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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
    Lucy Chaldecott

    A marvellous week in the mountains!

    My dad and I have just returned from the Dolomites. We had an absolutely amazing week and I cannot rate it highly enough for keen mountain walkers. With varied walks, beautiful views, excellent guides and cheerful company from fellow hikers, it has been a very memorable week; I am so pleased that i chose this spectacular trip. Thank you to everyone for making it such a happy holiday.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The beautiful, high up ridge walks with undulating paths stretching for miles ahead, with dramatic views down into the valleys. Standing in the snow at the top of Piz Boe at over 3,000m was also pretty inspirational!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Both Albert and Martin were outstanding leaders, and they swapped between the grades of walks each day so we got to know them both. They proved to be not only organised, knowledgable and highly competent, but also kind, friendly and funny. Thanks for all the excellent mountain refuge stops!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go prepared for all weathers and temperatures - sometimes we needed shorts, sun hats and sun cream, and sometimes waterproofs and gloves. Best be prepared and take it all! Dad and I hired bikes for half of our free day which I would highly recommend. Also enjoy the sauna downstairs in the hotel, and take a kettle for your room if you’re a keen tea drinker!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Best to stick to either grade 3 or 5 for all of the week to avoid overlap in the walks between days. Other than that, just book this trip, it is beautiful and you will love it!
  • 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 July 2019
    Dexy D

    Chocolate Hiking in Chamonix

    Fantastic fun week of hiking based at Chalet Chocolat with amazing hosts Zohi and Ben and top guide Emma. Nothing was too much trouble, including parking my car on demand ;-) Amazing three course meals every evening and interesting and varied salad options for packed lunches. Felt like staying in someone's home rather than a chalet. And the cakes made every day were outrageously delicious. We were made to feel very welcome and Zohi and Ben were very happy to share their knowledge of the local area, which was another bonus. We laughed a great deal this week and that was often due to their relaxed and welcoming manner. The hikes were also varied and challenging and never short of a spectacular view!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing Mont Blanc from almost every angle! Having dinner directly watching the sunset over the mountain and meeting a great group of people who I hope to stay in touch with.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    It was Emma's first tour as an Exodus leader and she did a great job. She shared her vast experience of trekking with us and managed the group very well. She had lots of fun ideas to bond the group and was happy to support everyone as they needed. We enjoyed her company over the week.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't be fooled by the level 3 rating. Even at this level, some of the hikes have significant ascent and descent and require a certain level of fitness. Poles are helpful.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    John Riley

    Fantastic trip

    Hi have recently returned from a wonderful week on the Highlights of the Tour de Mont Blanc trip. Had a wonderful time with a great group. We were so lucky to have Mike Rhodes as our trip leader - Mike's experience and knowledge of the region and routes covered each day was exceptional. Mike was always up for a chat and happy to share his wealth of knowledge - I even learnt a few new techniques to tie up my boots. The accommodation at Chalet Chocolat and the views were fantastic . Zoe and Ben spoilt us rotten - with all their tips and sensational meals . Thanks to all involved in a memorable week. JR

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The walks each day were quite varied - different views and landscapes - and always a spectacular spot near the top for a lunch break.... and a delicious lunch each day it was...

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Being able to walk with Mike was a highlight of my week.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Andrew Thomas

    You'll view steps differently...

    This is a well planned walking week on a beautiful (and steep) part of the Italian coast. Centred in Bomerano, a small town ideally situated - several of the walks start from the hotel - be warned they nearly all involve some steps (mostly downwards). The paths go through beautiful countryside with lemon groves, vineyards and spectacular views down to the sea. A day trip to walk the rim of Vesuvius and visit Pompei was very memorable. The hotel Due Torri was very comfortable and the staff all very friendly and helpful - very sensitive to some of the groups food intolerances or allergies.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I particularly like the visit to Ravello (Villa Cimbrone a must having been there 25 years ago) and the following walk down to Amalfi through lemon groves and a lovely wooded valley with waterfalls and streams (useful for cooling your feet) past old iron works and the site of the first paper mill in Europe. The ice creams and beers at the end were very welcome.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Martina was an exceptional group leader - funny, caring and full of local knowledge and a great ambassador for Italy and all things Italian - she introduced us the the word 'undulating' - some of those steps are uphill!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    There are lots of steps - read the trip notes. Take walking pole(s) if you have them - the hotel do have some if you don't and there are a couple of well equipped outdoors shops in the village. I wore boots and was pleased to have them although others wore good walking shoes - you need something with good a grip (especially on Vesuvius). You can select your packed lunch each day - provided by the hotel - they were good.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is a great walking week in a beautiful part of Italy - just book and enjoy.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Rusne J.

    Highly recommend this trip

    Best holiday ever!!!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The companions, the guide, the chalet with the hosts and the itinerary - I liked everything.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Colin Spence

    Wonderful trip to the Picos

    Our Third trip with Exodus and certainly our best. Magnificent scenery and some great walking. Combined with a hotel with a beautiful setting and Michelin star quality food.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The final walk with a spectacular summit

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Nachos was excellent with great knowledge of the local environment. He took great care to ensure we were all safe and ensured everyone in the group was made welcome. Also a great sense of humour!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Try and incorporate some Hill walking in your preperation!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Don’t hesitate book this trip and you will not be disappointed
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Martin Goodman

    Wonderful experience.

    We were lucky to have attended this trip with glorious weather throughout and had an amazing time with a real diverse bunch of interesting people from all over the world. The Exodus leader Fred was always quite laid back which reflected on the walks which were conducted at a nice pace without feeling too hurried. The two girls who operated the chalet were both exceptional and added to the overall pleasure of this trip. The food they provided was a culinary delight for all. Despite a record breaking heatwave we still experience snow walking at 35c which was a real head-bender. We booked late so ended up in the loft area of the chalet but even that was more than comfortable. The walks are breathtaking and you will find yourself forever stopping for photos.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    We did the parasailing which was incredible. We were in the air for a good 40 minutes so could really take it all in. Please book this using the firm Air Sports which Exodus recommends.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fred was a lovely chap who appeared very laid back but also someone who was fully competent at his job and it showed. I have a fear of steep edges and he calmly encouraged me to overcome this is a professional manner.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you have plenty of room on your camera roll.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you can add the paragliding to your trip because the views are astonishing. Enjoy the walking and take it all in. Enjoy!
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Julia Nufer

    Fantastic hiking trip in a beautiful part of the world

    This is a popular hiking trip, and deservedly so. The views every day were wonderful - you'd be hard pressed to enjoy this area to the same extent traveling on your own; having a tour made it so easy to have the paths charted out for us each day, and transport back to the hotel after a tough day's hiking. Each day brought an exploration of a little bit of a different area. It is rated as a "2" i think, pretty easy, but it was not very easy due to the extreme heat (up to 40C on one day, and well over 35 on every day) and humidity, on steep and rough paths. I'd say it is more like a 3 (I am an over 60 yr old woman in good condition). It is a small (about 15 people) tour so the logistics are manageable, and the group was delightful. Food at the Hotel Due Torri was fine. Only negative: the rooms are haphazard: you might or might not get a good one. Don't pay for the "superior" room - just a jacuzzi tub in a garret, with a sloping roof, can't stand up in half the room.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Actually what i enjoyed most was the day "off" - since we were there in the middle of a bad heat wave, several of us wanted to hire a boat & driver and go boating up and down the Amalfi Coast, and our guide made that happen for us. We swam in the delightful sea water several times, enjoyed a splendid water view lunch at a small town, visited a deserted beach accessible only by boat, etc. etc. It was truly memorable, like a scene from a movie.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Vania did a fine job. She was accessible, kept the group going, very upbeat, went out of her way to arrange our day on the water - we couldn't have done that without her. I was the slowest of our group (and probably the oldest) - on Day 1 I had to ask her to wait up for me at the rest stops and give me a moment to breath, but once i called it to her attention, she was pretty good about extending those rest breaks just a little longer so i could catch up. She provided options for me to bail out of the hiking at a couple of points, and i did so, (skipped one day of all-downhill hiking to save my knees, took a bus partway thru one day when that was possible, for the same reason). I appreciated her consideration and watchfulness. She did a nice job arranging the departures for all of us - many of us could not use the trip-provided shuttle to Naples Airport, and she got us all squared away with our separate arrangements.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I think if you are over 60, you had better be in very fine form to do this trip. I am fit, and found it quite difficult. The first day was 8.8 miles according to my phone, with 44 flights climbed - a rigorous day especially given the heat. Other days were closer to 7 miles. Bring the trekking poles and good boots as Exodus advises, you will use them every day.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Delightful trip, so glad i took this trip!
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Joan Murphy

    First Exodus Adventure

    Highlights of the Dolomites was a week long tracking holiday with one rest day, mid way through. the walks were varied in length, ascent and intensity. Each day was a different walk within the valley where we were based. We used the ski lifts to take us up the higher areas from where we started our walks and we usually walked down to the valley at the end where we would find a hostelry to quench thirsts and to discuss the days' highs and lows! We used public transport when required as well as ski lifts; the purchase of a pass for each form of transport certainly kept us moving smoothly , with no queuing" Our hotel was excellent with a wide variety of breakfasts and dinners. Food was in abundance! No one went hungry, unless by choice. The staff were friendly and always eager to assist when required.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Each day brought its own "moment" where you felt you had done or seen something special. Whether it was reaching the top of the mountain and looking out on the Dolomites or further afield to The Alps, walking through meadows carpeted with spring flowers, sliding down a snow filled gully on one's behind, jumping into mountains lakes, cruising down on a fly wire in silence, scrambling on steep paths, using a precariously situated toilet at 3000metres ...............

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Albert, our guide, was very knowledgeable and the group felt safe in his care. He let people go at their own speed, encouraging those who needed it and recognising those who wanted to stretch themselves and go faster. Albert knew the history of the area, could name the flora and the fauna. He had a great sense of humour and was a font of knowledge about all things local from best bakery to best hostelries on our bus routes!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Potential travellers should make sure they have decent gear, particularly socks and boots. Poles were also very useful, especially for hanging onto when you had run out of breath!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was my first organised walking holiday and was anxious on how I would manage on the walks and which level I should choose. However, as there were two levels (3&5), we were able to move between them if we wished, depending on the walk which was detailed the night before.
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