towns of this part of Italy

    There is great variety on this trip with a good combination of towns, beach and countryside. The architecture is stunning, from baroque churches in Lecce, to the sassi in Matera, the trulli around Alberobello and the little squares in villages like Acaya. The beaches vary from tiny, like the ones in St Caterina or Tricase Porto, to big expanses around Otranto and then the coves around St Foca - something to suit everyone. The hotels are high standard with good breakfasts to set you up for the day.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Probably cycling through Riserva Naturale delle Cesine with just the sound of cicadas and birdsong for company. Although each town you cycle into is more breathtaking than the last!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    N/A as self-guided. But Marco who did the briefing before the trip was very informative and gave a good overview of what to expect.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Definitely stay a few nights in Matera before you start as there is so much to see there. A couple of nights in Lecce at the end is a good idea too. Get on the road early as there is a lot to see every day.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The info provided was great and easy to follow route notes and maps.
  • Reviewed October 2016
    Sheila Bould

    Puglia cycling

    A very well organised trip. A good pace visiting the main sites. All instructions clear and detailed.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Arriving in Matera at start of trip was breathtaking

    What did you think of your group leader?

    N/a

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do some research to decide how much time you may want to explore en route each day as there never seemed enough time at the end of the day to explore the overnight destination. Make sure you follow all instructions for the route.
  • Reviewed May 2016
    Elizabeth Bury

    Puglia cycling

    Very well organised. Lovely scenery and locations. Unfortunately had poor weather the week we were there - but no fault of anyone!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    .
  • Reviewed May 2016
    Andrew Carver

    A fabulous way to see a less travelled part of Italy

    A great tour of some unique and interesting towns, all with something to see and explore. The cycling was mostly easy and fun on empty roads (in May). The hotels were all different and of a really good standard, and the food and wine was excellent.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Arriving every day in a completely different and interesting place

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Self Guided

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The days are easy enough to spend time having lunch on route or go right through to the destination and have more time to explore and eat there. Everything is cheaper than in other parts of Italy but they do close up in the afternoon and some of the potential lunch stops are very small so don't have many options.
  • Reviewed October 2015
    Jane Halliday

    Cycling in Pulia

    Beautiful scenery, comfortable hotels, excellent route maps and written instructions. Very interesting and picturesque stopovers. Loved every minute of the trip we were also very lucky with the weather.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The days we cycled by the clear blue sea.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Self guided but good instructions on how to follow the route.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take your time to enjoy the views and to get to know your fellow cyclists.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Would happily recommend exodus to my friends and family.
  • Puglia: A great way to discover it

    Brilliant idea to self guide ourselves around this little known area of Italy, which has so much to discover. The cycling routes were really well thought out and lots of fun to follow. A mix of challenging and easy, so something for everyone, which optional extra bits such as off-road sections. Stunning countryside and castles. A mix of hotels, some of which were excellent, most good.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Lovely stop on the side of a cliff with great views, next to a bar shaped like a giant pineapple on the ride from Gallipoli to Santa Maria. The switchbacks and the long downhill on the second day are amazing rides.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Prepare by doing some cycling if you are a bit rusty. Particularly a few hills. Take a gel saddle!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Lovely food and cafes all around the coast. Well thought out materials, road map, and the great green book from local partner Girolibero. Our green pack didn't arrive at our first hotel, so check for yours. Good idea to check you know how to fix a puncture in advance. We had a couple of breakdowns, but you are expected to fix your own punctures. And enjoy, this is a great trip.
  • Reviewed November 2014
    Anonymous

    Fantastic holiday

    A great way of exploring the country, though some beautiful scenery staying in hotels that matched the character of the towns.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Arriving in Matera and seeing the uniqueness of the town.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    n/a
  • Reviewed November 2014
    Anonymous

    Cycling Puglia Heel of Italy

    So glad we cycle during the month of October, weather was very comfortable. Fabulous cliffs with majestic sea views at every tops. Hotel selection was spectacular and authentic to region. Plenty of time to visit sites and explore during the day and left over energy to take advantage of nightlife of all the charming cities. Self-guided was simplyfie by accurate maps and practical stickers of an arrow on strategic intersections. Oh yes, we also made friends from all around the globe !

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Matera left a profound and magical impression on us. Taking the train with the bikes was fun. Just feeling the warm wind and salty air on top of gigantic cliffs.