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
    Catriona Griffin

    The Baltics

    If you are after some easy cycling in three very interesting countries, this is the trip for you. It is a good mix of each country's scenery, rich history and lovely capital cities. The cycling is relatively easy with most days cycling on flat, quiet roads and bike paths. There are a couple of undulating hills here and there but nothing too taxing so this trip is well within the capabilities of a new cyclist or someone wanting a relaxed trip. Each day is well paced with plenty of rest stops. The bikes were solid and comfortable and we were provided with pannier bags for carrying essentials.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting to experience the history of the three countries was really the highlight for me. Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have been through a lot in the past centuries and you get to see and hear about all the invasions, rulers and quirky beliefs in each country. In Lithuania we got to visit the Hill of Crosses (Christian protests) and the Hill of Witches (pagan legends) which were both interesting in different ways. My favourite country was Estonia and the couple of days cycling in Lahemaa National Park were brilliant. It was also enjoyable seeing the capital cities. Fairy tale Tallinn (get up early and go for a wander before the crowds appear), Riga is good for souvenir shopping in the little cobbled streets and squares and Vilnius has plenty of churches to see. I even found a beer and music festival in Klaipeda. I really enjoyed wandering the old town in Riga during and after a rain storm which drove most people indoors. Perfect for some moody, uncrowded photos.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Lukas was a great guide with infinite patience and a good sense of humour. His knowledge of the local history is endless! He was able to recommend some great restaurants along the way and my favourite meal was a home-smoked salmon lunch that he arranged for us on one of the days in Lahemaa NP. He gave clear instructions each day and was quick with his antiseptic spray on the odd scratch and bump that happened! I have to give a special mention to our Ukrainian driver Anatoli as well who was a very competent chap! He was able to pack the truck each day with precision, got the bikes sorted for us in record time and was an excellent driver. He didnt speak much English but I think it understood more than he let on!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure to add a day or two pre and post tour. There is plenty to see in both Tallinn and Vilnius so well worth extending if you have the time. Be prepared for all sorts of weather. I was there in early July and we got rain, sun and everything in between. A good waterproof jacket is essential as is an umbrella for exploring the cities. You will get rain at some point! Pack light if you can as some of the hotels do not have elevators. All the hotels used are well located within walking distance of town. The only exception to that is the hotel in Palmse which is remote but that in itself is a charm, located in the grounds of an old manor so take some time to explore the gardens here. Also be prepared to eat - a lot! The food was surprisingly good everywhere we went and plenty of local dishes to taste. As was the beer. You can eat reasonably cheaply too. Take some euros with you but credit cards are readily accepted and almost all restaurants split the bills for the group. ATMs are available everywhere too. It is worth waiting til you get to Vilnius if you want to buy any amber jewellery. There are plenty of shops in the old town. Other people have mentioned taking a travel plug for the sinks and I would advise that too if you want to do some handwashing. Dont rely on hotel laundry facilities as the hotels that did offer it were charging ridiculous rates! It's worth handwashing your gear yourself. The hotels are adequate but the rooms are small in some places so expect 2-3 star properties. Breakfasts are included and were very good, particularly in Tartu. Some of the bigger hotels were swamped with German tour groups so breakfast was a bit of a scrum at times!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I wouldnt hesitate to recommend this trip. It a great combination of cycling and culture with good food and beer thrown in along the way. A great way to escape and experience a quieter, more laid back part of Europe.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Katy A

    Flexibility makes for a great holiday!

    This was our first ever cycling holiday and so we were unsure before going whether we'd be fit and prepared enough. Building up our cycling beforehand as per the Exodus training plan definitely helped our fitness. The distances and routes each day were very manageable. We did buy padded shorts for the trip and these were definitely helpful. We also took our own bike seats and after a couple of days using the one that came with the bikes (which I found a bit narrow and hard) I switched to my own which was definitely more comfortable and supportive for me, while my husband was happy with the Exodus one. The bikes were good with more gears than expected and an easy lever to flick the suspension on for bumpy ground. The pannier bag provided was an unexpected bonus and easily came on and off so can be taken to your room at night and packed for the following day. There are no separate compartments in them so after a few days of groping around in the dark space at the bottom every time I needed something, I organised smaller items into separate plastic bags which could be pulled out easily. Hotel rooms were clean and spacious with good facilities, though we may have hit lucky with our room allocation as some people felt cramped and not so happy with theirs. The hotel in Palmse was more basic but this was definitely compensated for by the lovely location. Breakfasts at all the hotels were good with plenty of choice. A gluten-free Exodus guest managed ok, helped by bringing a print out of 'I can't eat gluten' translated into the 3 languages to show staff and by buying a loaf of gluten free bread for when rice cakes got too boring. As non-meat eaters our meals out tended to be dominated by fish with very limited choices at some places for total vegetarians. Generally though the food was tastier and more varied than I had expected with some great places suggested by Andrius - we definitely needed those bike rides to keep the calories from piling on!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were several lovely moments - the tranquility of Palmse, looking out of our window at midnight and it still being light (we were there around midsummer) seeing so many stork nests with young being fed, the wild flowers and of course the delicious and interesting food were just a few!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Andrius is a great tour leader with a natural sense of humour which helped us all bond as a group. He guided us very well and engaged with us as very much a part of our group rather than just going through the motions of doing his job. He was able to be flexible and adaptable, adjusting the schedule according to needs and requirements- a detour to a bike shop for necessary repairs enabled a walk around an old castle for the rest of us. He had some great tips and recommendations and used his experience of the countries and the trip to really enhance our experience. Thank you Andrius!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Pack insect repellent and bite relief cream, your own seat or gel cover, a couple of small bags for putting bits in the pannier bag, and a flexible attitude and you'll have a great time!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was a great holiday and has definitely left us wanting to do more cycling trips. I only have one suggestion for improvement and that is for Exodus to have slightly better arrangements for biking as a group, perhaps by agreeing to stop and meet up at more regular points. Although Andrius had asked at the start of the trip for faster cyclists not to bike too far ahead of the rest of the group this didn't happen with the perhaps inevitable problem at times of the group spreading out too much and people at the back getting split from the rest of the group, resulting in unnecessary waiting and worrying until they were found. This also meant that there were times, especially at the start of the trip, when I didn't stop to admire the view or take photos incase I lost sight of the others.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Steve Ryder

    Awesome Trip

    I joined this trip as an alternative way of seeing the 3 Baltic States which got you away from the 3 capital cities, but it may have converted me to non too strenuous cycle holidays too. Not only was the trip a very enjoyable 9 days of cycling but we also had a foodie experience and a cultural experience thrown in too thanks to our amazing guide Anders

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The trip has daily inspirational moments. I found eating lunch in various rural restaurants quite inspirational because they were away from the tourist crowds and I would not have found them had I not been travelling with Anders. Eating freshly smoked fish in the garden of a fisherman on the Curonian Spit in Lithuania was a highlight

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Anders was awesome. He guided us in a very laid back style but was extremely conscientious and knowledgeable. Those who fancied doing their own thing were free to do so and I particularly liked how he adjusted the schedule to ensure we appreciated where we were rather than just cycling for cyclings sake. The maps we were given each morning were very useful too

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    1. All rooms had hairdryers 2. You get a bike pannier on day one which you keep with you each evening so no need for the backpack 3. Don't worry about "dietary requirements" All can be accommodated 4. There is time to explore Riga, Tallinn and Vilnius but not to do the "full tourist thing" visiting things 5. Tartu is a wonderful university town 6. Although you cycle by a lake and by the sea you don't see much water - most of the cycle routes are in trees or slightly inland 7. You need bug spray during the day
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Rachael Shaw

    It's not all about the bike.

    Apart from a bevy of Brits on our trip there were a couple of kiwis intent on causing havoc and taking flight. Unwilling to despatch them down under our tenacious guide, Andrius, set out to distract and subdue them with Baltic diversions of seaside villages, a smoked fish and wild apple juice lunch in a hidden location, elusive beer tents, lavazza coffee car and a rotunda with champagne. Fresh berries and fairytales in the forest. Ice creams, beer and Pink Soup. And a freezing but fun swim. And then he iced the cake with with his humour, baltic jokes and music. Andrius turned out Baltic Bike trip into a delight of unexpected adventures. It didn't shut those kiwis up but at least they were bearable. Just.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I don't think I'll reveal that.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Acutely funny and committed to his job.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take your own bike seat. Or at least a gel seat.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I had a blast.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Heike V

    Easy Cycling in the Sunny Baltics

    We thoroughly enjoyed the easy cycling on mostly flat terrain through lovely countryside mixed with city visits. We were lucky with the weather as it was warm without being too hot, much of the cycling is through forest providing welcome shade. There was a mix of personalities and fitness levels in our group that overall was supportive and gelled well. The trip visits all 3 capitals but also more rural spots and much of the cycling is near the coast or lakes. The amount of cycling per day was such that there was never any rush and plenty of time for breaks. The cycling infrastructure (segregated paths) and courtesy of the drivers when cycling on roads is something I miss back in Britain. In most cases we stayed 2 nights in the same hotel giving time to explore the city or in the case of Palmse – explore the wonderful gardens and enjoy the peace and quiet. See Stephen Mardon's extensive write up for further details.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The day spent on the Curonian Spit starting with a walk up Hill of the Witches (forest area with wooden sculptures depicting creatures from Lithuanian fairy tales – expertly brought to life by our group leader), then a walk up to giant stone sundial by Nida with view across the sand dunes to Russian territory, then cycle back to lunch stop at fishermans' house for freshly smoked fish and home made apple juice all eaten in his garden. Whilst this felt like a long day by the time we finally reached the afternoon cafe/beer stop near ferry to Klaipeda the landscape around the sand dunes with birds and flowers on this sunny day was just wonderful.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Andruis was very keen to ensure we would get to experience a good balance between cycling and the local culture and cuisine. Everyday we got printed paper maps and description of our route, so we could cycle to pre-agreed points at our own pace. A big thank you also has to go to our driver Arthur who ensured we were well hydrated, didn't get lost at key junctions and efficiently got the bikes in/out of the trailer and set up everyday. At each city/town Andrius offered orientation walks and optional group dinners. In consultation with the group we changed the programme in both Riga and Vilnius. In Riga this gave us a free afternoon in the city after the cycle out to Jumala whilst in Vilnius we did a city cycling tour then visited Trakai castle by bus. Along the way Andrius provided little extras such as strawberries, water melon, etc to keep us 'sweet' and the couple of long transfers were broken up by extra stops and onboard entertainment. We had many excellent food stops and recommendations for cafe/cake and evening meals at each overnight location – since Andrius is a pescetarian/vegetarian there were always good non meat options available.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It pays to do some cycle rides before the trip so you will still feel fresh by second half of the week and continue to enjoy the longer days in the saddle. Apply midge repellent BEFORE getting out of the bus for first cycle ride & around Palmse especially. Don't bother booking a private transfer with Exodus in Tallin or Vilnius – airport taxi in Tallin should be <Euro10 to city and similar in Vilnius.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Too many food highlights to list them all but they included lots of good salmon/smoked fish throughout the trip plus Onion Pie in Kivi Koerts/Alatskivi, Cafe Weber in Tartu, Lido Vērmanītis for lunch in Riga, Lukys (Bear) restaurant for final night in Vilnius.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Niall Campbell

    A great way to explore three Countries

    Interested in visiting a corner of Europe which is not on most people's itinerary? If so, then the cycle trip around the three Baltic Countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania is definitely worthwhile considering. You get to see a variety of the countryside as well as the three Capitals so a full package. However, it's not a rushed holiday so it never feels like you're trying to cram everything in.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The coastal scenery was very interesting, especially the cycle along the Curonian Spit in Lithuania with its high dunes and woodland built to protect the landscape. The lunch spot was also excellent with smoked fish of all sorts to enjoy.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    If you get Andrius as your group leader you've struck gold as he's one of the best guides I've ever experienced - informative, great organiser, great sense of humour, relaxed in approach to leading and goes the extra mile to make the trip a fantastic time.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you go in late Spring or Summer take anti-mossie spray as you will get bitten when stopping in the forests during breaks. Having the latest cycle clothing isn't necessary but padded shorts will of course protect a delicate part of the body! Unless it gets exceptionally hot you only need one water bottle as the support vehicle provides regular fill-ups with water during stops. The recommended spending money is about right unless you plan to buy lots of wine/beer etc. As you'll be in plenty of towns and cities getting money from cash machines isn't a problem so I wouldn't take lots of cash and many of the restaurants will take visa etc.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The accommodation is fine but in a couple of locations fairly basic. If you like quiet locations you'll enjoy staying at the at the old distillery at Hotel Palmse as long as you don't mind the water which is a bit sulfurous and therefore smells a bit but still perfectly safe.
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Stephen Mardon

    Great way to visit three countries with long histories and appreciate their cities and countryside

    This was an excellent way to visit 3 countries, including the opportunity to explore their capital cities as well seeing the best parts of the countryside. A mixture of cycling and culture which appealed to me. Having made my own travel arrangements, I arrived at the hotel in Tallinn in advance of the main party flying in from Gatwick so had a chance to explore the city that evening myself. After meeting up with the others at breakfast on Sunday morning our leader gave us a short guided tour of the city before our minibus took us to the Lahemaa National Park where our cycling started.. The bikes we had were brand new sturdy Merida trekking bikes with water bottle holders, rear pannier frames and front suspension. Everyone was given a waterproof pannier to carry their belongs and a number of cycle locks were distributed to secure cycles when parked up unsupervised at stops. The bikes were well suited for the cycling which was primarily on flattish terrain with mostly tarmac roads, but with some gravel trails. The cycling was mainly on rural roads and cycle paths, with a small percentage of urban cycling. Maps showing the route were given out each day, and there were regular stops during the day to get water(supplied) from the minibus and to allow the group to come together. Apart from one day when we bought a picnic in a supermarket, daily lunch stops were at cafes or restaurants where food selections could be limited but there was always a vegetarian option. The leader suggested a restaurant for an evening meal which group members were welcome to join him at. These were local establishments which served local dishes which were well worth trying. There were a couple of long vehicle transfers towards the end of the holiday but these were broken up by stops along the route to stretch legs and buy drink and snacks. Overall prices of food & drink were very good value.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    For me the 2 days of cycling in the Lahemaa National Park, Estonia right at the start of the holiday. Beautiful coastal, woodland and farming scenery, quiet roads and cycle trails, and a stay on a historic mansion in the country.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Andrius was the consummate host, cheerful, welcoming and willing to go the extra mile to ensure everyone on the trip got the best out of their holiday. His stories about the histories of the 3 countries and of growing up during a time of massive change as they regained independence brought the realities of life alive. His suggestions as to where to stop for meals, and where to eat in the evening were (with one exception) excellent, while his mini-tours of the 3 capitals and Tartu were informative and really helpful, allowing people to orientate and thereafter explore themselves. He also gave the group options as to routes so we had an excellent city cycling tour of Vilnius rather than a less interesting route.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a good insect repellent (and anti-histamine) as Baltic mosquitoes and other biting insects are voracious. None of the hotels where we stayed have sink plugs, so carry a universal one. Make sure you have cash in low denomination notes. A number of the places where we stopped only accepted cash. Cash is available from ATMs in the cities. Take some fruit or bread,from the breakfast buffet, in your pannier in case you need an energy boost.
  • Reviewed June 2019

    A thoroughly enjoyaqble trip

    A memorable holiday with a group of compatible people who were all keen to enjoy the experience and learn about the region

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Perhaps not inspirational in the normal sense, but the ride on the first day around the northerly peninsula to Vinistu and Peripea brought home how oppressive the Soviet occupation had been. Subsequently we were able to appreciate just how much all three states valued the fact that they had been able to re-establish their independence and re-assert their own cultures.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our Group leader, Lina, was extremely knowledgeable about the geography, history, culture and cuisine of the three Baltic states and she shared that knowledge in a most engaging manner. She coped admirably with a group of cyclists with widely different levels of experience, four, and sometimes five of whom were using e-bikes. She chose meal stops where we enjoyed lovely local food during the rides and very good restaurants for our evening meals. Her organisational skills were excellent and she was unfailingly good humoured throughout the trip

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a plug for the washbasins - the hotels don't provide them.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The weakest aspect of the holiday was the hotel accommodation, which varied between being good and being pretty poor in terms of room size and quality.
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Liz halpin

    Baltic by bike

    Three different countries starting a little chilly but warming up nicely. Three different capitals with lots of different foods to try. Generally flat cycling with good maps on bikes which were adequate but probably heavier than most people were used to. Hotels variable but always well positioned.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the Constitution posted for all to see in every language.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Andreas was very knowledgeable about the history of all the countries visited. He was willing to answer questions. On longer bus journeys he found ways to keep us amused. Andreas treated all the group members with respect and ensured that the cycling was accessible to all. He took us to some zany places to eat and explained all about the foods etc.. In all he was great!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Ensure you have clothes for all weathers! Be prepared to try different foods. Always laugh at Andreas jokes!!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Hope you like castles.
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Alison Fuller

    Cycling the Baltics

    Interesting countries that I’d not visited before. Good guide. Lovely food. Interesting cities. Easy riding but heavy bikes making the trip harder and more demanding. Pretty unspoiled countryside and lovely views across the Baltic Sea.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Loved the fish lunch at the Fisherman’s museum. Just gorgeous! Loved hearing about the history and what it was like living in a communist country Loved the hill of crosses. So weird! Loved visiting the capital cities. All very different.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Andrius worked really hard to make our trip enjoyable. He had some lovely surprises for us like a glass of Prosecco overlooking the lake and was always so excited for us to see the upcoming highlights! He loved us trying the local food but was mortified to discover a traditional Lithuanian kybyn was in fact a Cornish pasty! He was really interesting talking about the countries and their history. It was tricky for him as half the group were pushing the average pace up but he managed to support the slower riders whilst allowing the faster ones to go on or do a little extra. A really nice guy.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This isn’t a tough trip in that it’s fairly flat or gently undulating, but the bikes were very heavy which made it harder. Also on some of the more exposed roads you can get headwinds. So it’s not always as leisurely as you’d imagine. I do think lighter hybrid bikes would be better.
Call us on 056 631 86 64