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

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  • Reviewed August 2019
    Annette Thampi

    Far exceeded my expectations

    This trip far exceeded my expectations. Offering two levels of hike a day was perfect for gaining confidence and challenging myself under the expert supervision of the group leaders . Be prepared for some incredible views of the pristine glacial lake, and the breathtaking sights from the highest peaks in the Austrian Tyrol. This trip offers challenging hikes with lots of opportunities to safely go out of your comfort zone balanced with discovering the best cake and beer huts on the mountain . The hotel and food were fabulous and the staff were always friendly and obliging. Austrians take politeness to another level . The area is well connected with transport so there are plenty of options for the free day . This trip offered challenges , camaraderie , excitement and serene moments at the summits . If you are lucky enough to have Paul McDermott and/or Louise Russell as your leaders expect to come home healthier, stronger , happier and a little heavier ( all muscle of course ) ! This trip will not disappoint .

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching the summit of each level 5 walk to take in spectacular 360 degree views of the Tyrol. Making friends with people from all walks of life and sharing this incredible journey together.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Having fantastic leaders who clearly love their job and care about ensuring your enjoyment of every aspect of the trip was probably the best part of this holiday . We were given full briefings every night of what to expect and were never disappointed . Paul McDermott is clearly very experienced and knowledgeable in his field and despite having never hiked before I was managing the challenging level hikes in his group from day 1. Both our leaders joined us for meals and were constantly on hand to offer advice and help plan activities even on the free day . Louise Russell always had a smile on her face and ensured everyone got what they wanted from the trip . These two leaders make a great team and I would highly recommend going on one of their trips.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It is useful to read the trip notes and 'what to bring' as they are accurate and informative especially if you are a novice hiker.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was one of the best holidays I have had and the organisation from start to finish by Exodus and particularly by the group leaders could not have been any better .
  • Reviewed August 2019
    Annette Thampi

    Far exceeded my expectations

    This trip far exceeded my expectations. Offering two levels of hike a day was perfect for gaining confidence and challenging myself under the expert supervision of the group leaders . Be prepared for some incredible views of the pristine glacial lake, and the breathtaking sights from the highest peaks in the Austrian Tyrol. This trip offers challenging hikes with lots of opportunities to safely go out of your comfort zone balanced with discovering the best cake and beer huts on the mountain . The hotel and food were fabulous and the staff were always friendly and obliging. Austrians take politeness to another level . The area is well connected with transport so there are plenty of options for the free day . This trip offered challenges , camaraderie , excitement and serene moments at the summits . If you are lucky enough to have Paul McDermott and/or Louise Russell as your leaders expect to come home healthier, stronger , happier and a little heavier ( all muscle of course ) ! This trip will not disappoint .

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching the summit of each level 5 walk to take in spectacular 360 degree views of the Tyrol. Making friends with people from all walks of life and sharing this incredible journey together.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Having fantastic leaders who clearly love their job and care about ensuring your enjoyment of every aspect of the trip was probably the best part of this holiday . We were given full briefings every night of what to expect and were never disappointed . Paul McDermott is clearly very experienced and knowledgeable in his field and despite having never hiked before I was managing the challenging level hikes in his group from day 1. Both our leaders joined us for meals and were constantly on hand to offer advice and help plan activities even on the free day . Louise Russell always had a smile on her face and ensured everyone got what they wanted from the trip . These two leaders make a great team and I would highly recommend going on one of their trips.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It is useful to read the trip notes and 'what to bring' as they are accurate and informative especially if you are a novice hiker.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was one of the best holidays I have had and the organisation from start to finish by Exodus and particularly by the group leaders could not have been any better .
  • Reviewed August 2019
    Helen Downs

    Walking in the Austrian Tyrol

    Wonderful week spent walking in the Tyrol. The hotel is perfectly placed by the lake and run with care and consideration by Crystal. The food was hearty and plentiful with buffet breakfast , self made packed lunch and a 4 course evening meal . 2 levels of walks were offered each day , some of which started or finished at the hotel and always allowed for plenty of stops for rest and refreshments . A complementary travel pass was included which allowed independent exploration of the area on the free day by bus, steam train, ferry, cable car or ski lift .

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Looking back down each day at how far I had ascended and realising that each of us , in our own way could “ climb a mountain “ ! The feeling of achievement at the summit and the knowledge that I would sleep soundly .

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Paul McDermott and Louise Russell were fantastic - reassuring , encouraging , helpful , patient and knowledgable .

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for wet weather just in case and remember walking poles ! It’s helpful to be a regular walker already and if you enjoy the Lake District or Snowdonia you will be perfectly capable of completing each walk .

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    In summary - breathtaking scenery in great company with apple strudel - what’s not to like !!
  • Reviewed August 2019
    Jon Musker

    Fabulous week of hiking

    Fabulous week of hiking in the stunning mountains surrounding lake Achensee

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Looking down from our final summit, back to the start of our day's hike and also looking down on two previous summits. Truly magical moments.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Paul was an excellent group leader. His relaxed manner and casual good humour belied the care and attention he gave to ensure that each day's hiking was happy, motivated and well ordered.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I was concerned about going on a group trip for the first time; but it was everything I . could have hoped for. The camaraderie was amazing, the walks were very well selected so that they were always manageable and captured the beauty and joy of the mountains. The hotel, travel and all the infrastructure of the trip were really well managed and Exodus looked after me very well. And the group leaders were great company and great at their job. Hard to see how it could have been improved.
  • Reviewed August 2019
    ARIANE ROCHA

    Walking in the Austrian Tyrol -

    Great trip with amazing views. We took level three walks and although we didn't have previous experience, we were able to go to all trips. Special thanks to our great guides Louise Russel and Paul McDermott, who were always in a good humor and made sure everybody had a wonderful experience, even when the weather didn't help much.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The views we had from the summits.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Paul and Louise were always helpful and made all the efforts for us to have a good time. Besides, they are a great company, fun and enthusiastic. We we had a great time with them and we look forward to walking with them in another trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Check the weather before travelling and make sure you have the appropriate clothing and gear for rain.
  • Reviewed August 2019
    Andrew Jeffs

    Walking in the Austrian Tyrol June 2019

    Had a fantastic week thanks to our wonderful guides Bob,and Paul (and Louise who was shadowing them). Met a great group of people. Wonderful (if rather hot) weather helped of course Achensee is beautiful with some excellent routes for all abilities. Hotel and staff were welcoming and good hearty food.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    hard to choose! Evening wander with Paul and Louise to see fireflies and gloworms Jumping into the lake to cool off after a long hot day Being helped to overcome fear on some slightly exposed path sections (don't worry, they are not that bad, I'm just a bit nervy!)

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Absolutely great. Calm, encouraging, knowledgeable. Impressions to remind us of the names of Alpine flowers will stick in the memory for a while!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do this trip-you won't regret it Don't do it if you are vegan (i'm not)
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Richard Cooper

    Fantastic walks in the Tyrol

    This holiday has it all - great walks, scenery, guides, hotel, food... highly recommended! I didn't have any particularly high expectations of the holiday after reading the brochure and booking it, but I was pleasantly surprised, it's very well thought out and location is excellent. I did the challenging walk each day guided by Paul, these were well planned, and even with some clouds on occasion, the views were stunning and there was an abundance of alpine flowers. The hotel is well located right on the lake, with comfortable rooms. The food is no-nonsense but very good and plentiful, which I appreciated after a day's walking, and has lots of choice in the menu. There were wheat-free options for evening meals and breakfast, and they even gave me gluten free bread each day to make sandwiches with for lunch.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The views over the alps in every direction were stunning. Taking a moment (or half an hour) to lie on the top of the Rofanspitze on my day off in the sunshine with crystal clear views in every direction over the alps was particularly memorable.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Paul was excellent at leading the group, knowledgeable about the flora and fauna, and particularly funny when doing charades to try to get us to remember the names of the flowers! Now was that a trombone or a trumpet Gentian Paul?

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I can only speak for the challenging walks: Walking pole(s) are useful especially for some of the long steep downhill sections if wet under foot. Take some reasonable hiking boots which you will be comfortable walking in on rocks.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Whilst I did the level 5 (challenging) walks and highly recommend these, I think this holiday is really good if you're not sure what you can do (or want to do), since you can choose the group to walk with each day. (In response to earlier reviews) the WiFi in the hotel was fine on my Android device. I found it refreshing to take a swim in the lake overlooking the mountains (there is a protected area for swimming very near the hotel).
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Terry Penfold

    Great walking in a beautiful area

    Lovely walking in good company with great leaders, good food and comfortable hotel. The group was split into level 3 and level 5 graded walks. We did the level 3 walks and found them excellent. The weather was mixed but everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. Cake cafes featured prominently in the itineraries. Wild flower identification was a hot topic.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Difficult to say. Occasionally getting to the top of something was a bonus but seeing chamois, marmots and edelweiss was exciting.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Louise was a great leader. She paced the days well and was able to improvise brilliantly if things didn't quite go to plan. A survival bag became a forgotten waterproof on one occasion and there was no problem when we found a cable car was out of action - we just studied the map and changed the route within a few minutes.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    As a centre-based holiday, this would be hard to beat. Don't expect to lose weight. Just go.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The first day's walking was largely on forest tracks and therefore a little disappointing but the other days made up for it. I think I would have liked longer, perhaps ten days or two weeks to allow for further exploration and maybe some more settled weather, but you can't have everything.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Stephanie Hofielen

    Excellent holiday in the Austrian Alps

    Exquisite scenery, knowledgeable guides, great walks, lovely hotel, fun and friendly people - what more can you ask? This was a most memorable holiday and I highly recommend it. The trip was very organised, leaving you to just relax and not worry about the details. The hikes were well planned and took you to places of incredible beauty. A level of fitness is recommended for both levels of hikes which can consist of steep ascents/descents, some rock scrambling, and traversing areas of snow. The hotel was very comfortable and the food plentiful. The hotel was very accommodating in preparing vegan meals for me but the choice was limited. The guides, Bob and Paul, were very knowledgeable about the area and sensitive to people's capabilities and needs.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Moments: The beautiful meadows, views of and from the mountains, challenging myself to do the level 5 and succeeding, snowbumming, farmhouse lunch and homemade cake (level 3), friendly people who all got on well with each other

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Bob and Paul and Louise were excellent in their attention to detail, supporting walkers of all levels, knowledge of the terrain and flora and flexibility in modifying walks due to extreme weather (30C degrees). Each night after dinner they briefed you on the hikes planned for the next day and were very open about details and difficulty. They went beyond the call of duty to ensure everyone was enjoying themselves.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You do need a level of fitness for these hikes. The paths can be steep and rocky. A level of comfort for walking long distances and 500m+ of ascents and descents is advised. Vegans: There were plenty of food options for vegetarians but for vegans it was limited and the food, albeit plentiful, not very inventive. Be prepared. Breakfast can be tricky since it is very meat and cheese centric. The hotel was very accommodating and provided non dairy milk for the muesli and coffee and soya yoghurt due to my request. For packed lunches, I brought peanut butter from the UK (although you can probably buy it from the local supermarket) and made peanut butter and jam sandwiches. Honesty, there would not be much for choice for lunch for vegans.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Also my experience with the internet in the hotel was poor - if I was able to log on it would not be for long before 4G kicked in. After trying too many times I gave up. The result is I used up my allotment of data and had to buy more from my supplier. Suggestion: Buy extra data in the event the internet does not work when you are there.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Angela-Luisa Cory

    Walking the Austrian Tyrol

    Fabulous time - stunning scenery - we were very lucky with the weather. Our guides were great, Bob and Paul. My group's guide was Bob - very knowledgable and thoughtful. The Hotel was comfortable and the food great (only spoilt by one or two grumpy waitresses!). I have to say that I would highly recommend this trip to anyone.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Swimming in the lake with the mountains covered in snow in the background - freezing though!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Bob was great. Can't thank him enough.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you are fit enough for this walk!
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