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

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577 Reviews

  • Reviewed February 2020

    Snowshoeing in the Catalan Pyrenees

    A pleasant weeks snow shoe walking in the Catalan Pyrenees, although it was unseasonably warm so we had to go quite high to get decent snow. It's a beautifiul range of mountains with lots of traditional villages which are much nicer than the overdeveloped skiing centres in the Alps. The hotel in Rialp was fine, with a comfortable bed and powerful shower. Overall the food in the hotel was very good, although my bathroom could have done with a bit of TLC and the rooms are short of sitting space for couples, although there is always the bar area. Our tour leader was Miguel Ibanez, who's company deliver the tour as a package for Exodus. He has a deep love of Catalan and delighted in showing us the mountains and the local produce from the region.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The final days walk above Espot, where we carried on abve the refuge into a bowl with a frozen lake and mountains all around. I also enjoyed the visit to the little museum in Sort on our rest day where we were told about the WWII refugees and Allied pilots who escaped via the Pyrenees.
  • The most beautiful views I have ever seen...

    ... and I've been to Canada, so that says a lot. Our group was extremely lucky with the weather. You basically walk up and down mountains every day, nothing interesting about that. It is the weather that controls what the views look like. I regret nothing.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    When I look back at my pictures, there are two moments that stand out. At the end of our visit to Brasov, we stopped at a viewpoint on our way to the restaurant. That view was epic. It was nightfall, the lights in the city were on and behind it, you could see the mountain, it was breathtaking. The walk to Bran was the most beautiful. I can not put it into words. I enjoyed every second of that walk.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Thomas, the group leader was perfect. He knows the area really well and has a lot of experience guiding groups.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read the trip notes. For some bizarre reason, I hadn't done that and I didn't have the right gear. Luckily I was able to borrow it, but still. I felt uncomfortable doing that, knowing I could break or lose something.
  • Reviewed February 2020

    Brilliant Trip

    This is the fourth consecutive year my wife and I have done this trip, initially in Trins, then Seefeld and now Achenkirch. Despite some inclement weather for the Alps this was probably the best trip of all. Great group who gelled together, nice hotel and great food. As usual all the mountain huttes were a real treat. A really nice mix of walks and the treat of a toboggan ride after great coffee at the hutte at the top of the run.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    After using the Karwendel lift the views of Achensee and the mountains from the top.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The third year Paul McDermott has been the group leader. Terrific leader, nothing is too much trouble and always a smile. Joins in the evening cards which was great fun.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Good waterproofs as we walked for a day in torrential rain.
  • Reviewed February 2020

    Highly recommended

    I can't recommend this trip enough. Having twice done its predecessor in Seefeld and also its sister summer trip, I had high expectations and wasn't disappointed. The scenery is spectacular, the hotel comfortable, the food excellent - we worked our way through a long list of Austrian and Tyrolean specialities each evening. Cosy Gasthauses and sunny terraces provided perfect surroundings for lunching on soup and strudel, a cable car gave stunning views over the lake and the more adventurous of us (not me!) took the chance to try toboganning down from one afternoon cake stop. Plenty of options for the free day - visiting Innsbruck was popular with our group though I went for the snow-shoeing over the pass in a blizzard option, fabulous but exhausting. And card games full of laughter and banter after dinner rounded off each day.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Standing at the top of the pass, as a novice snowshoer on the free day, realising I'd made it up there on sheer willpower and the encouragement of my companions when half an hour before I'd wanted to just lie down in the snow and stay there..... A group who kept on laughing despite the weather......Watching a fabulous lady fight her way up a hill despite being exhausted and toboggan down in triumph.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had a conversation about good leaders and great leaders and that the great ones go the extra mile, make you think you can do things , work tirelessly to see everyone has a great time. Oh, and let a couple of novices tag along on their one free day when they head off on snow shoes...…. This one is definitely in the 'great' category.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you're dithering about whether it's for you, book it and have a go. And take a kettle if you like an early cup of coffee, Austrian hotels don't have them in the rooms.
  • Reviewed February 2020
    June Egglestone

    Excellent Trip

    A great trip for trying the basics of several types of winter sport.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting back my confidence on skis, and also, finding some good alternate winter activities.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jan was an excellent tour leader, and a lovely person. The group was the full 16, and he managed us all well, and made sure we were all ok.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    YakTrax were useful to have. Hotel rooms have hairdryer, but not very powerful, so you may want to bring your own. Bring a thermos, then you can fill up at breakfast and take hot drinks with you for the day. Take layers. Pizza place just up the road does great pizzas (and other food). Traditional Slovak restaurant Koliba a bit further away I would also recommend. I would recommend a few days in Krakow before or after the trip, if you have time. Do take advantage of the sauna in the hotel.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I thoroughly enjoyed every day, and would recommend this tour.
  • Reviewed January 2020
    Lucy Hockenhull

    Extraordinary landscapes and fabulous snowshoeing.

    Loved the snowshoeing. Each of the walks held interest and the challenges increased as the week progressed. We enjoyed the opportunity to sled down from Taistner Alm near Lutterkopf. Hotel Adler is wonderful with a lovely spa, fabulous 4 course dinners, picnic packed lunches and extensive breakfast buffet.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Every walk was unique and had its own appeal, but we especially enjoyed Monte Piano as the weather and views were superb.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our guide Jenny had extensive mountaineering experience but was new to this area and trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Anyone with reasonable fitness can enjoy the walks but you really do need to be pretty fit to make the most of this trip.
  • Reviewed January 2020
    Ruth Toller

    Great place to spend New Year

    Real getaway for New Year with a great group of people and excellent guides and support. Energetic enough to justify all the food we were presented with but plenty of time to relax.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Lying on the frozen river watching the stars (unfortunately no Northern Lights that particular night). Optional snowshoe on the Little Bear Trail was really good and contained the hardest section of the whole week due to the previous days' weatehr conditions

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent. Good communicator, very knowledgeable and willing to give us some indepedence. went out of way to be helpful

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for changes of plan if the weather conditions make the original impossible, but alternatives will be equally good. Take slip-on shoes to Russian End (outside toilet) to avoid having to put on boots every time

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Very well fed and various dietary needs were well met but catering facilities mean there can only be one main dish for a meal. Mealtimes were "flexible" as the guides/leaders also did the cooking. Celebrating New Year in a cabin with no electricity or running water (but plenty of heat and candlelight and a sauna) was special.
  • Reviewed November 2019
    Alice Nimmo

    What a week!

    Highly recommended and couldn't stress how much effort the guides put in on making you feel welcome to this amazing country and how supportive they were in making the trip perfect for each individual. Head guide Elina is a fantastic overall lovely person. The food was to die for (all traditional Finnish), don't be expecting burgers unless it's an Elk one! The drink was expensive, but I had budgeted for this prior to the trip as I knew this would be the case. It's good idea to purchase alcohol at a UK airport or lack some in your case before hand. All of the activities were perfect to gain a taster of each, and once equipped with your gear, you were free to use them as you please in your free time. I took a hike up a local hill on our free day, using the snowshoes provided, Elina showed me a map in which I took with me, and an easy to follow, well marked trail. What a fabulous day to get a view of the Russian border from the top. The owners of the Huskies were so caring and knew a of the dogs inside out, what a lovely life they lead and the dogs really enjoy their work, this is obvious when you meet them, due to the excitement and noise they make when they know they're going on a trip. The reindeer are well looked after, and the herdsmen explained that they are trained to pull the sleighs in the winter when they are brought back to the farm, but released again to roam during the summer months. I can't tell you enough how much I love this country, the lovely people and how close they are to nature. If your after a really laid back holiday and an escaped from the rush of day to day life, this is for you!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The way of life the Finnish lead is to die for, they really are the most lovely people with an amazing connection to nature and their wildlife

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader Elina couldn't have been any better, she couldn't have tried to please everyone anymore if she tried

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't expect restaurant quality food, expect a more rustic and traditional Finnish cuisine such as reindeer, elk and fish

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Worth every penny
  • Reviewed August 2019
    Mark Latham

    Rediscovering the thrill of cross-country skiing in Norway

    My review of cross-country skiing in Kamben with Exodus in The Herald. https://www.heraldscotland.com/life_style/15812158.travel-after-years-of-skiing-in-crowded-alpine-resorts-mark-latham-rediscovers-the-thrill-of-cross-country-skiing-in-norway/

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    See above review.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    See above review.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    See above review.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    See above review.
  • Reviewed July 2019

    Fantastic Finland

    For me its was a amazing trip. Although my staying arrangements was not that good as expected but other things made my trip awesome. I enjoyed range of outdoor activities such as snowshoeing,downhill skiing and dog sledding.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Riisitunturi National Park