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34 Reviews

  • Reviewed November 2019
    Sue Totterdell

    Amber warning

    This was a great trip, with spectacular scenery, delicious food and a comfortable hotel. Although the steps (up and down) involved should not be underestimated, the 'amber warning' refers to the rainstorm that coincided with our day off. Despite this, I would recommend this trip to anyone who enoys coastal scenery and even suggest this relatively late departure date to avoid some of the crowds in the popular Cinque Terre villages.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The walk to Portofino was probably the best but this reflects that it was the sunniest day, so the photographs remind us what a wonderful day we had. However, the overall enjoyment owed a lot to a wonderful group of fellow walkers. It was certianly one of the most musical Exodus trips I have taken.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Michela was great. She warned us of the likelihood of bad weather on the Tuesday, moved the rest day so that it coincided. She provided all the information we needed to take the proposed trip to Genoa but then came to breakfast early on Tuesday morning to warn us that the weather forecast had deteriorated and that we should stay closer to Moneglia. We did indeed experience a dramatic storm and were very pleased that we were not high in the hills when it happened. The drowned walkers we saw about town made us glad for Michela's advice. She also managed to keep the group together very well, so that the speed of ascent and descent (tricky after the rain) suited us all. Very professional.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't be put off from going late in the season. Even in October we met lots of people on the footpaths of the Cinque Terre but I can see it would be musch busier in summer. The rain was warm! Take walking poles if you have them - particularly useful on slippery descents.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I really like these weeks when we are able to travel to/from our walks using the local trains.
  • Reviewed October 2019
    Candace Maliteare

    Just a few more steps...

    We joined the majority of our group mid-Sept with Michela in Pisa. An informal meet and greet and an idea as to what to expect was laid out each day. As quoted by our fearless leader 'A little bit of up and then we level off' this was - pretty much the start of every glorious day. Michela was a great guide - easy going, kept us on point and moving at a comfortable pace. A couple of the days were more steep than others, it was super hot when we were there which didn't help. On a cooler day, the up's would have been a lot more tolerable. The last day provided some amazing views. Moneglia is a cute/quiet town with great options for dining - the host hotel was super comfortable and crazy clean!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Each day really! if it wasn't just getting to the top of the hill , it was turning a corner and being in awe of some really great picture moments of the Cinque Terre.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fantastic leader! It's not an easy task keeping every one happy and in order. Michela always made sure we had options. Options if someone wasn't well, or wasn't comfortable with the hike. Options for restaurants and suggestions on our free day. She also constantly checked in with everyone as we hiked and kept us updated as to how much longer or what to expect along the way. Thank you Michela!!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't underestimate the walks. Up is up and down is down.!! If the heat bothers you, try for a cooler season. Hiking boots are a must.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The only small point - the first hiking day. It was mainly in the forest with a few short glimpses of water /valleys. It's a great workout, (that was the inspirational part) and the hikes get better. So hang in there and carry forward.
  • Reviewed September 2019
    Simon Smith

    A fabulous week

    This was my first Exodus walking holiday and I will definetly be doing more. Our guide Michela was fantastic, making every day a day to remember. Her walks were sometimes challenging but always within everyone's capabilities and we visited some amazing villages. The holiday did not stop there as Moneglia where we stayed was full of restaurants which made for wonderful evenings out.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Every day was inspiring whether it was climbing up the hills, walking through the woods or down into the villages but our last walk across the terraces will be one of my favourite memories

    What did you think of your group leader?

    You could not ask for a better leader. Michela looked after us day and night, making sure everyone was happy with what they were doing and offering alternatives if the main activity did not suit. Michela is very knowledgable and interesting, telling us all about the places we visited. She also looked after us in the evening suggesting and organising different restaurants for group meals. Nothing was too much trouble for Michela even down to making sure we all got home safely.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    There are some steep climbs, but nothing impossible for so.eone of average fitness. Walking poles can be useful on some of the rougher descents.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A fantastic holiday. Go for it
  • Reviewed September 2019
    Beverly Eastwood

    Wonderful week

    I have recently returned from this holiday and can honestly say it was one of the best Exodus walking trips I have done. The area itself is unique and stunningly beautiful. Every day was different and incredibly well organised by Michela , our leader who was excellent. The week was busy but never felt too much and was a really comprehensive tour of the Ligurian coast. The hotel was lovely with good rooms and a great breakfast buffet.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    This is very difficult to say as each of the walks had its own breathtaking moment - - whether it was a view as we walked into one of the towns or the silence of the forests. We also all took a boat trip on our free day and the views from the boat were amazing - sailing into Portovenere was stunning.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Michela as I have said was excellent. There was so much thought that went into everything she organised. If someone did not want to do all the walking or wanted a day off she was so helpful and detailed in regard to other options. She was incredibly knowledgeable and interesting - not only with exploring the area but with restaurant recommendations. The food was fabulous. Nothing was too much trouble and there was genuine concern that we should all have a wonderful holiday.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Some of the walks are challenging as they are steep at times with many steps .... definitely worth it for the views , and you don’t have to be super fit but a reasonable ability to walk up and down hills is definitely advisable.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you like Italy and enjoy walking this holiday is a must.
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Sue Moody

    Calves of steel

    A fabulous week in the Cinque Terre - not to be missed! The uphill sections can be a slog but the views are so rewarding that it really is worth it. Walking between the villages of the Cinque Terre is the best way to see the beauty of the area and, on the less used paths, see fewer tourists! The group was great fun, we all got on really well. Hotel Piccolo offers great breakfasts and the rooms are clean and adequate - it's easy to find walking from the station.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I loved the walk from Corniglia to Manarola. Once we were up on the path through the terraced vineyards, the views were spectacular and there was a real sense of achievement.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Michela is an excellent guide who checks on everyone and gives plenty of rest periods which are essential as there are lots of uphill sections, many with steps of varying heights and condition. She provides alternatives for people who do not want to the full walk every day as well as inspiration for the free day.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you really don't like walking up hills or struggle with long down hill walks, this isn't for you! If you are fit but are slow either uphill, downhill or both - don't worry as Michela makes sure that the pace works for everyone and the views are superb and worth it! Moneglia has lots of restaurants with plenty of choice so if you don't want to eat with the group you have lots of options.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Moneglia is easy to get to by train and if you opt for land only, consider flying into Genoa and catching the train from there as I did. It's just as easy as travelling from Pisa. The hotel has an agreement with a private beach at Moneglia so you can use that for a discounted price, but on our trip there wasn't much time for swimming in the sea unless you did half a day of walking and caught the train back from the halfway point.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Carol-Ann Connellan

    Cinque Terra

    What an amazing time - from the lovely Moneglia (Piccola Hotel) to the amazing walks so expertly guided by Michela Wicks. It was really everything and more than we wished for. Would never have chosen to do it differently. No time was lost or wasted pondering. Our time there was precious.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Every day was super special.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent and more.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do it with a guide. Your time there is precious. Go with those who know the way.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Definitely a must do.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Sandy Hartley

    Walking tour

    Loved every step. Our super fit guide, Michela Wicks, did an excellent job keeping us all together, providing us with heaps of information and many laughs. Thank you Michela. You are wonderful.♡

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The views, the degree of difficulty of crop growing in the area, the history, the buildings. So much more. I am in awe of this part of the world.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Michela was awesome. Thorough, organised, knowledgeable, interesting and lovely to chat too. I was sad to say goodbye.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It's a must. You wont be sorry.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Carole Quinn

    A fantastic week

    This was a great holiday & I'd thoroughly recommend it. The walks were far more strenuous than I expected but the views were spectacular which made it all worthwhile.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking down into Portofino - so picturesque. Also the stunning Cinque Terre with the coloured houses - amazing!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Michaela was lovely. Friendly, helpful & knowledgeable - everything you could want from a group leader.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read the brief properly & do some walks or gym work to prepare for this trip. Wear appropriate footwear - this is serious walking - it's very steep in places with uneven surfaces. Walking poles are definitely useful.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I loved this holiday but felt that the level 3 (moderate) was not sufficient. It was considerably harder than I expected it to be & that appeared to be the general consensus of the group. Our leader organised dinner options for the evenings & it was much appreciated particularly by the solo travellers.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    JANET ALLAN

    Great times in Italy

    I flew from Manchester and made my own way to the hotel in Moneglia. The travel instructions were easy to follow. I met the rest of the group later that evening. Michela Wicks was our excellent guide. She put no pressure on us to do the walks and offered alternative activities. The walks were as tough as I expected but the weather was good for walking. We had lots of stops and time to enjoy the various villages. Michela took us to various restaurants at night in Moneglia but it was not compulsory to join the group. As a group we gelled well and enjoyed everyone's company. The Hotel Piccolo was very comfortable, a good breakfast choice and a small pool with waterjets to ease the aching muscles and knees. Bathing in the sea was also pleasant. The weather wasn't good on our day off so on Michela's advice a group of us went to Chiavari which was very interesting (although most shops and the cathedral were shut between 12-3.30). We had a lovely pre-dinner wine tasting one night which was included in the trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Surviving the walks! I have trouble with my knees especially going downhill but we were never rushed. I enjoyed spending time with the group. I have done a number of group holidays and there has always been a good mix of people.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Michela was excellent and wanted us all to enjoy our holiday. I certainly did.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The distances covered in the walks are not long but feel much further due to the ascents and descents. Walking boots are essential. If the weather is inclement(!) and the guide cancels the planned walk there is a good reason. The paths would be really slippery and dangerous. We were lucky. The trains are excellent for getting about. I like tea so always take a kettle and teabags away with me to have in the room. Don't expect nightlife!!
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Dami Jaiyesimi

    Fantastic

    Stunning scenery, great guide, very well organised.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    A lot of stunning and memorable sights but my favourite was stopping for Lunch at the Mintellect hilltop restaurant in Rapallo. Great company, great views, great risotto!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Michela was great - Very helpful, resourceful and patient.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you're fit! I would rate this a 5 out of 10 not a 3.....!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It was fab- thank you. Perhaps an earlier transfer to Pisa on the last day so people can explore Pisa and see the tower.