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

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  • Reviewed October 2019
    Jude Watson

    Scenery, cycle paths and canals

    A great week of varying scenery and enjoyable cycling. It was lovely to be cycling on cycle paths by the river on the first couple of days. Towns and cities were interesting and beautiful, with enough time spent there to get a feel for places and see the main sights. Food was good and plenty of chances to sample local wines. Cycling was not too hard with most days being undulating, but all hills very manageable (it was probably one of the easiest 'moderates' we have done).

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There has to be more than one! 1) The visit to the winery on Day 6 was very memorable. The family were so hospitable and lunch was amazing. Fantastic wines as well. 2) Our guide, Michele gave the option of a couple of early morning cycles to see the sunrise. These were certainly highlights for us and we'd recommend anyone on a future trip with Michele to take him up on the offer. Don't worry, there is still time for breakfast! 3) Venice - the experience of visiting this fascinating city is not to be missed. 4) The "best gelato in the world" in Vicenza!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Michele was an incredibly enthusiastic leader with an obvious passion for his country. His knowledge about Italy, its history and people was amazing. He organised places for us to eat in the evenings (which were all lovely) and recommended places to go when we were doing our own thing. Nothing seemed too much trouble and he was determined that everyone should have a great holiday. As mentioned earlier, the early morning cycle rides are a fabulous bonus which certainly seem over and above his expected duties as a tour leader.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a jacket or jumper for the ferry on Day 3 as it can get quite cold if you are on the top deck.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Nothing other than - book it! It's a fantastic way to get a taste of this part of Italy.
  • Reviewed September 2019
    Andrea Shorey

    Glorious Scenery but very rushed

    Excellent bikes and Andy always there for any minor adjustments. Glorious scenery but the trip needs some rethinking . Most days we arrived at our hotel at 5-5:30 pm. By the time we had checked in, had a shower, it was time to head out for dinner. Restaurants, very mediocre apart from the one in Trento, and quite a long walk from the hotel. It was a large group of 15, so coffee and lunch stops were far too long. Some glorious scenery, climbs longer than we had anticipated. Lake Garda and Venice very crowded.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The most enjoyable day was day 6 to Padova, with the stop at The WInery and lunch. A long fast downhill after lunch which was great.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jon was very friendly and out going, though not his usual trip. I don't think he is used to managing such a large group and as mentioned coffee and lunch breaks just too long. In any one day, the actual cycle time was approximately 4hours, yet we were leaving the hotel by 9:30 and not arriving at our destination until 5:30 most days. Andy was always there with water.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for some long climbs. The trip notes on day 6 are incorrect. We had an altitude gain of 600m not 200m

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    On previous Exodus cycle trips the leaders have organised amazing lunch time picnics and also carried snacks in the van I don't see why the arrangements were different on this trip, the picnics were delicious and much quicker than booked restaurant meals
  • Reviewed August 2019
    Bev Chinnery

    Terrific Vacation

    Where else do you get the opportunity to meet 15 wonderful people from Italy, England, Australia, Scotland, Belgium and the US and spend long, delightful days riding, taking in beautiful scenery and history, and summer nights eating and strolling the sights and sounds of Italy, capping it off with a long day trip to Venice (bring your walking shoes!) and a delicious evening meal on the canal. This trip is much more than cycling.. it’s a step in time in truly one of the most beautiful places in the world.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There was a collective beauty as the miles unfolded.. rivers flowing for miles on end, hilltop castles jutting toward the sky, unending vineyards and apple orchards, and fresh air to breathe in as each new scene came around the corners. Blending this with the group dynamics of idle chatter and laughter along the way and at various stops, and a few short history lessons now and then, made me feel like I was truly a visitor in a magical place for a while.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Michele was a strong leader. His riding skills, group leadership and overall knowledge were exceptional. Michele’s sense of humour was much appreciated and he was a gentleman in anticipating the needs of all group members and took the time to ensure everything was running smoothly. He’s a good communicator and kept us well informed about the expectations of each day.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It’s probably best to have completed several 75km daily rides to know the distance and time on the bike. The first day is particularly long and straight, so music and headphones might be nice to help enjoy the miles. We had some triathlete riders in our group who were fabulous.. and strong riders, so even though it’s NOT a race, it is nice to be able to keep up off and on. I didn’t mind falling back at times but was glad I could reasonably stay with the group along the way. Bring mosquito spray and sunscreen. Electrolyte water tablets were helpful. Small, easy snacks for the distances. A cooling towel during hot afternoons made a nice difference. Lake Garda beach is beautiful but rocky ( no sand), so flip flops are good to bring along. If you like scenery, the ferry ride is a pleasure as it criss-crosses the lake and ours was the last stop. We arrived around 9pm and by the time we checked in, a few of us opted out of dinner, so the pre-ferry purchases were dinner too. I stayed a couple of days in advance at Lido and took the boat rides into Venice to wander around. It was a great way to relax into the trip, and Lido Beach is well worth the time!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Day 3 was a great mix of riding. Day 4 was the longest uphill climb (1 km, then 5km), but day 5 also had some long climbs in the morning. Well-rewarded by the winery tour and magnificent lunch. Breakfast at all hotels was excellent. All evening meals were fabulous too.. you’re in Italy after all. With coffee stops and a few snacks here and there, $40 to $50 Euros a day was lots.. plan extra for museums, etc. in Venice on the last day. Accommodations were clean and comfortable.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    ZOE PHILLIPS

    FANTABULOUS

    Many of the reviews describe how stunning this ride is and it's all true. I'd like to review a slightly different side to this trip - how it changed me as a person and that is down to 3 things: 1. The ride as a whole and all the beautiful sights along the way 2. The friends I made and the "moments" we had that I will treasure and giggle about for ever 3. The leader - read on... Mario soon became re-named 'Super-Mario'; a true professional - caring, fun, sociable, knowledgeable, encouraging, supportive BRILLIANT, PASSIONATE & SIMPLY EXCELLENT. With mental health now recognised at being so important to people's well-being, Mario skilfully managed to transform me from a tired, unsure, lost soul back into a happy, confident, motivated person hungry and ready for the next challenge. I laughed like I have never laughed before, made wonderful friends, felt good about myself and relished the escapism for a week. I shall never forget this trip and it is refreshing to see someone (young) like Mario who adores his country, loves his work and shows such respect and kindness. From the moment we 1st shook hands to tearful goodbyes, he took full control in such a fantastic mature manner and I felt in safe hands throughout. I really hope his parents get to read this as they should be SO proud. I can't wait to do another Exodus trip (this was my first) but worry it won't be the same without Mario - the other Exodus leaders have a lot to live up to as he has set the bar so high! Thanks Mario.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Watching everyone on the group achieve those hills. With love and laughter, you can all get there and enjoy the rewards, be it gelato, carafes of Prosecco or a stunning view.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    THE BEST

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This was my 1st trip since being on my own - I couldn't have done anything better. It was scary clicking that 'booking' tab but my life restarted as soon as I met the Exodus crew. So if you're not sure -honestly, do it!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I've probably gushed enough but just to say, thank you Exodus, thank you Andy, thank you Mario and thank you to my new friends who are still making me laugh out loud until my ribs ache!
  • Reviewed July 2019
    ZOE PHILLIPS

    Dolomites, Lake Garda & Venice ride

    Many of the reviews describe how stunning this ride is and it's all true. I'd like to review a slightly different side to this trip - how it changed me as a person and that is down to 3 things: 1. The ride as a whole and all the beautiful sights along the way 2. The friends I made and the "moments" we had that I will treasure and giggle about for ever 3. The leader - read on... Mario soon became re-named 'Super-Mario'; a true professional - caring, fun, sociable, knowledgeable, encouraging, supportive BRILLIANT, PASSIONATE & SIMPLY EXCELLENT. With mental health now recognised at being so important to people's well-being, Mario skilfully managed to transform me from a tired, unsure, lost soul back into a happy, confident, motivated person hungry and ready for the next challenge. I laughed like I have never laughed before, made wonderful friends, felt good about myself and relished the escapism for a week. I shall never forget this trip and it is refreshing to see someone (young) like Mario who adores his country, loves his work and shows such respect and kindness. From the moment we 1st shook hands to tearful goodbyes, he took full control in such a fantastic mature manner and I felt in safe hands throughout. I really hope his parents get to read this as they should be SO proud. I can't wait to do another Exodus trip (this was my first) but worry it won't be the same without Mario - the other Exodus leaders have a lot to live up to as he has set the bar so high! Thanks Mario.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Watching everyone on the group achieve those hills. With love and laughter, you can all get there and enjoy the rewards, be it gelato, carafes of Prosecco or a stunning view.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    THE BEST

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This was my 1st trip since being on my own - I couldn't have done anything better. It was scary clicking that 'booking' tab but my life restarted as soon as I met the Exodus crew. So if you're not sure -honestly, do it!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I've probably gushed enough but just to say, thank you Exodus, thank you Andy, thank you Mario and thank you to my new friends who are still making me laugh out loud until my ribs ache!
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Terry Cole

    Awesome

    Our guide Machele and back up driver Andy really looked after us , Michela went the extra mile with the history of Italy 🇮🇹 and Venice the best price wise restaurant , though the weather was extremely hot , looking forward to next year to come back again , thank you Exodus for a awesome holiday . One very happy cyclist 👍🇮🇹🍺🍺🍰🚴🏿💕

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Awesome place to ride your bike

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Michela , went the extra mile to look after everyone looking forward to be on his next guided trip

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Tacke extra cycling clothes for wen the weather is hot , , sun cream , drink plenty of water or a hydration tablets in your bottle

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Nothing really just awesome holiday
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Mike Reaveley

    A Wonderful Week with a Great Guide

    A brilliant trip from mountains to sea. The route is along immaculate cycle paths and quiet country roads. The cycling is rewarding and challenging for short periods and the scenery is spectacular.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    This really is a superb trip. There is plenty of cycling with some challenging climbs. Every day was full with so much to see and do. The scenery during the rides was varied and very beautiful. The towns we visited were all full of history whether it was Trento, Lake Garda, Verona, Vicenza, Padova or Venice. The highlight of the trip was the first two days in the mountains and the ferry ride across Lake Garda. A situation developed halfway across Lake Garda when certain items in the on-board bar reached a critically low level. Fortunately, an Italian Naval re-supply vessel was in the area and came along side and the white wine was soon replenished !! We were lucky the weather - clear blue skies with temperatures in the late twenties.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Mario is an excellent leader. The group's safety was always his top priority and he spent quite a bit of time moving within the group whilst on the move checking everyone was ok. There was never any doubt about what we had to do and when we had to do it, without being overbearing. He is warm, friendly and has a fantastic sense of humour (well you'd need one, dragging us lot around!) He was a great host in the evenings and took us to some good restaurants. On the last evening he booked a restaurant in the open right next to a canal, a wonderful location. He was knowledgeable about the countryside through which we were travelling. Overall, a great guy - hope I get him on the next trip. Cuido was our support vehicle driver. Obviously we didn't spend as much time with him but similar characteristics to Mario - friendly, helpful and very knowledgeable on cycling. Together, a great team !

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The more training you do the less gasping you'll do at the top of the hills

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you like cycling and culture this is the perfect trip for you.
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Karen Ratcliffe

    Great mix of cycling, fabulous views and towns

    This was a lovely trip with lots to see in each of the stunning towns. We only passed through Soave (on the bikes of course) but we had a good extended break there for exploring! Lunch stops and coffee breaks were fabulous. Plenty of time for a decent lunch and a cheeky drink... or two. The cycling is a great mix of hills and cycle track, with a couple of decent climbs followed by some nice downhill switchbacks (views at speed) to reward your efforts!! Obviously it was everyone to their own pace. No pressure to ride fast or slow. There was plenty of opportunity to explore each of the beautiful towns, before and after dinner. Our guide was always happy to offer a much needed post dinner walking tour. The restaurants were all great so there was plenty to walk off! I’d happily go back to any of the towns to spend more time. The ferry crossing from the North shore of Garda to Desenzano is busy and lengthy. There’s no bar or cafe, and no outside deck options so go prepared with drinks, snacks, entertainment... it’s a long one!! You lose the bikes and catch the train from Padua to Venice. This made a nice change.. I’d been to Venice previously but only briefly so I appreciated the extra time to explore, and I super appreciated arriving without my sweaty kit on! :) It was a great way to spend the last full day. I highly recommend this trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It’s hard to say, as I enjoyed this trip from start to finish. I especially enjoyed the views cycling down to Garda.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was fabulous. Enthusiastic, energetic and passionate about his home town and country. Very knowledgable and full of stories.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Only the tip about being prepared for the ferry crossing, as mentioned in my summary notes. Take drinks, snacks and something to read or play ... there’s nothing on there!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Book it!! :)
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Rebecca Horsley

    Volcano to Venice

    Cycling straight forward. Some wonderful places. Interesting hotels. Weather was not great though.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Some of the culture art and churches.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    NA

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Weather unpredictable. Have an extra day at end for Venice.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    More time needed for visiting art and culture. Check all notes each day or you may miss something. Eg. Vouchers for places. Ensure you check where to get off the boat on lake Cards as not clear for all hotels.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    j allen

    DIdn't hit the high notes

    This was a curate’s egg of a trip, definitely not the best Exodus trip we have taken. It is rather a tour that is done on bicycles rather than a ride proper and yet it fails as a tour. The riding was not challenging enough for me and a bit challenging for my wife – so probably the right level for us as a couple. That said, far too much of the riding was done on endlessly boring cycling paths with unchanging views. There are a few climbs of decent length and steepness, hence the challenge for some of the group including my wife. Only two descents were memorable and I dislike being told to go slowly on them – go carefully yes, but not to go slowly for the hairpins that did not exist. And ultimately, very sad that you cannot ride from Padova (Padua) into Venice – due to lack of suitable routes - obviously beyond Exodus’ control. As a tour you visit some fascinating places, Verona, Vincenza, Padova and Venice to name the main ones, though only in Venice do you have time to explore. Vincenza has 23 buildings by the architect Andrea Palladio and Padova is home to a great university. Venice is one to see if you have never been before. That the visit to a family vineyard is considered to be the highlight of the trip for many – superb buffet lunch and most agreeable tasting – underscores that this is not an epic ride. The “support” van was a disappointment compared to our previous trips. For mechanicals, not an issue, but to support human endeavour distinctly lacking: only water was provided. No coffee, tea energy drinks; no biscuits, chocolate covered raisins or other energy giving eats; no picnic lunches magicked up in remote and beautiful places, no fresh fruit.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Sadly lacking one

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I understand that this was our group leader's first as leader. He was a little over-protective to start with but mellowed during the course of the week. Informative and helpful but lacking the obvious enthusiasm that we have had from leader's on other trips

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    With no sustenance on the support van, all coffee, tea and lunch stops are at cafes, pizzeria's, or other establishments requiring payment.... this adds noticeably to the overall cost of the holiday. If you wish to enter St Mark’s basilica In Venice – do not join the queue, instead take your day pack directly to the baggage drop (you are not allowed to take into the basilica) which is on a small side street to the left of the basilica and go directly to the front of the queue waving you baggage ticket (it’s free) – you will be allowed straight in.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We suffered from a distinct lack of fresh fruit and vegetables. The salads on the menus were not great.