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

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554 Reviews

  • Reviewed November 2019
    Douglas Johnston

    Petra and so much more

    An excellent introduction to a welcoming and fascinating country. There are varied landscapes and fantastic historical sites.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    So many, Hadrian’s Arch at Jerash, St George’s Church in Madaba (don’t miss the chapel at the rear with the painting of the Madonna and Child with the ‘helping hand’), the Treasury, tombs and Monastery of Petra. I did love Wadi Rum however, it’s a special place.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was Muayad Mesmar. He has great pride in his country and the very few times he didn’t have an answer to our endless questions he quickly found out. He did everything to make our stay enjoyable and ensure that we experienced everyday Jordan as well as the sights.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You’ll need mosquito repellent at Aqaba and the Dead Sea, not too bad elsewhere. We didn’t find the walks at Petra to the Monastery and High Place of sacrifice difficult; but you do need to carry plenty water 1.5 – 2 litres, buy it before you go in.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We felt totally safe the whole time we were in Jordan; and the people are very friendly.
  • Reviewed November 2019
    Gillian Hoile

    A week in Jordan

    An excellent itinerary which was varied and interesting. Plenty of history with good hotels and excellent food. The local people were friendly and helpful.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Entering Petra with the magnificence of the Treasury. Also the jeep safari in Wadi Rum.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Mohammed Aziz had an excellent knowledge of the history of Jordan however he was rather disorganised regarding timings and there were far too many coach stops which were unnecessary and resulted in a delay to significant sights such as The Dead Sea.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    All forms of clothing are allowed in Jordan(shorts are fine). We did not even have to cover our heads when entering religious sights however I would recommend a headscarf for the jeep safari and warm clothes for the overnight stay in the desert.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Please be aware that there are only 2 toilets in the desert for women and these were not cleaned! You need to bring wipes to wash with or a towel for a shower although I would not recommend this as the floors in the toilet block are dusty and dirty. I would suggest that the toilets are cleaned from a hygiene point of view especially as there were around 13 women in our group!
  • Reviewed November 2019
    Phillip Pomeroy

    Egypt Ancient and Modern

    A fascinating, informative, and very enjoyable tour with the chance to dress up thrown in for good measure! As with all Exodus trips we had some early starts and long days with now wasted time in between. If you want to see a lot of Egypt and experience its history from ancient times through to the modern day then this is the trip to take.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the pyramids without crowds (not at Giza, for this head out to Saqqarah). Being inside the tomb of Ramses VI in the Valley of the Kings and admiring 3000 year old carvings and paintings everywhere you look, again without crowds (extra payment needed - not a lot and well worth it!). Wouldn't describe them as inspiring but certainly unforgettable and at times jaw dropping in their grandeur.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ahmed must rate as one of the best group leaders. He is knowledgeable on all aspects of his countries history and had the ability to tell a story and hold his audience throughout. His knack of bringing out members of the group to play the roles of the characters in the story (no acting ability needed) brought the tales to life. I was pleased to play the part of Pharaoh Thutmose III Egypt's most successful ruler. As well as being a font of information he looked after the needs of the group when they suffered from "Pharaoh's Curse" and ensured that we all knew where to be and when. If you read this and are fortunate enough to have him as a group leader you will not be disappointed.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take the usual health precautions, stick to bottled water and avoid salads except in hotels and restaurants recommended by your group leader. Have some small notes / coins for toilets. Cash is better than credit card as you avoid the 3% service charge. Changing money is easy but all traders and shops will take sterling, euros or dollars and give you a fair exchange rate. Optional tours will add up (£450 ish for two) but they are all worthwhile. We did everything on the trip note lists apart from the sound and light show. Abu Simbel is an expensive trip but is worth every penny. Go by road, have the excitement(?) of a pre-dawn start and see the sunrise over the Sahara desert on the way. As a bonus you will be able to admire genuine desert mirages on the trip back. You will miss so much if you fly (and pay a lot more). Go inside the pyramids for the experience. The Red Pyramid at Saqqara is far less crowded that the Great Pyramid at Giza.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Egypt is a poor country, though you wouldn't think it with some of the prices they ask for souvenirs!. The locals need you to spend money, but haggling is expected and can be very intense. Sellers will look broken hearted as you knock the price down but don't be fooled they want to make a sale and, as with everything, some you win and some you will lose. Be prepared to be spoken to as if you are a long lost friend but beware all acts of kindness (except directions) have a price. If some one offers to take a picture for you it costs, if they offer to carry your bags it costs. Be wary of the item offered for "one dollar", that is the price to look at it not buy! Expect a friendly welcome wherever you visit and have a great time. Thanks to everyone in our group for making this such a memorable tour.
  • Reviewed November 2019
    derek crosbee

    Successful holiday

    Egypt is a fascinating country and we covered so much of it and some 4,000 years of its history most of which was new to me. A land of many contrasts from the great cities of Cairo and Alexandria to the great Pyramids to the El Alamein battlefields down to beautiful Aswan the Nubian desert to Abu Simbel and to the treasures of Luxor everything bound together by the Nile river - Egypts lifeblood. The different modes of transport we used helped to bring out the contrasts.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Quite an hard question probably Abu Simbel not only for its beauty but also for the incredible efforts of the Egyptian people in moving it from its original site and re-building it in its current surroundings

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ahmed was a fine guide with an exceptional depth of knowledge - he always described himself as an Eygptologist rather than a tour leader.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Prepare yourself for taking onboard an amazing amount of information. Take plenty of deet - flies everywhere
  • Reviewed November 2019
    Maggie Murfitt

    Hurry Up and go to Egypt!

    This was one of the best trips I have done. The guide Ahmed is fantastic, he knows EVERYTHING about his country He explained everything really well with just enough detail. He was also great fun, a really nice man. The trip is physically easy, however, there are some very early starts but Ahmed organised wake up calls for us. The monuments will take your breath away, I can’t pic a favourite place. The hotels are good and the level of service is excellent. The first and last hotels are really good and the cruise ship was stunning. I stayed an extra couple of nights and I’m glad I did. What a fantastic experience!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Probably the Valley of the Kings, or the Museum in Cairo, or Abu Simbel, or the Temple at Karnak, or the Coptic monastery..........

    What did you think of your group leader?

    One of the best tour guides I have ever had, Ahmed was enthusiastic and inspirational.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    There was only one Temple that we had to cover up but they give you stuff to put on over your clothes. The rest of the time scrappy t shirts and shorts are fine.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just book it and go. Don’t be afraid, security is very high, there are X-ray scanners at the entrance of almost every building you go in. Security guards are everywhere and the security at Luxor airport is massive. The people are really lovely and friendly and they don’t even have pick pockets in the markets. Also, there is a fixed exchange rate which applies everywhere including hotels and ATMs. Just go!
  • Reviewed November 2019
    Sue Clark

    Amazing, inspiring trip!

    This trip is not for those who are looking for a quiet, relaxing holiday. Lots of early starts made the most of the opportunities we had to get under the skin of this brilliant country. There is a lot to see and while some of the trips are optional, it's worth trying to add several to your itinery, so budget accordingly! We had a great group of travellers and a brilliant tour guide who was funny, patient (I had lots of questions) and always kind - thank you Ahmed! When you make short stops, particularly early on on the tour, leave everything except your camera (and maybe a small amount of money) in the tour bus - there are often crowds and there are hawkers everywhere - there's always an opportunity to buy souvenirs in Egypt! The vegetarian food is adequate, but not always super interesting - the food tour of Cairo, the Nile boat and the Nubian fellucca ride were hi-lights! Take the tour leader's advice - he was usually right!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The fellucca ride on the Nile, together with lunch on the boat - the food was amazing and the boat ride was magical! I was very keen to see inside the tombs in the Valley of the Kings - King Ramses VI tomb was brilliant! Hatshepsut's temple was just as impressive as it looked on TV - definitely a must! The sleeper train ride was great fun! The one that surprised me (in a good way) was the war cemetry at El-Alamein: it's beautiful, peaceful and quiet.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ahmed was great! He was kind, helpful, knowledgeable and funny! He kept us going, looked after everyone (we had a group from 23 to 76!) and tried to answer our numerous questions!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take lots of £ or $ (make sure it's all notes - particularly small values) you will get good exchange rates with the local traders! Take an extra bag - there's a lot you can buy and will want to buy! Go with an open mind and a willingness to learn. If you are blond and female you will get lots of attention!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The people are friendly, the traders are pushy but will give up if you make it clear that you are not interested. Be prepared to barter - it's part of the fun! There's so much to see and do - you might need a holiday at the end to recover (in a good way!).
  • Reviewed November 2019
    Nadine Born

    Fabulous trip

    This trip was excellent in every way. The itinerary is very well put together so we saw everything we wanted to. Our guide Muayad was wonderful and really looked after us and is very knowledgeable about his country. The coach and driver were also exceptional.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Viewing The Treasury at Petra for the first time. Witnessing sunrise in the desert on a camel.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent.
  • Reviewed November 2019
    Tanya Howes

    Great trip but tough country to enjoy

    I've done alot of travel in my time, mostly on my own, as I dislike the tour group mentality. This trip had the good, the bad, and the ugly. I picked it because Egypt isn't a country that I feel safe travelling in and can be a logistical nightmare. For this, I am so grateful to our tour leader Nadia, who had to manage tough logistics, an action packed list of activities and a group of people that spanned the spectrum of seasoned, adaptable traveller, to completely dependent and self absorbed holiday seeker. For the most part the tour was good value, but beware the amount of extra money needed for tips, people shaking you down for more money, and truly aggressive and unpleasant taxi drivers, horse carriage drivers and market merchants. The hotel in Cairo was very bad but all other accomodations were great. My take away is that while I am so grateful that I saw the sites I had dreamed about and researched for years, for me and they were everything I ever imagined, Egypt is a tough country to navigate. It's really hard to just wander down a street or go shopping. You will be accosted by people wanting to take you to their shop, get in their cab or horse carriage. They will pester you for blocks. And negotiations are hard core, not light hearted. Don't lose your cool.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the sun set on the Nile. Having a beautiful lunch on one of the sailboats, again on the Nile. Having an early morning Turkish coffee in Luxor before the market opened and watching the world wake up. Getting a kiss on the cheek from a little girl who was fixated with my earrings and her mother and I laughing about how focussed the little one was. Seeing the new library in Alexandria, and seeing an amazing dedication to learning and hope for the future.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    As mentioned above, I found our group leader to be very informed, adaptable to the group's requests, patient with all the different attitudes, caring and solicitous even when tour participants were ungracious. She managed it all with grace and professionalism. I saw amazing sites and got explanations I never would have on my own. She went above and beyond to create an interesting experience and provide fulsome explanations of what we were seeing. I found Nadia to be extremely knowledgeable about heiroglyphics and Egyptian history and generally a joy to be with.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring lots of Egyptian pounds in small denominations (10s and 20s). Recognize that while you may agree to pricing when shopping or taking a cab, you will likely be asked aggressively for more. Stand your ground and get out of the cab/shop quickly. Be aware that air and ground pollution is extreme and bring wipes. Be aware that climbing in and out of pyramids is for people in shape and if you attempt it, the space is very small and you will be holding up hundreds of people if you can't move quickly. And please respect the culture. Look around you. Neither men nor women are wearing shorts or skimpy tops. Cover up.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Trip was great. Here are some suggestions to make it better: - save the pyramids of Giza to the end. Doing them the first day is hard for people who arrived the night before - don't put people into hotels that are in the middle of nothing and nowhere and force us to use cabs to get anywhere. That first hotel (pyramid park in Cairo) is far past it's peak. It is tired, has failing facilities, rude and ill informed staff, spotty wifi, a thing for serving everything in plastic and uninspiring, poorly prepared food. Keep up with the cruise line for the Nile Cruise. Rooms, facilities, service and food were exceptional. This is also true for the hotel in Alexandria. Such a pleasure to stay there.
  • Reviewed November 2019
    Stephanie Clare

    Excellent mix of history, scenery and cycling

    A great introduction to Jordan with the two main bases covered: Wadi Rum and Petra, with a healthy sprinkling of cycling in-between.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The scenery in Wadi Rum closely followed by Petra.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ab (Abdullah) was excellent: extremely knowledgeable, courteous, and with a great sense of humour. He was always approachable and understanding - nothing was too much trouble for him. Despite the unscheduled changes on our trip (a flooded hotel and an overnight change in law re cycling trips), he worked through these issues, communicating regularly, and we completed all the activities we were scheduled to do, albeit in a different order. He was incredibly hardworking and never seemed to be "off-duty". He was in every sense a true professional. For us, he made the trip and is a credit to Exodus.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    As a couple we only spent 450JD (we didn't really buy any souvenirs as none of them really interested us and a lot of it was very similar). Our 3/4 season sleeping bags were unnecessary for Wadi Rum, just a liner or lightweight sleeping bag would have been sufficient when we were there in late October - check temperatures before you go for an idea. We didn't use that many of our own snacks as our guide was great at providing these and it was something different everyday. You don't need your own bike repair kit as the team mechanic is following behind you. As others have mentioned there isn't a huge variety in the food, but there is plenty to eat. Remember to take a water bottle, the one disappointing thing about Jordan is the amount of plastic rubbish you see littering the sides of the roads. Finally the cycling was more ascent and descent than we had anticipated from the trip notes. The cycle at Wadi Rum is flat, the rest isn't!
  • Reviewed November 2019
    Maria Branton

    A week in Jordan Oct-Nov 2019

    A full week discovering Jordan from Amman City and the ruins of Jerash, 2 days exploring Petra, Wadi Rum, eating and sleeping at a Bedouin camp, watching the sunset and sunrise. Snorkelling in the Red sea, where sadly the coral is now bleached and floating in the Dead Sea.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I loved Petra, so much to see there. The climb to the High Sacrifice was a little tough but so worth it for the view. Wadi Rum was wonderful, very peaceful and lying on the sand seeing the starry night sky was fabulous. Our penultimate night group dinner in Aqaba was fabulous and really should be the last night as dinner at the Holiday Inn on the last night was disappointing

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Mohammed Aziz was incredible. He kept us on track, informed us of our times, places we were visiting and was a fountain of knowledge in all the places we visited. A kind and caring tour leader who made sure we were all happy, fed and watered. I would thoroughly recommend a tour with him as your guide. Our driver was patient and helpful throughout the trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Arrive a day early in Amman, as the flight on Royal Jordanian gets in very late. That would give you time to acclimatise and settle in. Don’t expect everything to work like clockwork. The Middle East does not operate that way...but you will achieve everything you have been promised. Just relax and enjoy every moment of this great journey.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The Holiday Inn Hotel is fabulous but the dinner atmosphere is awful after all the wonderful evenings we had elsewhere. Exodus could consider making the last group dinner with the tour leader as one of the 2 included meals rather than the canteen like buffet on the last night. That left a bad impression and memory with me. Anticlimactic!!