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

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  • Reviewed July 2019
    Laurie Thurston

    Spectacular Experience in the Italian Alps!

    If you're looking for an expertly organized trip guaranteeing you laughter, new friendships and adventure, you simply MUST choose this trip to the Dolomites. Unbelievably, each day is better than the last. Your week will be filled with super fun hikes, spectacular scenery and lots of cultural experiences.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Spending my days in the company of these amazing mountains -- experiencing them from different angles, at various times of the day, in all sorts of lighting -- proved magical. I appreciated getting to know the area very well. Even though all of the hikes were different and every view unique, each day afforded gifts of its own. Truly, a wonderful experience.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Karl freaking rocks! His vast knowledge of the area and the people -- everyone knows him!! -- made every day even more fun. He's organized and on point, but also very laid back and responsive to the needs of both the group as a whole and as individuals. We were a varied group from ages 16 to 72 and he kept us all challenged and engaged every step of the way.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Pack your sense of humor along with rain gear (though we got super lucky weather-wise...but it's the mountains at high elevation, so be prepared). And pace yourself when it comes to the AMAZING food! The dinners are epic ;) You'll love the Hotel Adler: fantastic staff, great accommodations and a super fun little town. On your free day, try out the bike rental and explore Villabassa and Lago di Dobbiaco...don't forget to stop for gelato (Karl will tell you where to go!!)....I would say, if you want a super hard core hiking trip that logs a ton of miles with very little stopping to enjoy the journey, this may not be the trip for you. But if you want to work off your dinners, get your heart rate up a bit and enjoy the views as you climb, this is a perfect trek!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Many of the people in our group had taken trips with Exodus before and had nothing but wonderful things to say about their other trips. This was our first outing with Exodus and it will NOT be our last. I am excited to continue exploring with this organization.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Angela Jackson

    Pleasant cycling trip

    This is a pleasant cycling trip but as some reviewers have previously highlighted despite the grade 2 we were often arriving at the hotel about 5.00pm or later and so we didn't have much time for relaxation off the bikes. This was not too much of a problem until the arrival in Obidos which is worthy of some time to look around. There are some diversions from the original route following the devastating fires in 2017. Generally good hotels are used, The Literary Man in Obidos is very interesting and quirky.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Not really inspirational - but overall this is a very pleasant relaxing trip. We had great company. We had a short guided tour of Porto prior to the wine tasting.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ricardo worked really hard all week and was well supported by Ruben. He took some videos of us cycling which he tried to edit each evening for viewing whilst giving the next days briefing. Both were really nice guys who were enthusuatic about the outdoors and Portugal.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The kitty for lunches worked out great and I would recommend as everything was ready prepared on our arrival with a good choice of food, this included picnic lunches as well. Book extra nights in Porto and Lisbon as they are both worthy of more time.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The last group meal is really the one in Obidos with suggestions of places to go in Lisbon if you wanted to experience Fado. We did not get a guided tour in Lisbon but we were dropped off right in the centre, a guided tour is really not practical given the size of the city. I think it would be better to give everyone a city map with the hotel and nearest metro station marked on it - so you know the way back and with some recommendations of places to go depending on your interests. For the nights when group meals are not organised it would also be useful to be provided with a map and suggestions for restaurants. We can highly recommend the Wine Bar by Cristal in Figueiro de Foz which was very close to the hotel - don't be put off by the name as this was a great little tapas bar with fantastc food.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Denyse LeBrun

    Exceeded expectations!

    A blissful week of exhilarating trekking and comfortable lodging. The trees were of very reasonable length and level of difficulty. Every trek offered a different type of trek, terrain and views of the Dolomites. From finding am azure blue lake, to rolling hills of wild flowers, to wooded paths to raw limestone. Every day better than the previous. The hotel was stunning and very comfortable offering a plethora of food for all tastes and appetites. The quiet town allowed for a true escape and the opportunity to cycle on your free day.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Every day was an inspiration atop a mountain with a view of the Dolomites. My favourite day was monte piano and the opportunity to walk around a mountain.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Karl is a brilliant and nurturing guide. His ability to ensure every hiker is comfortable and content is only surpassed by his knowledge of the terrain, paths, history and botany. He is clearly comfortable in the area and enjoys making sure everyone is happy. His sense of humour puts everyone at ease and facilitates early bonding among the hikers. He goes out of his way to give everyone their best possible experience and adventure.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring poles, all weather layering clothes, good solid boots and sunscreen. Have enough cash as ATM doesn’t work well. Use the pool to relax after the hikes and bring earplugs as although the town is quiet, the doors slam shut and can be echoed.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This trip truly exceeded my expectations In every way. This was my second trip with Exodus, having previously partaken in Mont Blanc Highlights. I expected Dolomites to be less spectacular but it was indeed more spectacular with the contrasting colours and as I’ve mentioned the variety of terrains and views. The hotel was accommodating to my gluten-free vegan diet. The itinerary was perfect and every part was flawless. Lucked out having a wonderful guide and group.
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Caroline Robinson

    Fabulous walking

    Great leader, Liz Proctor, fabulous walks in great scenery. Good hotel with great food.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking up the Tre Cime

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Liz Proctor was brilliant. Informative, friendly, personable and helpful.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you have done some walking beforehand as you'll be on your feet for 6 hours a day. And be prepared to walk up!!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Hotel service in the restaurant was hit and miss. There wasn't a standard vegetarian option which caused issues for some of the group. A more simple wine list. There was no staff on a Tuesday which caused the issues with service.
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Sahara Wutzke

    Coastal views

    Portugal is a beautiful country and cycling along its coast felt like I experienced all it's best parts. Cycling: This is rated correctly at "moderate" because of the hills. However it is a comfortable "easy" ride for the average fit person. I don't ride a bike at home and felt this was very doable. I really enjoyed how the cycling increased in time on the bike and pace as the trip progressed. From the first day where we took it easy, stayed together as a group and didn’t go too far a distance, to the last day of rolling hills, go at your own pace (fast or slow) and longer distances. Since you are travelling as a group it is to be expected that sometimes you will be waiting for the last person. But it is nice since, you can have yourself a little snack and coffee while you wait a lot of the time. Plenty of opportunity to take your time or even ride in the support vehicle if you aren’t up for the hill that day. I took advantage once myself of the ‘free’ ride. The ride is on mostly flat, or rolling, paved bike paths, through forest and coastal towns. We spent little time on roads and if we did they weren’t busy. Since it is a cycling trip the majority of your day is spent on the bike or ‘in transit’. Sightseeing in the towns you stay in is limited but a part of the consistent paced itinerary.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    We really enjoyed the other travellers in our group. I enjoyed conversations both during the ride and at meals with other travellers from around the world. Highlight: Picnic lunches!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alex was an excellent guide, skilled at maintaining a group pace and had great knowledge of Portugal. He gave great directions and appreciated when we wanted to pick up the pace.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Book to stay an extra night in Porto on arrival to see the sites of this beautiful city.
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Susan Joe

    Custom trip women, wine and walking

    This was my first solo trip across the “pond” with a custom trip arranged and set up by agent Sue Flemming. I had heard good things about how she looked after her clients and she did not disappoint. She was on this trip and ensured that we got where we had to without losing track of anyone and ensured that we had a good time. The two guides, Rita Caetano and Lina Ferreira were superb. For such a young gal, Rita went above and beyond to make the trip safe, enjoyable and with good humour. Lina was absolutely an excellent guide as well and so knowledgeable about the area, flora and fauna and if she didn’t have the exact answer, she would look it up and tell us as soon as she knew the answer.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I don’t know if I would call it inspirational but certainly, the most memorable moment was at the start of one day of walking . On one day,we started by walking through a small village where I had an encounter with a local lady. She pointed to a tree full of cherries, then pulled off a large branch (and a small one )and handed it to me and encouraged me to eat the cherries. I don’t think I will ever forget that moment. The cherries were delicious,by the way. Another was this beautiful organic winery that we went to which had spectacular organic food and wine. I tasted the best gluten free bread ever at this winery. The scenery was so spectacular that I felt like I wanted to have a constant video camera going to capture every moment.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rita was excellent as was the other guide Lina. Both were kind, caring, generous with their time to answer any and all questions. They often went above and beyond to ensure that we had the best trip possible. Rita would often drop back to see that we were all doing ok and then would bound back up to the front. Some of us nicknamed her ninja girl because she would suddenly appear without even snapping a twig underfoot, ha ha. As I was usually at the back of the pack, I had the good fortune to spend a lot of time with Lina who with deserved pride, shared her knowledge about Portugal . She was so knowledgeable about the various flora and their uses . It made for a much more interesting trip for me which could have been just an exercise in trying to stay with the pack. I learned much more and have a great appreciation of the beauty of the Portugal countryside.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Not really as I’m a pretty neophyte traveller myself. I prefer guided tours as a result. Pretty much all of the other travellers in this group were experienced travellers.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I chose this trip as my entry into the world of solo travel. I had a very good experience thanks to the excellent guides and travel agent.
  • Reviewed June 2019

    Truly Wonderful

    A really lovely trip to The Azores. A packed itinerary with whale and dolphin watching and exploring the island landscape, which is one of a kind! We saw tropical dolphins, playful bottle nosed and common dolphins and the small striped dolphins. Some played around the boat racing with us across the waves. We saw pilot whales and the magnificent sperm whales. It was a rigid inflatable boat so we were close to the water and it was both fun and exciting.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The whales.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I have to tell you about the guide: Nuno Garcia. He is the nicest, most considerate and patient guide we have ever encountered. He was full of fun and always there to help anyone who needed it. He would stand at the harbour smiling and waving as we left to whale watch and he would be there ready with a smile and a wave when we returned. An excellent guide in every way.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a variety of clothing because the weather can be very changeable.
  • Reviewed June 2019
    David and Louise Simpson

    Experience Morocco!

    A brilliant trip which covered a lot of the country which is an exciting place to visit.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Riding camels in desert, walking in Atlas Mountains, souks in Fez, visiting local families, local hamman in mountains.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very good, but could have given more information on long drives even about the country.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Even though it is a Premium trip, places to stay where not special but ok for our needs. Minibus for 15/16 people far too small and on the very long journeys it was pretty uncomfortable but we survived!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Morocco is a country with friendly people, sights and sounds and experiences everywhere and this trip covers so much. Would recommend (if transport was improved) for anyone.
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Esther Dawney-New

    Lovely walks in varied and interesting locations

    This is a short but packed easy walking trip guided by the brilliant knowledgeable and fun Bruno. From the lush heights overlooking lakes and craters to swimming in natural thermal pools to whale watching this trip has it all. Bruno’s enthusiasm for his country and love of his job meant he was totally engaged with the group. He probably would have crammed more into the itinerary if time had allowed. The islands of the Azores are stunning and have to be walked to be fully appreciated .

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were many wonderful views and no one that absolutely stands out. Laughing with Bruno and the group is a great tonic

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Bruno as already mentioned could not have been more interesting , engaging and fun. as a group leader He excelled in holding the group dynamics so that we had fun together but also walked at a pace which suited all.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for a full on trip with little spare time or stops. That said, the walking though some longer but gentle uphill was paced well. The long ( 2 hours) down hill is challenging on the knees so would advise poles and decent rough terrain footwear. Take an additional small (folding variety backpack) to leave on the coach for swim wear. If prone to travel sickness take medication and be prepared to take it 2 hours before the late evening ferry trip ( 2 hour choppy trip)
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Denise Murphy

    Porto to Lisbon ride

    Excellent hotels apart from first and last because they were not in the Center of Porto and Lisbon. We had to travel by Exodus transport. We did not have the walking tour of Porto as advertised despite arriving early afternoon just the port tasting. We would rather have had a walking tour. We understand it was not the usual tour guide on that particular week, could that have been the reason?

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The cycling along the Atlantic coast, the scenery and all the hotels apart from first and last as mentioned above.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Understand that Rafael usually works in the office so was not very informative although very pleasant. He also kept us cycling at a very slow pace a lot of the time, keeping us all together, not letting us ride on ahead and wait which a lot of us found extremely frustrating. Our hands were constantly on the brakes and therefore most days didn’t arrive at our hotel until late afternoon and it could have been much earlier, especially the first two very flat days. Daniel was the driver and he looked after us very well and organised excellent picnics.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Yes arrive in Porto a day early to see this beautiful city, and perhaps have an extra day in Lisbon because our group flight involved us getting up at 4.15 am.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    None of us had the Fado dinner on the last night as we were not told about it on the previous night. We did t get a briefing. Everyone therefore ate separately on the last night so it was a sad ending to the holiday. Also when arriving in Lisbon we were dropped off at a petrol station and given directions on how to walk into the tourist area of Lisbon. We were told we had to make our own way back to the hotel, luckily some of the others had noted the name and address of the hotel we had just dropped our bags off.

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    We would like to thank Denise for her review, although we are very sorry that she was disappointed with certain aspects of her trip, and that the orientation tour was not offered on this departure. The orientation tour is dependent on the time available after the arrival of the group flight, and we will review timings of each activity to maximise the opportunity to enjoy a short walk in the city centre before or after the wine tasting, whilst still ensuring enough time is given for check-in and the main trip briefing. For those wishing to spend more time in Porto, we recommend considering an earlier flight or pre-tour accommodation to allow more time to visit the city and its many highlights independently, as mentioned in our Trip Notes.

    We regret that Denise was disappointed with the leadership on this tour. Rafael works in our local operator’s main office but he is fully trained, leads trips every year and knows the route well. A group’s pace will often depend on the difference in each client’s ability and, whilst there are some sections during which clients can cycle on their own, generally the tour leader must keep the group together for safety reasons. The pace is therefore tailored according to the trip grade, which is 2 (leisurely/moderate). 

    We were sorry to learn that Denise was disappointed with the final day of the tour, and we will ensure that every group is offered an optional guided tour in Lisbon from now on. Those wishing to explore independently will be provided with detailed information regarding highlights, maps and directions. Tour leaders have also been briefed to offer an optional farewell dinner from now on. Marta Marinelli – Product Manager

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